Communities Internet Ltd
Communities Internet started as an idea Stuart Duffy had for giving people a chance to look at their community in a positive light. Our motto is "making the net work for the community".
We now manage over 42 community web sites and provide support to community groups and small businesses looking for a web presence. All in all we manage another 200 web sites through our own servers.
We have developed community support sites to augment and support the community sites. The most popular is Webbies Portal <www.webbiesportal.com>, WP removes the 3 main barriers to organisations getting online to promote themselves or to use it as a management tool:
The cost of development
A lack of support
In the past, to combat this, we offered any group or company, within the community, space within the community web site to promote itself. We designed the page & hosted it under the community web site. Due to the increase in our own web site volume we decided to get our own server. This now allows us to host web sites for others and offer them real ownership with all the benefits of that the web offers. They are promoted through the community web sites for greater exposure.
We have turned their sites into administrative functions rather than technical functions by incorporating technology that allows them to update the site from a browser rather than with design and FTP software.
How much does this cost them? We now do this for the cost of a domain name, between £10 or £25 we can provide a web site, email, hardware and support to any community group in Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde and we are rolling these out to Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute at the turn of the year. If the group has it's own skills we offer them space, getting them off those annoying "free" web space companies like Geocities.
We receive email from people in the community and from further a field looking for assistance and we respond to them all. Recurring themes in assistance emails result in an entry helpingyou.org.uk. Politicians and those who work within a democratic framework will be offered free space in politiciansplus.org. Kids get the chance to flex their skills with stomptheweb.com, while The Included Family, Ma Pa, Gran, Gramps and the kids show you their favourite sites in Included.org.uk. NewsNet.org.uk and the CI web site communities-internet.com are our admin sites. This leaves Advance2.org which will promote further education and support those providing it free of charge.
Businesses in the community provide cohesion, employment and are as part of the community as any group. General businesses are supported through www.InRenfrewshire.com, where a standard web site will cost no more than £100 per year. Arts & Crafts and those cottage businesses as well as leisuire and recreation are supported by www.haggisandneeps.com & www.visitrenfrewshire.com for £50 per year. We have on occasion done this for no fee for start ups.
We have a model that is growing to be sustainable in about two to three years time. We work with anyone promoting inclusion, NGFL, Scottish Enterprise, Councils and community groups. We look at ourselves as community champions offering groups an easy route to using and benefiting from the internet. We are pioneering new ideas for the community, like the use of mobile phones linked to the community web sites to combat crime in a community and eCo, which launches next month, an electronic Co-operative that will give everyone access to cheap deals for furniture and consumables without the need for credit cards.
We never see a problem in identifying a solution just opportunities to make it work for the communities. We are currently undergoing a complete revamp of the community web sites to bring them all into a minimum standard with a raft of new functions including an enhanced way of supporting community councils, politicians and the CVS's support the community. Unfortunately god only gave 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week – it's very inconvenient!
@Communities Internet Web Master
Communities Internet Ltd is a registered charity: SC033196
For further information, contact:
PO Box 9383
Tel: 0870 745 2246
Fax: 0870 138 2365