Digital user-friendliness

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Co-ordinator, Espaces publics numériques project, Fédération des centres sociaux de Paris

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Patrick ISABEL

Director, Fédération des centres sociaux de Paris

Seminar Social life | Thursday November 17, 2005 - 9h - 11h30

In 1998, there was talk of a digital technology gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. In order that everyone had access to information technology (IT), a few bold pioneers set out to create public digital spaces (PDS) (espaces publics numériques). Due to a lack of resources, some of these spaces were housed for a certain time in social centres before a joint project was created around the idea of digital user-friendliness. Many people were interested in IT : young people some of whom were socially disadvantaged; foreigners or unemployed who were hoping that using IT would help them find a job ; children, some of whom were regular visitors to the social centres and who brought their parents along; and finally, people who lived in the area and discovered access to Internet and a means of learning to use it for themselves. By creating a new form of localised voluntary work and a strong social mix, IT has become a way for forming profitable contacts in a convivial atmosphere and helping the future development of social centres.

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