Bainbridge Island Community Network became public in 1995. It was the only Internet presence here on Bainbridge Island for several years.
I started developing the concepts you see here in the Community Network in about 1993. I have a long history of volunteering for community service projects, park boards, road-end committees and harbor commissions, etc. Although I could see it was a necessary thing for someone to do, I also saw that my time was being wasted. I saw my work being overridden by political decisions which had nothing to do with the years of hearings, research and study my group had done. I also saw that underlying much of the problem was a need for better communications, better access to high quality, reliable information on which to base decisions and a more efficient method of handling the ever increasing volume of information.
My life's experiences had prepared me for the invention of a tool such as the internet. I have a background in technology, media, marketing, and community service, and the ability to view situations from many perspectives and look beneath the obvious to the truth of a thing. This combination, combined with the potential of the Internet, makes for limitless possibilities.
Another advantage is my ability to view things as whole systems and to project multiple paths and outcomes into the future. Looking at our community and the direction the internet was headed, I foresaw situations which could be extremely detrimental to Bainbridge Island unless an alternative was in place. To my relief and the benefit of this community (and hopefully other communities) my forecast was accurate; and even with my limited resources, I was able to prepare for the time when I was needed most. You see, Bainbridge is a desirable zipcode to the global marketers (big bucks per capita), they know the value of what I've created and they wanted to co-opt it for their financial benefit.
A battle was fought here for the future of our local merchants, and yet very few are aware that it even happened. The good news is that I won, at least for now. When the smoke cleared I still held the high ground and they went back to California in disgrace. As a result of their confrontation with me they altered their entire national marketing approach.
However, others will take their place. The sharks will be here again soon. If I can do this with just my time, knowledge, less money than most people spend on a car and without the help of our community leaders, then any community can do this, if they have the vision, knowledge and the leadership. That is where my formula comes in.
My ultimate goal is to create a "formula" of community that can be given away to any community the world over. You see, Bainbridge Island was my prototype to test my theories about using the Internet as a tool for community, social and economic development. My belief, which has been confirmed by my experiences here on Bainbridge Island, is that all communities must own themselves on the internet before they are owned by others and then bought and sold as a commodity. One of the greatest obstacles to achieving this is internal to the community. I know the Internet to be an ideal tool for building channels of communication that can be transformed into action. It is also a useful tool in breaking down the walls, ivory towers and glass ceilings that keep us from working together and becoming all that we might be.
I have been documenting my journey here on Bainbridge Island for the last seven years. We are a model and a story for others to learn from both, good and bad.
In a perfect world the patronage of our local businesses would fund the development of the community side of what I do. My ideal was for this project to be a joint venture between public and private. As part of that goal I turned Bainbridge Island Community Network into a non-profit organization. Where we would decide our own destiny from a foundation of expertise, knowledge and strength rather than become a victim of a global economy, but that required leadership and the ability to work together as a cohesive community. There is only one entity that can speak for a whole community and that is it's local government. That is why I knew three years ago my search was not so much about technology and methods as it was for leadership. In reality, small communities tend to be a collection of fragments separated by walls of greed, envy, little empires all wrapped in a blanket of cronyism. I have learned that cronyism is the silent killer of entrepreneurialism and innovation, in many respects the enemy is within. The global marketers use that to their advantage against the best interests of our local merchants and the community as a whole. I will elaborate more on this subject in the future, stay tuned. (see the presentation).
If you are interested in how they operate, their divide-and-conquer strategy and how they are affecting our local business communities then I have an excellent and eye-opening PowerPoint presentation that some business people from central Kitsap County helped fund the creation of. You may want to take a look at it especially if you are a local retail business or in a leadership roll in your community.
Be seeing you - Dave
Terms of doing business with Bainbridge Island Community Network
I knew going in that "we" collectively are inventing the Internet, and it is this current freedom of invention that makes it a wonderful thing. In that spirit I have tried to create an internet presence that is fluid. To that end I have very few concrete rules; but because I deal with a real world I have adopted some philosophical guidelines to guide operations. They are as follows:
- Be ethical in your dealings and a person of integrity.
- Treat Bainbridge Island Community Network and those associated with it the way you yourself want to be treated.
- Make sure your activities involving the Community Network will not be harmful to the Community or the businesses of Bainbridge Island.
- There are, and will be, gray areas.
- Think of your own good and the good of the Community at the same time.
- To be part of Bainbridge Island Community Network is to use what resources are at your disposal to further the community good and to elevate the consciousness of others within your sphere of influence to the benefits of this project.
Our greatest strength is in our unity.
I also welcome business relationships with other web page builders and their clients, but I can't give away the years of investment we have. I am in the marketing businesses as well as community service.
I can accommodate most situations but there are a few individuals, businesses and organizations that I won't do business with. They are those who have proven themselves to be in opposition to the above philosophies, and I reserve the right to choose who I do business with.
I have always held the policy of giving as much help, web site development and hosting, as free-of-charge as possible to any individual, group, club or organization who contributes to the Community.
Privacy Statement: If it is public knowledge, then it's public. If it is private, then it is of no concern of ours.
We don't do cookies or sell lists. We count hits on some pages and know which domains visit our site and what time of day our traffic comes in at and that's about it. If something changes will let you know.
Participation, knowledge, integrity and communication are key building blocks of a healthy community.
If you need something, hit an email button or call me,