Jennifer Lester: bridging the digital divide

Jennifer LesterGoogle as calling card
Jennifer Lester Googled “social media Belleville” and noticed my blog post come up as one of the top returns. In my post, she saw that I interviewed Shawn Patriquin from they integrated inc.

“I’ve worked with Shawn and his crew, so I read your interview and it moved me to contact you on Twitter,” says Lester.

The County that counts
A writer/broadcaster raised in the Prince Edward County (a region of eastern Ontario that’s close to my heart), Jennifer left home to study theatre at York University and moved back to earn two journalism diplomas at Loyalist College. She now makes her home in this beautiful rural setting.

“I’ve lived in Toronto and travelled the world, but when you’re from Prince Edward County, it always pulls you back. To work in media in a small town, I had to be extremely enterprising and tenacious. That’s what drew me to study the Internet, and has ultimately led me to offering courses on topics in online publishing,” she says.

The ‘divide’—not just a rural legend
Since the turn of the millennium, Jennifer has been keeping an eye on what she refers to as the ‘digital divide’, “There are some who say this divide no longer exists, but I could go on all day about how it’s wider than ever. On one side of the chasm stand the people with access to technology and on the other side are the people without. A digital divide creates all kinds of disadvantages for people on each side. It’s important to me to bridge this gap so my grandparents and rural neighbours and I can still relate to one another.”

Conversely, she adds, the “creative rural economy” in Prince Edward County has nationally played a pioneering role in using social media and the Internet to improve economic development. “So we’re not all country bumpkins, by any stretch, but a key to preventing that has been understanding and using the Internet.”

Have voice, will play..anywhere
With a university degree in performance and two diplomas in journalism, Jennifer discovered a passion for online publishing, writing and broadcasting. “I see the Internet as a way of leveling the playing field, so no matter where you live in the world, you can still play ball.”

“In five years, I plan to be working full-time in online publishing and speaking on and training people on related topics.”

You can find out more about Jennifer by visiting her website, which also has details on her upcoming seminars.

3 thoughts on “Jennifer Lester: bridging the digital divide

  1. The phrase ‘digital divide’ is more commonly used to describe the lack of technology in developing countries or poverty-laden areas of the western world… however I can easily see it’s applicability to the country vs. city scenario. I wonder though, in a country like Canada, what causes this dived. Is it systemic – lack of infrastructure, low bandwidth, high costs, etc. Or are socio-demographic factors at play – interest, desire, willingness to learn, relevance, personality, age/comfort, etc.
    Could certainly be an interesting debate… but either way it’s a good thing if more people get engaged with the online world, so best of luck to both Jennifer Lester & Autom8

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