This week we landed our second guest post. It comes from Sam Piroton, of Durbuy, Belgium. He’s also a follower of all things JRC. Thanks for the post, Sam!
Sam,33, is the grand-son and son of print media owners; now associated with Belgian media group Rossel. He is a proud member of the Belgian Webmission Team and promoting start-up spirit. Sam is a lover of the American culture. Find him on Twitter @sam_piroton.
When Kelly & Megan relaunched their blog under this brand new site, I asked them if they were interested in some guest posts about the state of European press. They kindly accepted. That’s why I’m writing these lines, except they don’t exactly talk about European press.
In the media world, we are all scrambling, restructuring, re-organizing. Print was the first to be hit; TV may come soon (look at Google TV). The web is the place to be. Computers, phones, tablets and television: all devices are connected, now. No way out, seemingly. JRC is no exception, as John Paton has decided to the “digital first, print last.” Very well, but…
I live in a small city called Durbuy, Belgium, 11,000 inhabitants. Our city administration has one section called “Espace Public Numérique.” That section is in charge of one very serious mission: trying to reduce the gap between those who have Internet access (often high-speed connections) and those who don’t or who want to learn more about it. They organize classes about Windows environment, digital photography, online privacy, child education…
Each year, they also organize a “Web day” with small workshops and presentations. One of them was about how to organize the way our children discover the web by creating safe e-mail, blogs, MSN profiles for instance.
The presenter asked one simple question to the room: how many of you have aF acebook profile? I was a bit surprised, as few of us had one. Yeah, Facebook may have 550 millions active profiles, but in our small cities, that doesn’t mean everyone is connected. Sure our kids are, but parents or grandparents are another story.
As we all rush to the instant web; we all try to connect with our readers through Twitter or Facebook. I think it’s important to remember that we still have readers who are not online. So we also have the duty to stay in touch with them.
I think JRC has already put a part of the solution in place with the Community Media Lab. I know the main target is about bringing community bloggers together, and try to find a way to collaborate with them.
But what about this: use the community lab to talk to non-connected people? Raise their awareness about technology; learn them how-to. Could be weekly, twice a month, whatever. Topics would be web-related, but on a broader scale: OS, tablets, digital photography, online administration, online politics, online education…
But for the time being, we have to make sure we keep our eyes on both connected and non-connected readers.