Technorati released its latest figures on the blogosphere: it is now tracking more than 57 million blogs of which a bit more than 50% are active (updated at least every 3 months). This makes for a total of 100.000 blogs every day. (BBC)
Very impressive but then there is the almost incredible news that a fifth of the Belgian population has never used a computer. This comes from a survey done by the Federal Government's Statistic Directorate. 2.6 million Belgians have never been online. (VRT)
"The digital divide is most pronounced between those in work and those who are not part of the active population."
I think these are serious figures for a country as "densely cabled" as Belgium. Broadband is the standard internet set up for those who have one... Government has definitely a role to play here because access to information is key, especially for people looking for a job.
Free internet access should be sponsored by both government and the industry and PCs should be made cheap, not at the (still) high prices the government is proposing. Most of the people who start working with the internet would be happy with a dumb terminal.
Show them how to use virtual office set ups like Thinkfree and they can perform the tasks otherwise expensive software can do. Web2.0 services and product can definitely make the difference in this context.