As you may have seen / read already all over the place Habitat Jam is now closed already and ready to move on to the next stage, which is engaging further into the different conversations that have been taking place over the course of the 72 hours that it last. I have been able to participate on some of those different discussions and also to share a thought or two of my own in a couple of the forums and I can honestly say that if it was flagged as the event of the year it didn’t fall short of the expectations, for sure. Thousands and thousands of visits and further comments have populated the event throughout and it is now time to let it sink, digest it and pick things further from there on to the next level.
There have been lots of discussions that I thoroughly enjoyed following up on but there has been one in particular that grabbed my attention from moment one and that was the one on Should Access to Information Technology Be a Human Right? What a fantastic discussion, folks! I am sure you will be reading it eventually but I just wanted to let you know my two cents worth of comments as I feel it is worth while mentioning elsewhere and engage into further conversations.
While I have followed the thread I kept on thinking that if that same Jam article would have been shared a few years back, like five years or so, we would all be agreeing with that particular statement where we would consider access to IT as a right for a few and nothing else. However, things have changed a lot since that particular time. We now have got the possibility that having access to IT is becoming more and more inexpensive and as such it takes no effort to get up and running and have access to different online resources, which in most cases would be available for free but still with the quality we would be asking for to engage further with it. Yes, folks, that Web 2.0 we have all been dreaming about (And weblogged about for quite some time, too !) and which is making the Internet much more resourceful and interesting to participate in the actual conversations than ever before.
And it looks like we may have done that already, because if before we didn’t take for granted having access to IT as a right, we certainly are taking it for granted now. And that is what Web 2.0 does to you. Accessibility to the information with a very inexpensive method has now become the common rule and although it has been mentioned how even then most people may still not have the possibility of having access to those some online resources it would be a wonderful opportunity for local governments, specially, to start fostering the creation of different IT Centres with the right level of equipment and which would allow those with the least possibilities to have access to the Information Highway to then make it happen and eventually help them become self sufficient. Those locally sponsored centres could very well be the ones that would help shape our short-, medium- and long-term future by allowing the highest number of people possible have access to the right information at the right time and with the right context. Because, after all …