digital birmingham – all naughts, no ones

if you popped along to digital birmingham‘s marquee in Victoria Square (to celebrate their first birthday)- as did my other half’s parents – you may well have been impressed with ‘our new digital age’ and all it can do. Visitors got to play with their Wii (hem hem) and find out a little more about podcasting, amongst other techno-marvels.

No doubt you’d have come home drenched in leaflets, for all sorts of services and about a wide variety of subjects.

Good. I’m glad someone’s trying to open up a few minds.

Not good, however, is one particular leaflet “The Guide to Broadband at Home” (published by digital birmingham themselves). It’s littered with advice that is at best dumbed down (its definition of downloading is almost a perfect definition of streaming, for example) and at worst woefully out of date and inaccurate.

If you had no idea to start with, you’d be even more confused.

Some examples:

(from the glossary)

“Netscape Navigator. Software. One of the most popular browsers for accessing the world wide web”. not since about 1990 it hasn’t been. There’s no mention of IE, let alone Firefox, if you were trying to access the web you’d be hunting for out-of date software with huge security holes.

It tells you to “double-click” on a link in web-pages to “get to a second page”. To my knowledge this has never been true.

It refers to “Microsoft Media Player”. Try finding that on your Windows PC – never mind on your Mac ;).

“Window…is the name of a popular program for home PCs”.

i could go on, at the risk of making a few mistakes myself and sounding stupid, it’s woefully edited (spelling and grammatical errors abound – not that we’re ones to talk probably) wrong and confusing.

I deduce that it’s been cut-and-pasted from a website, a crap website, from 1990. It’s not been proofread, edited, or even read by the looks of it. It’s quite simply the worst informational leaflet I’ve ever seen. An absolute disgrace.

They do not know what they’re doing.

“all the words bolded in this Guide are hypertexts, as they take you to an explanation of that word or phrase.” – I’m off to poke the leaflet in the hope of getting something out of it. Then I might edit it and send it back to them for the next print run.

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