David Newman, in commenting on the criteria I proposed for identifying
systems to be included in my Directory of Community Networks, said:

>>  I wonder if some of them have an unintended cultural bias.

>> For example, in Belfast, I think of communities as represented by the
5300 community organisations set up in Northern Ireland (for a
population of 1.5 million people).


>> So the need is to network these organisations together, not anonymous
consumers using public access terminals. So his third criterion of
insisting on public access terminals would exclude a network linking the
offices of grassroots community development organisations.>>

David makes a good point. There are MANY different types of CNs. They meet
different community objectives. However, the criteria I proposed are designed
to help us decide which systems should be included in our Directory. Although
we have tried to be inclusive rather than exclusive, some systems must be left
out. Excluded systems may include many *organizations* that accomplish
wworthwhile community goals because these *organizations* are not
necessarily *community networks* in the sense of a "computerized community
information system". It is the latter that is the focus of our Directory.

David, please note that the third criteria does NOT limit included systems to
those that have public access terminals. The criterion says:

  3. Access to the CN should be widely available through some **combination**
     of dial-up via modem and public access terminals. (Emphasis added)

The purpose of this criterion is to exclude systems that provide access solely
through the Internet/Web since in the absence of public terminals, access to
these systems would be limited only to those fortunate enough to own a
computer or have one available privately.

I do appreciate all the comments I've received regarding these criteria. Please
 keep them coming. In about a week, I will post a modified set of criteria that
 incorporates some of the points made both on the list and to me privately.

Ron Doctor, Chair
West Alabama Free-Net
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