Presenting a vision of how online communities can shape the future.... allowing individuals to make a meaningful contribution to the issues and interests that affect their lives

The BBC Online Communities Conference held in June 1999 has now led to plans for BBC WebWise to help those creating local online communities. Details here include a Web Guide to sites, toolkit and forums.

On October 4 virtual communities guru Howard Rheingold hosted a live chat online to launch these plans, which will culminate in a further Communities Day in Spring 2000. You can now join a BBC WebWise forum about online communities.

In a keynotespeech to the June conference Howard Rheingold suggested that .... "a group of community-builders ought to consider building their own community, online and face to face". Discussion started then is now being continued online - more here about international collaboration, a manifesto for cyberspace and how to join in.

News from the June conferences

Developing online communities

Communities Day press release
"The aim is to create a framework for discussion and to share expertise and experience in a spirit of mutual co-operation across the industry."
Introduction from Nigel Chapman, Director of BBC Online
"The BBC has an additional public service role on the Internet &endash; that of "web educator" helping ensure the benefits of new technology can be shared by all. "
Howard Rheingold's speech
"I believe that well thought-out and well-run virtual communities can play an important role, along with civic-minded journalism, and face-to-face community-building, in the creation of a cybersociety we would be proud to hand on to our children. " Hear the speech through streaming audio
Report of the Communities Day
Notes of speeches and questions
Media coverage
'The more one browses through extraordinary (BBC) sites such as these, the more a strange thought keeps surfacing: maybe BBC Online is where the spirit of John Reith now resides. ' Observer
News from the US community networking conference
Reports from a conference of US community networkers in Chicago June 18-20 1999.
BBC WebWise Campaign to help local online communities
BBC WebWise and BBC Online will provide online community builders with support including a Web Guide, forums and toolkit undre plans announced in September 1999.
Online communities and how to create them
The different types of online community; where people are creating communities; and a growing toolkit of techniques and advice developed by Partnerships Online.
Links to local online communities
Towns, cities, villages and neighbourhoods are creating their own 'virtual communities'
Plans for international collaboration
Plans to share experience of local online communities - first discussed in 1996 - were prompted by the London and Chicago conferences.
A manifesto for cyberspace
Partnerships Online and others are developing a manifesto to ensure everyone has access to cyberspace.
Continuing discussion
You can join in discussion about community networking and the development of plans to help local online communityies.

Creating online communities with interests, organisations and localities

These pages developed by David Wilcox <> October 6 1999