Channel shift

It’s the time of year for electoral registration.  For the last couple of years, my council has offered a rather clunky web service, not designed to inspire confidence – indeed barely designed at all – but fully functional nonetheless. This year, I can register by text message – just a case of sending a ten […]

Young Rewired State – the meta page

Updated 27 August to include video and additional links. Last weekend’s Young Rewired State really seems to have caught people’s imagination, with lots of commentary from the hackers who created the projects, the observers who watched them present their ideas and from people who weren’t there at all (but who rather wished they were).  I […]

Yet more Rewired State

A couple of hours this afternoon at the mini-Googleplex in Victoria, watching the teenagers of Young Rewired State present their hacks.  It was an impressive show, not just for the ideas, all of which were good ones, or for the clarity and self-confidence with which they were presented, but because of the focus on doing […]

Travelling slowly

Back in the big city, life is speeding up again. I don’t have to get into a car to buy a newspaper.   The nearest station is ten minutes’ walk away, not fifteen miles of twisty roads away.  And my downstream speed is 5.7 Mbps, just over a hundred times faster than the 56kbps I could […]

Gone to the beach

This blog has gone away to where, on past experience, 2G connections can be obtained by leaning perilously out of a window and 3G connections by the simple expedient of driving 12 miles to a conveniently positioned supermarket car park.  Digital exclusion can take many forms and is not always involuntary.


As expected, there is now a video of Howard Rheingold’s Reboot Britain presentation – scroll down the thumbnails on the right, his is the last one (though there is lots of good stuff along the way worth being diverted by).  I haven’t watched the whole thing yet, but have seen enough to confirm my suspicion […]

Hobson’s channel choice

There is – for good reason – no let up in the drive to add to and deepen the range of government services available online, most recently expressed in the Digital Britain report.  But it’s important to remember that that assumes a level of choice and opportunity not open to everyone. As a useful reminder, […]

Customer service standards

I walk in, slightly tentatively. It’s not altogether clear quite where I should be. I stand in what looks like the right area.  Nobody takes any notice of me. There are one or two members of staff talking to other customers. There is a woman whose job seems to consist of walking around importantly with […]

What it is to be modern

If the past is a foreign country, how much more so the future.  There have been endless articles – to say nothing of entire books – about the digital generation, but few of them in my experience really bring the differences to life.  I was struck by a piece danah boyd has just written which […]