Scottish Digital Matters

Normally, a new section to the Blogroll would matter not a jot, but this is something I’m growing more and more frustrated (and concerned) about and it’s a bit unfair to leave it all to Iain Bruce to take care of.

Scottish Digital Matters is going to be used to highlight Scottish companies who are grasping the new media and using it well because quite frankly there are too damn few of them doing it. I’m shocked at the number of business people who think the likes of Facebook, blogs and Twitter are just for fun and don’t have any business use – or the companies who don’t want to be engaging with their customers, which is fine to an extent because it isn’t for everyone.

But it’s for some and at the moment very few are grasping the opportunities. I mean, let’s look at it this way, if Dell and Wal-Mart can set up blogs for customer interaction, why can’t Scottish companies? Of course it would help if the majority of Scottish media was online as well, but that’s another symptom – or is a cause – of the country’s digital malaise.

Why does this matter past that of geekery? Quite obvious from a number of viewpoints: Scottish businesses are losing out on an incredible number of potential revenue-generating schemes by not being online; Scots are not getting to see the potential of online – for pleasure or business; Scots are not being able to exercise their digital skills and having to leave the country to do so; Scots are not being as informed about the world as a democracy should be.

So if none of that matters to you, fine, go stick your head in the sand, but to me having fun, generating revenue, increasing knowledge, enriching the population (hell, enriching the world) – physically and digitally – and being more informed are generally good reasons to be around in the early days of the 21st Century.

Or we can just let other countries overtake us in these areas and then moan about it, despite having had the chance to do it ourselves. Perhaps that will be Scotland’s digital legacy. Couldabeen, shouldabeen…