Report highlights how Seattleites use technology

SEATTLE 5/23 - At a launch event last night, the City of Seattle released new findings on technology access, adoption and interaction by Seattle residents. These findings are based on feedback from 2,600 residents via online and phone surveys and in-person focus groups in multiple languages about their use, concerns, and barriers to using the Internet, social media, cable TV and online government services.

“This data shows that we’re making great strides in technology, but a digital gap still exists between our neighbors,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We’re already using the data in this report to influence how the City of Seattle interacts with our neighbors and to better target our outreach and engagement strategies.”

Every four years the City of Seattle conducts community research to find out how Seattle residents are using technology.The technology adoption study findings were detailed at the interactive launch event, and are available online at www.seattle.gov/tech/indicators. The summary of findings and recommendations are available in multiple languages.

“The continued rise of smart phone and tablet use provides outstanding opportunities for government to reach more residents,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. “The information from the focus groups will help us improve services and how we reach all communities. We will take action on improving access to web services by making them available in multiple languages.”

Since 2000, the City’s Community Technology Program has been collecting extensive and statistically valid data on residential use of cable TV, broadband adoption and uses (including health, work, education, finance and civic engagement), barriers to broadband adoption, use of online city services, and customer service needs. The measures used were based on goals for a technology-healthy city developed in collaboration with the City’s volunteer Technology Advisory Board.

Nine focus groups were also conducted to help understand the needs of communities who are often under-represented in the online and phone surveys or may be technologically-underserved.

Findings of the report include:

  • The report finds that 85 percent of Seattle residents have Internet at home and that more residents now own laptops than desktop computers.
  • Since 2009, Seattle has seen mobile phone ownership grow by 11 percent (80 to 89 percent), and has seen a 66 percent growth in the number of residents with smart phones (35 to 58 percent).
  • Broadband and cable TV prices continue to be of concern, but increasing broadband speed is important to those surveyed, with high interest in using higher bandwidth applications.
  • Cable subscribership has dropped 13 percent in the past four years as options for viewing video over the internet have grown.
  • Lower income residents have lower-speed broadband service, though a broad cross section of Seattle residents are interested in using higher speed internet services for activities like medical appointments or taking classes.
  • The study funds that there is still a significant gap in access to internet and the skills to use it, though the digital equity gap is more focused in skills and uses of the internet than on basic access.
  • Email was noted as the preferred way for residents to give their opinion to a community group or the City.
  • Education and age are the most significant factors differentiating technology access and adoption, but the data also shows important differences based on the income, ethnicity, and abilities of those surveyed.
  • The research also found that those with less education tend to make less use of the internet than users with more education.

For more information, visit www.seattle.gov/tech/indicators or contact communitytechnology@seattle.gov or 206-386-9759.

Now’s the time to sign up for low cost Internet!

Are you looking for low-cost Internet and computer options? With schools being back in session, many classes are requiring online research, access to email and the ability to log in to the Source (how else can you see whether your child is actually making it to school?!?), it is more than ever necessary for us to be online.

Visit our Home Internet & Computers page where you can get contact and general information about the 4 providers in Seattle offering low cost Internet.

In the meantime, if you need to get on the Internet, you can visit our Free Public Computer Access page for a computer lab near you, offering open lab hours for community members.

Thanks to 2,931 Seattle residents!

A big THANK YOU to more than 2,900 residents who completed our residential technology survey!

Over the past few months, 803 people completed our random phone survey and 2,128 people took the survey online.  Thank you for caring about Seattle’s technological future and taking the time to tell us how we can communicate more effectively throughout the city.

Your survey responses will help guide the City of Seattle’s work on digital equity, broadband services, public outreach and engagement, cable franchising, the Seattle Channel, and the City’s web and social media.  We also hope your responses will be useful to community groups and educators, and others planning to deliver information and applications to our diverse residents.

If you’d like to receive a note when the results come out, email us at communitytechnology@seattle.gov.

THANK YOU.

Volunteers sought for City of Seattle Technology Advisory Board

The City of Seattle is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join our tech advisory board. Applications are being taken through January 18th, 2013.   The Board and committees help guide city strategies and investments in our digital future. The ten member Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB – seattle.gov/cttab) advises the City on broadband deployment and adoption, mobile and web based services for Seattle.gov, social media, open data, online public engagement, the Seattle Channel, cable tv franchise agreements, Technology Matching Fund grants and efforts to close the digital divide.  There are currently two positions open on the Board, as well as opportunities to participate in project committees.  We strongly value broad experience and diverse participation.

See more about the technology advisory board at seattle.gov/cttab.  Please email any questions or apply by sending your resume and letter of interest to CommunityTechnology@seattle.gov.

The City of Seattle is committed to promoting diversity in the city’s boards and commissions. Women, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, young persons, senior citizens, persons of color, and immigrants are encouraged to apply.  You must be a City of Seattle resident or work in Seattle.

Additional information:
Position requirements (consider before applying)

  • Applicants must:
    • either reside or work in Seattle
    • not be employed by the City of Seattle
    • not serve on more than one City of Seattle board or commission
    • attend monthly meetings (2nd Tuesday, 6-8 pm, generally held downtown at Seattle Municipal Tower)
    • participate in at least one CTTAB committee (times set according to committee members’ schedules)
  • Service to the board expected to begin February 2012
  • This is a two-year appointment, potentially renewable for one additional term
  • Time commitment (5-10 hours per month, depending upon activity)

Originally posted on Dec 6, 2012.

City & Community host Get Online Week Dec 3-8

Get Online logo (stoplight with "Get Online" for go light)Learn more about what families can do on the Internet and where to go for training.  This week, December 3rd-8th, twenty community and cultural centers in Seattle are hosting open houses, individual assistance, and workshops at computer learning centers. See the Get Online Week list of sites and activities or contact Vicky Yuki at 206-233-7877 or vicky.yuki@seattle.gov.  Drop by to learn more about using the Internet, online job resources, consumer information, homework help and a world of activities online.

More About Get Online Week and public computing centers:
Get Online Week is being offered by participating centers in partnership with the City of Seattle Department of Information Technology and the Seattle Public Library.

The only way some people have access to computers, the Internet or technology training is to use the services of nearby public computing centers and libraries. Even for those with computers or Internet devices, these centers also offer valuable training in how to find and use essential services and learning materials online. Many of the centers offer instruction in other languages or specialize in serving specific residents, such as youth, seniors, or the disabled community.

Get Online Week started in 2010 as a one-day event at 10 participating centers in Seattle’s central and south neighborhoods. Get Online Weeks are also held in Europe. This Community Technology education program is part of the City’s effort to ensure digital inclusion and foster broadband adoption.

Evergreen Apps Challenge to award $75,000 in prizes at Oct 1 event

Winners of the Evergreen Apps Challenge will be named on October 1, 2012, at Seattle City Hall. Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine will kick off  the event with $75,000 in prizes  awarded for the best new civic apps, including two people’s choice awards. The people’s choice awards will be decided by those in attendance and everyone who registers gets a vote.

 “The intersection of technology and society inspire our storytelling at GeekWire, and this event combines these themes along with one that is close to my heart: doing well by doing good.  I can’t wait to see what the app developer community has created for this challenge,” said Rebecca Lovell of GeekWire, who is emceeing the awards ceremony.

Registration is free at http://bit.ly/UQkLvy. The event will be held Monday, October 1, in the Bertha Knight Landes Room, Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Avenue, in Seattle, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Music and light refreshments will be provided.

See entire announcement here: http://www.seattle.gov/news/detail.asp?ID=13122

 

 

Geeks on a Ferry – August 14

Application developers, entrepreneurs, designers and students who are interested  the Evergreen Apps Challenge and government data are invited to take a ferry ride from Seattle to Bremerton and work on their entries.  Geeks on a Ferry will take place August 14 from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. aboard a Washington State Ferry and at the Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton. 

Participants will board the 3 p.m. ferry in Seattle and have the use of free wi-fi onboard, provided by Boingo Wireless, Inc. Once in Bremerton they will spend four-five hours at the Kitsap Conference Center where dinner will be provided along with presentations about building applications with Socrata Open Data and ESRI Maps. Wi-fi will also be available on the return ferry ride.

 The registration fee is $35 for professionals and $15 for students and includes the ferry ride and dinner. Please register at http://evergreenapps.eventbrite.com/.

The Evergreen Apps Challenge is sponsored by Seattle, King County and Washington State and offers more than $75,000 in prize money for development of apps that use government data and stimulate economic development throughout the state. State support comes from the Washington State Broadband Office, which is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is charged with coordination, programming, and outreach on broadband issues including opportunities for funding.  The challenge is open to small businesses and individuals who live, work or study in Washington State. Learn more about the challenge at www.evergreenapps.org.

The Evergreen Apps Challenge closes September 6, 2012, and awards will be presented on October 1 in Seattle.

 

Evergreen Apps Challenge announces statewide events

Seattle, King County and Washington State are teaming up to offer more than $75,000 in prize money for development of apps that use government data and stimulate economic development throughout the state. State support comes from the Washington State Broadband Office which is a program of the state Department of Commerce. The challenge officially opens today and is open to anyone who lives, works or studies in Washington State.

Three events are scheduled in August to build momentum for the challenge and connect developers with like-minded competitors:

  •  Seattle’s Office of Economic Development will host City Business Casual on August 9, 2012, focused on technology start-up businesses. It will be held at the Alexis Hotel’s Library Bistro in Seattle, 5-7 p.m. The event is free and no reservations are necessary.
  • Geeks on a Ferry invites developers to ride the Washington State Ferry from Seattle to Bremerton on August 14, 2012, 3-10 p.m. Participants will have free Boingo wi-fi on the ferry and then spend about five hours at the Kitsap Conference Center working on apps. The registration fee is $35 for professionals and $15 for students and includes the ferry ride for those who need it and dinner. Please register at www.evergreenapps.org/events.
  • Spokane is the site of the third event on August 22, 2012, at Riverpoint Academy, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Developers will hear from ESRI and Socrata. Tickets include a light dinner. Registration is available at www.evergreenapps.org/events.

The Evergreen Apps Challenge closes September 6, 2012, and awards will be presented on October 1 in Seattle.