Argentina

 

“There is no doubt that e-learning as a category has best developed in Argentina”

What’s the e-content in Argentina?

Argentina is the third producer of Spanish e-content in Latin America and the 27th in the world. From the very beginning, Argentina has been an important creator of Internet portals. Recently,, nine per cent of Internet users participated in electronic commerce
.
Although only a few companies offer products online, the number of advertisements is increasing exponentially. The B2B is widely used by big companies having a strong influence on small and medium- sized companies. The government has started supporting important digital projects and initiatives. Currently, large numbers of academic and private groups are generating content for entertainment, culture, health, education, and science. NGOs play an important role in supervising official policies and promoting initiatives towards social and digital inclusion, (Tau, Equidad, Era Digital, Radio Encuentro, etc.). The World Summit Award (WSA) has shown that our local content generators are at par with the best content generators in the world.

“There is a serious lack of what is called as information society in Argentina. To strengthen its presence the Argentinean Information Society will have to look into the problems”

What kind of content is best created in Argentina?

There is no doubt that e-learning as a category has best developed in Argentina. It has fuelled aggressive growth in the private and business sector.

How is Argentina progressing with information society?

There is a serious lack of what is called as information society in Argentina. To strengthen its presence the Argentinean Information Society will have to look into the problems like:

• The absence of a strategic plan for society
• The absence of a national organization to centralize initiatives
• The lack of specific legislation
• Laws that have been passed need to be enforced and implemented
• Universal access should come into practice
• Policies need to be clear and transparent
• New careers and specific contents to meet customers’ requirements need to be promoted
• The absence of social policies that aim at narrowing the digital divide

At the same time we must also enumerate the important advances which are either isolated cases or part of national programs. Among them we have to mention:

• The implementation of “Mi PC” program, the first home PC program with its own software and accessible credits, currently with more than 80,000 units
• Other similar programs with the same aim: regional applicability supported by the local band, very low prices, and accessible credits
• The National Campaign for Digital Alphabetization launched by Educ.ar distributed more than 40,000 pieces of informatics equipment among 4,400 schools across the country and provided more than 5,000 educational centers with Internet services. The main aim is to facilitate access to communication and information technologies for educational institutions at all levels.

“The locutorios and cybercafés have provided the much needed interface for people with little knowledge of technology and computers to access the Internet”

How do people connect to the global village?

It is estimated that 8.5 million users from different backgrounds have means and ways to connected to the Internet. The locutorios and cybercafés, set up during the post-devaluation period, represent 35 per cent of the total number of users (totaling 2.6 million users) and have greatly aided this development. The availability of high speed access has registered a 100% growth compared to the previous year, bringing the total number of users to 475,000. By the end of this year, 11 million people are expected to access the Internet and high-speed access will reach 800,000 customers.

What is the profile of the people who connect and what content do they create?

Since 2001, Internet usage has percolated down to the masses and the age of the average user has come down to 28 years. The locutorios and cybercafés have provided the much needed interface for people with little knowledge of technology and computers to access the Internet. For several users, it is their first contact with the media, much in vogue elsewhere like here.

Fifty per cent of users log in to know about products, pricing and markets. Twelve per cent buy products online (more than 900,000 people). Such purchases are no longer limited to books and CDs. Nowadays; it’s more common to buy electronic products, clothes, tickets for the theatre, cinemas, and flight travel. Eighty per cent of these transactions are conducted on Argentinean websites.

Conclusive remarks on e-content scenario in Argentina

We are still in the initial stages of creation of infrastructure and have just begun feeling the effects of application. The availability of unlimited information will have enormous effects if we are able to leave aside personal, political, and vested interests. The time has come to think about the country as a whole and promote state policies as part of a long-lasting strategic plan, cutting across individuals, party lines and managements.

The prime task we have at hand is to define our final vision: where we want to go, not just in terms of technology, but also as a society shaping our future generations. Surely, all this will enable us to create a knowledge society which in turn will create a content rich citizens and governance.

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