I get asked "How do you build an online community?" often in my line of work. I reply... Well...it takes time. Its a bit like gardening actually you need the right conditions for growth and you need good seeds. A community will only ever be as good as the people who take part. It has to be nurtured and cared for. You hope the seeds germinate, the seedlings thrive and flowers bloom. Can the garden be sustained without the Gardener?
But there can be no online activity with out a reliable Internet connection.
At a recent web meet up and chat-fest called Amplified09 I sat in on a discussion about a report published in January 2009 called The Digital Britain - interim report. In the morning before the event I was attending there had been a press conference by DCMS (Department of Culture, Media and Sport) the keynote speech from Lord Carter.
As a business owner, web designer and digital practitioner hearing talk of a Digital Britain, importance of the creative industries to the UK economy, nation wide broadband and how to deliver this I listened intently wondering why I hadn't got a clue what they were talking about. The report itself is dense reading and I confess too much for me, so I scoured the web for a crib notes version to help me put some context to this report so I could read it with a little understanding. My searches bought up Not-Spots, High speed fibre broadband and the importance of community access. Two sites gave me the foundations I looked for, NESTA with their video archive of the press briefing I mentioned earlier and CBN (Community Broadband Network). On the CBN site I discovered the Next Gen Access road shows with one being held in Nottingham. I wanted to find out more. I was beginning to realise I wanted my networks and clients to know about this too. I'm still not sure what its all about and how its going to be implemented but I can see how important it is for the future of effective and efficient communication for business, our economy and community in the UK.