Michael Gurstein on 6 Aug 2000 14:06:34 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] A "Community Informatics" E-List


 An Invitation to Join the e-list CommunityInformatics.

 The list is concerned with promoting Community Informatics as an applied
 research discipline and practice.

 Community Informatics is the application of information and communications
 technologies to enable community processes and the achievement of community

 The list is hosted by Dr. Michael Gurstein of the Technical University of
 British Columbia and a Board Member of the Vancouver Community Network who
 have generously offered  technical support and hosting for

  To subscribe to the list CommunityInformatics send a message
 to:  majordomo@vcn.bc.ca


  subscribe CommunityInformatics

Adapted from the Introduction to "Community Informatics:  Enabling
Communities with Information and Communications Technologies", IG
Publishing, 2000.

"Community Informatics" (CI) is concerned with carving out a sphere and
developing strategies for enabling individuals and communities to take
advantage of the opportunities which Information and Communications
Technologies (ICT) are providing. and for ensuring that many who might
otherwise be excluded are able to take advantage of these opportunities.  It
is also concerned with enhancing civil society at the local level and with
strengthening local communities for self-management and for environmental
and economically-sustainable development.

CI pays attention to physical communities as the context of technical
systems and to the design and implementation of technologies and
applications which enhance and promote community activities and objectives.
CI begins with ICT as providing resources and tools that communities and
their members can use for local economic, cultural and civic development,
and community health and environmental initiatives among others. CI includes
the technology/ICT and the "user" (and the "uses"), and is as concerned with
community processes, user access, and technology usability as it is with
systems analysis and hardware or software design.

CI accounts for the design of the social system in which the technology is
embedded as well as the technology system with which it interacts.   Thus CI
is an extension from "organizations" to "communities" of the
"socio-technical" approach to systems design, and reflects the increasingly
ubiquitous distribution of personal computers and Internet access to
communities and individual end users as well as corporations and

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