Steve D this morning suggested NEW NET should start a blog. NEW NET is Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technical issues, an informal group that offers a weekly gathering opportunity for tech enthusiasts in Appleton and the northeast Wisconsin region.

Steve's suggestion to launch a NEW NET blog raises two questions.
  1. Should NEW NET have an online presence, and, if so, what form is most effective?
  2. If a NEW NET blog is launched, who will contribute regularly enough to make the blog worthwhile?
With respect to an online presence for NEW NET, it probably is worthwhile to have an online presence. Especially if the group wants to attract new members. A NEW NET online presence has been discussed before in the group. Steve D was even so gracious and proactive as to register www.appletonnew.net and set up a forum. After maintaining it for a number of months, Steve shut it down due to apparent lack of interest. NEW NET's only online presence at this point is the NEW NET weekly issues list posted twice a week on the myDigitechnician blog (the one you're currently reading).

Benefits of a NEW NET online presence are:
  • An online information source for northeast Wisconsin tech enthusiasts
  • A marketing tool to bring new people to NEW NET meetings
  • A place to store info related to NEW NET meetings and topics of interest to NEW NET 'members', including an archive of news items on weekly issues lists
  • An opportunity for NEW NET members to play around with online 'stuff'
The question seems to be, "What type of online presence will the group find beneficial enough to use and support?" Types of online presence include:
  • Forum, like the one Steve D previously established
  • Blog, like Steve suggested today
  • Informational website, with infrequent changes or updates
  • Wiki, to provide a more collaborative website
  • Chat room, probably IRC
  • Web cam, white board and other features for remote participation in weekly meetings
  • Some combination of the above
The second question above raised by Steve's comment is, "Who will contribute regularly enough to make the blog worthwhile?" Everyone who's been to a NEW NET meeting could write worthwhile posts. The important questions are how many NEW NET people want to write worthwhile posts and will they do it regularly for at least a year. If seven people commit to writing a 'good' NEW NET blog post at least once a week for a year, the blog should be launched. If someone will write posts several days per week, with others commiting to the rest of the days, it is also worth launching the blog. This author will commit to writing one post per week for a NEW NET blog if one is started.

A link to today's myDigitechnician blog post will be sent to the people who receive NEW NET weekly gathering emails. If there's an interest in helping establish and maintain an online presence for NEW NET, please contact Steve D or me, or comment on this post.



Anonymous Derek said...

Having an online presence for a technology organization certainly couldnt hurt. Would get the word out there and possible attract new members

Besides that the marketing from an online presence could really attract members and readership.

4:53 PM  

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