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COMMUNET Home

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COMMUNET  September 1997, Week 2

COMMUNET September 1997, Week 2

Subject:

Re: AFCN

From:

Amy Borgstrom <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Community and Civic Network discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 11 Sep 1997 12:37:08 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (99 lines)

In response to Jillaine's post, I would be glad to give a brief and
personal history from my point of view, and as my organization is the
current fiscal agent for AFCN, and I am acting as interim chair of the
interim steering committee which is trying to make this happen.

A group of people including myself came together at the community
networking conference that was held in Taos in May of 1996 to think about
whether it might be a good idea to start a new national or international
association that would support, link, and provide useful products and
services to community networks. Remember, this was about the time that NPTN
was soon to be no more. Patrick Finn, then of La Plaza facilitated some
planning at that time, and some of us invested $50 to help the planning
continue. A public meeting was also held the last morning of the
conference, and a planning committee nominated. The Center for Civic
Networking acted as fiscal agent at that time.

We all know planning AND doing can be hard in a solely virtual environment,
and when the first flurry of online activity appeared to be dying out, a
group of us that were still interested in seeing this move forward, which
were I believe Steve Cisler (Apple Computer, host of 1994 and 1995 Ties
that Bind conferences), Richard Civille (Center for Civic Networking),
Patrick Finn (La Plaza), Madeline Gonzalez (Boulder CN), Joan Dorrance (U
of Michigan School of Information), Frank Odasz (Big Sky Telegraph), Steve
Snow (Charlotte's Web), and I (ACEnet) met in Ann Arbor to try and move
things along. We decided that our primary goals were incorporation,
non-profit status, bylaws, and processes for governance that would result
in this interim planning group turning into something else. We received a
modest and much appreciated grant from the Kellogg Foundation to make these
things happen, and met a second time face-to-face in Albuquerque last
January to set out goals and objectives for the grant period, and determ
ined that ACEnet would act as fiscal agent and Madeline would act as
interim executive director for the organizational phase of AFCN.

We are almost through with that period and very close to being where we
need to be. The interim steering committee is having a conference call
today to discuss the material relating to "kind of organization" that has
been generated on this list and elsewhere. This information will be
disseminated on communet and the AFCN lists as always. We are meeting
face-to-face in conjunction with the rural telecom meeting in Aspen
Colorado next month to finalize the work products--incorporation,
non-profit filing, and business plan that we contracted with Kellogg to
produce.

In my opinion, Madeline has done an amazing job keeping this process open
to diverse viewpoints while staying on track with what she needs to be
doing to hatch this thing. She has managed to facilitate this ongoing
fascinating and sometimes contentious discussion and put it into useable
form on the AFCN website (see url below).  I am also open to lots of
congratulations praise and thanks for all of the sweat equity, and I mean
hundreds of hours of volunteer time that the interim planning group have
put into this. And I am still very excited to see AFCN get off the ground
and I think it will be a valuable resource to those of us who choose to
participate.

I am, as those of you who know me, also a big proponent of "just doing it"
and sure, this has taken a long time. But as one also with years of
experience doing group and social processes and considerable skill in this
area--it takes time to be inclusive. And it especially takes time to be
inclusive when we are communicating solely in this both wonderful and
frustrating environment.

Also see the AFCN website for a comprehensive archive of material relating
to our formation: http://bcn.boulder.co.us/afcn/planning

and thanks for "listening"

Amy Borgstrom
Appalachian Center for Economic Networks
94 Columbus Road
Athens, Ohio 45701
(614) 592-3854 voice
(614) 593-5451 fax
[log in to unmask]
http://www.seorf.ohiou.edu/~xx001

-----Original Message-----
From:   Jillaine Smith [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
Sent:   Thursday, September 11, 1997 11:50 AM
To:     [log in to unmask]
Subject:        AFCN

Perhaps having more background would help me understand this, but I really
don't understand why there is so much griping about AFCN.  How about
contributing to something that *could* be of great service to community
networking instead of moaning about what AFCN is or isn't going to do?  I
can't help but think it's all about personalities, with very little concern
about what might be possible on behalf of community networking. But that's
only what I'm picking up from reading this list. Would someone be willing
to
highlight the history and issues (pro and con) behind the formation of
AFCN,
and attempt to do so in an objective manner?  Many thanks.

-- Jillaine Smith
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Benton Foundation                                    www.benton.org
1634 Eye Street NW - 12th floor                 voice: 202/638-5770
Washington DC 20006                               fax: 202/638-5771

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