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DML Bogotá: Using the Internet to fight poverty; El Tiempo plans paywall

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DML Bogotá: Using the Internet to fight poverty; El Tiempo plans paywall

The government wants to use the Internet to reduce poverty. He cited a World Bank study that said a 10 percent increase in broadband penetration speeds economic growth by 1.4 percent. Molano said the potential for growth in connectivity was largest with Colombia’s poorest 65 percent, where around just 10 percent had Internet in their homes. To that end, the government is subsidizing 1.2 million poor Colombians’ access to the Internet.

But the government is also teaching Colombia’s poorest how to use the Internet and benefit from it. He said just 7 percent of Colombian micro-businesses were connected. When majority were asked why they were not connected, they said they didn’t need it. He gave the example of Bogota taxi drivers who were initially dismissive of the Internet, seeing no benefit from it. But with the advent of applications that helped them locate passengers more efficiently they got on board.

Molano finished by saying the country was on its way to meeting the goal of 8.8 million people connected to broadband by 2014 – up from just 2.2 million in 2010.

El Tiempo plans paywall

Speaker Jon Ruiz (pictured), the CEO of El Tiempo, said his newspaper’s pillars were content and the brand. The brand is what maintains their credibility, separating El Tiempo from the other sites.

He said the newspaper would install a paywall in 2014. Print subscribers would have complete access to the website. It would be similar to that of The New York Times which allows a certain number of articles a month to be read for free. He called the paywall a “defensive” move to protect the paper, which still today provides 75 percent of income. They plan on offering premium content for digital subscribers, such as video and themed content, something he says they need to do more of.

El Tiempo expects the effect of the paywall to be minimal given that just 10 percent of the website’s users will even use up all of the free articles. The company will also offer more products for customers, from hosting events to branching out to more websites, such as elempleo, a job listing site. Given the strength of El Tiempo’s brand, they’ve found people are more likely to trust them with their credit cards, in a region where many people fear identity theft.

To follow live updates from the conference on Twitter, use hashtag #DML13.

Reported by Toby Muse.


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2013-10-31 20:47

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