I recently wrote a paper on internet diffusion and adoption in Cuba and thought it would be appropriate to share on the day of Castro’s death. The hope is that Cuba will have the opportunity to share in the world’s communication and add to the important discussions that need to take place as we enter a new time of uncertainty.
Here is the introduction and a link to the full text of the article:
Internet Diffusion and Adoption in Cuba
Cuba is one of the last countries in the world to provide online access for its citizens in spite of the economic advantages that connectivity brings to economies. As the country opens opportunities for citizens to engage in business and potential trade with the United States
grows the Internet could help boost economic output for the country.
The article argues that Cuba’s educated population who have a strong desire to interact with the rest of the world will take full advantage of opportunities that are given by the government. The conclusion suggests that Cuba is ready.
The results of this analysis suggest that Cuba is poised for Internet growth as long as the government continues to open access for residents. The Internet in Cuba blog by Larry Press suggests that the government may legitimize the SNET, the network that runs from Cotorro to Bauta that the government has chosen to ignore for the past 8 years (Press 2016). There are also reports of proposals from US and non US companies to build an Internet cable between Miami and Havana (Press 2016). In either case, the Cuban government has made moves toward increasing access.
And you thought you had all the technology you need in the palm of your hand. The Chinese use technology and have access in many more situations than you do. Here are 10 examples of advanced widely used technologies in China- with pictures.
1. Wired Subway. People have access on their mobile devices on modern train cars.
2. Tv on trains and in stations. You can learn to cook a dish in the subway station or watch a show while riding on the subway car.
3. Use of Baidu Translate. You may not be able to speak Chinese and a Chinese teen may not speak English, but she can use her Baidu app to talk to you. She can help you use it, but you won’t be able to figure it out.
4. Touch screen Gps in cars. People enter destinations by finger swipe of chinese characters on a touch screen.
5. Mobile pay at KFC. Granted most places can’t take mobile payments, but Chinese customers can get original recipe using their phones.
6. Train and bus tracking. Like the Flight Tracker on a plane, people in China can watch their transit progress on trains and busses using their phones.
7. QR codes everywhere. Granted few people actually use them, but the opportunity to get more information is everywhere in China.
8. Promotion via WeChat. Businesses connect with customers via WeChat, a popular texting app. More people are moving to these services and away from social media and marketers in China have beaten you to it.
9. Heavy use of portable personal Wifi units and batteries. The Chinese have great internet access because they carry around devices that connect them anywhere and they don’t run out of power.
10. China has more Apple stores. Granted, many are copycats, but they look good and can help you with your Mac. You won’t need an appointment either.
So, there you have it. In some ways China beats us in technology.
How can a small tourism business encourage sharing in social? First, the experience has to be enjoyable with either good quality or good value. A poor or mediocre tourist experience may be shared, but may hasten a downfall. Second, the activity or service should be unique and special so that people want to tell others about it. Something plain and everyday won’t get much attention.
I recently visited Butterfly Haven in El Valle Panama. The owner decided to pursue a “second childhood” by starting a butterfly farm and was actively promoting the business. The farm was listed in major guidebooks, noticeable signs were posted around town and there were cards with directions in local hotels and restaurants.
In addition in an attempt to leverage social media, the owner posted a sign asking people to share their experiences. See below.
How could Butterfly Haven increase the likelihood that visitors share? I would recommend setting up a unique photo opportunity with butterflies or caterpillars and a page on which to post the photos online, such as on Instagram. Along with the photo the farm should offer Wifi to travelers who may not have international data plans. This would give people the opportunity to post immediately and they would be more likely to do so in the moment.
A good, unique experience that can be shared immediately can generate positive buzz for a business. What can you create?
It’s been 10 years since I was last in Panama and it’s booming. Lots of building of new condos and developments and a string internet backbone with a highly connected population. Panama also has what now seems like relics of another time. QR codes in bathrooms on dispensers that sell breath freshener and mini toothbrushes. One has to stay fresh on a date.
India is a popular market for contests. For example, Pepsi’s Lay brand of crisps ran the “Guess Whose Flavour” campaign with 6 famous cricket players. Through Facebook or a scanable QR code on the package, the contest asked contestants to figure out which cricket player, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Chris Gayle, Adam Gilchrist or Kevin Pietersen, created each new flavor. The winners won a trip for two to Sri Lanka for a cricket match. Sri Lanka is a beautiful tropical island on the southern tip of India – quite a nice reward.
In China the site for microblogging is Sina Weibo (新浪微博). A study of retweeting on the Chinese site found that people were more likely to retweet information when the source of the communication exhibited the traits of trustworthiness, expertise and attractiveness.
Determinants of information retweeting in microblogging
Liu, Zhiming; Liu, Lu; Li, Hong. Internet Research22. 4 (2012): 443-466.