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COMMUNET Home

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COMMUNET  February 1997, Week 4

COMMUNET February 1997, Week 4

Subject:

A Business Plan for Community Networking

From:

[log in to unmask] (madeline)

Date:

Wed, 19 Feb 1997 12:28:53 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (72 lines)

I just read in yesterday's Denver Post how Microsoft will be introducing a
free local information & entertainment service in Denver... and how AOL has
a Denver "Digital City"...  how grand!  Yet NO mention whatsoever of the
Denver Freenet, which has been around providing very useful services since
I don't know when.  We need to start giving more visibility to what these
grassroots projects are themselves creating, often AHEAD of the corporate
"experts".   We have our OWN experts, whose motivation is more making a
positive contribution than making a buck.   We saw the 'market potential'
of locally-relevant information long BEFORE the Microsofts and AOLs of the
world... yet our focus has always been more on providing equal access,
ensuring participation and diversity of perspectives.  These goals continue
to be CRITICAL!  But these projects will not survive by just having "worthy
goals".   If these projects are going to not only survive but flourish, we
need to come up with sustainable models, and solid business plans.

I'm realizing that, in creating a Business Plan for the Association for
Community Networking, what I'm really trying to do is create a Business
Plan for Community Networking.   Central to doing this, as some of you
realize, is identifying just what our products & services are.  Compiling
some of the "best of the best" that CN has produced, as I describe in my
earlier message, will be very helpful with this.

Another key aspect though are the *costs*, and how can they be reduced.  It
would be very helpful to hear about some of the actual costs of CN projects
today, or at least rough breakdowns of the budget categories and
percentages of costs.  I will keep any such information sent to me strictly
confidential, and omit actual project names when discussing them.  But
knowing what you are having to spend your scarce funding on will be
critical to helping ACN prioritize what our services to you can be to help
*reduce* your costs.  Your funding could then be focused on the resources
that you alone can bring to your communities (eg., yourselves!, your ideas,
your commitment, your enthusiasm), and not towards those resources that we
as a 'movement' can pool together and share (eg., project planning
materials, papers, presentation materials, cost-benefit justifications,
training materials, as well as a "CN in a box" or at least "in components"
-- eg., system architecture, page templates, community calendars,
discussion mechanisms, etc.).

I ask for your help with this. Please send me any information you can on
your actual operating costs, and anything else you think might be useful,
including any good "industry analysis" kinds of material.

I am in the process of going through as many surveys and reports as I can
get my hands on ;-), and hope to create as substantial and well-founded a
Business Plan for us, as would any for-profit venture create for itself.
The finished "Business Plan" is something that will be useful to ALL of us.
If you would like to review drafts, or help in its development, let me
know.  Write and tell me a little bit about yourself, and how you'd like to
participate.


thanks,
Madeline






_________________________________________________
Madeline Gonzalez
Phone: (970)728-5170
Fax: (970)728-3102








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