25084, Community Networking|
Posted by Nettrice, Tue Mar-06-01 01:35 PM
I've made an effort to take sustainability to another level by thinking of ways to use technology to sustain community, rather than just providing quality services. I have been learning about community networking. What is Community Networking?
Community Networking is defined by low-cost, public access to electronic networks. Most Black and poor communities lack access to high-end technology;
Creation and maintenance of local content or teaching people how to use technology to create media. One of the main ways Westerners perpetuate their society or nation is through media. Black people may not be able to control TV, film or print but the Net is wide open right now;
Public training for people to teach how to effectively use technology and create content;
Combination of electronic and face-to-face interaction;
Premium placed on collaborations (partnerships)
A Community Network looks like a resource & training hub connecting local communities, schools, and community-based organizations with distant communities trying to do the same thing. This network promotes collaborations, or partnerships. Ideally, one place or organization could do all of this but there are lots of grass-roots or community-based initiatives providing a variety of services to people. Working together these organizations can more realistically address all the community needs.
What Community Networks need in order to sustain themselves?
High-speed, dial-up access (Internet), public access computers & digital equipment, youth development programs, workforce training, citizen engagement, community economic development, nonprofit support services, small business incubation, Web site hosting for nonprofits, Web site development, technology and strategic planning services and support, experimental development with new technologies, reduce isolation.
How to ensure sustainability of Community Network:
Develop strong, meaningful collaborations based on service delivery and mutual interest, not money
Think bug about partnerships (national, Internet, etc.)
Find real collaborators with real buy-in, should kick in a buck
Develop a strong, supportive board willing to help find money
It is possible to use technology to address lots of needs but traditional education and services are just as important and that is why community networks can build the "Nation".
"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you or forsake you". So we may boldly say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not fear. What can man do to me?"
-- Hebrews 13:5,6
"There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path"
--Morpheus in "The Matrix"
"It's our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities"- Dumbledore to Harry Potter "Chamber of Secrets"