Online NW: Community Information Systems - BCN
Neal McBurnett <email@example.com>
Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies
Prepared for the 14th Online Northwest Conference, 1997-01-24
Sponsored by OSSHE.
material on RITNET and the role of libraries.
- What is the sustainable role of "community networks"?
- Distributed Information Management
- Access: kiosks, but not modem access or accounts for the public
- Training, incubating new sites
- Boulder Community Network
- Role of Libraries
- Choosing Tools
- Other Resources
The Boulder Community Network is dedicated to providing free community
access to networked community information to promote the
spirit of community and meet the information needs of Boulder County
- Non-commercial Focus:
BCN concentrates its efforts on segments of the community
and categories of information that are not adequately
served by the commercial sector, in much the same way that public
libraries and public broadcasting stations operate.
- Information, not Communications
- Both access (kiosks, telnet) and publishing (server)
- No individual accounts, email, chat, etc. for general public
- Why? Lack of resources
- Avoid duplication (over a dozen local free and commercial providers)
- Exception: special arrangements for targeted sub-communities:
human services organizations, low-income housing
- Started in Oct 1993; on-line 15 Mar 1994
- Support from Univ Colorado (Journalism; Computing & Network
Services), libraries, cities & counties, United Way, KGNU,
lots of volunteers, etc.
- About 23000 pages on-line, 500 modified last week
- Owned by 90 userids (information providers) including
Journalism School newspaper, Colorado HealthNet, City of Boulder, etc.
- Access: 17
with kiosks, 30
civic & non-profit sites with connectivity, tons of access at CU.
- About 50000 hits per day
- Still a few hundred lynx sessions via telnet each day making a few thousand requests per day
- Initial Funding:
- CU provided coordinator; server; leadership and technical
support, student projects in Journalism
- NTIA TIIAP grants: $250,000 in September of 1994 for 18 months,
$280,000 in Oct of 1996 for 18 months for One Stop Career Network.
Both matched by greater amounts of local matching support.
- Long term funding possibilities:
- Library model: County government
- Funding from agencies deriving benefit (e.g., City,
County governments doing on-line civic info & transactions)
- Public broadcasting model: individual contributors, underwriting
- Cable model: funding from
telecommunications legislation or franchise fees
- Possible commercial funding, but it's hard to out-compete
Policies - Library bill of rights, non-commercial focus,
priorities of access to various internet services;
privacy and cookies
- Structure depends on local situation, where talent is
- Web-based Partnerships, value of inter-personal networking
- Local e-mailing lists with
- Lots of volunteers
- Nurture non-profits. news:soc.org.nonprofit
- Help deal with reduced budgets - share resources
Role of Libraries
- Build on public support and visibility
- Build on information management strengths
- Partner with community organizations
- Demand Open Standards - IETF RFCs
- Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning working group
- Watching efforts to combine format conversion with publishing
- Free software + optional commercial support, e.g.
FSF/Linux Unix operating system
- Tools: MOMspider
Multi-owner Maintenance Spider, written in PERL.
- Looking for smart maintenance tool to combine server statistics,
referrer logs, link verification, HTML validation, (indexing?)
Last modified: Fri Jan 24 07:54:42 PST