The real world is a scary place • 3 March 2008 • The SnowBlog
The real world is a scary place
You'all know that Rob and I are big fans of technology, and that Snowbooks exists because computers are our friends - extra kind friends who do all our work for us. And amongst all the warring, and poverty, and corruption in the world at least we can point to the Internet and say 'hey! The Internet! Finally humankind collaborated to produce something wonderful.' And it's also true that if you in any way engage with publishing, you are left in no doubt by consultants (link is a random example of the sort of thing I mean) that the High Street is dead, that online is the only way to be, that the digital revolution is going to make your business - yes, yours! - obsolete.
But I just thought I'd share this with you. I have evidence that there are people in the world for whom the digital revolution has yet to happen, and there are no signs that it will happen any time soon. It would be a little too cruel to explain exactly how I know this, but isn't it amazing that there are people in the world, not in their 70s or 80s but in their 30s and 40s - some of whom may or may not be in charge of educating the next generation, I couldn't possibly say - who honestly, hand on heart, don't know what a blog is. They daren't shop online because it's 'risky' and they would rather have a printed newspaper or printed product catalogue than the online version.
Of course, the digital revolution is exciting, and presents opportunities (and threats to those who ignore it), and don't you think it would be cool if ebooks took off, and pity the poor business who doesn't have a decent website. But I think it's fascinating that there are tens of thousands of people out there who are not online, don't have broadband and still read. I think they're weird, sure - but they exist. As Oz from Buffy would say, "Huh."