Technology gets demystified

THE WORLD wide web can be an overwhelming beast to navigate with its confusing terminology and a never ending stream of information.

But Regional Development Australia Southern Inland is hoping to break down those barriers with the Capital Digital Enterprise Program.

The program aims to help local community organisations and small to medium businesses navigate their way around the internet and take advantage of high speed broadband.

"The Australia Government has done research and the reason this program exists is because it showed that only 23 per cent of Australian businesses have a proper online presence," project officer Richard Everson said.

"So 75 per cent of businesses could do better online, there's a huge potential there."

The program will be delivered through a series of free weekly workshops facilitated by Three Sides Marketing as well as one-on-one mentoring sessions.

The two-hour workshops include topics such as creating a website, online marketing principles, e-commerce, online security and online business tools.

"There's 16 workshops in total and we'll run the circuit three times. There'll be plenty of opportunity to attend workshops over the two years," he said.

"We want it to be fun, it's not going back school, it's not a lecture. Come along, it's friendly, it's secure. We want it to be a really positive thing."

The program is designed for total novices to those who have already ventured into the online world.

Mr Everson said the individual mentoring would be particularly helpful for those intimidated and reluctant to engage online.

"[The one-on-one session] helps us to go through and work out where you're up to with your digital footprint. We're not going to fix everything in one go," he said.

"We look at the three most important things for you and give you whatever it takes to make progress on that. It could be registering a domain name, getting a Dropbox set up or getting a Facebook page up and running."

Mr Everson encouraged local community groups not just businesses to take advantage of the program which is scheduled to run until August 2015.

"Almost every single person in Queanbeyan belongs to a sporting group or a church group or a youth group or some sort of association. Don't think just because it's technology, it has to be a business," he said.

"Sporting groups can run a website, send text messages to their players if the game's cancelled, things like that. 

"There's something for everybody."

An Introduction to the Capital Region Digital Enterprise Program will be held on Tuesday, November 5 at the Airport International Hotel from 5.30 - 7.30pm. Workshops will be held every Tuesday after that. For more information or to book please visit www.crde.com.au.

Regional Development Australia Southern Inland project officer Richard Everson is helping local businesses and community groups increase their presence online. Photo: Kim Pham.

Regional Development Australia Southern Inland project officer Richard Everson is helping local businesses and community groups increase their presence online. Photo: Kim Pham.

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