Sunday, January 22, 2006

"Digital Divide" in nonprofit websites - Updated Version

About a year ago I posted an entry titled "Digital Divide" in nonprofit websites. Since then I have become very involved with nonprofit technology projects (like nptech and net2) and learned all about emerging technologies.

Since I am now interested in seeing which nonprofits use emerging technologies on their website, I have realized there is even more of a "digital divide" in nonprofit websites.

Here are 6 groups I have come up with to describe the gap:

  1. This group has added a blog, rss feeds, and/or podcasts to their website. Their web content is updated regularly. Their website is also designed well.
  2. This group has a well designed website. Their website content is updated regularly. They are familiar with emerging technologies and are looking into ways to add them to their website.
  3. This group has had a website for years. They are up to date with web design. They have heard about emerging technologies but do not understand them. They keep their website content updated as much as they can.
  4. This group has a website, but there is still room for improvement. They have an updated website which does not have much content. They are ready to redesign their site and add more content to it. They do not know anything about emerging technologies.
  5. This group has a website but it lacks usability and has not been updated in years. The content on the website is outdated.
  6. This group does not have a website. They do not know how a website can help their organization.


Michael Stein said...

Hi Emily - Sorry I haven't answered your recent email re the blog carnival - I've been down for the count with pneumonia... I'm getting to hate winter!
I like your scale for non-profit web awareness. There are a couple of other issues I think about -I'm not sure if they are on another dimension or fit in between some of your points - but they involve things like "This organization uses a content management system to make site updating easy" I can think of a few more... think later today I'll comment in my own blog.

Ismael Peña-López said...

I totally agree with groups 2 to 6, but not really with the first one.

I guess your letting content aside, which, IMHO, should be the real driver of the web site, allowing for public accountability and transparency of the NGO.

Closely related with content, the existence of content management systems (not only for news - i.e. blog - but all content) should be a good improvement, with projects, people, goals, etc. all available from a database/repository.

I fully agree that RSS should be a must to foster one-way information and interaction, but I do think taht just before this it is required to upload the maximum amount of info possible.

Just my two cents :)

Emily Weinberg said...

Thanks for your comments. I do think content is important and I now realize I left out that part. These groups are updated again.

Thanks for pointing this out.