There is much discussion about black people and the creation of businesses, own employment and becoming more aware of black issues and politics.
In terms of this much of it relies on the internet as most businesses will require the internet to market and provide services and products.
There are some in the black population around the world who do not have access to the internet, so it can make it more difficult for them to access a secure and stable internet connection which can assist in the developing of a global or far reaching business.
The type of internet connections availible includes, WiFi internet connections (which are public), Broadband (which is fibre optic and connected using wires underground) and Wireless internet (using satalite signals to connect to the internet).
In the case of Wifi what can be used is a device such as a smartphone, mobile phone, Tablet or Laptop, which can connect to this type of connection in public (usually) for free, though extended usage costs can vary.
Broadband internet conntections require a telephone line to pay line rental and for a connection to be established in the home. This is usually with a broadband company such as Verzion (US) and BT or Virgin Media (UK). This can be cost effective but you will get a slower speed and less internet allowance the less you pay. If you pay more then you will get (in many cases) unlimited speed and internet allowance.
Wireless internet, can be mobile data allowance, or mobile broadband. This is where you may use a dongle to plug into a usb slot on a laptop or PC. Data allowance can be via your mobile phone carrier for a smartphone or mobile phone. If you have a tablet you may have a sim card with a prepaid data allowance or a dataplan which can allow you to use the internet from your device with a specified monthly allowance.
There are different ways in which you can use the internet. If you have a device, most public places such as libraries, coffee shops have access to free internet (even if it is for a specified time such as one hour). Mobile data packages can be free or cheap for a small amount of allowance, depending on how you will use the internet.
The one thing which you would need to do is be more informed about the type of data packages which exist and provide someone with the relevant information to sign up to the package.
There are some people who do not have access to the internet as they may not have a device or regular access to the internet.
If you are a business or a service provider looking at this information, you could consider users with less access than some of your target audiences.
There are computer classes availible for those who do not have internet skills or computer skills but what should be considered is those without device skills such as smartphones, phablets and tablets.
I have previously been involved in projects with persons looking at accessing the internet and how it is accessed with some of the following aims to come out of this:
– Services availible to those who have not got regular access to the interent.
– Having a stall of your services with a tablet and smartphone showing how your service can be accessed through different means
– Providing information and (where possible) equiptment to persons who do not have the money to access the services.
– Working with companies and organisations to get access to computers, smartphones and Tablets to those who cannot access them.
– One of the things to consider for those who do not have access to devices which utilise your service is whether or not you have thought about this.
The importance of more people having access to technology:
- Can Pay bills online.
- Health advice and information available online.
- Use emails to communicate.
- Can use social media to contact friends and relatives.
- Keeping up-to-date with the news.
This is part of a Mini Digital Inclusion Blog Series making you more aware of those whoare excluded from the internet socially.
As a person who has a long association and background with technology and how access to the internet and devices can be difficult. I have realised some black people take their access for granted and they are not ware of those who do not have the same access to this technology.
There is also a viewpoint of how you use technology in your every day life. For example you can now use a smartphone to pay for a coffee in selected places if you so wish.
Many black people around the world cannot access the internet, and so they are unable to add knowledge, wisdom or their voice to an ongoing discussion and (in some cases) action in motion.
There are many other races of people who do not have access and there are initiatives by mainstream technology companies to provide cheaper and free internet, as well as training on how to use the internet and devices which rely on it.
I have managed and been involved in projects where internet is unavailable and wireless internet has been provided, which is how you get WiFi internet as mobile phone signal carriers can be used to provide broadband speed internet for free or at a low cost for a day or week, in city and town centres.
Digital exclusion is a term which black people do not know well and this is what it is in a nutshell, being socially excluded from digital services. So for example you might not be able to access internet banking or have to pay more for to set up a standing order or pay a bill in person or through the post rather than online from your device. More and more services are being moved online and access to the internet is becoming more essential.
The internet now is a utility like gas, water and electricity, especially as device, services and products are part of our instant – now society.
There has been much emphasis on crowdfunding though there should be a view point towards people crowd gifting. I will explain further, suppose people were to donate items to persons who are seeking funds to raise for a venture.
This would occur by providing them with items which you do not want and listing through Ebay or a second hand selling site, you would then be able to take the proceeds from the sale after the item has been sold.
This would mean you could donate to a campaign if you did not have the funds by selling an item and pledging the proceeds to the campaign.
My viewpoint came from my experiences of giving to charities in the UK, where I often donate books and DVD etc to charity shops as I just cannot be bothered to sell them online and besides some of the smaller charities do some good work and I am very supportive of local charities who do good community work, I also buy many books and redonate them once I have finished.
There are online services online which can allow you to donate items and they will take the proceeds and pass them on to the charity/thrift organisation you would want the items to go to.
As stated above there are other ways in which you can ensure your funds go to another party, this could be through arranging with the individual or group recieving the funds that you will pledge the value of the item if it is sold.
There are things which can be looked at to see how and if it can work, at least it is something to think about.
- Whether or not an agreement can be made to accept donations in this manner.
- The items donated for sale may not sell.
- To get the funds will require much effort as going to a charity/thrift shop as you will need to post and package the item to the sellar.
- Unknown value of the item until sold.
- Difficult to get a standard price of all items as most venutres will be for business, rather than charitable.
- More donations as many people will have items to sell.
- Very Accessible to those with little funds but many items
- Pledges do not have to be made until the item is sold and the value from that item gained.
- More access to others who might have a passing interest rather than a full interest.
- Takes dedication and interest in the campaign and the projects of the person/group asking for the donation.
- This could be a way of asking businesses and organisations if they have any old stock which they can donate to sell for the cause/project you have.