Subject: DFN Users' Group meeting report

Xref: dfn.general:1171
Newsgroups: dfn.general
From: (Paula Wilson)
Subject: Thurs.'s Meeting Report
X-Newsreader: TIN [UNIX 1.3 950824BETA PL0]
Sender: (Superuser)
Lines: 124
Organization: Durham Free-Net
Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 26 May 1997 17:54:18 GMT

                                 REPORT ON: 
                             DFN Users Group Meeting
                                May 22nd, 1997
                        Oshawa Public Library Auditorium
    In attendance: 32 members/guests
    Being a small informal group, the agenda was handled as was best
    suited to the occassion.
    Norm Taylor from DREDAC was the first speaker of the evening.
    DREDAC is the Durham Region Economic Development Advisory Councill.
    One of DREDAC's mandates is to work towards a Community Integrated
    Network or electronic market place. The idea of a technological town
    square could include a freenet concept much like our own DFN.
    To advance the regional infrastructure, DREDAC is attempting to
    involve all sectors of the community: government, health, education,
    business and the public, in a system that creates mutual benefits and
    therefore, economic growth. Together, we can "build smart".
    June 16th at Durham College, there will be an envisioning conference,
    where ideas such as the need for freenets will be presented.
    TAP ( a possible funding source) will be accepting tenders on July
    15th - DREDAC will apply.
    Discussions with Norm Taylor entailed the following but by no means is
    meant to be direct quotes, just the general comments made:
    Member comment: Seen grand visions come and go. Seen them die at the
    roots. Astonished by the lack of involvement by government and
    Norm Taylor: Agrees that the region, as a whole, are not moving ahead
    at lightening speed.
    Member comment: Our need for funding is immediate
    Norm Taylor: If the "DFN Users Group comes up with a game plan. He
    will communicate this to others as he is in contact with prime 
    businesses of Durham Region. The contacts, would act of their own accord, and
    perhaps decide to assist us, Norm will only go that far, in as
    much as passing our plans to others. No promises were made that any
    *one* contact would be approached to help us.  Just a general assist,
    as he is in contact with the businesses of Durham Region.
    Norm Taylor: Made mention of his next business meeting that is to be
    held Wednesday morning (May 28th), and referred to this as a prime 
    time to put our information/plan by these businesses.
    After the Q.& A./comments and the wind up of Norm Taylor's very
    positive and promising presentation, the assembled members were asked 
    to give a brief introduction of themselves.  This aspect of the
    meeting proved to be extremely valuable, as it was discovered that 
    there was indeed a wealth of skills that could greatly benefit the DFN
    in the people in attendance.
    Computer industry specialists, teachers, communications specialists,
    just to name a few.  Some of these individuals joined the Action Team
    that was formed prior to the end of the meeting.
    At this time in the meeting, the Chairperson reaffirmed the tone of
    the agenda, in that it was a solutions-based environment that was
    being sought.  From general observations, it was exactly that, in it's
    proceedings. Past and current problems were briefly presented only
    enroute to solutions.  The Chairperson also identified the people who 
    were unable to attend, as in key speakers/panellists, and offered up 
    their regrets and also made mention to the negative results that may 
    have been a direct result of his handling of initial requests to the 
    speakers/panellists. He appologized for this aspect.
    Paula Wilson spoke briefly on the history of the DFN. How and when it
    was formed, when the system went online to the general public, how the
    increase of membership affected the system, how this aspect was
    successfully dealt with and the unsuccessful membership drive that
    ensued, and finally where we are today, with regards to facing the 
    Paula Wilson also spoke briefly on the financial aspects of the DFN.
    Where the initial funding came from, and identified just some of the
    sources of income such as Bell Canada's donations of the Alex
    terminals and the amount of income from them.
    Ian R. Desjardins spoke on his view of being a President of a
    cyber-organization, as best as he could relate it, with respect to the
    non-personal environment that is "virtually" the medium of reaching
    out to the membership, verses a "warm-bodied" encounter, as is the
    norm for most community organizations.
    Brett Philp spoke regarding the technical aspects involved with the
    DFN, and did a very good job of presenting information in generalities 
    and not going above everyone's head with technical terminology.  An 
    important factor he noted, was that the lease will be expiring at the
    end of May, for the Oshawa site of the DFN.  Also noted, was the
    actual number, that of 4000 for registered membership, does not
    directly indicate the current *active* users, of which it may be equal 
    to or less than half that number.
    After a refreshment break, the formal part of the evening's meeting
    was wound up with a positive thought provoking presentation by a
    guest in attendance. He gave the membership an idea of what was
    needed to survive, and offered some suggestions on how he could
    possibly help, in areas such as location.
    A general "think tank" followed, where ideas were put forward.
    priorities discussed and possible solutions tabled. Volunteers were
    called for to carry out an initial action plan, and the "action
    team" was formed to, pursue these ideas and offers of help, and to
    prepare a proposal.
        The meeting ended at midnight. 


** Paula Wilson **

Valid XHTML + RDFa Valid CSS!