Friday, 30 November 2012

Adult vaccination and healthy ageing

The presentation I gave earlier this month in Dublin, on adult vaccination and healthy ageing, is now on slideshare.

Nudge or Compel

My presentatation from yesterday's launch of the ILC-UK report on digital exclusion and behavoral economics ("nudge or compel") is now online.

Can we “nudge” older people online?

Seven and a half million people in the UK, the majority being older or disabled, have never been online. Yet despite the common perception that this is an issue that will go away, progress on getting older people online is slow. The latest Office of National Statistics report on internet use highlighted that progress in getting the over 65s online is much slower than for under 65s.

We know a lot about why individuals don’t go online. The barriers can be categorised within three groups: access issues, skills issues and behavioural choice. Yet whilst significant work has been undertaken to understand access and skills issues, there has been little focus on tackling the behavioural barriers to getting individuals online.

ILC-UK’s new report, published this week, “Nudge or Compel: Can behavioural economics tackle the digital exclusion of older people?”[1] seeks to rectify this. The report reveals that there is growing evidence that behaviour and attitudes play just as great, if not a greater role than access and skills in getting people online.

In “Nudge or Compel”, we explore whether internet users show different behavioural traits to non-users. The findings are striking. Our analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing found that older internet users were more likely to feel in control of their life, and less likely to be isolated or lonely.

Our report explores how we can use behavioural economics to “nudge” older people online. We know that “status quo bias” can be a barrier to getting online. Older people may be comfortable with existing ways of receiving services and a jump to online could be daunting. To tackle this, we argue that service providers should offer the opportunity for people to ‘go back to paper’ if they are unsatisfied with their digital experience.

Behavioural economists tell us that people tend to over-value the present and under-value the future. This suggests that non-users of the internet might be unwilling to make initial investments involved in getting online. Simple solutions might be for service providers attract new customers by finding ways of discounted installation and connection deals, and initial periods of free internet access. Once online, older people are likely to stay online. Moreover, because of the tendency to discount the future, customers are likely to be more willing to agree to longer-term contracts in exchange for discounted or free initial access.

If older people have experience of performing certain tasks offline, they may assume that these remain the most effective way for them. Yet again, service providers can overcome this barrier by better promoting online services as quicker, faster and delivering a better quality of service than offline alternatives. 

We know that people are influenced by the behaviour of others. Given that many peers older people’s peers are offline, it is perfectly understandable that older people don’t consider using the internet a social norm. Companies advertising technology and opportunities to learn technology must do so using imagery of both older and younger people. And older people who are online should be encouraged to talk through their experiences with their peers.

“Nudge or Compel” identifies some powerful examples of possible nudges we could use to help get older people online. But will a nudge will be adequate? Particularly as the Government makes more services exclusively “digital by default”.

Martha Lane Fox has argued that Government should look towards compulsion to get people online. She said “By switching services, like what we have done with analogue TV, there is a real opportunity to carry people on [to the internet],… I think that shutting down services would be the best way of carrying through the most amount of people, as long as it is carried through with training” [2].

Given recent and continuing cuts to adult learning, nudging people online might become the only alternative to compulsion.

David Sinclair

[1] ‘Nudge or Compel: Can behavioural economics tackle the digital exclusion of older people?’ is available to download now.
[2] News story: Government services should be online-only to up web use

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Christmas Party Time: Drunk in the underground

One of my favorite public safety posters of the last year. If I had a top 10 public safety poster list, I am sure it would feature.

And the message is. It is much more dangerous to carry bags on the tube than to drink alcohol.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert

This time last year I was at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert organised by the queen fan club.
The SAS band played. And a certain Dr May turned up. I found clip on youtube. You can see what you missed.

Guests on the night included Chris Thompson, Patti Russo, Tony Vincent and Madeline Bell. Led of course by Mr Spike Edney.

And this was the setlist


I took a couple of pictures. They werent very good.


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Burlington Hotel, Dublin

I stayed at the Burlington for two nights in November 2012. It's located a 15 minute walk from St Stephen's Green. It's not the prettiest of hotels from the outside but nicely decorated.

The room was large, clean and comfortable (althought the bath a funny shape I thought). The breakfast on day one was excellent. The hotel offers free WIFI.

The guide- book in the room said a running map was available which included details of local trails through parks. But reception claimed it didnt exist and concierge wasnt available the couple of times I went.

Whilst the hotel was generally very clean, the corridors were littered with the remains of room service at 9am the following day.

My room rate included breakfast but I had an early start on day two. I asked the night before if they could give me something to take away but all they could offer was a coffee station (but even that wasnt there at 5.30).

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

#gamesmaker Victory Parade

I got to see the London 2012 Victory Parade from the Mall earlier this year alongside lots of other volunteers (including Eddie Izzard).



Saturday, 3 November 2012

De Vere East Horsley

A nice hotel in large grounds. It is mainly a conference hotel so was very quiet (and cheap) on a Sunday evening. It's spotlessly clean and the room was nice and large. There is a swimming pool and large grounds with a running track. The breakfast was great. They even managed to do nice scrambled egg. The only downside was that there was a long walk up and down lots of sets of stairs to the room.

Queen at Hammersmith. July 2012

After my failed attempt to see Queen in Moscow (they moved the date after I'd paid for flight, hotel and Visa), I got to see Mssrs May, Taylor alongside Adam Lambert in Hammersmith over two nights in July (11th and 12th). Pleased that they played some of the old stuff (Keep Yourslf Alive; Seven Seas of Rhye). And that they played Don't Stop Me Now, the first time I'd seen them play that one. I stood up by myself on the first evening but got seats right at the back with Michelle on the second night.

Hammersmith, 11th July: Set List
Flash (intro)
Seven Seas Of Rhye
Keep Yourself Alive
We Will Rock You (Fast)
Fat Bottomed Girls
Don’t Stop Me Now
Under Pressure (Roger/Adam duet)
I Want It All
Who Wants To Live Forever
A Kind Of Magic (Roger)
These Are Days Of Our Lives (Roger)
The Show Must Go On (part) (Brian)
Love Of My Life (Brian)
‘39 (Brian)
Dragon Attack
Drum Battle / Guitar Solo
I Want To Break Free
Another One Bites The Dust
Radio Ga Ga
Somebody To Love
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Bohemian Rhapsody
Tie Your Mother Down (Brian)
We Will Rock You
We Are The Champions