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Connecting Scotland’s digital community

On Friday night I attended the wonderful Digital Britain Unconference Scotland organised by Craig McGill. Twenty three people crammed into a private area of The Living Room, Glasgow, to discuss the future of the internet in Scotland. Some pretty interesting topics were covered, from broadband access across rural areas to the proliferation of social media. Sarah Drummond gives a great summary of the main points on her blog. This conveniently allows me to be rather lazy and not write too much on a Sunday afternoon. I also stole the photograph above from her blog too, making me doubly lazily.

Andy Bright has posted a very interesting post-unconference video on his blog, discussing disconnection and disparity within the Scottish digital community. I’m particularly interested in his idea of aggregating all of the information spilling out of existing online communities into one hub. This could save an enormous amount of time, save duplication and ultimately be cost-effective.

So what do others think, is the hub concept proposed by Andy the way forward?

  • I think what I’ve proposed with aggregation is a solution to this so called problem with disconnection and disparity, but it’s by no means a platform for action. All it would do is allow people with interest in a certain topic to find others who are already thinking and working in that field.

    Although in my opinion, that’s enough.

    I don’t think we should be looking at what we can add in terms of hubs and platforms, but ask what we can take away. Let’s remove valueless obsfucation and let people connect themselves together and collaborate on top of what’s already out there.

    A new professional group may try and build it’s own platform and hub, no doubt sub-optimally and without proper user research, with the main objective behind it being to raise subscription revenue and look cool slick doing it (seriously).

    Yes, what I propose could be included within the remit of professional group. Yet the issue with a ‘digital’ professional group is that it would have too many sub-professions to support, most of which are already well supported. Designers have D&AD, I’m a member of the IAI, usability specialists have the UPA, etc. I don’t see how a new group could do a good enough job for each profession to convince people to reach into their pockets. Actually I’ll get real and answer that now, they couldn’t (never give an option where an opinion will suffice).

    So. If what I proposed is more fully considered in time, how would we move forward. Start talking about it, get out the thick markers and sketch it down, and keep adding fidelity to the concept as the research rolls in. That’s how I see it from my UX design perspective. I’m really interested in hearing what others have to say from their perspectives.