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Use your knowledge of the internet to help others
Tuesday 25 October 2011 18:46:16 by Andrew Ferguson

Digital Inclusion and helping those who want to get online but face obstacles is very much part of the remit for broadband in the UK, and Martha Lane Fox as the UK Digital Champion is working Race Online 2012 to encourage all the 30 million daily internet users in the UK to help another person get online.

This is not a call for donations or money or hardware, but rather an idea that since the clocks revert from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time this weekend gaining us all an extra hour in bed, perhaps this time could be put to better use. The time and help you give need not be on Sunday 30th October, but simply to set aside the time to help a friend, be it an introduction course to the internet, or helping to ensure they have appropriate security controls on their computer. The idea is not about making people experts on all things online, but rather giving them enough knowledge and confidence to learn for themselves.

Plenty of events are taking place around the UK, including Weatherspoon pubs, Three's retail stores, Mecca bingo clubs, 370 Post Offices, sporting venues, shopping centre's, libraries and UK online centres.

Given the expertise of people who regularly visit thinkbroadband, there may be many who can spend time helping someone update their computer and set a computer up to automatically accept critical software updates. Or help a neighbour who complains of not being able to use their broadband when they want to, for many people problems with DSL based services can be caused by the spiders web of extension wiring in a property. Those of us who have been exposed to the world of computers and internet for many years do need reminding of how complex a world it can be to those who not know their B's from their b's.

The BBC has a First Click guide that can be printed out and used as a guide to helping people understand what is a minefield of new words and acronyms.


Posted by fibrebunny over 5 years ago
Well its a nice idea... The only people that I know, who are not yet online are those who refuse to be. As for updating someone's computer or sorting their extension wiring out. These people are already online. So essentially its a be nice to other internet users movement.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@fibrebunny Nothing wrong with being nice to others though.

Sorting out wiring may mean people who are unable to access iPlayer will then be able to. It is suprising how many post stats on our forums showing much better can be achieved, with a little effort.
Posted by zyborg47 over 5 years ago
I don't need Martha ( poke her nose in ) Lane Fox to tell me that I should help people. I help people with the internet/computers a lot. Most people I know is now on the net and got computers and the ones who are not don't want to be.
There is a couple I know still on dial up, I would help them if they ever wanted broadband, which they don't

I do my bit.
Posted by camieabz over 5 years ago
Isn't that the point of fora?

It's a great idea, but I don't fancy my neighbours thinking that free help is always a door or two away.
Posted by rizla over 5 years ago
Don't do it is my advice. I've helped out neighbours and you end up being their unpaid technical support. I've ended up falling out with one neighbour as every year they end up with the computers infested with malware. He won't pay for decent AV and doesn't keep free stuff up to date.
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