Friday, June 20, 2014

Club Internet - Making the World Wide Web a bit wider

Since the dawn of the human race, humans have always been trying to find faster and more efficient ways to do things. We now live in the age of the internet where we can order pizza with just a few clicks, send a message to a friend knowing they received it the second you sent it, or even work from home with the power of the internet. Most tech savvy countries such as the US and most of Europe have steady internet connections but still, lots of people (particularly the elderly) don’t use the internet at all. Also, surprisingly people even below poverty line in 3rd world countries can afford mobile internet (EDGE or GPRS at least) and initiatives like Google’s Project Loon and Facebook’s Internet.org are planning to make internet available to everyone everywhere. But the question is, how to teach these people to use the internet? Club Internet aims to answer that by creating a simple app that teaches people of any language in any country how to use the internet. The app is loaded with tutorials that teach people using hands-on teaching techniques so that the concepts stick. It teaches users how to use lots of popular websites such as Facebook, Wikipedia, Skype, Yahoo, and of course Google. The tutorials are written for people who have never used the internet before. It offers tutorials in small bits so people don’t get bored with it. This company aims to help connect the 4.3 billion unconnected people to the internet and become avid users. Right now the company is a small start-up relying on angel investors and contracts from larger tech companies. They are also looking at making deals with OEMs to get this kind of app pre-installed (which would be quite useful). Now while this will help at connecting people in third-world countries, it can also be used to help teach people here in the US and Europe. Imagine someone in a retirement home getting this app. They learn how to use Skype and can chat with their children/grandchildren who live too far away to visit. This app has lots of potential and there are lots of plans to expand it in the near future. The company has 3 founders, Hassan Baig (Duke Alumni and ex-KPMG), Sophia Pervez (ex-IBM) and Fahad Rao (ex- Convo). You can check out their beta website at http://www.clubinternet.co/.

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