Seven Steps to Building Electronic Communities

By: Philippa Gamse, pgamse@cyberspeaker.com and Terry Grunwald <terry@makingthenetwork.org>

Table of Contents

Introduction
Step 1: Develop a networking plan
Step 2: Select a networking "platform"
Step 3: Market to your users
Step 4: Training and technical support
Step 5: Set up and manage a public online information forum
Step 6: Using networks for collaboration and problem solving
Step 7: Creating the spirit of community


Introduction

The recent dramatic growth in the technology and use of electronic computer networks/bulletin boards provides us with some unprecedented opportunities. More and more people, businesses and organizations are using these methods to research ideas and resources, to publicize their services, and to pool their skills and knowledge in a wide range of both private and public sector applications.

However, as the number of available networks proliferates, many potential users find themselves bewildered by the choices open to them, and about ways to ensure optimum use of the "Information Superhighway".

This document provides a set of guidelines to aid managers in:

Additionally, once the technology issues are resolved, we suggest methods for:

The authors would welcome your comments, ideas or questions.

Philippa Gamse, (847) 541-2359, or by e-mail at
pgamse@totalnetval.com

Terry Grunwald, (919) 856-2176, or by e-mail at
terry@ncexchange.org

© Copyright Gamse and Grunwald 1995. All rights reserved.


Step 1: Develop a networking plan

A. Define your community

B. Identify the needs electronic networking might address

C. Survey your potential users

D. Determine which of the following resources you will need:

[Table of Contents]


Step 2: Select a networking "platform"

A. Go-it-alone: Setting up your own BBS

B. Selecting an existing "host" network. Issues to consider:

C. Get your core group online and planning as quickly as possible

[Table of Contents]


Step 3: Market to your users

Marketing Hints

[Table of Contents]


Step 4: Training and technical support

A. Why train?

B. Develop a training plan

C. Develop a technical support plan

[Table of Contents]


Step 5: Set up and manage a public online information forum

A. Why have an public information area?

B. Tips for managing a forum

[Table of Contents]


Step 6: Using networks for collaboration and problem solving

A. How can networks promote collaboration?

B. Tips for successful online collaboration

[Table of Contents]


Step 7: Creating the spirit of community

Environmental hints:

 

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