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Building Electronic Bridges

\ by Geoff Walker\


Geoff Walker \<geoff.walker@newcastle.gov.uk> describes one of the earlier community networking projects supported by a local authority - Newnet.


Established in 1997, the aim of NewNet is to assist in bridging the gap between the information rich and the information poor in the digital age.

Hence the organisation's slogan 'Building Electronic Bridges'. NewNet believes that the digital age is an extension of ourselves. We are all part of one community or another and we network in lots of different ways. Therefore, electronic community networks should be well grounded in the needs of the communities they serve and seamless in that they are freely and openly accessible to all members of the community.

We see electronic public space as a shared learning space. In this space, the community form as much a part of the network as the technology.

What does NewNet do?

We provide a range of services:-

  • electronic space on our Internet server for community based organisations to achieve visibility for their projects by publishing pages on the World Wide Web;
  • access to global information on a wide range of subjects through our purpose built community network site;
  • opportunities for organisations to communicate and work collaboratively through the use of email and electronic conferencing;
  • training in understanding the Internet and publishing on the World Wide Web;
  • voluntary support to projects with low turnovers to assist them in developing an Internet presence.

Who benefits from our services?

Since the organisation's establishment in October 1997 more than 50 organisations in the Newcastle area have begun to make interactive use of the services offered by NewNet. More than 200 representatives of community groups have received basic Internet and Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) training.

Our website, which acts as a virtual marketplace for community organisations in Newcastle, now receives more than 12,000 visitors per month.

Hence the organisation's slogan:-

'Building Electronic Bridges'.

NewNet believes that the digital age is an extension of ourselves.

We are all part of one community or another and we network in lots of different ways.

Therefore, electronic community networks should be well grounded in the needs of the communities they serve and seamless in that they are freely and openly accessible to all members of the community.

We see electronic public space as a shared learning space. In this space, the community form as much a part of the network as the technology.

June 1999


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partnerships/articles/new.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)