The Internet in Britain: OxIS 2007 Report: A Guide to Coverage

Our report, ‘The Internet in Britain, 2007’ is available in hard copy from the OII or online at I urge you to review the report as it should be a useful reference for discussions of the use and non-use of the Internet and its consequences on everyday life. Summaries and coverage of the report are available at:

Click to access OXIS2007Review.pdf

2 thoughts on “The Internet in Britain: OxIS 2007 Report: A Guide to Coverage

  1. William,

    On your first point, I agree that there are major constraints on actively producing for the Web. However, if people are to develop the skills and confidence to produce content, we need to place some priority on the activity. That is why I want to point out the shortcomings, and encouraage more individuals to participate more actively in content production v passive consumption of the Web.

    With respect to whether elders have something better to do, I would simply say that all of us often have something better to do that be online at times, but those who have experience online understand that it can be beneficial in finding information, keeping in touch with friends, obtaining services. Somehow, older people who are predisposed to write off the Internet have an opportunity to experience it first hand. I only want people to make an informed choice about rejecting a technology that could enable them to spend more time on the things they wish to do.

    Thanks for your comment, and for listening to the Radio 5 programme, critically,


  2. Interesting brief discussion on Radio 5 Live with Bill Dutton and Rod Sharp about a) passive use of the medium as opposed to creative invovement with it b) the ‘worying’ fact that fewer older people use it.
    On point a): real and original creative involvement with any medium is very hard and demands a long-term development of skills. That’s why so many blogs (for example) are illiterate and lacking in real content. Added to which, as yet, the internet lacks
    clearly defined and widely agreed genres which enable their ‘readers’ to find them and their ‘writers’ to write for them within clear rules. Other creative forms (writing, music, life permance etc – have these – in fact I cannot think of one that doesn’t. Creating is hard enough, doing it for a chaotic marketplace with no clear genres and often minimal feedback (vide the low response rates in Comment boxes) even harder. Passivity much easier. T’was ever thus.
    On point b) This part of the debate seemed predicated on the (false) assumption that an older age-group (of which I am one) SHOULD be engaged with the internet more. It may very well be that older people simply feel they have better things to do than be on-line and that being so AND even being creatively with the internet, is in fact more passive and less rewarding relatively than, say, gardening or take the grandchildren for a walk.

Comments are most welcome