Now that we’ve consigned our new year’s resolutions to the dustbin,
it’s time for February confessions.
Here’s mine: I’m as technologically able as an average 45-year-old
housewife. I’m one of those Internet users for whom the term ’user
friendly’ was invented. Basically, if it ain’t friendly, it can go hang
out with the boffins.
Most of the people I speak to on a professional level about the Internet
are, by their nature, not of this ilk. To them, downloading the
ever-changing software necessary to view this or that site is no hassle;
finding out what the new software can do is all part of the buzz that
Netheads get from the Web.
Unfortunately, there’s an assumption among Web designers that everyone
shares their thrill at the latest Internet technological
Personally, however, I’m only interested in what the Internet can
actually do for me; I don’t care how it does it - in rather the same way
as I am happy to remain ignorant of the finer points of TV transmission
- I only care if programmes are good.
Which is something else I have in common with the average 45-year-old
housewife. You know - the sort of woman whose 16-year-old son has a
computer in the house, but who can only look on bemused as he surfs
something called the Internet.
’You should have a go, mum,’ the youngster half pleads, half teases.
’I don’t think so,’ she demurs. But wait, what’s this? A Tesco site.
’You mean you can actually do your shopping on this Internet thing?’
Mum throws off her shackles and dives headlong into cyberspace, logging
into the Tesco site, and navigating her way into the store. ’This is
But, hold on, what’s all this about? I can’t use it unless I ’download’
something called Internet Explorer 3.0. I give up.’
Our intrepid Internet virgin, lured online by a mainstream brand
offering a useful service, has fallen at the first hurdle. Why? Because
the boffins just couldn’t resist showing off with the latest
While such blinkered exhibitionism persists, the Internet will continue
to be a foreign land for Joe and Josephine Public.
Me, I’ll just keep cursing and calling Haymarket Systems every five