Yesterday evening we watched Martha Lane Fox deliver this years Richard Dimbleby Lecture entitled Dot Everyone – Power, the Internet and You.

Dot Everyone, Power, the Internet and You

We love the Internet and we sat up straight to hear the ambitious and, perhaps a little idealistic thoughts & plans of Martha Lane Fox. It was inspiring stuff.

Her three key points are a challenge…

Firstly, how do we improve our understanding of the internet at all levels of our society?

Secondly, how do we get more women involved in technology?

Thirdly, how do we tackle the genuinely new and thorny ethical and moral issues the internet has created?

We love the idea that Dot Everyone could enable more of us to understand the Internet. At Ballymena Today we are a tiny dot in the midst of a potential “Dot Everyone” but a key aim and objective we have always had at our core, is one that helps local businesses & organisations understand the Internet better.

Getting you online, writing for you, helping you understand Google search results and connecting you to a real community in your local area are our basic starting points with you. These things are important, they give you power on the Internet, they are gold! Static information will only get you so far.

Consider this…

Only 30% of businesses in the vital small and medium enterprise sector are buying or selling online. Let’s just think about this for a moment. Imagine you are running a small beauty salon or hairdresser. How difficult would it be to make sure you are known in your local area without understanding how to appear in search results or on social media? And think how much money could you save by ordering supplies and products online?

No wonder these businesses are missing out on growth. our Estimates show that helping every small business understand digital would contribute £18 billion to the economy.

So, do you understand how to appear in search results or on social media? How are you connecting to others, growing your audience and developing your platform?

Its no longer acceptable to say “I don’t do the Internet.”

For many small businesses this first challenge seems to be more of a hurdle than it needs to be. Talk to us if you are in the Ballymena area. We want to help.

The second and third points are huge too though… perhaps we will write more on those in another post but, imagine more girls in technology class, pursuing a career in a world that is more accepting and that champions their ability, talent, skill and insight.

If you take a look at the tech sector as a whole, 14% are women. That’s a noticeably lower percentage than the 24% I find in the House of Lords. So much for the old fashioned world of Parliament versus the shiny modernity of the internet

Look at the investors in the technology sector – fewer than 10% are women. Even worse: when you begin to look at specific, highly paid technical roles – the software engineers, architects and system operators – the percentage of women collapses to low single digits..

And we’d love to see these stats change. Our key writer/editor is a woman. One of the vital people in our team who takes care of almost every technical direction we move in, is a woman. Our youth contributors are more girls than boys.

This was a truly fascinating lecture, we could say an awful lot more.

You can read the transcript from Martha Lane Fox here or watch it on iPlayer here.