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>> 1999 Annual General Meeting Report
Serving Your Community's Online Needs.
Chebucto Community Net Society
April 25, 2000, 6:30 p.m.
Between 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., there will be a presentation by Mark Rushton about his endeavours in Cuba entitled "Community Networking in Cuba: Connecting with CSuite".
The Nominating Committee has composed a slate of directors for election. As always, nominations from the floor will also be possible. Please provide a short bio for your nominee.
Minutes of 1999 annual general meeting
All Chebucto Community Net Users are welcome to attend the meeting and
ask questions or make comments. However, only members of the Chebucto Community
Net Society are entitled to vote at the meeting. Memberships may be purchased
at the door at the conclusion of the meeting.
David Murdoch, Technical Committee Chair
Progress Over the Past Twelve Months (Fiscal 1999)
+ hired a part-time tech support person;
+ exploration of e-commerce utilities;
+ ensuring Chebucto Plus authentication is more robust;
+ ensuring that at least two Technical team members are familiar with each aspect of our work so that we have some redundancy;
+ purchase of 64 33.6 modems in single rack mount frame.
The goal of the Membership Committee is to oversee all areas of development for Membership, to enhance the value of Chebucto Memberships by addressing both Member and User concerns, working closely with the various Chebucto teams to provide a full service to Chebucto Memberships.
The Membership Director is responsible for:
1. Working closely with the Office Manager to ensure the proper processing
of all Chebucto accounts. To set up an efficient system for processing
applications and renewals.
This past year the Membership Committee has:
a) Coordinated with the office in setting up an efficient system for
processing new membership accounts.
Information Provider Committee
Doug McCann, Information Provider Committee Chair
another occasion where CCN was able to showcase several Information Providers.
This year we had seven participants. Each was provided a time slot on an on-
line hookup in the CCN tent to demonstrate their web site.
demonstrated by the following selected statistics. Hits on our top sites
increased between 50 and 100%.
November 1999 Top 15 IP sites Hits ranged from 5,000 to 90,000 per month
March 1999 185 IP web sites (approx.)
IP Notable Facts
Triad Film Productions
Top 15 Report
4 5438 98173
Clan MacKay Society of New Scotland
Top 15 Report
Hits Msgs Files Docs Usage Name
137231 0 0 5446 48747 Clan MacKay Society of New Scotland
119432 712 22 55 1162 Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird
91218 70 3220
3200 7219 Halifax City Regional Library
Volunteer Committee Report
Joyline Makani, Andrew Wright – Co-Chairs
The Volunteer Committee faced many challenges in 1999. Some were from the changing face of volunteerism, where many people do not have the time to put in that they used to, and some were from within Chebucto itself.
Volunteers came to Chebucto through two main routes: by filling out the Volunteer Sign Up form on the Chebucto website, and by dropping by the Chebucto office. The Sign-In form had its share of problems in 1999. Being difficult to find in the first place, and being broken for much of the year (either completely non functional or erasing the contact information), the form was of limited value and will be shortly replaced with a more easy to find working form with the new website upgrades. Despite this, five people used it to sign up to volunteer in 1999 and three of them followed through, two going to the Technical Committee and one putting in some office volunteer time.
Several volunteers took the direct approach of showing up in the Chebucto office and most of them followed up, joining the Technical Committee, helping out with the new website design, putting in some office volunteer time, and joining the Userhelp team.
The majority of volunteers who come to Chebucto are technically competent in one or more fields and usually end up in the well-organized Technical Committee. However there are many who don't have such skills and are eager to help out and we have not made good use of their wish to contribute. Part of the reason for this is the amount of time it takes to orient and train these volunteers and the lack of available people to do it.
Volunteering with Chebucto needs to be more interesting to the volunteer; the attrition rate of new volunteers who do show up to work is almost 100% after one year. This year, as before, the same core of volunteers is working ever harder keeping Chebucto going.
The rewards of volunteering with Chebucto need to be emphasized - the development of new, often marketable skills; the feeling of helping out your community; and the social circle of people committed to similar ideals. We need to develop a mentoring program or something similar to partner new with experienced volunteers and help spread critical skills so that several people can if necessary perform key tasks. We must follow through with new volunteers and keep them interested enough to make time in their increasingly busier days for helping with Chebucto.
These challenges are not easy ones, but it is necessary for us to face and surmount them. In the coming year, the new easier to navigate website will help prospective volunteers to find where and how they can help out. When this is matched with a new slate of fresh faces on the Chebucto Board, the outlook is hopeful.
In Community Economic Development circles you often hear the phrase "Community capacity building". The past year has seen Chebucto build its capacity, in a number of ways. I won't get into the details; I will leave that to the individual reports, but here are some of the highlights:
At last year's AGM, Peter Morgan announced that CCN would be hiring a full time executive director. Leo Deveau accepted that position late last spring, and as you will hear from his report, he has been busy. Having Leo in place has enabled CCN to actively participate in a number of initiatives, and aggressively seek partnerships in the community that will help us achieve our goals. In short, our capacity as an organization has been significantly improved.
Some of the projects that we have been working on during the past year, have been:
The Volnet program: Industry Canada's program to encourage connectivity in the volunteer sector.
Urban CAP, the final building block in Industry Canada's Community Access Program, targeting, as its name implies, Urban Canada. In Nova Scotia, CCN's expertise in community connectivity was recognised when we were contracted to oversee the initial stages of the Urban CAP program in Halifax.
CCN is a partner in the Smart Communities Initiative, coordinated by the Greater Halifax Partnership.
A number of CCN board members attended a conference of Nova Scotia Community Nets in Truro, and David Murdoch now chairs a steering committee working on the formation of an association of community nets in this province. By sharing ideas and expertise, we can all become stronger. Our new Chebucto Plus graphic account package, which was demonstrated at last year's AGM, has proven to be very popular. Now, for the first time, CCN can offer the full range of internet connectivity, and members no longer are forced to move to a commercial provider for additional services.
We have been looking at a redesign of our web site, with the assistance of students from the Dalhousie School of Library and Information Studies.
We have participated in a number of work placements and grant-funded student opportunities, partnering with Canada World Youth, Human Resources Development Canada, and others.
Last fall CCN celebrated our fifth birthday at Word on the Street, which gave some excellent exposure to some of our Information Providers. Federal MP Gordon Earle presented CCN with a certificate of achievement and appreciation.
Five years is a long time in this business. CCN is the oldest internet provider in Nova Scotia, with more than 3500 active users. We provide webspace for 185 community groups. One reason we have flourished is that we have remained true to our original ideals. Some of the details have changed, but the goals have not. I was looking at the Chair's Report from the 1994 AGM; here are a few excerpts from their declaration of mission:
"[To] Establish a Community Access Network for the Halifax-Dartmouth Metro area, which will: help meet personal and professional information needs of people; foster communication among individuals and the institutions that serve them; support community groups in their efforts at professional development, outreach and community service; enhance opportunities for sustainable, community-based economic development."
We could write very similar goals today.
The other reasons I think we have been successful is that we are based
in the community, we have continued to seek out partnerships, we continue
to think and act strategically, and CCN has been fortunate in enjoying
the support of a talented and committed group of volunteers. And
that is my last thank you, to all of those who, over the past five years,
have spent countless unpaid hours to make this thing work.