Hi all! Thought I’d change the format a little bit with this blog post on Digital Literacy. Although I include the text here, this is actually a post I’ve written for my Digital Media Consultancy Business, tSquared. I’d really love it if some of you could check out the website and let me know what you think, and of course, let me know what you think about the post! The post explains briefly the concept of Digital Literacy, and talks about a couple of projects I’m currently working on at the University. I was also lectured by Dr Lisa Harris, Sarah Hewitt and Nic Fair this week around the subject of Digital Literacy, and they provided some really interesting viewpoints. Thanks for reading!
It’s certainly been a whirlwind couple of weeks here at tSquared! After launching the site, we have been networking with clients, and are now working with a number of local business to establish exactly what we can provide to help them improve their Digital Literacy and leap into the Digital World. We have also launched our website (we hope you’ve noticed considering you’re reading this!) and have been immensely proud of some of the feedback we’ve been getting. One of my personal favourites is a user who declared, rather simply, that the website was “beautiful”. This is great to hear, as it shows that we can change the typical image of technology being a complex and confusing beast into one that is enjoyable for those who use it, and one that looks great! We hope you feel the same. The site has been live now since the 18th of November (so just over a week) and in that short time has already been used by over 400 people. This is nice for us, as it emphasises in the philosophy that we believe in; having an online presence can instantly attract people to your business.
You may also have noticed some new details pop up in our “Previous Work” section. While it is important to stress that we are not acting as a company in our work with the Southampton Citizen Science Project or with the Southampton University Business faculty, both Tom Rowledge and I have been chose to support these incredibly exciting opportunities. We will be sure to keep you updated on our progress!
Digital Literacy and tSquared
Both of our new projects are around the importance of increasing digital literacy, and this is a big passion of mine, and indeed an important area for any Web Scientist. Digital Literacy is the ability and breadth of knowledge a person has in the area of digital technology. This can be as simple as knowing how to share a status on Facebook, or running a group chat space on LinkedIn. In my opinion, having even a basic level of digital literacy is fast becoming one of the most important skills in everyday life.
Think about just how much impact the internet is having in your work and in your personal life. It can connect you with family across the globe, dramatically reduce the time taken to do some tasks, and provide you with all of the world’s knowledge in the palm of your hand. Now, imagine I told you that is only a small percentage of what the internet can do for you. A user who consumes the content of the internet as I have outlined, is merely a spectator to the knowledge and power that it has. One of the most important things to do, is to dive in, and begin to forge yourself an identity online. Let me give you an example. Instead of navigating to traditional new sources, such as BBC News, follow the journalists producing content on Twitter. This instantly gives you a platform to engage with those producing high level content, which can greatly enrich your experience as a consumer of the news, and turning you into more of a participant. In addition, this engagement contributes to your Twitter profile. You might tweet and share your own views on a news article. This could be picked up by a so-called “influencer” with thousands of followers, leading to engagement on far greater scale than you could possibly generate through other methods. From here, a simple change in how you consume the news, can have dramatic impacts on your communication, and open up a massive range of potential knowledge.
tSquared aims to follow the above strategy, but with local businesses. We forge out an online identity not just for individuals, but for businesses as a whole. This has proven to be an incredibly powerful idea, and you will not be able to find a major company that is not on either Twitter or Facebook. This is because as consumers become increasingly digitally literate in the ways outlined earlier, and the digital generation matures into the current generation, Social Media is moving to the forefront of customer engagement. It is therefore massively important that businesses begin to consider the Digital Literacy level of their target audience. By knowing this, they can determine that they will most likely need to focus a lot of marketing material into the online sphere.
If you feel that your business is ready to make the transition into the digital-era, then contact tSquared. We can help you create a bespoke plan, and then work with you to increase engagement.
Hopefully I’ve been able to explain the concept of Digital Literacy, and it’s importance for both business and individuals. As always any questions let me know!
~ Tom Davidson
This post also appeared on tSquared Digital Consultancy Blog.