We keep talking about Web 1.0 and Web. 2.0. But the fact is, a huge percentage of America has never been to a Web of any kind.
One fifth of Americans have never used e-mail, according to a recent survey by consultancy Parks Associates. Of 1,088 people surveyed, 21% have never done a search on the Internet or looked up a Web site. This is startling — and troubling.
Yes, many of these people are older: Half of the people who said they’ve never used e-mail are over 65, and 56% had no schooling beyond high school. But so what? I know of plenty of Web sites geared toward older folks: Gather.com, Eons.com, for instance. Everyone can benefit from Amazon.com and eBay. Clearly, Web businesses — and perhaps even U.S. government — must find a way to reach out to people who’ve been completely left out of the Web revolution.