So long, and .tks for all the fish

This story, about tiny South Pacific islands and internet domains, intrigued me.

At first glance I thought it was nothing more than digital snake oil, someone trying to make a quick buck by selling an unusual top-level domain name related to an unheard-of island country that can’t be found on the average school globe. At least I’d heard of Tuvalu. But Tokelau?

Well, it exists. There are only 1500 people who live in Tokelau, a collection of  three islands in a remote part of the South Pacific. More than four times that number have emigrated, and the prime reason for emigration seems to be a lack of options, a lack of access.

By becoming a connected nation, they appear to have:

(a) added to their GDP significantly

(b) improved their healthcare access and delivery

(c) made a difference to their education system

(d) allowed their expatriates to remain in touch more effectively

It’s heartening to note that there’s such a clear health-education-welfare pattern.

What else do they do? They talk to each other using internet telephony. They download music and they watch videos. And they have started using social networks.

Sounds about right. There is so much we can do when we get connected.

Connected, not channelled. 

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