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COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET  May 1993, Week 1

COMMUNET May 1993, Week 1

Subject:

Re: Online Community

From:

Richard Naylor <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Communet: Community and Civic Network Discussion List

Date:

Mon, 3 May 1993 11:13:51 GMT

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (93 lines)

10:49:48
 3-May-1993
 
Michael Niemann <[log in to unmask]> writes:
 
> Right!  Following up to my previous posting,  does anyone, especially
> existing free-netters have experience with public access terminals, i.e.,
> cheap PCs in public locations such as libraries, post offices, community
> centers?
 
No - I don't. I'd like to though and may have some shortly
Currently we have 30 odd Public Access terminals onto our As400
for the Public Library. I hope to shortly connect these through
to our Public access system. So far we haven't had too much abuse
of the OPAC terminals, but then we have modified them by
disablying several keys.
 
> It strikes me that these  would broaden access to those who do
> not have their own hardware.
 
Yes - that is the intention.
>
> While I don't eat yogurt, I'm not sure I would give up chocolate ice cream
> for a community computer :-).
 
Currently a local NZ chain of supermarkets is giving away Macs,
to schools who can raise the "cash" in teh form of receipts from
their stores. $200,000 worth of receipts gets you a Mac. You just
about get mugged by kids at these stores now - for receipts not
cash (makes a change huh ?) - so it can be used as a fund rasier.
>
> I find these questions very relevant.  It would be great if we could hear
> from existing free-nets how they handled fund-raising, the issue of large
> donors and their interests, etc.   Does most of the money raised come in
> small amounts or are the big chunks?  If any free-net organizers out there
> read these questions, please let us know.  I feel that these nittygritty
> questions will  be the ones that will bog community networks down, not the
> larger philophical questions.
>
Well City Net is run by the City Council. It uses existing
equipment and staff. There is no other income.
 
the city does it for two reasons (thinking quickly)
 
    Equity and Economics
 
Equity - here's the direct quote from our recently released
Strategic Plan (sorry its not on our gopher yet :-( failed
again..
 
         Equity is the process of providing appropriate
         opportunities and access to services to achieve fairness
         between different communities and individuals.
 
A public access system allows disabled folk easy and equal
access. I know that [log in to unmask] signed his form with
his left foot - no-one else does, especially the 21 Councillors
reading his submission on the Annual Plan (our budget process
which is public - and also not in the gopher yet...more :-(
 
Economics - we have a steady stream of people getting house
valuations etc for property sales. The routine is - Office
assistant goes down to Council for print out from computer. Looks
in shop window on way there and on way back. Print out takes 30
seconds (maybe a bit longer for a map). The walk takes 1 hour. No
sooner have they left the office than the boss wants a second
print out. If they had a modem they can get the same print out by
dialing in . Basically, we want to make the process of doing
business in Wellington as efficient and economic as possible.
That way we will keep what business we have or maybe even attract
some more....  yes folks this *is* competition between local
governments.
 
A further example - why do a property development in a city if
you have to search for the ordinances. We give ours away via
gopher ! The local NZ law (Resource Management Act) requires that
we service a property inquiry in 10 days (or get fined !) we are
trying hard to automate it and do it in 10 seconds. Does this
help a developer ?
 
I see us as only a part of the jigsaw of community networking.
Some parts of our system cater for community groups, some for
business. But just as we aren't the only library in town or the
only property valuation business, we aren't the only BBS. We all
have a contribution to make and that is reflected in our system.
That way it gets its share of the funding - its a part of normal
business.
 
sorry for the ramble - hope its of use.....
 
--
[log in to unmask] (Richard Naylor )

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