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partnerships:articles:7-steps1 [2017/06/12 10:20] (current)
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 +Seven steps to building electronic communities
 + By [Philippa Gamse](mailto:​,​ and [Terry
 + ​*There are hundreds of community networks in North America, and growing
 +interest in the UK in how to create them. Here Philippa Gamse and Terry
 +Grunwald, who have long experience of US community IT projects, provide
 +a checklist.*
 +### Step 1: Develop a networking plan
 +-   ​Define your community.
 +-   ​Identify the needs electronic networking might address.
 +-   ​Survey your potential users
 +-   ​Determine what human, hardware and software resources you will need
 +### Step 2: Select a networking "​platform"​
 +-   ​Either go-it-alone - set up your own BBS
 +-   Or select an existing "​host"​ network
 +-   ​Either way get your core group online and planning as quickly as
 +    possible
 +### Step 3: Market to your users
 +-   ​Define the unique selling points of the network to your community
 +-   ​Concentrate on getting the high profile users online first
 +-   Where possible, market to the decision-makers within an organisation
 +-   Use network demonstrations with overhead projectors.
 +-   Plan to participate in major conferences attended by your target
 +    audience.
 +-   Try to get on the formal agenda
 +### Step 4: Training and technical support
 +-   ​People suffer from Computerphobia,​ and manuals are often poorly
 +    written
 +-   ​Internet tools, while improving, are still extremely complex
 +-   Users need both basic training and tips to use software more
 +    efficiently,​ so...
 +-   ​Develop a training plan with formal training and also a "buddy
 +    system"​ to pair experienced networkers with novices
 +-   If you provide technical support directly, set your limits.
 +### Step 5: Set up and manage a public online information forum
 +-   A public information area supplements e-mail communication and
 +    creates an online "​home"​
 +-   It provides an organizational memory for new generations of users,
 +    gives your issues greater visibility, and is a possible recruiting
 +    tool
 +-   Have a paid facilitator if at all possible. Facilitation needs tend
 +    to grow; not diminish
 +### Step 6: Using networks for collaboration and problem solving
 +-   ​Networks can promote collaboration and expand the pool of
 +    practitioners available to respond to inquiries
 +-   They can reinforces existing relationships within your community and
 +    creates new ones. For success online ...
 +-   ​Create enough value on the network that it becomes indispensable for
 +    the work of the community
 +-   Seek out opportunities for occasional face-to-face meetings to
 +    reinforce online activities
 +-   ​Practice what you preach. Use the net wherever possible for your own
 +    planning and administrative activities
 +### Step 7: Creating the spirit of community
 +-   An informal style of communication helps build a sense of community
 +-   ​Networking is an exercise in electronic democracy. Facilitators
 +    should try to empower as many users as possible to actively
 +    contribute
 +-   Be inclusive and remember that many users will "read only" at first
 +    and need to be coaxed to participate
 +-   ​Expect to handhold, encourage, and cheerlead. *Positive strokes
 +    only!!!*
 + ​Cyberspeaker homepage - Philippa Gamse <​http://​>​
 +[Making The Net Work - Terry Grunwald](http://​
partnerships/articles/7-steps1.txt ยท Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)