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This is a belated follow to Chris Prerilli's brief note. Regardig
experiences with community network development. I am getting two
threads developing, no, perhaps 3 (2.5?)
Anyway...
There are those who see a community system as free/cheap Internet. Their
interest is in files and intergalactic :-) communication.
BUT. There also is another group...starting to develop, more slowly and
organically, through the free BBS we run here at The Charlotte Observer
in Charlotte, NC. People. Talking to each other about concerns.
1. A mom posts questions looking for advice from other new moms about
how to deal with a child problem.
2. A neighborhood leader posts messages to other neighbors, organizing
a block party.
3. A guy from a small town posts mail comparing his small town's successful
new performing arts center with the *big city's* expensive struggling
one.
And so on.
The third angle is even slower to develop: It is from people wanting specific
kinds of government information publically available; realtors looking for
property tax information, etc.
 
So a community network, to me, aims to serve all three kinds of constituencies.
By making access to all groups easy and practical. I, personally, especially
love it when  neighbors and friends start finding each other or courting
each other on our board. Then we are *connecting* people, and that is what
online community is about to me, I guess.
 
Steve Snow
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