Closing the Digital Divide

Government and nonprofit organizations should take a greater stance in addressing the digital divide. A strategy I would recommend would be using their research to fund different locations in need. It is hard to collect such widespread data which might make this option not the most feasible. Yet, improving the access to technology of one area is still bridging the gap. The way in which the nonprofit of government organization collects the information may be problematic if the proper format is not used and accurate numbers are not recovered. I believe closing the digital divide will require a partnership between the government and nonprofit organizations, but is there enough money available to provide technology on a large scale? As the use of technology continues to increase and technological creation amass both nonprofit organizations and the government must be invested in improving overall access of their constituency to even the playing field.

Mobile Citizen App

If the Binghamton Police Department were to develop a mobile citizen app for reporting crimes I expect it to be used as often as the mobile app that have already existed in area. According to the Broome County Sheriff’s Office facebook post from 2016 there was an app called mobile patrol. There is also a City of Binghamton productivity application where citizen could communicate traffic issues, pot holes, broken street lights and garbage collection among a few other things. There is not a crime reporting feature on either of these apps, although the Mobile Patrol app did have a crime tip feature. If Binghamton would like to implement a mobile citizen app they will have to budget for large scale advertisement. I believe Mobile Citizen apps are not necessarily without fault. When using the mobile citizen app of New York City a lot of the videos and information are irrelevant to the crime that was perhaps happening in that radius. The department will need to have a clear understanding of why citizen would not use the apps. They could definitely promote the app on another social media such as instagram, facebook and snapchat. For older populations that may not use those applications the police department should make sure there is news coverage and explanation of the use and functions of the app. There should be options on which alerts the person could subscribe for and well organized tabs.

Must Know’s for Large Purchases

I found the Technology Purchasing Town Hall Meeting by Vice Chancellor of Technology for the Foothill Community College, Chancellor Joe Moreau to be rather interesting. On a personal note, I am in the midst of purchases myself, most specifically the purchase of liquidation pallets. Although this video was referencing the optimization of purchase power in the interest of technology, I feel as though some of the same principles are clearly applicable to purchasing through a vendor in all disciplines. Throughout this video, this program and this particular course, I have noticed a large emphasis on the term “Return on Investment,” (ROI). When considering large-scale purchases, be it on a personalized level or for a particular level of governance, one must acquire the proper evaluative skillsets necessary to do so. Cost, tax and maintenance is something that was mentioned, and I am currently facing that dilemma right now. I must factor the cost of the truck rental, the gas and mileage, the stowing of my goods at both a weekend flea market as well as a U-Haul location, and I now recognize that with each passing month, I lose money when items sit idle. With the overall cost, be it the aforementioned costs, and including the maintenance of goods, repairs, taxes, and ultimate implementation of said goal, I see a direct correlation with this video as it pertains to my personal entrepreneurial endeavors. 

To delve just a bit deeper into the video, Moreau speaks of specifications to adhere to and to be weary of; for example, demos, which are not always a direct representation of the truth. When dealing with vendors, he states that “one must be prepared to ask hard questions.” For example, in my real-world scenario, I must look for manifests on a pallet, and if they are not present, I must ask a vendor why this is. By very design, a consumer does not have access to the pallet they wish to purchase. In short, when making such a purchase, a buyer can see the top of a six-foot box. The box might well have a few items that (in and of themselves) may be worth the entirety of the purchase price, so in the buyer’s mind, it appears to be a no brainer. However, one must understand that the items at face value may not function properly, as either they are in need of repair or entirely destroyed. The buyer will only find this information upon purchasing the pallet. I have experienced this first-hand, and do feel it as a solid, real-world example that very much aligns with this particular video. I am already feeling what is referenced in this video as “escalation cost.” In the short-term, the business model and preferable trajectory would be to sell fast, buy fast. Unfortunately, as mentioned in the video, there is a large-scale underestimation of the time that it takes to make a goal come to fruition. Much like life, sitting still is akin to actually moving backwards. “There’s no such thing as a free puppy.” I really love that quote and find that it absolutely rings true. Once you get the little bugger home, guess what? Here come the food bills, vet bills, and extraordinary amount of personal time. The moral of the story is that nothing in this world is free. 

We all want to believe in the altruistic construct and fantasy world of people giving out of the kindness of their heart. Unfortunately, a buyer must ask some difficult and confrontational questions, such as “what’s in it for you?” which, according to Moreau, may be answered at times, but ultimately, the likelihood is the opposite. We must have an out clause or security provision. In this sense, we must safeguard our data, but in my particular case, my provision was to make certain that I signed no contractual agreements. I knew this prior to the video. Additionally, I was aware of the cost of ownership. What I did not consider was the extra purchases that might well be a requisite requirement for me to move merchandise. I felt as though this video was truly speaking to me in a relevant way and I grateful for the information, even if it pertained more to governance and the purchasing of viable technological goods, be it software or the like. 

Digital Divide

When I think of the digital divide I make instant connections with school related gaps vs. global gaps. The government needs to implement some sort of policy to address the educational digital divide. Perhaps a set amount of ipads and computers at every single public school in the nation. Or free access to high speed internet to any family with K-12 students. These initial strategies might not be very feasible, because no one is willing to part with any money to make lasting change. Leapfrogging cant be solved, everyone will always learn the newest tech, and perhaps skip ever learning on desktop computer for example. It is unable to be avoided. Implications for these nonprofits or government sectors will shine a light on the economic gap. That if they are OK using a technology not widely accessible to everyone, they will seemingly not care about the betterment of their citizens.

Bridging the Digital Divide

The concept of the digital divide becomes more and more relevant as the years progress. Internet access is essential for almost all aspects of life in 2020, especially given the circumstances. Nonprofits and Government agencies need to recognize that internet and technology are not luxury items anymore and should not be treated as such. Nonprofits should work into their missions, when serving under represented communities, the need for reliable internet and access to smart technology. Government systems need to make their services accessible to those who are not able to access internet. The issue is that there may never be a way to guarantee digital equality in the current system. The market rules technology just as it rules every other aspect of our society, and that results in necessary technologies becoming very expensive. Ideally, internet should be completely subsidized by the government. This would ensure that all citizens are able to access resources that are online and be a part of the larger community conversation. However, completely accepting and attempting to bridge the digital divide would mean adopting technology on a major level. The more tangled with technology we become, the greater the risks increase as well. There will need to be new policies put in place in order to manage cyber security. Technology can not be governed in the same way people and traditional systems can. Governments will find themselves in a tough position if the integration of technology into society is taken lightly.

Social Media

The purpose of social media is to share content while social networking. Some of the major goals are to facilitate sharing of information, ideas, and interests through various communities and people. Social media has become a very quick way to reach many people at once. While this can be a good thing when trying to raise funds for a good cause it also has its downsides. The minute something is posted, it is immediately seen by many and often hard to “take back.” We spoke about this before but social media allows us to touch up appearances and posts where having face to face conversations with people does not allow this opportunity. I appreciate the ability to keep in touch with friends and family and see pictures but I am not one to post too much on social media. There is still so much unknown with social media that once something is published, you never know who can see it!

The Digital Divide

The digital divide is the uneven distribution and access to technology. Those that are unemployed, lower socioeconomic status or those with less education. The pandemic has exacerbated the digital divide making it more obvious to those without access. So much of our daily lives is now online that those without access to technology are impacted even more. In order to address the digital divide, access to internet should be available for everyone. This includes people living in rural communities and those who may be unemployed. I do think we have some work to do with accessibility to internet and technology especially in the current situation the pandemic has put us in.

Did you watch the Town Halls?

Here is an article from the NY Times (sorry, I am a NY Times Junkie!) about the town hall events last night. I am curious, did you watch? And if so, how? I found myself struggling to try and watch both at the same time. I understand this was truly a ratings battle between both candidates but at the same time I think about how difficult this was on the American people. The first debate was a shouting match with little substance, and this second one was cancelled and replaced with an inaccessible (truly, since you can’t really watch both at once) format. This is a highly contentious election, and I wonder what your thoughts are on how this is being done? How would you improve it? As we are in a Managing Info & technology class, I wonder what you would have done differently if you were the Commission on Presidential Debates. Would you have continued with the Virtual debate regardless of who showed up? Would you stagger the town halls so people could watch both?

Censorship or protection? You decide.

If you have been on Twitter the last few days, or watched any news source, you have probably seen people talking about Twitter censorship. Twitter has cracked down on misinformation and deleting/hiding fake news and other harmful content form viewers. This has sparked outcry from conservatives who claim that Twitter is censoring conservative opinions. Consider this article by the NY Times. What do you think?