David Wilcox
Partnerships Online, 13 Pelham Square, Brighton, BN1 4ET, UK
Tel: 44 (0) 1273 677377
Fax: 44 (0) 1273 667379

(The following description of a "cookbook project," now underway, is edited from emails sent by David Wilcox)

Have we now reached the point where there is enough experience of community networking around the world to create a more structured way of sharing the nitty-gritty "how to"? I think there is, and suggest that one way to do that would be to work together to write an International Guide to Community Networking. Now that organization-building is nearly complete (in Canada, USA, and the UK), I suggest it is time to go back to the original aim of the proposed International Association for Community Networking, discussed in Taos, New Mexico in 1996 - helping those running networks, or planning to start them, to learn from each other across national boundaries.

There are three main problems in making currently available community networking content relevant and easily usable internationally:

  • Most is US-based and difficult for others to interpret.... it *seems* relevant to other English-speakers, but often the political and cultural context means it doesn't transfer simply.
  • When written by network enthusiasts, for other enthusiasts, it can seem rather techy and cliquey for newcomers.
  • Most of the good stuff on lists gets lost because it isn't captured into any editorial framework.

Over June 98, I've canvassed the idea of a guide with a few contacts around the world, and people have offered to join in co-editing and developing content on linked Web sites. There is a first, very tentative, outline of the guide at:

I have some starter funds for work in the UK, and I hope that together we will be able to raise more. If anyone else is already planning a similar venture, I'll happily swing in with them.

Here's how you can email your first ideas, contributions to our Web-accessible editorial in-tray

Thanks everyone for joining this list to develop the International Guide to Community Networking. As I said in earlier messages, I'll be in Barcelona at the European community networking conference running a workshop with contributor-editors on Thursday, July 9/98. We'll be working through the outline:

After that face to face with people from US, Canada, Australia and European countries I hope we'll see best how to get started. I and/or others will post development plans. Meanwhile, if you have some ideas, links, contacts you would offer if you were able to be in Barcelona, you need not wait for us. Two routes:

1. Mail to the list - of course. If you have an immediate ideas you would like to share with the hundred or so here, and in Barcelona, e.g.
        - priority content - what's the headline issues for first content
        - your interests
        - mechanics - how we create the guide
        - words of encouragement :-)
The list is:
with the message just do it (though see below**)

2. Mail your message - with an attachment if you wish - to a conference on a FirstClass system That way you can send articles and other stuff you don't want to go on the list, but want to be accessible. The conference is acting as our editorial in-tray and is accessible (and downloadable) at

Neat - I hope. I have subscribed the conference to this list too, so everything will be archived there as well as at the Web address in the footer.

I'm also planning to use a FirstClass system for multi-authoring the Guide Web site... more on that later.

Prepared and Submitted by:

Garth Graham
Gareth Shearman
September 1, 1998

Back to ECN98 report
Appendix A