Monday, August 20, 2007

Digital Purdah

So I lost connectivity.. one moment I could send and receive e-mails, read and write blogs, Skype and video conference, research how much local dry cleaners charged for a large pair of curtains and when NCET became Becta, send flowers to my Facebook friends read the latest news from the BBC or Times online, transfer money from one bank account to another, create and download podcasts, now the only way for me to keep up with favourite Radio 4 programmes…listen to them at the gym, buy train tickets for the next month, upload the holiday photos to flikr , upload next terms work for students and share my bookmarks, amongst other things… and the next moment I couldn’t.

There was a vast electronic silence which I could not make disappear.. my office once the hub of my digital world closed in upon itself, died slightly, was not so welcoming.

Whilst the telephone call centre responds quickly and makes every effort there is a tension in troubleshooting entirely on the phone. An afternoon on the phone trying everything eventually gave way to acceptance 24 hours later that a visit by a real person had to be the answer… as indeed it was.

The week ended with a pre-planned real visit to some friends with lots of real events involving eating, drinking walking and laughing.

But however balanced a life we lead, losing contact with the digital world is quite unnerving, especially if it involves work and deadlines as well as friendships and in this, and all hopes for a digital future we rely on the quality of the connections provided and the quality and reality of the support provided.

Support needs to be matched effectively to the needs of the customer.. telephone support works to a point but it needs to be very good at identifying quickly when a real person needs to take over.

And of course who is going to guarantee the quality of connectivity.. hopefully not once again down to who has the money and so reinforcing the digital divide.

No comments: