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partnerships:articles:bede [2017/06/12 10:20] (current)
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 +How a community group developed their guide to the Internet
 +===========================================================
 +
 +\
 + by Veronica Frazier and John Cox\
 +
 +------------------------------------------------------------------------
 +
 +The Bede Island Community Association (BICA) is an umbrella organisation
 +with 60 members operating in the Leicester City Challenge area. It
 +currently has two volunteers who are investigating the usefulness of the
 +Internet to its member organisations. Although Veronica Frazier and John
 +Cox have previous computer experience they have only been '​surfing'​ the
 +Internet since January and March 1996 respectively.
 +
 +The research project
 +--------------------
 +
 +In the last week of September, BICA held an open evening for its members
 +and the general public. We volunteered to demonstrate the Internet for
 +the open evening. In preparation,​ we spent two or three weeks browsing
 +around the Internet looking for Web sites and pages relevant to the
 +varied BICA member organisations. We also searched through various
 +magazines'​ and newspapers'​ Internet sections.
 +
 +### Focus
 +
 +The primary focus of our searching was for general community interest.
 +Other more specific topics such as children & youth, crime prevention,
 +disability, education and multiple equality issues were looked for as
 +well as several reference sites regarding national and local government.
 +
 +### The Search
 +
 +The newspaper and magazine Internet sections were read regularly where
 +web sites and pages were either reviewed or referred to in context of a
 +feature article. These sections ranged from 2 to 10 pages in the
 +newspapers and non-Internet magazines.\
 +\
 + By using web addresses (URLs) from paper sources and the search
 +directories and search engines to generate starting points, links were
 +followed from one site to another. The most useful resource used was the
 +search directory Yahoo. Approximately three quarters of the links we
 +eventually used came from categories within Yahoo particularly the UK &
 +Ireland version of Yahoo. (One of the best aspects of Yahoo is its links
 +to the other search engines such as AltaVista, Lycos, etc.)\
 +\
 + The useful sites were bookmarked as we found them for later reference.
 +We decided to focus on the web sites and pages as our experience with
 +newsgroups tended to be more bewildering than useful from a novice'​s
 +point of view. (We felt like we were constantly coming into a
 +conversation midway and never quite figuring out what it was all
 +about.)\
 +\
 + The off line cache reader was then used to view the web pages that had
 +been visited during our on line search sessions. These pages had been
 +automatically saved to the computers hard disk while on line. This meant
 +that we could spend more time reviewing (in greater detail) the search
 +results off line (keeping telephone costs low). Again, Yahoo proved
 +extremely useful as there was a maintained consistency viewing their
 +pages whether on line or off line.
 +
 +### Sorting the Results
 +
 +Having accumulated a significant number of bookmarks, John sorted them
 +into appropriate categories relating to our membership. This was
 +accomplished via the bookmark editing facilities of the browser.
 +
 +Creating the Web Page
 +---------------------
 +
 +This restructured bookmark file was then opened in the web editor to
 +create our own links web page. Using the web editor was not much
 +different from using any word processing or graphics package. Eventually
 +the list of links became too large to be viewed without scrolling the
 +page up and down, so John developed additional links pages.
 +
 +### Using the Results
 +
 +Our member'​s now use these pages (which are currently stored on our
 +computer'​s hard drive) as an alternative to our service providers home
 +page. (Our service provider is
 +[http://​www.foobar.co.uk](http://​www.foobar.co.uk/​) who are based in
 +Leicester'​s city centre have provided us with excellent support.)\
 +\
 + You can view the [BICA pages](../​community/​links/​Links) we created
 +here
 +
 +What's Really Needed.
 +---------------------
 +
 +Our conclusions on what's really needed to help groups are:
 +
 +-   More groups / organisations putting their local experiences on line.
 +-   More community reference materials available in abbreviated form (if
 +    not full text) on line. (Look at www.charity-commission.gov.uk as a
 +    good example.)
 +-   More basic IT training being made available to the voluntary sector
 +    at with Internet & email considered as part of essential basics.
 +-   More central government funding made available to enable the above
 +    (particularly for the smaller organisations who frequently don't
 +    have the budget to accommodate IT).
 +-   More technical advice on email software.
 +-   ​Further development of Voluntary/​Non-Profit/​Charitable Search
 +    Directories
 +-   Every local authority having an interactive web site (like
 +    www.lewisham.gov.uk)
 +
 +Our advice to other groups.
 +---------------------------
 +
 +Use someone else's Internet connection (like your local cyber cafe, if
 +you have one or a friend or co-worker) for your first try. It has the
 +benefit of someone else being around to help you out. Failing that, ask
 +David Wilcox to organise a workshop and talk the local authority into
 +funding it. And above all, keep persevering,​ (remember the light bulb
 +and the telephone didn't take off overnight either).
 +
 +### Value to be gained.
 +
 +What needs to be kept in mind, is that the Internet is an additional
 +tool for communicating with other people in other communities around the
 +nation and the rest of the world. With proper training and everyone
 +using it as every day standard, the use of the Internet can greatly
 +improve the networking of individuals and groups making distances and
 +time differences virtually inconsequential. When used effectively,​ it
 +can be cheaper than traditional telephone methods and more responsive
 +than traditional postal methods. (Particularly in the middle of a mail
 +strike! We'd just have to keep an eye out for power shortages.)\
 +\
 + We are getting closer and closer to achieving immense benefits from
 +using the Internet every day.\
 +\
 + ​Article by Veronica Frazier\
 + Web Pages by John Cox\
 + ​e-mail us at <​bicanet@foobar.co.uk>​
 +
 +------------------------------------------------------------------------
 +
 +Resources Used
 +--------------
 +
 +### Internet Tools
 +
 +-   Web Browser - Netscape Navigator 2.0.
 +-   ​Search Directory - Yahoo!
 +-   ​Search Engines - AltaVista, eXcite, InfoSeek
 +-   Off line Cache Readers - unMozify, Netscape Cache Reader
 +-   Web Editor - Built in editor of Netscape Navigator
 +
 +### Magazines
 +
 +-   ​Computer - PC Advisor, PC Home, PC Direct, Computer Life, Computer
 +    Shopper, What PC
 +-   ​Internet - The .net, The Web, Internet
 +
 +### Newspapers
 +
 +-   Local - The Leicester Mercury
 +-   ​National - The Guardian, The Times, The Independent
  
partnerships/articles/bede.txt ยท Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)