Today, we are able to finally sit down with Nikolai Holmov to take a look at global mobilization as it relates to overcoming the Digital Divide. Nikolai is a member of Royal Institute of International Affairs — Chatham House, one of the world’s most prestigious think tanks, and the author of OdessaTalk.com. My reason for getting with Nik is that he is able to offer a better view into how governments and major corporations are looking at these issues and try to boil it down to useful points for mobile developers.
Everything is interconnected — where we are discussing the “Internet of Things” — we are also talking about people and the organizations with which they are associated.
Mark: To preface our discussion, how would you collectively qualify world government interests and concerns about the Digital Divide?
Nikolai: In a few simple words — Power and commerce.
Both the projection of power and commerce (or the lack of it) and also the threats to order, be it sovereign or regional and associated business. Overcoming the digital divide is clearly a means to expand commerce and power. But, maintaining it for some means retaining power even if at the expense of commerce and societal development.
There is also the issue of control when it comes to the Internet is a global question when asking who and how much?
Naturally there is also an increased risk relating to criminality both organised through and carried out on the digital platform from a governmental and corporate view. Arguably a case could be made that complete disregard for copyright and intellectual property rights were a foundational stone in the solidification of eastern European economies initially.
It would be reasonable to anticipate a similar path in other regions as the digital divide is closed.
Mark: What region do you see as being the most difficult to achieve ubiquitous Internet access?
Nikolai: There are obvious cases such as North Korea, where despite the potential to easily provide coverage, there is a desire to do exactly the opposite. However, arguably the longest lasting legacy from the Afghanistan debacle will be G4 coverage across the entire sovereign territory. Thus considering both terrain and domestic infrastructure difficulties there, it would suggest there is no region where ubiquitous Internet access cannot be achieved. Perhaps the better question would be one of ubiquitous access to the Internet once the infrastructure is in place. Which sections of society will be allowed access and which will not?
Mark: Describe what you see as the broad economic benefits to be gained by both developed and developing markets if they were to effectively bridge the Digital Divide. more
To this point, the OMS Blog has focused on providing actionable marketing and design information, guidance and suggestions for mobile app developers. In looking around, we’ve delineated more methods of monetizing mobile apps than any other site. As recent posts suggest, we are adding some additional topics for 2014. Here’s what is in store… (pun intended):
Mobile App Reviews: We’ll be running three different types of mobile app reviews.
First, we’ll be cross-posting one or two of our Facebook app promotions to the blog per week.
Second, basic reviews – first impressions from our the Opera Mobile Store Team to answer one basic question, “Do we like it?” I won’t make any guarantee that we will review every app submitted, because… well, that would be opening the door to a few hundred thousand reviews. If you would like your app reviewed, your app must be available in the Opera Mobile Store. If your app is not there now – take 5 minutes and submit it, FREE. If your app is on the store, and you want our HONEST opinion, write us – tell us your name, the name of your app, your web site and any details you would like to point out. If your app is selected for a review, we will let you know via email. I will respond to all emails that we have received your request for review.
Third, guest submitted play tests and after action reports. Same qualifications as above – this is a way of providing a walkthrough of your app. Please make arrangements with us in advance.
The reviews will be of more interest to end users in most cases, suffice that all three of these types of reviews serve as good exposure and free marketing of your mobile app. With this, we will be adding more app-focused end-user content, too.
Mobile Friendly Web Site Development: This is not exactly a core theme for Opera Mobile Store. Estimates of mobile-optimized sites run at roughly 10-12% and mobile-friendly sites perhaps another 20-25%. Covering some tools, techniques and resources to help developers, end-users and businesses to better serve the mobile world is good for everyone. Many small business owners apply to the “Do It Yourself” school of web site development, so from time to time, we’ll spend some time on the HTML side of the mobile world.
More Networking: As so many blogs come and go, the first effort with the OMS blog was to show that it is a serious effort, offer quality content, on a regular schedule. Regular guests of OMS blog know now that barring truly exceptional circumstances, we publish three times a week – almost always on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. That means we have a near constant demand for content. If you have an app available in the Opera Mobile Store, you are welcome to submit guest articles — and with some advanced planning, we are quite happy to provide guest articles for your site, too.
There’s bound to be more, but this much can be related now. We’re pending completion of our first interview in the very near future. Some enhancements within OMS are also underway that will also get coverage and possibly present some “volunteer” opportunities.