Writings on technology and society from Wellington, New Zealand

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Internet – empowering your community

Today I’m talking at the Engaging Your Community conference at Massey University in Wellington. I’m going to asking and answering questions like “where did the Internet come from?” and “why is it uniquely suited for community use?”. I’ll look at posting a version of my speaker notes here soon.

When I was writing this presentation, what struck me most was that the values that have made the Internet successful – openness, thrift, lack of centralised ownership – are exactly those you find in community organisations. It’s no coincidence that the Internet grew to dominate the online world, rather than the privately-owned Compuserve or Prodigy.

I’m hoping to meet a lot of engaged and enthusiastic people at the session today. Perhaps I’ll see you there!

posted by colin at 5:49 am  


  1. You really set the event off on a good track – thanks for coming.

    The dangers to a free internet are a worry, particularly for organisations whose messages may not be popular with corporate and political elites. We’ve got to keep the net free so democracy has some chance of thriving.

    Following your suggestion I’ve just joined InternetNZ, something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time.


    Comment by Stephen Blyth — 17 November 2009 @ 9:34 am

  2. Thanks, Stephen. InternetNZ does Good Work. Pleased to see you getting involved.

    Comment by colin — 28 November 2009 @ 9:06 am

  3. Hi Colin,

    I’m in Christchurch. A couple of friends and I have made a website that is designed to strength local communities through encouraging “locavoreism” (eating locally produced food).

    The site allows people to search for local produce by selectable distance from any where in the world.

    We only started a month ago but are very surprised with the popularity of the site, and have a few hundred memebers already (from all over the world).

    Comment by Simon — 10 December 2009 @ 2:34 pm

  4. website is if anyone wants to check it out.

    Comment by Simon — 10 December 2009 @ 2:35 pm

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