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GreenNet Newsletter: December 2001

Contents:

GN is celebrating 15 years at work/
GN Services/
Strategic Use of the Internet/
Open Source Software/
GN Support News/
GN Project News/
GN Training/
GN Events

 

GN is celebrating 15 years at work
GreenNet has been working as an Internet Service Provider to civil society organisations for 15 years now. Thanks to all of you for your support and we look forward to many more years of working together. We have put togethera brief history of GreenNet throughout the years.
Also, you can see some of the people that have contributed to our work over the years. Many thanks to all of you who sent in messages of encouragement and support. If you want us to add anything to this area of the site, please email Joanne.

GN Services.
New Webmail system.
We have upgraded our webmail system. Webmail allows you to manage your email by using a web browser rather than an email programme like Outlook Express or Eudora. Using webmail means that you can check email from any computer (with Internet access) anywhere in the world. Webmail has other benefits: you can remove any large unwanted attachments and remove any virus-infected emails that may be causing problems for your email program. To access webmail go to: http://www.gn.apc.org and click on the web email button (top tool bar on the GreenNet home page).
Please take a moment to read the instructions before you use it. It is not intended to be a replacement to using your normal email programme but it is a very good supplement.

Strategic Use of the Internet
We are currently working with some users, developing their sites using the ActionApps to enable them to communicate more effectively within their communities and use the Internet more strategically in their work. If you are interested in sharing content with organisations you work closely with, or need a site that is quick and easy to update, the action apps are an ideal tool to do this.
If you havenít already checked out the ActionApps, have a look at: http://www.gn.apc.org/services/webdesign.html#actionapps.

You can also do a test demo to see how the ActionApps work.

ActionApps are designed to meet the growing demand for easy-to-use content management tools and build on the major trends that are emerging in online publishing, including: Database-driven web sites; Content sharing; Open source software. The idea is to bypass some of the costs of creating a database-driven web site (sites which normally require a great deal of consultation and custom programming) by drawing on many built-in functions.
In brief you can: Get content onto a web site without HTML skills; Automate the management and delivery of content; Make it easier to search and organize information on web sites; Lower the ongoing cost of maintaining web sites. So main attractions are: ease of use, speed of content delivery and lowered operating costs and sharing information between departments or across organizations.

Open Source Software
APC chose to release the ActionApps as open source - to share the software widely intending that the result will be regularly improving software for APC members and others using the ActionApps. In turn, the cost of offering ActionApps on an ASP or consulting basis will continue to be low even as the software improves. The ActionApps embrace ideals like 'share your ideas' (both your code and your content) and 'develop collaboratively' which are ideals we very much work towards at GreenNet. Take a fresh look at your web site in 2002 - is it reaching the people it needs to?
For just £50, GreenNet can run an information strategy workshop with your organisation to help you revisit your website and develop a plan to work online more effectively. If you have any questions please call us and we can go through the various features, costs etc.

GN Support News
There will be some big changes early next year as part of our on-going plan to improve our service.
1) Dial up number changes. We will be changing our dial up numbers and outgoing mail server between mid January and the end of February. Our current numbers will not work after early March. We will be putting some software on our website to help you make the changes but please be prepared! We will be sending more details out early in the 2002. We hope this will cause minimum disruption.
2) Colocating our servers. We are going to house our servers in a secure networks operation centre to offer an incredibly reliable service.

GN Project News
Internet Rights. Aside from developing tools for you to use the Internet, an important challenge we continue to face at GreenNet is raising awareness about new legislative threats that are emerging (and recent legislation) which impacts upon groups that are using the Internet for social campaigning purposes. The GreenNet Civil Society Internet Rights Project has produced a number of important briefings, including: - Civil rights and Internet legislation
- Campaigning online
- Privacy and surveillance
- Encryption and electronic signatures
- Interception capabilities
- Media regulation and convergence ...to name but a few.
These will go online before Christmas.

GN Training
Web Design Practical, hands-on courses by the end of which you will understand how to design and promote your own web site. *Using HTML Next training: 19th and 20th January, Sat & Sun and, 6th and 7th April, Sat & Sun *Using Dreamweaver Next training: 9th and 10th February, Sat & Sun We are planning to run a Dreamweaver training as 5 evening classes throughout March (every Tuesday, starting 26th February). Please contact Joanne for more information. Further details here for all trainings, course outlines, costs and how to book.

GN Events
News from the APC

We have just returned from the APC (Association for Progressive Communications) council meeting in Uraguay where the APC members met to discuss solutions and tools for our communities. It was a very productive meeting with exciting outputs which we hope will benefit you all in the work that you are doing. An area that GreenNet is very involved with is building information communities working with the ActionApps. GreenNet focused on sharing skills and tools and a working group has been set up (within the APC) to further this.

Itrain website was launched at the APC meeting, Nov 01
This is a joint effort from the APC, Bellanet, IICD, IISD, INASP and OneWorld. The site is a technology resource centre for people who want to learn how to use the Internet effectively for social justice and sustainable development. There are different sections of the site and materials include:
- Audio Online and Community Radio
- Building Online Communities
- Computer Basics
- Computer Networking
- Databases
- Finding Information Online
- Internet and E-mail Basics
- Internet Video
- Multilingual Computing
- Online Security
- Open Source
- Strategic Use of the Internet
- Telecentres
- Web Design
- Web Programming
- Web Site Management

You can also make suggestions about other resources that could be useful

The APC Betinho Prize has been awarded to Women's Voices, a video initiative to give women a voice in public policy making in Nairobi, Kenya. Their work brings together ICTs and direct help to communities in a way that truly exemplifies the ideals of the work of Betinho.

Thanks to Poptel for inviting GreenNet to talk at their Social Enterprise Conference.

If you would like GreenNet to attend an event you are organising, please contact Joanne. You can also post details of your events at the GreenNet calendar

GreenNet office hours over Christmas
Our office will be closed from 5pm on 21-12-01 (Friday) until 2-1-02 (Wednesday). We will not be taking voice calls and enquiries for that period. However, we will have technicians monitoring the systems daily (aside from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day). If you have any problems, please call us on 0845 055 4011 and leave a message on our answer phone or email support. Please make sure you include any error messages that you are getting and your email address.

We wish you a peaceful and happy Christmas time in whatever way you plan to spend it.

For further details on any of the newsletter items, call or email Joanne: 0845 0554011.

Written and edited by the GreenNet collective.

 

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