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Teresa Rodriguez

Image “Shattered”, kindly provided by Ric Simbol Jr.

A Non-Manifesto on the overlooked effects of today’s unparalleled technological progress By Teresa Rodriguez

!oncluding............................................................................................................................." #ealing $ith limitless gro$th....................................................................................................... " #igital Reputation....................................................................................................................% &anguage and !ultural &imitations.................................................................................................%" 'obile Technology....................................................................................................................() 'oore*s &a$........................................................................................................................... + ,nline marketing.....................................................................................................................%Tackling .ducational !onstraints in Time o/ &imitless 0ro$th................................................................ The .leventh 1our o/ 1uman .volution............................................................................................2 The ever3changing S., rules........................................................................................................%) The e4tent o/ today*s #igital #ivide...............................................................................................(" The real struggle o/ small businesses be/ore limitless technological gro$th...............................................%+ This a not a 'ani/esto.................................................................................................................% 5ords* trans/ormational pro$ess....................................................................................................6



This a not a Manifesto.
Nor is it a Mission Statement, or a Denunciation, a Proclamation, a Declaration, a Pronouncement or an Announcement. It could be, though. Some might feel more comfortable about choosing one of these terms and labelling it that way. I’d rather not. Something else you should know. This is not an eBook either. This document is not going to tell you HOW-TO gain more customers nor is it going to give you the secret cure to weight loss. What is it then? It’s just a simple collection of pages put together for you in an electronic format to raise awareness of a fact that escapes most of us despite its undeniable ubiquity. What am I talking about? In a nutshell, I’m talking about Complexity. Complexity has been an integral part of our universe from the moment that resounding Bang became as Big as it did. So why bother writing anything about something we are all so familiar with? Because Complexity, Technological Complexity to be precise, is accelerating at a rate unheard of before. And because the consequences of this acceleration are having a very negative impact on millions of people in this planet. An impact which, if left unchecked, will be devastating for future generations. To quote World History specialist, Professor David Christian, we have reached a ‘Threshold moment in history”, a point in time where complexity has become more stringent, an amalgamation of ‘Goldilocks conditions’ that make life a lot more intricate. And with “Complexity” comes “vulnerability and fragility.”



So while we are told that in this so-called “Age of Influence” (Ted Rubin) anyone is “able to build an audience and effect change, advocate brands, build relationships and make a difference”, the harsh reality faced by many says otherwise. In this document we’ll show you that the level of complexity in many of our everyday routines – things like mere “words” – has become so utterly sophisticated that, faced by the impossibility to keep up with the speed of technological advancements, many of us will be left behind in the survival race.

Now you know. So, if you would rather call this a manifesto, by all means, feel free. If you’d like to join in this conversation, please get in touch:

Thank you for your precious time and for kindly sharing your knowledge and skills.

Editor extraordinaire, Ariadna Lee and Ric Simbol Jr for the use of your stunning image, “Shattered”.


vo4ro4media. as long as it took to develop. As we observe our evolution we would notice our ancestors beginning to growl. fear and love. writing is one of the fundamental social and technological advancements that have shaped the history of our world. Only 53 minutes short of the end of that very long day would the first words be put on a stone tablet. mumble and finally utter their first words.2 The Eleventh Hour of Human Evolution Imagine we were to compress humanity´s existence in this planet into a 24 hour day. They would speak about what they knew and what mattered to them. plants. Then. their first vocabularies depicting animals. would they see the need to leave a written record of their . It would be the natural thing to do. $$$.000 years after humans began communicating with each other orally. food and some of the sensations they felt in their everyday lives like pain. Only 145. humans would be communicating verbally and through body language. snarl. For the best part of those 24 hours. And yet. at 11:07 pm someone in old Mesopotamia would record the first written message in history.

It’s everywhere we turn whether we choose to actively engage with it or not . We distance ourselves from a situation when we feel they are giving us “TMI”. We urge others to enjoy the moment by convincing them that YOLO. and we defiantly “troll” others and their opinions. trend. Besides. to say the least. television ads. Every single new platform. concept or development seems to foster a new proliferation of terms.on . the current prevalence of the Internet has placed the written word at the centre of everything we do. on the Internet. “onlinese” words and phrases creep into our day-to-day conversation: We hi-five to “success!” when we manage to fix the tiniest domestic problem. newspapers. and most significantly. street signs. magazines. the speed at which both the oral and written forms of languages are evolving because of the Internet’s ubiquity is vertiginous. $$$. Figure 1 .) The Power of the Written Word as we Step into 2014 Today the written word dominates most of our lives. More and more. We laugh at inexperienced “newbs”. t-shirt logos.vo4ro4media. We feel depressed as a consequence of an “epic fail”.Shibuya by Manganite on Flickr And while language has always been subject to change.

Hinglish (Hindi.vo4ro4media. the BBC). explains that “though much of the net-generated argot is "rarefied and technical. Crystal says that new colloquialisms in the English language are spreading like wildfire amongst groups on the net and that they are doing so by developing a curious mix of English varieties result of the fact that the majority of the young people who write in English on the internet are not native speakers of the language (source.- Lexicographers agree that the Internet is changing the way we talk. Honorary Professor of linguistics at the University of Bangor." more and more Internet words and phrases are popping up in general discourse. Spanglish.” David Crystal. Urdu and English) and other creative varieties are becoming so widespread that apparently some of them are even taught to English diplomats to help them familiarise with the different modalities they’ll face upon arrival to their posts! $$$. Konglish (Korean-English).com . Punjabi. concurs. Michael Agnes. executive editor of Webster's New World Dictionary.

the global community of the eleventh hour . towards the areas where the speed and the nature of change itself is causing certain groups to play the game at a disadvantage. the way we relate to each other.empower everyone to adapt to the changes brought on by the pervasiveness of Technology in the way we speak.  Then we have to try to find ways to tilt it back towards the centre and conquer those handicaps if they are not redressing themselves naturally. they are not. is the speed of current changes and how we manage the consequences of such an inevitable part of our lives and our communities in the twenty-first century. $$$. But what matters to us. the way we spend our leisure time. the way we work. has many different sides and while it might bring a positive transformation for some. a chance to rid ourselves from an unwanted past. it can cause major distress to many others. let’s think for a moment. How do we . so that we can achieve a satisfactory level of balance for all?  First. we need to identify where change is skewing towards the negative. an opportunity to freshen up and start anew. The truth is that change.vo4ro4media. as we will explain .6 Words’ Transformational Prowess So. And as we will see. etc. the way we sustain ourselves. is this queasy rate of change and the newly acquired power and recent enhanced ubiquity of the written word a positive or negative development for our communities? We like to think of change as something good. like everything in life.

7 “Immigrants and Natives” The New York Time reports that in 2012.000 proposed new definitions each month. contributors from around the globe began to join in and enforce a kind of democratic evaluation of the words.S. “Friends and I would sit around and make up words. Urban Dictionary currently gets 110 million monthly page views and receives about 30.S. That Courts around the U. though. author Marc Prensky in 2001). is not a “digital native” (a term coined by U. it was meant to be a parody. We did not even start using it as teens. or form of respect”). however. catfishing (“the phenomenon of Internet predators that fabricate online identities”). Although it is the digital immigrant who has invented the actual technology that defines the digital native. We are not native speakers. Prensky believes we are “A relic of a previous time… Old world-settlers.” $$$. When he began the site in 1999 at California Polytechnic State University. A vast percentage of the global . and grenade (“the solitary ugly girl always found with a group of hotties”). With the expansion of the Internet. I did not grow up with the Internet.” he said. Many of us remain. Middle-aged people did not grow up with the Internet. as CNN’s Olivery Koy would have us called. who have lived in the analogue age and immigrated to the digital world. dap (“the knocking of fists together as a greeting. “digital immigrants”. are using the Urban Dictionary to understand the vernacular used by their younger defendants is no surprise to Aaron Peckham.vo4ro4media. its founder. the Urban Dictionary was used by Courts to define terms like iron (“handgun”).

radio and magazines/newspapers $$$.000 boomers and seniors confirmed that: • • 78 percent of boomers and 52 percent of seniors are online The two groups spend an average of 19 hours on the Internet each week. And while this poses serious challenges for storytellers and marketers in this digital age when it comes to successfully engaging consumers. patterns of visual attention and emotional consequences of modern media consumption that is rewiring the brains of a generation of Americans like never before. who performed the biometric monitoring for the study. Once boredom sunk in. there is no denying that experience with technology can turn older people into digital natives. Interestingly but not surprisingly. There is a significant difference in the way we process information. And in fact. more than with TV. Figure 2 .Digital Native from htt !""###$greenbookblog$org"2%1&"%'"2("market)egmentation-for-*igital-native)-v)-*igitalimmigrant)" biometrically monitored both digital natives and immigrants for 300 hours to determine emotional engagement and visual attention. they moved on. Prensky insists the differences run a lot deeper than merely our typing speed. Recent research has shown that baby boomers comprise the fastest growing segment of smartphone owners in the US and they make up a third of all Internet users. Management Consulting Firm Deloitte quotes a 2012 study by Time Inc which. natives showed a lower emotional response to . In some places." said Dr. CEO and Chief Scientist." Google’s study of more than 6. because they experienced it briefly and simultaneously.vo4ro4media. Innerscope Research.(+ Further. "This study strongly suggests a transformation in the time spent. with a third of those boomers describing themselves as "heavy Internet users. Carl Marci. it already has. The generational digital gap is narrowing. with digital immigrants taking it in linearly instead of switching from source to source at warp speeds as natives do.

com . and to broadcast their opinions not unlike these very savvy.vo4ro4media...(( • 71 percent of boomers and 59 percent of seniors use a social networking site daily (the most popular being Facebook) • 82 percent of viewers say YouTube is their preferred online video watching site with three in four online video watchers have taken action -.such as searching on the Internet for more information a result of an online video. • • 77 percent use their mobile device simultaneously with another screen 82 percent of them use a search engine to gather information on a topic of interest.. very cheeky older internauts: $$$.

vo4ro4media. Cyprus and Portugal have the highest rates of non-users. When asked about their reasons for not having an internet connection the respondents cited: o lack of interest. Around two thirds of Europeans aged 65-74 and about half of those aged 55-64 have never used the Internet. o equipment and access costs. are representative of a population of over-45s only in certain countries and do not necessarily reflect the reality of middle age and older citizens in other nations as these graphs indicate: Th e Digital Agenda Scoreboard published by the European Union stated that around 120 million European citizens have never used the . against 45% in households with income in the first quartile (or lower income earners). Bulgaria.( The figures and quotes above. Greece. however. Romania. $$$. age being the principal factor limiting their ability or willingness to use it. We can only expect these quantities to reduce as a more Internet savvy generation takes place but what is more concerning is that only 13% of individuals living in a household with income in the fourth quartile (or higher income earners) have never used the Internet.

com . the overall expenditure in information technologies by the EU represented only 2. Yet. far beyond the 2. not only in the EU but also in the United States.(% This situation has led to a discussion on the need to give incentives to the take-up of internet access by low-income families through special tariffs.3% of the United States.8% of Japan and the 3. $$$.4% of European GDP in 2008.vo4ro4media.

And we defined it as the: “Gulf between those who have ready access to computers and the Internet and those who do not” (namely rich and poor. What’s worse . much Beyond The fact that low income earners have an impaired ability to access or use the Internet when compared to wealthier groups. For instance:  In Australia alone. still only a modest 20 percent of urban Indians are connected. published by the China Internet Network Information Center in 2009 found that more than 106 million rural people used the Internet in the country (up by a $$$. And while most of us are sensitised to the effects of this social phenomenon. a report by Anglicare Victoria found that a lack of access to the internet is exacerbating the gulf between the haves and the have-nots. black and white. researchers found nearly half (49 per cent) did not have an Internet connection and more than half (56 per cent) did not have access to a mobile phone.  In . we are often fed colossal figures to impress us about the overwhelming reach of the Net but on closer inspection we realise things are not really what they seem. educated and uneducated).only three percent. We detected and branded this phenomenon long ago as The Digital Divide. And the thing is. The 'Survey Report on Internet Development in Rural China 2009'. Surveying more than 300 people who needed emergency relief and financial counselling services. urban and rural. or 38 million. this divide is not showing any signs of improving any time soon. of the 833 million people who live in rural India have accessed internet to date. is not news. while internet crossed the tipping point of 100 million users in 2011 [IAMAI report (2012)].  In China.vo4ro4media.(" Beyond the Digital Divide.

although internet use increased.(2 quarter on the previous year) but just 15 per cent of rural Chinese were using the Internet compared with 45 per cent in cities. In 2007. the gap widened from 17 to 30 per . have the skill to know how to read and navigate through a website or to use it profitably for business purposes.vo4ro4media. let alone. So. These figures are just the tip of the iceberg. the figures were five and 22 per cent respectively. You just need to dig a little deeper and you’ll see how it’ll soon become nearly impossible for billions of people to catch up with all the advances in information technology. $$$.

Reuters reported people climbing on trees to access the mobile network in some parts of Sierra Leone. However. exceeds by about 40% the potential revenues.ei-Feng -ue on Flickr As Harsha Liyanage and Philip Edge explain.() Now. think Mobile Technology for a second How often have you heard that there are three billion unique mobile subscribers in the world? That is. indeed. we could assume that with every mobile that is activated. Only last year. mobile technology is the easiest entry point to the Internet. the terms of signal coverage.vo4ro4media. technology and policy environments. In rural Africa the cost of running a network or transmission . essential to enable the voice and data transfer of mobile phones.The Tablet +hotogra her by . an impressive figure -nearly half of the world’s population. Being such an unprofitable endeavor. the new digital divide experienced at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ has multiple guises . $$$. As a result. having a mobile phone with a SIM card (one of those three billion SIM cards worldwide we are always reminded of). the actual picture behind these numbers is rather different. most governments and private entities prefer not to invest in rural areas. a new opportunity is born for someone in less advantaged regions. is equivalent to a dead piece of plastic in the absence of a mobile signal. In this context. the Caribbean and South Asia. And given that today.000 network towers to meet the mobile communication needs of African rural populations. as Liyanage and Edge explain. Figure & . across Africa. there is a shortage of about 60.

(- Figure ./ohn Stanmeyer0 1mage )hot for National 2eogra hic$ +hotogra h! /ohn Stanmeyer"AF+"2etty 1mage) Significantly. 80% (according to GSMA Intelligence) of users in developing countries still live with second generation (2G) signal . touchscreens. raising their phones in an attempt to capture an inexpensive signal from neighbouring Somalia. shows African migrants on the shore of Djibouti at night. While telecommunications advances into third generation (3G) and even fourth generation (4G) mobile communication standards. Would a (hypothetical) sudden push and investment in the development and $$$. most of them are limited to accessing only voice and text messages. This differs dramatically from the advanced capabilities most of us are so used to like broadband.. the winner of the Word Press photo of the year 2013. by John Stanmeyer. high storage capacities or high definition mobile TV.vo4ro4media. What does this mean? It means that while a mobile phone is the first entry point to the Internet for the majority of the poor.

according to the report. $$$. even if there was a concerted effort by local and international governments to resolve these problems. the poorest young women in developing countries are not expected to achieve universal literacy until 2072. Here are some shocking stats on Literacy based on a Unesco report published in January 2014. However. In fact. China. But things don’t stop here. Pakistan. Ethiopia.  250 million children are not learning basic reading and math skills.  175 million young people worldwide lack even basic literacy skills. there is another major issue that runs a lot deeper – Illiteracy.  If current trends continue. almost two-thirds of illiterate adults are women. a decline of 1% since 2000. investments. I fear the generational. geographical.  India. even though half of them have spent at least four years in school. Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo account for almost three-quarters of the world's illiterate adults. trading. and gender disadvantages we’ve just mentioned will only be aggravated by one major problem. Egypt. a figure that has remained almost static since 1990. . Nigeria. Bangladesh. financial. nor coordination mechanisms put in place to work between responsible authorities.(6 implementation of ICT policies in developing countries extend the benefits of the Net wider? It certainly would. etc.vo4ro4media.  In 2011 there were 774 million illiterate adults.  One in four young people in developing countries are unable to read a sentence. But in some countries there are no responsible government authorities to address the issues related to ICTs. Brazil.  Globally.

$$$.(7 Moore’s .vo4ro4media.

memory capacity.vo4ro4media. $$$.+ Moore’s . Berkeley. Gordon E. or become layered. Depending on the doubling time used in the calculations. this could mean up to a hundredfold increase in transistor count per chip within a decade. Gordon Moore described a trend in 1965 that was to influence the computer hardware industry for decades – Figure 3. Moore is an American businessman.processing speed. Apart from establishing Intel Corporation. Moore holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of California. a vastly successful semiconductor chip manufacturing conglomerate. Are there any limits to Moore’s Law? Intel itself predicted the end would come between 2013 and 2018 with 16 nanometer manufacturing processes and 5 nanometer gates. due to quantum tunneling (the process by which a particle is able to tunnel through a barrier that it classically could not surmount). co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of Intel Corporation. Moore’s Law predicts this exponential growth to continue for several generations of semiconductor chips.1mage from 1ntel$com Moore’s Law. Others suggested chips could just get bigger. Moore's Law refers to the observation that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years as do the capabilities of many digital electronic devices . sensors and even the number and size of pixels in digital cameras. and a PhD in Chemistry and minor in Physics from the California Institute of Technology.

in his 2001 essay The Law of Accelerating Returns argued that we are about to experience "technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history” and it will lead to a technological singularity occurring before the end of the Figure 4 1mage from htt !""###$bootheme)$com"&%breathtaking-future-city-conce t-art 21st century. it will be more like 20. Starkman believe the ultimate limit of Moore’s Law borders around 600 years. Within a few decades. The implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence. there's even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth!! So it seems we won't be experiencing a linear growth in the 100 years of progress of the 21st century. around 2045.vo4ro4media. Bruce Sterling. But As Carl Sagan once wisely said: $$$. immortal software-based humans. leading to the Singularity.000 years of progress (at today's rate). The way Kurzweil foresees this process. Futurists such as Ray Kurzweil. as we have been accustomed until now. and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of . and Vernor Vinge consider that the exponential improvement described by Moore's law will ultimately lead to a Technological Singularity: A period where progress in technology occurs almost instantly leading to an exponential growth that goes on forever. machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence.( Lawrence Krauss and Glenn D. Ray Kurzweil himself.

like the Internet. unpredictable and unreliable. development in computer technology has led to great advances in human communications. Let self-accelerating technologies follow their own cycle. We can sit and watch how adjustments in one sector induce unexpected adjustments and innovations in other sectors in a complex process that none of the participants can possibly comprehend. I predict will be. what civilization needs is a NOT-SO-FAST button. because they will gobble up everything. unpredictable and unreliable. if only an elite can keep up with technology’s exponential growth. creates conditions that are . A lot more so than what it already is today. And since these particular autocatalytic technologies drive whole sectors of society. After all. deeply divisive. as Steward Brand suggests."Exponentials can't go on forever. there is a risk that civilisation itself may become unstable. So my question is: How will we ever be able to understand and keep up with quantum computing or nanotechnology if its subtleties keep accelerating away from us. the rest of us will grow increasingly mystified about how the world works.vo4ro4media. Change that is too rapid can and. I don’t really want to make a case against technological determinism. sometimes termed "autocatalysis". But perhaps we should first and foremost consider redressing the speed of change to ensure we don’t leave most of the population of the planet behind and we turn this earth $$$. exponentially by the way. particularly if we are not even helping half of the world’s population to succeed in the most basic of tasks – to be able to comprehend a written text? Perhaps." The type of self-accelerated development we are experiencing today. We can all try to adjust not only to changes but also to changes that others are making to technology. Perhaps so.

and a society that stops planning for the future is likely to become a fragile society vulnerable to violent economic swings. Brand continues. Constant technological revolution makes planning difficult.vo4ro4media. $$$.com . it isn't so easy for a free society to put the brakes on technology. Even if one country decided to forgo the next technological revolution. another country would gladly take it up.% into a dystopian stage subject to constant and uncontrollable change. Besides. unsurmountable societal divisions and horrifying wars.

Analysts and Futurists talk about complex concepts like “Biological carrying capacity”. o Technological advances are not applied at a sufficiently fast pace to bring disadvantaged populations up to speed with some of the most basic needs particularly in regards to . o Affluent countries are enabling poor countries to reduce temporarily the impact of exponential population growth by exporting people who are generally the most talented in the poor country and are badly needed to help solve problems there. on which the human population is destroying natural systems at an unprecedented rate. shelter. o Half the world's population has inadequate food. most of us can’t begin to comprehend. and medical care and yet we do not provide countries afflicted by the worst problems with major assistance to stabilise their populations until all citizens have reached acceptable subsistence levels. “A winner takes all” mentality. $$$.vo4ro4media. we are encouraging exponential growth in both population and per capita resource consumption. it all comes down to this: o In an already crowded planet. But to me. education. Why. Mathematicians. and certainly be very concerned. “Resource Wars”. in summary. Physicists. we need to consider. about how such infinite growth will interact with the finite resources available to us today in our planet. or even if we just assume that we are about to face growth unlike anything we’ve known before." Dealing with limitless growth If we assume we are about to face growth with no limits. have we so little regard for posterity that we encourage the kinds of growth that exacerbate these unsustainable conditions? Greed and an insatiable desire to accumulate capital are the main reasons. “Eco-ethics” which.

” Hobbs argued that concentration of wealth in the hands of the top few minimises economic activity. the richest 1 percent’s share of income has doubled since 1980 from 10 to 20 percent.” Executive Director of Oxfam International Jeremy Hobbs said that “we can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many – too often the reverse is true. […] In the US. “Look at the divergence in the economic health of middle class families or the working class.5 billion of the world's population.vo4ro4media.” That’s precisely David Simon’s thoughts. as much as the poorest 3. which is now the most unequal country on Earth and significantly more [inequality] than at the end of apartheid. which leads to policies “benefitting the richest few and not the poor majority. reaching levels never seen before. And yet. making it harder for others to participate: “From tax havens to weak employment laws.01 percent. even in democracies. “We are becoming two Americas in $$$. For the top .2 In a report released by Oxfam in January this year. the international philanthropy organisation warned that the richest 85 people across the globe share a combined wealth of £1tn. what's left of the working class -certainly the underclass –“ he instigates us. the richest benefit from a global economic system which is rigged in their favour […] even politics has become controlled by the super-wealthy. their share of national income quadrupled. In China the top 10 percent now take home nearly 60 percent of the income. Chinese inequality levels are now similar to those in South Africa. The creator of the extremely popular TV series The Wire believes that supply-side economics in the US has been shown to be bankrupt as an intellectual concept. and it went as far as saying that the “World’s 100 richest could end global poverty 4 times over. poverty is increasingly extending globally: “In the UK inequality is rapidly returning to levels not seen since the time of Charles Dickens.” Chilling.

com .” Two consequences derive from these alarming facts and thoughts:  We cannot rely on governments to help the disadvantaged free themselves from a cycle of poverty that will help them deal with the astoundingly fast changes ahead of us. It is not in their interest to close tax havens. collaboration and massive doses of selflessness. boost wages proportional to capital returns or to increase investment in free public services. reverse regressive forms of taxation.vo4ro4media.  We need to maximise the use of resources currently available to us all. which is that it has achieved its dominance without regard to a social compact. Just like Professor Sugata Mitra did and is still doing. to curb extreme poverty and give everyone a fighting chance before technological acceleration curtails any chances they have to enjoy the bare minimums. How? With inventiveness. That may be the ultimate tragedy of capitalism in our time. without being connected to any other metric for human progress. Therefore. $$$.) every fundamental sense. digital natives and immigrants alike.

Sergio Juárez Correa. We don't want to be spare parts for a great human computer. sunbaked city of Matamoros. The kiosks have also been successful outside of India.1mage from htt !""etc6ournal$com"2%1&"%&" Children were soon fascinated by it and gathered with interest until they learnt how to use it and make the most of the teaching materials available there. one of New Delhi’s many slums. by helping each other. $$$.” said the Indian professor. the remote Himalayan kingdom famous for having invented the Gross National Happiness index. This was the beginning of an experiment that would place 70 self-learning stations in impoverished neighborhoods. He abandoned the device and began recording what happened. walked into his classroom and started telling his students things were about to change for them. slums and juvenile detention facilities in the Indian . teacher at a school in dusty. Figure 5 .- Tackling Educational Constraints in Time of Limitless Growth One fine day in 1999. Professor Mitra decided to embed a computer in a wall in Madangir. there are over 100 points in Bhutan. a flash point in the war on drugs in Mexico. “My wish is that we design the future of learning. Today. on their own. Inspired by Professor Mitra.vo4ro4media.

During class he’ll ask them what they wanted to learn.” So Juarez Correa became a conduit for the . limited Internet. he’ll go back home that night and search an answer to their query. group creativity. 63 percent were now in that category in math. One fine day. Even the lowest was well above the national average. This time only 7 percent failed math and 3. So was the top score in the state: 921.99th percentile. “This is a keyboard.D$html student-led environment. few computers.1%8gn9:D2%%%%%%*c4eb%a. the top was 921. Instead. Texas. the children had to sit for Mexico’s national achievement exam.5-inch floppy disks. As was the top score in the entire country: 921. So it wasn’t easy for Juárez Correa to apply Mitra’s theory that children could learn by having access to the web. received the highest math score in the country. The language scores were very high.9. The state paid for a technology instructor who visited each class once a week.1mage from htt !""noticia)$terra$com$ e"internacional"el-mae)tro-7uerevoluciona-la-mente-*e-)u)alumno)04*1234c5*.5 percent failed Spanish. You use it to type. highspeed Internet. He would hold the posters up and say things like. and 31 percent had failed Spanish.vo4ro4media. Paloma attracted a quick burst of official and media attention in Mexico and was flown to Mexico $$$. and sometimes not enough to eat. One of the children in his class. he had a batch of posters depicting keyboards. Ten other students got math scores that placed them in the 99. joysticks. They continued working in a model that emphasised competition. and tutoring.6 Unlike the kids just across the border in Brownsville. and a Figure ' . The previous year. Paloma. who had laptops. but he didn’t have much technology to demonstrate. and 3. But when it came to the math scores in Juárez Correa’s class. 45 percent had essentially failed the math section. the students in Matamoros had intermittent electricity.b12. And while none had posted an excellent score before. work.

a middle class teacher by the name of Rodrigo Baggio decided to start a school for poor kids to teach them both computer skills and citizenship skills. Joshua Davis explains in Wired. He got corporations to donate old computers. from a laptop to a bicycle. to be able to deal with the technological exponential growth we are about to face. And so will millions of Small Business owners in emergent nations and disadvantaged regions. Meanwhile. which has grown into a network of self-supporting schools in slums and disadvantaged communities across Brazil. A major generalized overhaul of the educational system worldwide is needed (more so in destitute regions). designed almost two centuries ago to meet the needs of the industrial age. millions of children will be left behind. CDI now runs more than 160 schools in Brazil and neighboring countries to teach computer skills to disadvantaged children. These are inspirational stories that portray one of the many ways available to us today to give children in poorer regions a chance to rid themselves of the disadvantages they have unfairly been placed upon them. that these examples—involving only thousands of students—are the exceptions to the rule. Providing equipment for these schools are major digital companies including IBM.class level and that even the lowest performers had markedly improved. $$$.com . Otherwise.vo4ro4media. despite the fact that nearly half of his class had performed at a world. Juárez Correa got almost no recognition. in Rio de Janeiro.7 City to appear on a popular TV show and received a variety of gifts. is slow to recognise or adopt successful innovation. However. and trained his best pupils to become teachers themselves. The result was the Committee for the Democratisation of Information Technology (CDI). CDI has attracted interest and imitation in a number of other countries. The educational system.

have been created by Small Businesses.3 percent vs. which is key to helping communities rise above poverty. $$$. and annual sales grew 4.4 percent.vo4ro4media. female-owned businesses grew at nearly twice the rate of all U.%+ Small businesses and limitless technological growth . more than 90% of businesses are considered Small Businesses  Since 1995.a daily struggle It is often said small businesses are the lifeblood of economies. that they hold the key to financial recovery worldwide.  Small Businesses can help to provide more opportunities to women. During this same time period.  Small Businesses in India will account for 22% of the country’s GDP over the next three years.4 percent. 80% of all new jobs are created by Small Businesses  40% of citizens in different nations in Africa are reported to be planning to start a business in the next 12 .  Small Businesses will help to address the employment needs of a growing and increasingly urbanised middle class. that they drive innovation.S.3 percent). employment among female-owned firms grew 0.  Between 1997 and 2006. 13-14 times more patents are created per Small Business employee than by Fortune 1000 employees. These figures published by Forbes in 2012 certainly seem to support these notions:  In Europe.  In South Africa. 23.S. 65% of net new jobs in the U.S. firms (42.  In the U. and create jobs. where unemployment is 40%..

We are told that communication technologies have leveled the playing field for small businesses to compete effectively in the marketplace with essentially the same tools available to their larger competitors and that these technologies provide unique opportunities to leverage the small business’s ability to innovate and adjust quickly to conditions in the marketplace. Business owners in more privileged regions are able to set up new businesses and meet growing demands thanks to the ability to connect to market information in real $$$. b) Gain access to useful technology that helps them achieve their objectives faster and more efficiently.%( Recent technological developments have indeed made starting a business a much less costlier endeavour for many. We are often told that small businesses are looking to technology to provide the tools they need to meet growing needs and greater demands. where unemployment is 40%. that they have the agility to respond to new situations quickly and that they are close to their customers. we explained the difficulties most people in less advantaged regions of the planet have to a) Gain access to education. Those are all extremely positive developments but do not paint a realistic picture of countries outside the Western stage.  India where small Businesses will account for 22% of the country’s GDP over the next three years. where 40% of citizens are reported to be planning to start a business in the next 12 months. If we think back to earlier sections of this book. We are also told that thanks to the new technologies and infrastructure. businesses can be scaled up and replicated in other places much more easily than ever . and 80% of all new jobs are said to be created by Small Businesses  Other African nations.vo4ro4media. You’ll understand why I believe there is reason to be skeptical and concerned at figures like those quoted by Forbes in relation to:  South Africa.

Not to mention macroeconomic stability and good governance. but which at the same time has a strong rule of law. Also. there are other factors that are generally overlooked by analysts: 1. and to sell their products and services directly over the Internet. So. it is also important to have a supportive regulatory environment. $$$.vo4ro4media. to participate with customers virtually. beyond education. new technology demands access to complementary inputs and supporting industries. All these conditions are generally not met in most developing countries.% . Digital Reputation Years of scam emails have instilled a strong wariness in most people in Western countries about wiring money to far-flung locations. Beyond that. and access to finance for new equipment and new technology licenses. respects private property. That means emerging start-ups from less-developed countries often have to overcome a high reputational hurdle. this warrants the questions: Can small businesses in these countries really compete worldwide? Can those citizens in less advantaged countries who plan to start a new business sustain steady growth without the basic technological infrastructure? Innovation in the context of developing countries is about overcoming the challenge of facilitating the first use of new technology in the domestic context and this generally requires literacy as well as specialised training. When starting a new business. and facilitates the enforcement of contracts (if ever there was one!). And yet we have seen that the reality of connectivity and literacy is quite crippling in less than privileged countries. one without excessive red tape.

However. customers’ responses to a product or service can go either way . Making a mistake online can be extremely costly these days and can ruin someone’s reputation for good. And although there are a number of ways these small business owners might be able to redress their tarnished digital reputation like creating new content that boost their $$$. Kickstarter. not only are the number of small businesses capable of taking advantage of these resources very limited. cannot stop customers who see one single negative review from turning around and looking elsewhere for similar products or services.comments may either improve or seriously jeopardise a brand’s reputation. and online communities that flow from message boards and blogs. Certainly. but also. LinkedIn. which would you be more comfortable with? Global success in the digital age requires a visibility strategy.%% A company’s ability to trade globally has a lot to do with visibility and trust. But be honest to yourself and think about this: If you had to choose between closing a transaction with a supplier from a poor African nation or another from Australia or Sweden. commercial and social platforms such as Facebook. The majority of small businesses in developing nations will probably be taken off guard by the massive influx of responses social media can generate and they will normally not have the means or knowledge to manage their business’ reputation. business rankings from groups such as Inc. and AllWorld. their inexperience in these fields can backfire for .vo4ro4media. Leveraging social and business platforms and digital networks can dramatically bolster global prospects for startups. Anything said about a brand – good or bad –in social networks and forums can cause a reaction in real time. As we all know. for the first time in history. and Yelp. particularly for entrepreneurs in developing countries. facilitate millions of economic transactions by generating visibility and permitting companies and entrepreneurs to build global reputations. addressing their concerns and delivering service corrections. Even companies that spend top money in developing response protocols for identifying reviews from dissatisfied customers.

blogs and social network just 3 percent: $$$. In addition.labelled as ZH which. It currently leads minimally over the Chinese language . being proactive about responding to negative consumer comments. and 2011. Language and Cultural Limitations The three-layer pie chart below shows the spread of languages on the web in 2000. most of these small business owners will not have the tools or expertise available to them to deal with the flow of condemnation coming their way. 2005. In the past decade. etc.%" positive image. the endless flow of information navigating through the millions of mobile platforms means comments can now be published in real time a lot more easily as consumers have access to even faster instruments in their hands to vent their comments about the varying degrees of professionalism or lack thereof. is short for Zhong Wen .. sharing their expertise in forums. . English has gone from being the language used in 39 percent of all Internet content down to just 27 percent at the end of 2011.

but particularly in non-English speaking countries? It means that: a8 A more multilingual approach to the web is required. c8 Chinese is a complex language which. Korean. Other languages are getting proportionally squeezed. And while I believe this to be extremely positive. and Bahasa . This means that English language copy and content still remains crucial for nonEnglish speakers and businesses wanting to attract international audiences. which is now at 8 percent and has been static since 2005. other languages are decreasing their influence rather than widening it. What does this re-adjustment of language dominance mean for the average small business in English. $$$. in practical terms it calls for a higher investment on multilingual content and/or multilingual social media management. this inherent difficulty of the language multiplies the level of investment required by those wanting to achieve an efficient localization. is accompanied by an intricate set of social. b) While English might soon relinquish its crown as the dominant language of communication on the Net only to have Chinese crowned as the new monarch.techinasia. cultural and legal rules. Chinese could overtake English as the Internet language as soon as mid this year (2014). as I have already explained in an earlier blog At its current rate of growth. there is a greater prevalence of Japanese. Being the second. such as the drop in the global share of Japanese. soon-to-be first most used language on the Internet. when most other languages have been static and today it’s still a fairly long way from its saturation point. However. Its growth has been stellar in the past 11 years.%2 Figure 9 From http://www. when it comes to the languages used on global social media such as Twitter or Facebook and Facebook-look alike.vo4ro4media.

As a result. particularly if the content is not engaging or if it is full of errors. doorway pages. We fear at this rate. Now quality. In the last three years alone. the nature of Internet is such that most users often leave pages within the first 10-20 seconds upon arrival. on the other hand. The ever-changing SEO rules Each year. Many business people on the other side of the digital $$$. many small businesses do not have the capabilities. Realistically. timely content is the key to obtaining high page rankings. Pages with a clear value proposition. 3. . small businesses in the wrong side of the digital divide will not have the sufficient time to catch up and adjust to the demands of communicating in different languages appropriately.%) The changes in language dominance and distribution we’ve noticed above have taken place in the span of over a decade. This implied lots of pages with many keywords were needed to attract these web crawlers. Not everyone has the time to keep up with the constantly changing rules of SEO or how to use or avoid certain techniques like keyword stuffing.vo4ro4media. the luxury of time or the cash to invest in expensive copywriters to leave their website in the precise form required to seduce clients in 10 or 20 seconds. Google’s SEO algorithms relied on web crawlers to rank a website. or invisible text to get higher search rankings. Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times. we’ve seen Google SEO changes in SEO algorithms. well written content can hold people's attention for much longer. Google occasionally rolls out a "major" algorithmic update that affects search results in significant ways. suddenly stopped being effective. While most of these changes are minor. page optimisation and backlinks. SEO strategies that seemed to worked earlier. But Google’s Panda and Penguin updates in 2011 and 2012 respectively changed all that. keyword usage. But who knows what would tomorrow bring? Small business owners need to run small businesses. Besides. that display attractive.

for instance. Please visit the following links for information on SEO practices in China. require a very clear understanding of the rules of the SEO game in Korea. in Korea. Not only that. small businesses trying to penetrate the Korean digital market. In third place came newcomer Nate.%- divide are still working out what are the best general keywords they can use to promote their business without being aware that today. Further. Google and Yahoo! have a market share of about 10%. exposing a website to international audiences requires knowledge and understanding of the SEO principles of each of the local search engines in specific countries (I have earlier dealt with some of these differences in our . Google expects natural keywords that are topic-specific rather than broad in nature. Korean search engines favour Korean content over international content. In 2010 local search engine Naver led with a 62% share while Daum was number two at 21%. 4. $$$. Online marketing With SEO comes online marketing and its many and increasingly complex formats. while South Koreans have very successfully integrated the Internet into their daily lives in many ways. Korea and Russia). Besides. launched in 2009 by the popular Korean social network Cyworld.vo4ro4media. Digital Cultures and Translation. money and commitment. something that will not come easily without time. The same applies to Korean businesses wanting to broaden their digital horizons elsewhere. So. their expectations of what search engines should do for them are fairly complex for international newcomers – South Koreans want search engines to solve their problems for them and so the task of these providers is a lot more complex than simply producing a choice of links to click through. For instance.

[…] regardless of what type of creator you are. is way up. director of product marketing at DG MediaMind. brand . as shown by the hard cold data published by DG MediaMind we have to face the same old hurdle we face always – Rapidly Increasing Complexity. a long time agency strategist who has crafted (social) media campaigns for some of the biggest brands and media companies in the world including Pepsi. and Virgin. “Content is king”! we are constantly reminded and because of its ruthless despotism we need to pump out good content to make our mark on the net." said Nick Talbert. $$$. especially among the top-10% of advertisers. you’re a marketer”. explains that today. we are all online marketers. Marketers are "increasingly interested in very complex targeting scenarios. which track whether people complete an action via an ad.) handicap. Brendan Gahan. But it’s hard to play the content game when you start with a big (financial.vo4ro4media. The number of conversion tags. Besides.%6 Promoting a business to local or international audiences these days requires at least a familiarisation with the basic rules of online marketing. we need to be responsible for marketing our own products to the world by producing quality content and developing meaningful conversations. GE. technological. up from around 25% in 2011. etc. and measure for campaign optimisation rose 267% from 2011 to 2013. DG MediaMind’s new "Complexity" study shows that advertisers' online ad campaigns have become nearly six times as complex as the average and that the use of tags and sophisticated targeting and analytics is booming. The number of ads with two or more third party tags which. “whether you’re a singer and you have a new album. Today. mostly content and social media marketing. a photographer trying to generate customers or a theater and you have a new show coming up. Very well. and their tags are proliferating. almost a third of digital ads employ more than one tag. such as signing up to download a white paper or purchasing an item. help track ad interactions. educational. The number of digital campaign analytics technologies has blossomed.

com . etc. it gets pretty hairy pretty fast. As Frank describes. they would be able to open the door to real local online marketing success. Now that they found out. It all starts snowballing from the minute they want to verify your business. and events tracked leapt 460%. Because once you enter the doors of Google Places or the current Google+ Local Tap. Conversion tags and geo-targeting methods are all excellent tools. but how many MMEs or sole traders can afford to go down that path? How many of them know that such a path even exists? Frank Ree. "At some point the overhead becomes more daunting than the results. and tag-hungry advertisers could be reaching the brink. searchers will be able to look for specific places or browse through various categories of listings such as restaurants. he cautioned about the increased setup time and costs associated with additional tags and technology layers. suggesting there is a point of diminishing returns. I had all these reviews and now they are gone! How do I get them back? What is a Rich Snippet? $$$." he comments. it could be an important tool to have. However. Frank explained that through the (now already obsolete) Google Places. clearly illustrates this point.vo4ro4media. Speaking once in front of a group of 70 non-profit organisations in Norfolk. The number of tags used by the top 10% of advertisers rose 49% since 2010. the Internet and social media marketing news blog. Only five raised their hands. you’ll go from “What is a place page?” to Why don’t I have any reviews and how do I get them? Hey. So for businesses with a clear local focus.%7 along with the number of events they track. Frank asked them how many of these organisations had verified their Google Place Page. Good news for the 65 NGOs who had no clue what Frank was talking about. The other 65 tilted their heads in a “What is he talking about?” fashion. VA. Most probably not. managing editor for Marketing Pilgrim. museums. clothing stores.

 Or a mega bucks copywriter that pulls magic words out of his or her hat of tricks that will bring you those $10. New platforms emerge that demand you become a:  Graphic designer and produce sophisticated.vo4ro4media. increase status… $$$. .it just becomes immeasurable and totally unattainable for most. Foursquare. And you need to familiarise yourself with this new method right from the start at a time when the creators themselves are still resolving bugs and dealing with their Beta teething problems.  Or a videographer/producer of the most alluring speed drawing videos you can come up with. visually stimulating infographics."+ What is hReview markup? What is Google Hotpot? Are Hotpot and Google Latitude the same thing? If not how do they work together (if at all)? Why do I keep getting multiple listings? Why do my competitors show up in the search results ahead of me when I have followed all the rules and they haven’t? Why isn’t there any real support from Google? What are Tags? What is Boost? The list of potential questions raised is extremely lengthy and if you multiply it by a factor of N number of platforms – Yelp. And when you thought you had it all under control someone comes along and invents something totally different. Citysearch.000 a month promise. . earn points.  Or a social media mogul that masters the art of gamification and encourages players to win badges.

A marketing methodology that could have simplified the always challenging task of engaging with potential customers and keeping them interested long-term is now becoming an entangled web of skills and tools impossible for most to understand or practice.vo4ro4media."( The level of complexity reached in online marketing practices has turned small business’ promotional activities into a full time job. $$$.com .

com . creating auroras so bright that at 1 AM birds sang and people thought morning had dawned.vo4ro4media. a new “dialect” supplants the original and they are at a loss all over again. and sparks from the wires set papers aflame. the number exceeds 27+. Professor of Psychiatry at the UM Medical School explains that solar ejections this intense occur about every 500 years. And when they think they’ve learnt it. or air travel. Power outages would last for months and there would be no GPS navigation. And while I am fairly concerned about the devastating effects a potential geomagnetic storm would have on all of us today. 1859. Nashville or the Australian outback are struggling to make themselves heard in the net just because they don’t speak the Internet language. many people find themselves trapped in even more fragile and very vulnerable situations. In the US. SMEs are said to be the backbone of the Indian economy. the sun ejected a giant burst of charged particles. $$$. I am far less concerned about a once of occurrence of this nature than about the acceleration of complexity levels I’ve discussed above. Small business owners in Los Angeles. cell phone communication. They hit the earth 18 hours later. If we were to experience a similar event now it would cause extensive social and economic disruptions. In the face of these convoluted technological webs. Randolph Nesse." Concluding but not Conceding On the morning of August 31. And yet. There are approximately 125 million companies in the world of which 99% are SMEs. My experience as a copywriter and content writer tells me you don’t have to go to the slums of India or Brazil to find people struggling with the pace of technology. employing close to 40% of India's workforce and contributing 45% to India's manufacturing output. Currents induced in telegraph wires prevented transmission. In India.

vo4ro4media."% they contribute only 17% to the country’s GDP. unregistered and un-incorporated in the unorganised sector so that they can avoid taxes and regulations." reports the Economic Times. Indian SMEs are not alone. Indian SMEs have very poor productivity. The firms have little incentive to invest in upgrading skills of largely temporary workers or in investing in capital equipment. talk to us or follow us on: Copyright © Vox Rox Media 2014 $$$. Too many firms stay small. Due to their low scale and poor adoption of technology. Now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and start making sure that technological complexity doesn’t get out of too many hands because as Aimee Mullins wisely said to her TED . <Our re) on)ibility i) not )im ly )hiel*ing tho)e #e care for from a*ver)ity0 but re aring them to meet it #ell$< To join us in this conversation. But we have already talked about it.