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COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET  September 1997, Week 2

COMMUNET September 1997, Week 2

Subject:

On-Ramp Discussion was Re: AFCN

From:

"William P. Russell" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Mon, 8 Sep 1997 02:48:35 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (82 lines)

At 05:21 PM 9/11/97 -0700, Philip Klein wrote:
>As a volunteer planner for a community network project to give nonprofit
>social service agencies internet access, hardware & software, and training
>& tech support, I've been lurking and looking here for some sign that
>others are addressing similar issues as we are. In a month or so I've not
>found a good onramp discussion--

The best "on-ramp" discussion I have encountered it going on in a list that
is for members of the CTCNet [Community Technology Center Network].
Several hundred organizations devoted to connecting the community with
technology from training to access to computer recycling etc etc.  Go see
http://www.ctcnet.org, follow some links, look at some affiliates and see
if this is the org that you are after.

>I've followed some good links to resources
>elsewhere, but most of what I've read on this list has been personal or
>pedagogical, with little discussion about the real obstacles we're facing.
>As far as AFCN goes, I was surprised that nonprofit organizations were not
>mentioned as a key group and suggest they be included, since here in
>Seattle, so much is being done by nonprofits towards community networking
>ends.  Since AFCN says it wishes to provide advisory assistance and share
>"summaries of wisdom," I invite it to do so. I'm sure that developing AFCN
>is a major
>challenge, and I'm grateful that the work is being done. Unfortunately, I
>won't be able to be at the rural telecon meeting.

No, I have not had a chance to go to any of the great conferences that I
have read about here.  As has been stated here several times lately, the
conversation here tends to go round and round and if the current discussion
is not in synch with your current needs, try a little patience, but not too
much - ask, just as you have done.

>Here are a few of the
>problems our project is facing that I think deserve consideration on a list
>like this.
>How should a technical support model be designed that will ensure users
>know how to use the technology and can solve the problems they's encounter?
>        what are pros & cons to hiring someone or
>What selection process should be used to determine which agencies a project
>should invest in?

An alternative to hireing someone to do the task is to provide an
opportunity for someone who has never owned a computer but has learned to
use it in the CTC.  By providing technical support they can *earn* a
recycled computer to take home. By serving as lab aide at a class for
newbies they can earn connection to the Internet.  Many of believe that
opportunity is better than charity.  No offense intended, but "Free Net"
and free Internet smacks of charity.

>What are the most common and difficult pitfalls in providing technology
>where little has been before?

Fear

>
>I get the feeling that many readers have a great deal of experience in
>matters of community networking, and hope there's no objection to
>questions by a project in early implementation stages.

I can not remember being anywhere else that questions are as welcome as on
communet.  In 5 years of mostly lurking here, I have never seen anyone put
down for asking a question whether in the early, middle or declining stage.

>We have a talented team of
>people but a project of this scale & scope is new to us. My experience is
>in the area of content development for community information systems,
>including databases of community services, child care, & after school
>programs. I'm happy to offer what I've learned in these areas in exchange
>for some discussions on topics & questions above.


Hang in there Phil.  The race is to the swift, but we must have faith that
the atainment of the goal will be worth the effort.


William P. Russell      [log in to unmask]
P.O. Box 2029           http://www.coos.or.us/~brussell
Bandon, OR 97411        http://www.coos.or.us/~sea
541-347-3683 voice      http://telcom.coos.k12.or.us/CyberLynx/
541-347-6303 fax
"Who stands so tall as one who stoops to help a child?"

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