Digital frontiers have a dividing line for information resources

Digital frontiers have a dividing line for information resources


A digital frontier is the new dividing line between being able to access the information we need or want, and not being able to do so. The digital revolution means that we are constantly updating our information knowledge and data to inform and to stay informed.

The digital divide can be disabling. It is like being able to access a computer but not being able to access the information available on the computer. This happens because we do not have the codes, login or passwords to open the door to the information. The codes, login and passwords are the keys to the door of the digital frontier. Without them, we are not able to access what is on the other side of the digital divide.

Some people want or need to be able to download sound recordings as well as text-based information to assist with their online searches or research. But sometimes the Information Communication Technology (ICT) which is used or accessed does not have the necessary resources to enable access to the information or sound recordings.

The creator of the content (text or sound recordings) has made their best efforts to create and produce the information or sound recordings and uploaded these new products online. However, the constantly changing/updating ICT makes it difficult for the end user to access the information or sound recording products which were made for them in mind.

While the information or sound recordings are now available online, the end user does not have the digital technology (ICT) available to access these products. It could be argued that their geographic location and State-based technological infrastructure hampers their abilities to access data and information easily available in other geographic locations. As a result, the digital divide, as part of the digital frontier, blocks their best efforts to inform and to stay informed.

Almost two months ago, in an effort to create awareness and understanding of this situation, I submitted an abstract for a professional conference held in Canberra in November 2019.

The recipients of the information where interviewers, sound recordists and digital technologists who belong to a tribe known as the Australasian Sound Recordings Association (ASRA).  Here is the abstract for the 2019 ASRA conference paper which I submitted:

ASRA 2019 Annual Conference Sounds & Silences
11-12 November 2019 at the Australian National University, Canberra, ACT.
Abstract – Dr Fiona Rothchilds (aka Fiona Rothchilds, PhD).
Date of abstract submission: 04 October 2019.
University Affiliation: University House, Australian National University. Canberra. ACT.
Membership: 2019-20 Financial Member of ASRA.
Title of paper: Diggers and Dealers are casualties of the Digital Frontier

“The Australian mining resources sector houses a personnel set unique to the applied science discipline. Miners, scientists, business managers, company directors, and financial dealers have business perspectives on the mining boom in Australia yet to be heard. Some personnel have specific views on the heritage of Australian business interests to share with historians, economists and financiers of the future.

“Additionally, Canberra-based public policy experts have stories to share about mining frontiers within Australia’s land and sea boundaries. These include federal Government initiatives to develop science and technology innovations for global application. In particular, they mention policies for geological mapping, surveying and scientific discoveries undertaken in Australia’s national interest

“Yet, these oral histories are casualties of the digital divide. Some are now digital recordings and partial transcriptions available online at the National Library of Australia. However, there is a need for persistence to ensure these oral histories are captured, shared and become accessible to all Australians.

“While residents of the Australian east coast might access fast Internet connections, and easily downloadable oral history recordings with accompanying text, many Australians on the west coast and within remote communities miss out. Their lack of access to high speed Internet connections is real. The lack of socio-political interest in recording accessible stories on Australian diggers and dealers means many communities go without this information. Remote communities are the poorer for lack of accessibility to oral histories available in a digital format. Unwittingly, due to geography and technology, they too become casualties of the digital frontier.”

Other information on ASRA and its activities is available via these links:

  1. ASRA – Australasian Sound Recordings Association is an association for those interested in recorded sound. The Association is made up of private record collectors, professional sound archivists, radio …
  2. Australasian Sound Recordings Association … – ASRA Conferences. ASRA holds an annual conference at which papers are  …
  3. Australasian Sound Recordings Association – ASRA – Home … Sound Recordings Association – ASRA. 240 likes. Australasian Sound Recordings Association (ASRA)

Text copyright: Fiona Rothchilds 2019.
Photographic copyright: Fiona Rothchilds 2019.

Uploaded: 01 December 2019 (with approved leave taken in November 2019).

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