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Steve, hello,
 
Here are some ideas that a subcommitte of the County's Free-Net development
committe came up with w/ re making local nets more financially feasible.
FYI and others.
 
 
 
>I think I will take the contrarian's position on this one.
>
>I think community nets *are* thriving.
>
>I think this is a very fast-moving train, and many interests are coming
>into play -- interests that were not there even two years ago. companies
>smell money. Entrepreneurs smell money (how many people do *you* know who
>are now trying to sell HTML/Web skills? I can name a dozen without
>thinking hard).
>
>The concept is evolving. The platforms are evolving. When we began more
>than a year ago, we had gopher. Now we are leaving gopher behind pretty
>much. Will we be able to stay abreast of the next phase? I can't say.
>
>I have a suspicion that networks that founder do so for several possible
>reasons; sometimes one reason dominates, sometimes it is a combination of
>many factors, including: too much technical expertise and not enough
>"people persons", too much vision and not enough technical know-how, a
>low tolerance for diversity, too much diversity and not enough balance,
>a lack of experience and comfort in raising money and doing "business", a
>lack of clear purpose, too few stakeholders.
>
>Those are, I think, some of the main problems.
>
>But many communities are finding common ground for building a network and
>for doing the hard work that goes with it. And make no mistake, it takes
>many, many hours of persistence to build a network. There is no
>difference between building a community network and in building a
>community: both take enormouse amounts of time and devotion; they take
>unending passion and zeal and commitment; they take a tremendous
>willingness to take personal responsibility and to grow individually.
>
>Building a community network and sustaining it mirrors how we live our
>lives; the honesty and sharing we bring to relationships we will bring
>into a community network; the selfishness and controlling attitudes we
>bring to relationships we will bring into community networking.
>
>I am more encouraged by the increasing excitement about community nets
>than I am discouraged by their difficulties. If it weren't difficult, it
>wouldn't be real. And the challenges will never stop. Never. So if you
>are not interested in a lifelong challenge, then you will not want to
>stay in community networking.
>
>don't know what the weather's like elsewhere, but in Charlotte, NC, it is
>a sunny Fourth; intermittent firecrackers get set off by neighborhood
>children and I have just worked myself into a genuine sweat hacking away
>on a cedar tree. Is this a great country or what?
>
>Hope you're all having a great Fourth.
>
>Steve Snow
>[log in to unmask]
>
>
Brent Wall
Leon County
Courthouse
Tallahassee, FL 32301
 
Ph:  904.488.9962   Fax:  904.488.1670  E-mail:  [log in to unmask]