Options for Organizational Structures

| LaPlaza | News From the Street | Online Papers | Live Agenda | Speakers |
| Travel & Accom. | Administration | FastFacts | Other Things |

Paul Cross
Richard Lowenberg
John Shellnut
Richard Civille

Paul Cross

Paul Cross discussed his suggestions for organizational structure within telecommunities reflecting on his experiences with LaPlaza. Paul used the narrative tale of the Little Red Hen to explain organizational structure in telecommunities.

Paul presented the following as key failures in developing an successful organizational structure:

The following are main concerns that one should focus on in forming an organizational structure.

It is suggested that a genuine board of directors be built in which the board legally owns the organization.

The Role of Board of Member should be focused in the following areas:

In creating the articles of incorporation and the by-laws, Paul suggest that one retain the services of a lawyer and limit the degree of creativity.

In closing Paul suggested that the following be taken into consideration in planning a telecommunity:

Richard Lowenberg

Richard Lowenberg of InfoZone and the Telluride Institute spoke about the emergence of a local and global tele-mediated society.

Following are some of Richard's comments:

"Narrow-band focuses sometimes take us away from really looking at the big pictures. Lots of world communication is increasingly becoming mediated... How do you map this information? Large forces are driving the new communication and information industry and focusing on traditional models."

"Our community network is not a replicable model. Many private organizations may begin to marginalize the efforts of an established telecommunity. We need to focus on content providing as well as network access. Partnership is critical.

You can visit Lowenberg's Applied Rural Telecommunications site at http://yampa.com/aerie. This site provides invaluable assistance in forming a communication network.

John Shelnutt
John Shelnutt from the Institute for Economic Advancement, University of Arkansas talked about Development Information Network of Arkansas (DINA).

DINA employs the assembly line process of building web pages for local communities. DINA subcontracts web pages from the input of the local chamber of commerce and the organizations in charge of economical development, and the industrial development council. Everyone is benefiting from the initiatives. People are recognizing that they can get more benefits from web page postings as opposed to traditional forms of publicity such as video production.

DINA has set up standards for the web pages that are created in respect to information content and maintenance. DINA plans to build an information infrastructure within the state of Arkansas in order to promote economic development.

DINA's URL is http://aiea.ualr.edu .

Richard Civille
Richard Civille is the Executive Director for the Center for Civic Networking (a virtual organization). His organization parallels the processes that LaPlaza has and is going through. Following are some of Civille's comments:

"Are you serving the community, is an important question to an telecommunity that has reached its growth base and is no longer in its startup phase. The startup process is only going to involve three to five people. There are important questions concerning the entities a telecommunity chooses to affiliate with. You can think very creatively about the kinds of organizational models that you implement. Public libraries, newspapers, and radio stations are important collaborators given the degree to which media is becoming integrated."

Civille asserted that we have a narrow window of opportunity to help shape how these new media are perceived by the general public. The communication industries at large are going through a massive restructuring. We should take advantage of this opportunity.

Reported by Marcel Albritton