Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Now, Google's Internet Bus in Karnataka!

I received this release announcing that Google India's 'Internet Bus' will now tour Karnataka. Starting its journey from Bangalore, the bus will travel through 15 towns in the next 50 days.

This campaign is aimed at people with limited knowledge and exposure to the Internet and the experience has been designed to create awareness of the benefits of this powerful medium.

The Karnataka leg of Google's Internet Bus will continue to focus on four themes -- information, communication, entertainment and education. The video driven content will showcase how even with basic knowledge of the Internet people can make their everyday lives simpler. The content will also provide familiarization on using services like search, email, social networking, online maps and mobile. All this information will be available in English and Kannada.

Dr. Prasad Ram, Head of Google R&D, India, said: "Tamil Nadu was a big learning for us and it was inspiring to see that people wanted to know about the internet and share their needs with us. This experience has reinforced our belief that awareness is the key challenge in the growth of the Internet in India and we are excited about bringing this campaign to yet another state. In this phase besides popular services like email, search and videos, we will be focusing on how mobile phones can be used to access useful local information even without data plans. Access to the Internet in local languages will continue to be a focus area."

The success of the Internet Bus in Tamil Nadu was evident from the number of interesting stories that followed each time the bus visited a city. In Krishnagiri, an elderly couple came on board the Google Internet Bus and, after experiencing Gmail, decided to buy a computer and use it to communicate with their son who was abroad.

A young businessman who dropped out of high school said that "since visiting the Google Internet Bus, I have found a way to improve my knowledge of the stock market." In Coimbatore, a young boy, who sold flowers for a living and had never been exposed to the Internet managed to learn about Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google Search in Tamil, his mother tongue.

Users across India will be able to follow the bus through its journey, see pictures and videos and join online communities.

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