At the MVO unconference the need for broadband came up – often. There was a blogger there who doesn’t have Internet access at home. She drives 10 miles to the library to get access. As she said, she could get dialup but feels like they ought to pay her to use it.
People recognized the need to make info available for tech lovers and tech-challenged (challenged by access, experience, cost…). People also recognized the need to help bridge the gap with training, improving tools and broadband.
I was thrilled when Jeff Narabrook form Minnesota Council for Nonprofits offered up his topic to talk about building capacity for the Minnesota Broadband Coalition. We talked about the tools we have created for the Coalition (web site, email newsletter, LinkedIn group). We talked about what we wanted from folks: ideas for the Broadband Task Force and ideas for the stimulus funding.
We talked about the need for the Coalition to help people understand why and how broadband does matter to them. The conversations that the Task Force are having (symmetrical speeds anyone?) do not necessarily capture the imagination of your average bear. But stories of how broadband means a better job, how broadband means a way to talk to a grandson in the army … they can capture the imagination.
So we’ve been trying to gather those stories (Got one? please let me know). Now we need to get those to a wider audience. One thought was to create a widget of sort (maybe a logo linked to an RSS feed) to share with folks like the Minnesota Council for Nonprofits to help us spread the word.
I had/have wanted to capture some stories in video – the biggest barrier for me is getting to people to get their stories. So I’m going to throw that out there too in case there’s someone in the field who’s looking for a story idea.
So that’s my lucky take-away and assignment from the conference. I also have a laundry list of tasks for me on more of a professional development level – like learn about Plurk (thanks Chuck Olsen for that) – so I feel like the support for the Minnesota Broadband Coalition is a complete bonus.
But before I do any of that – I’m spending the day in sunny Duluth with my family.