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Martha Lane Fox webchat 14 April

(60 Posts)
KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 12-Apr-11 09:54:11

The UK's Digital Champion, Martha Lane Fox, is our guest this Thurs morning. As Digital Champion, she's attempting to get the 9 million people in the UK who have never used the internet online and we're backing her Pass IT on campaign.

Martha co-founded back in the early days of internet commerce, and has since co-founded Lucky Voice and Antigone. She's also a non-exec director at M&S, C4 and

If you've got a question about Pass IT On, or Martha's work generally, then please grab a coffee and join us at 10am on Thurs.

And if you'd like to be digital champ yourself, helping get friends and neighbours online, then there's more info here.

RetroMaggie Thu 14-Apr-11 10:53:53

I suspect my question sounded a bit too commercial for the chat, sorry - for the record I don't own the company I mentioned! but I am incredible impressed with how well they engage people who've never used a computer because of age or ability. It is heartwarming and inspiring to hear what can be achieved and the positive affect it has, which makes it all the more frustrating that care homes (especially state funded ones) find it hard to prioritise the money to get residents online.
Keep up the good work Martha - from my personal experience (when my dad had a stroke), the net can help people who would otherwise feel isolated feel loved and supported - even when family are overseas.

RetroMaggie Thu 14-Apr-11 10:55:48

Whoops crossed posts blush.
Thanks for responding Martha!

MarthaLaneFox Thu 14-Apr-11 10:56:36


Hi Martha - my dad is 79 and we're trying to get him to use a computer so we can Skype him (he lives in a different country). We're not sure whether it would be easier to get him an iPad or a PC, and have seen differing opinions on which would be a better beginners way to access the internet. Wd appreciate hearing your thoughts on this.

I know it is more expensive but the iPad is very simple, you turn it on, you bash about, you're online. I've bought an attachable keypad for mine, and sometimes use it more than my laptop.

MarthaLaneFox Thu 14-Apr-11 11:01:20


thanks for the answer I will look up abilitynet - can your digital champiuons help disabled people?

I know this is a bit like the questions about marks and speners dresses but since you have something to do with the government and david camerone what do you think anyone can do to stop the awful changes to disabilityliving allowance? many people are going to go from very bad to much worse and the internet is the last of their worries

what can we do?


Yes absolutely - 100%! We are trying to make sure digital champions cover everyone, especially those that are the hardest to reach. Please let us know your ideas.

Unfortunately I have very little influence over David Cameron and I realise that the internet might seem like the last thing people should be worrying about but - those online save an average £260 per year - so I would argue it is even more important in the current climate.

MarthaLaneFox Thu 14-Apr-11 11:04:13

Sadly - even though @MumsnetTowers are feeding me chocolate - I have to go now. It's been great to talk to you, thank you for your very good questions. If I can leave you with one plea - I do really need your help - you all enjoy being online so much, please help those who aren't. Please become a Digital Champion - look at the website for further details and tools. These will be improving over the next couple of months.

madwomanintheattic Thu 14-Apr-11 15:24:00

soooo, was that a deliberate avoidance of two questions about porn then? the downside of the internet? were we only allowed to run with how fab it is?

i didn't get that memo, sorry.

or did i miss it? <scrolls back to check again>

madwomanintheattic Thu 14-Apr-11 15:25:34

oh, no, my mistake, one did get answered. grin

<not had coffee yet emoticon>

ExpatAgain Thu 14-Apr-11 15:59:36

well, mine wasn't answered, hmmph..

PunkPixie Thu 14-Apr-11 16:03:46

Mine neither. I guess since I have my internet connection and the kids are "technically" online then there is no advice for me as to how best to actually get them USING the internet.

Alouiseg Thu 14-Apr-11 18:10:05

Mine neither, I didn't ask where to look, I asked which course or qualification to do hmm

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