Back in the 60's Marshall McLuhan said that "the medium is the message". What he ment was that the medium itself is an agent for changing society and not just the content that the medium carries.
This holds true today even more than ever. Yesterday was the release of a Google Australia commissioned report by Deloitte Access Economics called The Connected Continent. It’s 58 pages long and well worth the read.
What it says amoung other things is that the direct contribution of the internet to the Australian economy is worth approximately $50 billion or 3.6% of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2010.
This contribution is of similar value to the retail sector or Australia’s iron ore exports.
There are currently some obvious and direct economic benefits of the internet, such as the 190,000 people employed in occupations that are directly related to the internet – including IT software firms, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and companies providing e-commerce and online advertising services.
But, just as the roll out of electricity changed many aspects of peoples’ lives and transformed the way businesses operate, the internet provides wider benefits beyond its direct economic impact.
These wider benefits – which are not fully captured in GDP calculations – include:
- Approximately $27 billion in productivity increases to businesses and government in the form of improvements to the way they operate and deliver services. These services also flow through to consumers through lower prices and the introduction of new products
- The equivalent of $53 billion in benefits to households in the form of added convenience (e.g. of online banking and bill paying) and access to an increased variety of goods and services and information.
Some of the most dynamic companies on the Central Coast (including Business Insider) are in the internet business and many informed local people see that internet related jobs will be a big driver of employment in future for the Central Coast