New Community Networks

Wired For Change

Testimonials and Highlights


"While debate is raging about the impact of online communication on face to face family and community life, a network of activists around the world have been working on ways to use online communication to enhance life in neighborhoods, municipalities, and other geographic communities. Doug Schuler's "Community Networks" is the bible for community networkers, building on a strong theoretical foundation of community needs and technical capabilities, outlining specific techniques and programs, and including hundreds of specific case histories. If more people and community organizations made use of the wisdom and experience in this book, we would have a far better chance of using the Internet to enhance, rather than erode, community life."


—Howard Rheingold
Author of The Virtual Community


New Community Networks is a classic. I have used it for five years with my community networking —community information classes at the University of Michigan. Because of the approach that Doug has taken to frame community networks within community and social contexts, his book has lasting appeal. Doug spends a considerable portion of the book on the need and the potential. Some of NCN is, of course, dated. That can't be helped in such a fast moving phenomenon. Those sections (such as references to the Cleveland Free-Net) become the history of the movement. This book is a gem.


—Joan C. Durrance
Professor, University of Michigan
School of Information

Former Member of the board of the Assn. for Community Networking


Doug Schuler's book on New Community Networks is a valuable resource for anyone interested in using Internet technologies to develop and support communities. It is richly populated with illustrations from existing community networks, but is much more than a showcase. The examples are enriched by Schuler's deep analysis of the educational, political and philosophical issues of community and communication. The result is a a book that informs at two levels -- it provides a picture of what has been going on in community networking, and it also gives a foundation for understanding what can be done, and what should be done, in order to create technology that serves the needs of people.


—Terry Winograd, Stanford University


"Doug Schuler has been a crusading pioneer in the community network arena... His breadth of knowledge, personal experience, and the numerous examples he presents are strong parts of this project. His enthusiasm shows, and there are many appealing anecdotes. This has the potential to be an important book that gains national attention.


—Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland
Author of Designing the User Interface


In the era of declining communities, grassroots activists all over the world are building community networks designed to reinvigorate communities by encouraging dialogue and providing a forum for voices that too often go unheard. Via new computer metworking technology, new communities can now connect electronically to pursue activities such as community and public health projects, long-distance learning, performances and "virtual spaces".


New Community Networks is a unique contribution to the literature on social uses of technology. It provides practical how-to advice and discusses the rationale, concerns, and directions of socially-directed technology. This book should be read by government officials, librarians, policy analysts, educators, journalists, social service administrators, students, social and political activists, and—in fact—by anyone concerned about our communities and the uses of technology in our society.



* Provides a helpful reference for people trying to develop and sustain their own community networks.

* Details issues critical for the success of a community-based network.

* Includes case studies from the Santa Monica PEN Project, Community Memory in Berkeley, the Cleveland FreeNet, and the Big Sky Telegraph system in rural Montana.

* Explains short and long-term issues about community networks.

* Offers an extensive reference section and numerous appendices providing handy access to a plethora if information related to community networks.


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