Closing the Digital Divide: Transforming Regional Economies and Communities with Information Technology

Greenwood Publishing Group
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Successful strategies and principles for using information technology to transform regional and community economies exist, and they are presented here with clarity and insight in a way that is useful to both practitioners and researchers. Although the communities discussed here range far and wide, from those in Russia to Australia and to Kenya, any community can benefit from enhanced utilization of information and communication technologies.

The ways in which technology can help improve economic, social, cultural, and political conditions are as numerous and various as the communities themselves. In Central Queensland, Australia, community leaders have brought in a high-tech expert advisory system to help them control weed infestation. New Zealand and Australia have pioneered telehealth, the exchange of health care information and the delivery of some services across great distances. In Russia, wiring a community was found to be about more than mere hardware and software; vital to the process was understanding how communities provide access to information technology, how authorities and volunteers can improve computer literacy among citizens, and how connectivity can be extended to greater numbers of people. In some areas of south Asia, nongovernmental organizations have teamed up with local governments to increase access, empowerment, and e-commerce opportunities. These are but a few of the ways this volume contributes to our knowledge base about the impact of technology on economic development.

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About the author

STEWART MARSHALL is Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Informatics and Communication at Central Queensland University in North Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.

WALLACE TAYLOR leads the Faculty of Informatics and Communication's work program at the COIN Internet Academy at Central Queensland University.

XINGHUO YU is Associate Dean of Research at the Faculty of Informatics and Communication, Central Queensland University.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Greenwood Publishing Group
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Published on
Dec 31, 2003
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Pages
222
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ISBN
9781567206029
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Language
English
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Genres
Computers / Information Technology
Technology & Engineering / Telecommunications
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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An eye-opening account of how the hidden rise of personalization on the Internet is controlling-and limiting-the information we consume.

In December 2009, Google began customizing its search results for each user. Instead of giving you the most broadly popular result, Google now tries to predict what you are most likely to click on. According to MoveOn.org board president Eli Pariser, Google's change in policy is symptomatic of the most significant shift to take place on the Web in recent years-the rise of personalization. In this groundbreaking investigation of the new hidden Web, Pariser uncovers how this growing trend threatens to control how we consume and share information as a society-and reveals what we can do about it.

Though the phenomenon has gone largely undetected until now, personalized filters are sweeping the Web, creating individual universes of information for each of us. Facebook-the primary news source for an increasing number of Americans-prioritizes the links it believes will appeal to you so that if you are a liberal, you can expect to see only progressive links. Even an old-media bastion like The Washington Post devotes the top of its home page to a news feed with the links your Facebook friends are sharing. Behind the scenes a burgeoning industry of data companies is tracking your personal information to sell to advertisers, from your political leanings to the color you painted your living room to the hiking boots you just browsed on Zappos.

In a personalized world, we will increasingly be typed and fed only news that is pleasant, familiar, and confirms our beliefs-and because these filters are invisible, we won't know what is being hidden from us. Our past interests will determine what we are exposed to in the future, leaving less room for the unexpected encounters that spark creativity, innovation, and the democratic exchange of ideas.

While we all worry that the Internet is eroding privacy or shrinking our attention spans, Pariser uncovers a more pernicious and far- reaching trend on the Internet and shows how we can- and must-change course. With vivid detail and remarkable scope, The Filter Bubble reveals how personalization undermines the Internet's original purpose as an open platform for the spread of ideas and could leave us all in an isolated, echoing world.
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