My friend Gene Barlow and I recently founded the Colorado chapter of the Internet Society. We had our first meeting on Wednesday the 19th of March, 2008 at the Lone Tree Public Library. Here is a summary of our discussion (meeting minutes):


This being our initial meeting, the main topic of discussion was our goals and more broadly our purpose. What can this organization contribute to its members and its community? How can we do this?

The broad categories in which CO ISOC seems to be most suited to operate are; Education, Policy and Aid.

The first three actions that we identified as necessary are:

  • Develop a Mission Statement
    • Our organization needs a cohesive message.
    • This mission statement will be crucial in communicating with new members, other organizations and groups, potential sponsors, etc.
  • Learning / Research
    • “Finding holes.”
    • What specific pain points can we effectively address within these general categories?
    • Where do our strengths lie? Where are we weak?
    • What is needed in our community? Are we equipped to address it?
    • How can we help on a more international or global level?
  • Outreach
    • Other chapters
      • Learning / Research – see above
      • Coordinate efforts
    • Local business
      • Learning / Research – see above
      • Recruiting new members
      • Eventually find sponsors
    • Colleges / Universities
      • Learning / Research – see above
      • Recruiting new members
      • Finding audiences / contacts
    • Other local groups
      • Learning / Research – see above
      • Avoid reproducing efforts / areas of overlap
      • Coordinate efforts
      • Address issues that they can not
      • Work as a bridge between and/or influence on other local groups adding the ISOC point of view and a global scope to the conversation
      • Cross-pollenization
      • Creating liaisons to and from other organizations

Many topics, goals and potential projects were discussed under each of the three general categories identified.

  • Education
    • Education of public
      • User best practices / user habits
      • Libraries and schools
      • Elderly Internet users
        • Mindset / filtering
        • Also possible tangible project of creating a standard for “simple sites” akin to mobile sites but for those who can not cope with large amounts of extraneous content
      • Security vs Privacy
      • Public Computers
      • Wi-Fi access and security
      • Communication on the Internet
        • Types and methods of communicating
        • How to find an audience
    • Education of members
      • Seminars
      • Speaker bureaus
      • Open to the public as well
      • Vast range of possible topics
        • Technical
        • Policy / Legislation
        • Local and Global
    • Truth in Internet
      • Validation of Internet based sources of news and information
      • Possible spin off to commercial venture
  • Policy
    • How does it work?
      • Education of members
    • Monitor policy
      • Identify bills of interest
      • Education of members
      • Education of public
    • Move to a position to make or help make decisions
      • Liaisons to other organizations
    • Influence decisions
      • Education of public
      • Education of legislators
        • Fits in above as well
        • Provide information to local and national legislators
        • Become a resource for these groups
  • Aid
    • What local resources can we leverage to address global issues?
    • What local issues can/should we address?

One project that we discussed in more detail was that of addressing public access in our public libraries. This encompasses both the open Wi-Fi access and the public access computers found at the libraries. There are a couple facets to this, falling in two of our general categories; education and aid.
Education involves teaching library Internet users about the various privacy and security issues they face when using open access Wi-Fi and public terminals. This could be done with on screen information, pamphlets or brochures of some sort, or organizing formal training seminars. Education also involves teaching whoever is responsible for these networks and workstations how to best protect the users.
Aid in this case includes the possibility of actually volunteering to harden the networks and PCs for the library. An example is setting up Firefox on all of the public computers in kiosk mode, etc.
No matter our exact course of action, the first step is contacting the libraries and finding the persons responsible for managing the open networks and computers. Peter and Steve volunteered to work together with the Denver Public Libraries.

We touched on Everyone who has affiliated has an account and email address. We are currently using Google apps. If we go over 100 users we will have to start paying for this service.

Chris Grundemann was appointed interim Chair of the chapter.

Finally we discussed future meetings. We all agreed that Libraries were a great place to meet but many wanted to find a more central location. This will need to be addressed as we do have members in both the North and South (Boulder to Colorado Springs). Possibly the main Denver library downtown. Also, coupling the meetings with seminars, speakers, etc. we may have longer meetings that will be “worth the drive.” We tentatively agreed on two meetings a year, so the next meeting will be in about 6 months. We will have open discussion via email in the mean time along with monthly or bi-monthly group chat meetings.


Look here for more information or to join CO ISOC.

Published On: March 31st, 2008 / Categories: Colorado, Internet, ISOC, Miscellaneous, Politics / Tags: , , , /

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