The Jig Saw

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The New Digital Divide

Seth Godin's post on the new digital divide talks about choice - and choice is okay when the only person it affects is the one who makes the choice!

But what about the people involved in bridging the digital divide – do they really have a choice? And are they now a part of the new digital divide?

Baring a few [involved in development] who belong to the Digirati – most are either unaware or in a state of inertia to change! And I have one question for them - if you are unwilling to adapt to new technologies/ applications then why would a person on the non digital side of the divide leave his comfort zone?

And since fortunately it's only about choice – and while the world can chose to be where it wants to be – the organization(s) bridging the digital hardly have a choice! Because now it's not just about those who have access to computers and the internet, and those who don't; it is about using the plethora of applications innovatively to bridge the gap.

Blogs and wiki's in local languages, jotspot for project management and skype for areas that don't have good voice connectivity! Or is bridging the digital divide only about adding hardware and making software more affordable? Of having a cold website that is updated occasionally and using email and yahoo messenger to communicate?

The choice is yours!

Saturday, May 14, 2005


A comment from Dina Mehta's blog

Developing world leapfrogging the 'developed' world :)

I'd like to add another :) to that ..

Thursday, May 12, 2005

gapingvoid: how to be creative (long version) - looong but worth a read! Sneak peak -

So you want to be more creative, in art, in business, whatever. Here are some tips that have worked for me over the years:
  • Ignore everybody.
  • The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to change the world.
  • Put the hours in.
  • You are responsible for your own experience.
  • Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.
  • The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.
  • Don't try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.
  • If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.
  • Never compare your inside with somebody else's outside.
  • The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do, and what you are not.
  • The world is changing.
  • Merit can be bought. Passion can't.
  • Avoid the Watercooler Gang.
  • Sing in your own voice.
  • Selling out is harder than it looks.
  • Nobody cares. Do it for yourself.
  • The best way to get approval is not to need it.
  • Power is never given. Power is taken.
  • Whatever choice you make, The Devil gets his due eventually.


Seth Godin offers some food for thought with his post on the new digital divide -

The New Digital Divide
The Digerati The Left Behind
Uses Firefox Uses Internet Explorer
Knows who Doc Searls
Already has a doctor, thanks
very much
Uses RSS Reader RSS?
Has a blog Reads blogs (sometimes)
Reads BoingBoing
(or Slashdot)
Watches the Tonight Show
Bored with Flickr Flickr?
Gets news from Google Gets news from Peter Jennings

As he puts it the new digital divide is based on choice rather than circumstance!

Food for thought - is the development community that is trying to bridge the digital divide now a part of it?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Village BPO

Lason India is making news with thier village BPO in Kizhanur, Tamil Nadu

From Simputer to Mobilis

The developers of Simputer have Rs 10,000 computing device[s] in the offing - Mobilis, Mobilis Wireless and Sofcomp.

According to the company Mobilis has been integrated into the dashboard of Reva [the tiny electice car]

Read the story on CNET

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Testing Ground

Red Herring carries an article on Selling to the Poor and how India is proving to be a popular testing ground for new, affordable products in a variety of fields.

Hypomaniac/ Entrepreneur ?!?

In The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (a Little) Craziness and (a Lot of) Success in America, author John D. Gartner claims that the personality traits that define entrepreneurial overachievers, like exceptional energy reserves, gut-instinct decision making, and an affinity for taking risks, are symptoms of hypomania, a psychiatric cousin of bipolar disorder.

Friday, May 06, 2005


A Slashdot reader mulls over a new leaner browsing experience that loband promises to provide and questions if this could be the much "needed stepping stone for users in developing countries"

Created by Aidworld, a Cambridge (UK) based organisation specialising in ICTs for the developing world, the free internet service speeds up web browsing in low bandwidth environments

Loband uses
server-side compression and filters images, scripts and plugins while retaining content and basic formatting, and reduces bandwidth requirements by between 5 and 50 times.

Alan Jackson from the Loband project adds "[Aidworld is] looking at Loband allowing variable support for images based on user preferences or available bandwidth."

Aidworld can be contacted at info AT aidworld DOT org

ed·u·tain·ment for rural india

Swaminathan doles out some advice to Mr Chidambaram about creating a knowledge center in every village [Swaminomics, Times of India] and points out some interesting learnings from NIIT's Hole-in-the-Wall experiment -
  • Rural and slum children were perfectly happy to play educational games with learning content. Such games are regarded by middle-class kids as boring and avoidable. But rural and slum children have such few avenues of entertainment that they find even educational games exciting. writes about gaming -
It has been suggested that computer games can incorporate as many as 36 important learning principles. For example, they put learners in the role of decision-maker, pushing them through ever harder challenges, engaging the player in experimenting with different ways of learning and thinking.

  • Public visibility creates social pressure that discourages undesirable uses (example pornography). No kid wants to be seen publicly watching pornography by passers-by, who may be relatives.