This document covers some organizational issues, which have no clear-cut answers. Any organization, which wishes to fully exploit the capabilities of the Internet, has to deal with those issues.
An organization, which wants to exploit the Internet (and/or the world of BBS's) will probably form a steering committee to coordinate efforts in this area.
The question is - who should be members in such a committee?
An organization will likely appoint someone to serve as central liaison person with the Internet. Such a person will have at least some of the following duties:
- Select and work with the Internet access provider.
- Consultant to users who have problems.
- Locate information needed by the organization.
- Monitor new technological developments in the area of Internet usage and help the organization take advantage of them promptly.
- Advise on hardware and software purchases.
Answers to the following technical questions may make life easier for people who want to use the Internet.
- Is it possible to design a WWW/CGI package which will let mortal users start and maintain their own listserv-style mailing lists?
- If anyone generates huge amount of information and puts it online, indexing it and getting "the big picture" is difficult. A standard, reconfigurable search engine may be desirable.
When introducing the Internet into an organization, look for people who want to get information out (on a WWW page, for example).
Don't teach them too much at the beginning.
One of the benefits which the Internet can provide organizations is the capability of posting requests for help in various ventures and letting other organizations, which can help, satisfy those requests.
The question is how to exactly implement this. The problem is that resource providers may be too busy, too lazy or simply too unaware for them to continuously monitor the requests database.
Without providers monitoring the database, it'll be questionable whether requesters will take the database seriously. At least in the Jewish Internet world, most of the people are probably ones who are looking for resources, rather than ones who provide the resources.
Requests which have only local relevance - should be directed to a server which is associated with that geographical region. This means a network of servers, one for each geographical region. If a geographical information database is set up, it can contain also information about requested and available resources.
Another idea is that whenever a request has been satisfied, the resource which satisfied it is added to a database, to automatically satisfy similar requests in the future.