Get online and join in the BBC's First Click campaign
"Are you by the computer now? You've got a mouse there and its working? Do you know what I mean by an icon? It's like a little picture." so said Jeremy Vine and his guest, the UK's Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox live on Radio 2 as they helped to get Valerie, a listener who'd phoned into Jeremy's show, online for the very first time.
It was all part of a campaign we ran in March across Radio 2 called Get Connected where we encouraged our listeners to get online. When I was planning the campaign, some people said that it is wrong to "force people online if they don't want to be." That was never our intention but what quickly became apparent after we launched our campaign was that many of our listeners did want to know how to use the internet; they just didn't know where to start. Many told us they felt socially excluded and "out the club". Some, like Jeremy's listener Valerie, didn't use a computer because they were scared they'd break it. Others felt that learning how to use the internet was simply beyond their grasp. But with the encouragement of Radio 2 presenters, many took that first step and over 37,000 of our listeners requested our booklet giving basic help and advice.
This week we're hoping that even more of our listeners will take that step and get online as Terry Wogan launches First Click on Radio 2 on his Weekend Wogan show. An estimated 9.2 million people in the UK don't have access to the internet and so the BBC's First Click campaign is seeking to help them get online, and Radio 2 is very much part of that.
For the next week, we've got lots of discussions and features on Radio 2 looking at the internet. Along with the rest of the BBC, we'll be encouraging our listeners to phone the BBC First Click Advice Line on 08000 150 950 to find a beginners' computer course in their local area.
Or for those listeners who already know how to use a computer we're asking them to share their skills with a friend or relative. We've been busy filming videos for our website of Radio 2 presenters including Ken Bruce, Jeremy Vine, Simon Mayo, Claudia Winkleman and Jo Whiley talking about their experiences of using a computer. There's even a cameo appearance by Ronnie Wood!
Back in March, we flew solo with our Get Connected campaign, so it's really exciting to join with the rest of the BBC for First Click. The BBC works at its best when everyone works together, and the First Click campaign is a prime example of this. Let's hope millions as opposed to thousands see the benefits that the internet can bring to their lives and take that first step online.
Bequi Sheehan is a Radio 2 Producer
Find out more about BBC First Click on the Radio 2 website.