"Community Networks", Andrew Michael Cohill/Andrea Lee Kavanaugh,
2000, 1-58053-030-3, U$47.00
%E Andrew Michael Cohill cohill@...
%E Andrea Lee Kavanaugh
%C 685 Canton St., Norwood, MA 02062
%I Artech House/Horizon
%O U$47.00 617-769-9750 800-225-9977 fax: +1-617-769-6334
%P 396 p.
%T "Community Networks: Lessons from Blacksburg, Virginia, Second
In the last chapter, analyzing success factors of the Blacksburg
Electronic Village (BEV), one of the points is to "Show, do not tell,
community members how to use the technology as a way of increasing use
of the network in the community." Applying the same point to the
book, it succeeds, where many other books on similar topics failed,
primarily because it shows the actual workings of a functional, and
functioning, electronic village. This puts it far ahead of blue-sky
proposals of what might (or might not) become possible in the future.
An introduction and historical background leads into discussion of
architecture, evaluation, use and impact, community dynamics and
seniors, families, education, technology (now a much expanded
chapter), information management (which duplicates some of the
material in the architecture section), history database, the
aforementioned success factors, and a look to the future of community
networks in general. Economics are touched on in various articles,
but, even though the evaluation has a larger look at businesses, it is
a pity that an overview treatment is not included.
Still, any such flaws are far outweighed by the value of the reality
and experience that the various authors bring to the task. Blacksburg
has validated certain promises of the information age -- and
challenged others. Planners of information infrastructures, national
or otherwise, ignore it at their peril.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1997, 2000 BKCNLFBV.RVW 20000525
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