Kazakhstan Community Website - Portal

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David Cook

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Jun 8, 2018, 6:34:20 AM6/8/18
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Hello Village Telco,

This query is maybe - slightly off-topic, but maybe the group that is forming will entertain Village Telco in the future.

Several members of a village of 3,000 in Kazakhstan is looking at creating a village - community website or portal.

Does anyone have experience with this?

Is there a non-profit public association or for-profit private enterprise who specializes with these types of projects?

Is there an off-the-shelf software platform for this?

Am I asking the right questions?

Many thanks for any replies and help,

Dave Cook


Steve Song

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Jun 8, 2018, 6:50:59 AM6/8/18
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Hi Dave,

Two essential questions come to mind.  The first is what do they see the principal purpose(s) that the community portal would serve?  Buy/sell?  Event information?  Social chat?  Municipal e-gov info/services?   The more clearly this is defined, the easier it is to make a good choice.  The second question is what is the state of Internet in that town.  Is it mostly fixed or mobile?  Do people mostly access the Internet on phones or on computers?  Is it affordable to the poorer segments of society or limited to the comparatively wealthy?  Is there public free Internet via WiFi or though public access facilities like libraries or government facilities?  In other words, how egalitarian would a community portal be in terms of offering access to all?

Cheers... Steve

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hasan malik

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Jun 10, 2018, 8:06:04 AM6/10/18
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excellent questions, steve.

Two essential questions come to mind.
The first is what do they see the principal purpose(s) that the community portal would serve?
it's 2018! aren't we modern? there's a psychological impetus with a hope that it can transition the village from it's historical roots of a soviet cooperative to a forwarding thinking suburb of the spiffy captial, astana. a build it and see if they come mindset. but, this is not the type of suburban development that you see in north america.
Buy/sell? money, we're capitalists now with a few oligarchs and an autocratic president, so yes!
Event information? of course.
Social chat? probably should be tied into whatsap
Municipal e-gov info/services? no way, the bureaucracy controls the e-gov thing.
The more clearly this is defined, the easier it is to make a good choice. extremely dynamic. no telling where this goes. higher rate of failure. but, you never know.
The second question is what is the state of Internet in that town. sporadic dsl, satellite and mostly wireless carrier.
Is it mostly fixed or mobile? mobile
Do people mostly access the Internet on phones or on computers? phones
Is it affordable to the poorer segments of society or limited to the comparatively wealthy? internet access is widely accessible and fairly egalitarianly distributed. kazakhstan has a pretty good gini coefficient.
Is there public free Internet via WiFi or though public access facilities like libraries or government facilities? no, private sector is the only game.
In other words, how egalitarian would a community portal be in terms of offering access to all? as currently setup, i don't see too many hurdles.

finally, consider the source. i'm not kazakh and you could ask ten villagers and get 15 different answers.

On Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 4:50 PM, Steve Song <st...@villagetelco.org> wrote:
Hi Dave,

Two essential questions come to mind.  The first is what do they see the principal purpose(s) that the community portal would serve?  Buy/sell?  Event information?  Social chat?  Municipal e-gov info/services?   The more clearly this is defined, the easier it is to make a good choice.  The second question is what is the state of Internet in that town.  Is it mostly fixed or mobile?  Do people mostly access the Internet on phones or on computers?  Is it affordable to the poorer segments of society or limited to the comparatively wealthy?  Is there public free Internet via WiFi or though public access facilities like libraries or government facilities?  In other words, how egalitarian would a community portal be in terms of offering access to all?

Cheers... Steve
On Fri, 8 Jun 2018 at 07:34, David Cook <da...@copycall.com> wrote:
Hello Village Telco,

This query is maybe - slightly off-topic, but maybe the group that is forming will entertain Village Telco in the future.

Several members of a village of 3,000 in Kazakhstan is looking at creating a village - community website or portal.

Does anyone have experience with this?

Is there a non-profit public association or for-profit private enterprise who specializes with these types of projects?

Is there an off-the-shelf software platform for this?

Am I asking the right questions?

Many thanks for any replies and help,

Dave Cook


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Andrés Leopoldo Pacheco Sanfuentes

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Jun 10, 2018, 8:23:14 AM6/10/18
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If it’s mostly mobile I’d suggest starting there, bypassing “standard” portals.

finally, consider the source. i'm not kazakh and you could ask ten villagers and get 15 different answers.

I think the most important aspect is not technology but rather answering the question: what is it they want to accomplish most? What is the most common answer among the villagers to that question? And start there.

This can be a laborious task, since it may involve multiple meetings, the formation of some kind of steering committee, heavy community involvement. Once a project and its ownership are well rooted in the local community, chances of success and resilience increase.

Regards / Saludos / Grato

Andrés Leopoldo Pacheco Sanfuentes

On Jun 9, 2018, at 10:45 PM, hasan malik <hasan...@gmail.com> wrote:

excellent questions, steve.

Two essential questions come to mind.
The first is what do they see the principal purpose(s) that the community portal would serve?
it's 2018! aren't we modern? there's a psychological impetus with a hope that it can transition the village from it's historical roots of a soviet cooperative to a forwarding thinking suburb of the spiffy captial, astana. a build it and see if they come mindset. but, this is not the type of suburban development that you see in north america.
Buy/sell? money, we're capitalists now with a few oligarchs and an autocratic president, so yes!
Event information? of course.
Social chat? probably should be tied into whatsap
Municipal e-gov info/services? no way, the bureaucracy controls the e-gov thing.
The more clearly this is defined, the easier it is to make a good choice. extremely dynamic. no telling where this goes. higher rate of failure. but, you never know.
The second question is what is the state of Internet in that town. sporadic dsl, satellite and mostly wireless carrier.
Is it mostly fixed or mobile? mobile
Do people mostly access the Internet on phones or on computers? phones
Is it affordable to the poorer segments of society or limited to the comparatively wealthy? internet access is widely accessible and fairly egalitarianly distributed. kazakhstan has a pretty good gini coefficient.
Is there public free Internet via WiFi or though public access facilities like libraries or government facilities? no, private sector is the only game.
In other words, how egalitarian would a community portal be in terms of offering access to all? as currently setup, i don't see too many hurdles.


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David Cook

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Jun 10, 2018, 9:30:47 PM6/10/18
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good point andres, thank you for your input.
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T Gillett

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Jun 10, 2018, 10:29:55 PM6/10/18
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What you might consider doing in this situation is an incremental project putting in place some basic pieces of the puzzle and seeing how it evolves.

For example, if data networking is not readily available and cheap via the mobile phone network, you might consider setting up some public wifi networks in locations where people can use it readily.

Once you have some networking in place then you might look at putting in some nodes that can provide local web content eg Wikipedia, without needing Internet connection.

Similarly you might add nodes that can host simple local social networking eg chat, wiki pages etc to support content that is of immediate local interest.

If you connect such a network to the internet then you need to be able to manage its use so that it doesn't become swamped as a movie downloading facility.

In this sort of scenario, experience suggests that success will be dependent on having some ongoing local technical expertise and a serious champion or two who will keep it going and funded (somehow) for the long term.

Terry


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copycall

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Jun 11, 2018, 3:09:38 AM6/11/18
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food for thought, thank you terry.

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