By Andrew Michael Cohill, Andrea L. Kavanaugh
Provided during this paintings is the five-year evolution of the Blacksburg digital Village - the enterprise that associated the voters of Blacksburg, Virginia, to one another and to the remainder of the realm, solely in the course of the web. It addresses the social, fiscal, technical and academic influence of residing in a "connected town", in keeping with community-wide surveys, concentration teams and data-logging efforts. It additionally describes the basic parts of a neighborhood community, and gives beneficial suggestion on designing and constructing an digital neighborhood.
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Additional resources for Community networks: lessons from Blacksburg, Virginia
A modern-day version of this story might have some itinerant network "techie" playing the role of the peddler, and the updated version of the stone soup would be a communications network bringing economic and cultural revitalization to the community. Such a story wouldn't be far from describing the beginning of the Blacksburg Electronic Village or any one of hundreds of similar experiments in community networking. Only a very few folk with a vision for the future (a vision that probably is not very clear and not all that accurate) set out to convince a community that it (or the visionaries themselves) can build a community network like the stone soup of our fablea few donated computers here, some communications links there.
Businesses that have recognized the Internet as a strategic market for their business have successfully integrated networking into their daily business and rely heavily on the Internet to keep in touch with customers and to provide better, more timely service. Many of the newer, hightech startups in Blacksburg say that they could not function as a business without affordable, high speed accessthe Internet has become that critical. The BEV Is Intensely Personal In all of human history, there is no precedent for what is taking place in Blacksburg, Virginia, and other communities.
In Blacksburg, with more than 85% of the community online in 1999, the goal of getting people connected has been accomplished. However, much work still remains. We are just now beginning to see the real value of a connected community; civic groups, with the entire membership online, are abandoning paper newsletters (often their single biggest cost) and are now providing more timely information via mailing lists and Web sites. At the same time, these groups are seeing their membership rise, and attendance at meetings has improved.