On 22 March, UK online centres together with the LSE's Media Policy Project organised the first Social Digital Research symposium, bringing a number of different people with a stake in digital inclusion together around a table to discuss how we can better share our knowledge and findings.
The symposium threw up a number of interesting questions and discussion topics, which you can now read in the full report. Grant Blank from the Oxford Internet Institute talked about measuring the difference between non-users and ex-users of the internet, and just why it's so important to make this distinction. The difficulties in collecting data that was accurate and representative of the population as a whole was discussed widely, and promises were made that collaboration will happen more and research will be communicated more widely. Ellen Helsper from the LSE then led the afternoon session, talking about the issues of measuring social impact. There was almost universal consensus that we still have a long way to go to produce a robust social impact measurement tool, and no doubt this will be discussed again in future symposiums as we work collectively to devise a form of social accounting.
The day was such a success that the second symposium is now being planned, which will take place at the end of June. It will tackle the questions of how to get the final 20% of the population online, and how we define what digital inclusion means. If you would like to attend the symposium, do email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the report here: Social_Digital_Research_Symposium_Report.doc