A Digital Village Network – A Community Hub
This group are associated with Lofus Library which hosts the famous East Cleveland Image Archive
and are connected via the Community History Network.
6 people turned up for the session. They would be the first to admit that they are low level ICT users. Two had no email address and one had never been on the Internet before. The session started badly. There was a mountain of paperwork to do as I was working with this group under the UK online project but also wearing my ERDF hat. The logging on system at the local centre was a nightmare too. I gave everyone a http://commarch.net account which is a Google Apps Educational edition allowing me to create unlimited accounts. The idea is that by pre-populating various web accounts and using the “magic password” I’ve developed this should make life easier for the new user even if it is a hassle for me. This was compounded when the users also had to log on to the computers but using a slightly varied password. When all this was over we took a break and began afresh. We had a brill session. The fun they all had particularly the man on the Internet was a joy to behold. We did an exercise collaborating on a Google Doc which was hilarious. I did not let them loose on their new website yet but this will come.http://eastcleveland.org.uk/skinningrovehistory
This group has had a website set up by the former chair who is now retired (see right). For a long time they have been unable to edit this website and approached me to do something about this. We have set up some webspace currently shared with two other community groups. This space will eventually replace and becomeEast Cleveland Online and will eventually be the web home of up to 20 community projects. By sharing the cost of hosting in this way they will be more sustainable.
I set up a CMS system using WordPress and a volunteer at the Museum spent some time adding content. When the site was ready to go live we needed to transfer the domain name and change the DNS settings. This always filled with problems. Eventually I visited the home of the retired chair and made the changes. These changes did not at first “take” requiring him to make a call to the Philippines where his ISP has their call centre eventually the domain name propagated and the new website can be seen here http://ironstonemuseum.co.uk - next will come training sessions with the staff and volunteers and we’ll be looking to make the site more vibrant and possibly include some social media marketing.