UK Communities Online development

UK Communities Online developed from a number of strands:

  • Work by Partnerships for Tomorrow (P4T) during 1995 and 1996, funded by BT Community Affairs, which included the first Communities Online conference in October 1995.
  • The decision to form an International Association for Community Networking, taken at the Taos, New Mexico conference on community networking, attended by David Wilcox of P4T in May 1996.
  • Parallel work at Sheffield University leading to the first UK community networking conference in July 1996, which endorsed Communities Online, and the first Web site about UK community information networks
  • Support from the BT Laboratories team researching community networks in holding the first Communities Online meetings in June and July 1996, and creating this Web site.

Development by P4T during 1995 and early 1996 focussed on the idea of a Community Regeneration Network, intended mainly for activists and professionals involved in urban and rural regeneration projects. This was discussed at the Communities Online conference at BT Centre in October 1995.

However, during 1996 it became clear that interest in local community networks was growing, and that it was possible to find shared interests in three overlapping areas

  • Development of special interest networks - like community regeneration
  • Local community networks, often inspired by US models
  • Networking existing non-profit organisations whose members would play major roles in both special interest networks and local networks.

These areas of interested are reflected in UKCO current developments.

Current developments
September 17 1996
July 24 1996 report
Communities Online announced at Sheffield conference July 1996.
Sheffield conference report by Peter Mason, Sussex Community Internet Project
June 20 1996 report
IACN formed at US conference in May 1996.
Communities Online Conference October 1995
Partnerships for Tomorrow meeting September 1995
Workshop at Urban Forum April 1995