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Sustainable Ecommerce Entrepreneurship Development Strategies
A Rural Community Future-Proofing Program


By Frank Odasz

Lone Eagle Consulting

Email: frank@lone-eagles.com

Note: Submitted to the NTIA TOP grant initiative during 2004. Currently unfunded. This project can be conducted without outside funding by any community who wishes to do so.

Proposal Abstract:

Providing fast-track entry-level ecommerce training in a face-to-face center, local trainers will quickly develop their own for-profit training services to literally impact as many citizens as possible and make a real impact on the economy of the whole community. As an intergenerational short-term community web-raising initiative, within a three-six month period the challenge is to create the most significant measurable outcomes possible regarding new skills imparted to a specific number of citizens, new web-based self-employment businesses, new web sites for existing business and a community co-marketing initiative of all businesses plus a rapidly growing skills registry of the citizen’s new skills to be co-marketed regarding telework jobs. The smaller the community, the more dramatic potential impact is possible within the first 3-6 months.

Executive Summary: The Problem, Solutions, and Outcomes


New rural community leadership models are urgently needed for rapid identification of the unprecedented new opportunities the Internet offers such as new global markets, Ecommerce and telework jobs, and unlimited online learning resources for alert citizens. Addressing the current leadership crisis is necessary now. We can’t wait for generational turnover.


Future-proofing rural communities requires creating understanding among leaders, citizens, and youth regarding intelligent use of collaborative Internet tools for gathering and sharing of new knowledge to create new opportunities. To adapt to a changing economy, there is a need to establish a model for rural communities to develop a focused community action plan using knowledge of the best innovations from other communities regarding sustainable community Ecommerce centers and community knowledge networks - while there is still time to do so.


Ongoing education and development of collaborative capacity to create new social and economic value has become essential to community wellness. Despite affordable availability of high speed wireless Internet access, very few know how to leverage this access for individual and community empowerment. This project will establish SEED projects in two Montanan communities in year one and continue project efforts in these communities year two to produce three major outcomes regarding creating awareness of real solutions that can be implemented without outside funding. There are three major project components:


1.      SEED Learning Circles will meet to review presentations of successes in other communities, assess which innovations might be replicated locally, and determine the best they might recommend as a local action plan.

2.      A SEED Community Ecommerce Center will be established as a sustainable Ecommerce incubator with emphasis on youth ecommerce entrepreneurship.

3.      A SEED People-Centered Community Knowledge Network championed by youth will actively demonstrate how multiple collaborative tools can benefit everyone efficiently.


This proposal will bring together the high-end expertise of the Montana Job Training Partnership’s Ecommerce “Montana Choice” demonstration project, the community networking expertise of the Association for Community Networking, the extensive online Ecommerce training resources and expertise of Lone Eagle Consulting, the wireless open source community networking expertise of Old Colorado City Communications and the community ecommerce event expertise of Idaho State University College of Technology’s Special Programs office.  Two rural Montana communities will participate in both years. Requested is $383,087 with $383,087 matching funds already provided for a two-year project.


Project Purpose (20%)

Rural Communities Need an Intelligent Model of Capacity Building


There’s more to creating smart communities than just adopting the name. Community knowledge networks can easily be created by citizens using existing Internet infrastructure at no cost to gather and share new knowledge for creating new opportunities on an ongoing basis.


The need exists to engage adult leaders as decision-makers and youth as technology leaders in together understanding their immediate options to counter the negative impacts of a changing economy. Rural communities nationally are losing 3-5 percent of their population annually and the out-migration of youth is decimating their future sustainability. This proposal squarely addresses the question: “What is the very best an informed rural community can do for itself utilizing Internet to gather and share knowledge on successful innovations from other rural communities regarding ecommerce, telework, e-marketing, and online learning.”


To support rural communities nationally there is a dire need to gather and share the best replicable models for sustainable Community Technology Centers (CTCs) as a base for ecommerce skills development. Effective Community Networks (CNs) are necessary to generate social value, peer mentoring, and to support online learning about ecommerce and telework.


Creating Intelligent Rural Communities


Internet Infrastructure alone has proven to be inadequate to sustain rural communities. Effective use of infrastructure is needed to create a meaningful info-structure built on concrete content and effective collaborative practices. Social engineering strategies engaging citizens in ongoing self-directed online learning are needed to enable rural citizens to determine their own destinies and together build a sustainable future.


Rural leaders need to understand how to bridge the gaps in their understanding what’s achievable regarding innovative community technology centers and community networks. Community leaders must first become aware of the successful innovations of others, particularly those which can be replicated locally at minimal cost without the need for outside funding. Fast-track essential Ecommerce skills development can generate measurable benefits to motivate citizens about the value of new knowledge.


Key Questions to be answered through the SEED Learning Circles.

What are the ideal skills to be taught through CTCs to incubate the skills for ongoing self-directed Internet learning, for online collaboration, and for capacity building?


What are the best options for creating sustainable community technology centers which generate new skills related to fast-track self-employment involving Ecommerce and telework?


How can citizens best use Internet collaborative tools to gather and share new knowledge and innovations from other communities based on the most successful existing models for community “knowledge” networks?


How can citizens efficiently work together to create a robust ongoing local community knowledge network to support the community’s ability to adapt to a changing economy?


The SEED project will pioneer a replicable model for thousands of rural communities to generate basic awareness of the best strategies for how rural communities can leapfrog ahead of the global trends of the emerging innovation economy. Short-term strategic planning groups will produce a locally-driven community action plan based on new knowledge for their existing innovative opportunities.


The SEED project will create learning circles of interested citizens to explore together online what is already working for others using Internet Ecommerce and telework. SEED Community Ecommerce Centers will stimulate motivation, connect mentors with mentees, and generate many new innovative entrepreneurial initiatives. New knowledge will be brought home to fuel the home fires of innovation. Project participants will learn the best models for sustainable local Community Ecommerce Centers and People-Centered Community Knowledge Networks based on the past ten years of national innovations. Working together concerned citizens will gather and share success stories across multiple communities to experience hands-on the benefits of online sharing locally and specifically the advantages of sharing between participant communities locally and globally.


This leadership program will engage adults to assess how collaborative tools build knowledge, capacity inclusion, and new levels of innovation and cooperation based on actual demonstrations of multiple knowledge-sharing tools created by local youth. This unique program will engage youth in self-assessing their opportunities for using the Internet intelligently to create for them the opportunity to remain as contributing citizens in their communities instead of being forced to move away to find good jobs.


Reversing the Out-Migration of Rural Youth

Youth retention and the role of educators in teaching youth Internet entrepreneurship and essential Internet skills is a core issue for rural communities under siege from a changing economy.  Facing the realities of out-migration in a changing economy is vital to community survival.


The strategy of this proposal will be to engage youth in actively creating fully functional models of both an Ecommerce Center as well as a community network where youth will demonstrate multiple collaborative tools for sharing meaningful knowledge - for review by adult leaders. Emphasis will be on the profoundly viable empowering opportunities represented by intelligent use of the Internet for generating new jobs through Ecommerce and telework.


The learning circles comprised of both adults and youth will together review and assess the utility of these diverse knowledge sharing methods and tools. Together, youth and adults will devise an ideal community action plan with emphasis on what can be implemented without significant outside funding.


Here’s one example of proven strategies that can be replicated in rural Montanan communities: Europe’s Best Telework Success Story


Scottish Islanders Prove Telework Works!

Donnie Morrison had a vision ten years ago for his Scottish villages in the Outer Hebrides Islands. By installing high speed Internet, instead of exporting their youth, they could retain them by providing quality telework jobs. Having reversed their out-migration of youth and talent, the schools are once again overflowing. Today, six telecenters are filled with over 300 highly paid teleworkers. A recipient of the European Telework Association award for excellence, Donnie now has corporations across Europe requesting hundreds more teleworkers- ASAP. Donnie will tell you that his creation of a regional skills registry was the catalyst to their success. (“Best idea I ever had!”) Donnie met Frank Odasz March 2004 and both are eagerly planning work together including connecting cultural communities via Internet, and much more.  www.work-global.com


Innovation (30%)

Methodology:  A Community-Builders Leadership Program

(Future-proofing Our Communities Through A Focused Community Learning Program)


Progressive, Step-by-Step Validation and Assessment

This awareness-raising rural leadership program addresses the fact that rural leaders don’t know what they don’t know about their options for creating intelligent communities. The risks to rural communities of not being aware of their genuine options to adapt to a changing economy to assure sustainability are too great to delay the opportunity to raise awareness quickly through this model program.


There are three main project components (see Appendices A, B, C and F for details).


1.      SEED Learning Circles will meet to review presentations on what’s working for other communities, assess what innovations might be replicated locally, and discuss what is the best they might recommend as a local action plan. Participants will complete the lessons in A Beginners Guide to Profiting from the Internet as a means to discover what is working for others. (see Appendix B).


2.      A SEED Community Ecommerce Center will be established as a sustainable Ecommerce business incubator or Online Auction Drop-Off Center. Self-employment businesses will be showcased resulting from fast-track training of citizens resulting in a community service center similar to a Kinko’s except local citizen services are presented as a local technology-skills cooperative model.

3.      A SEED People-Centered Community Knowledge Network championed by youth will actively demonstrate how multiple collaborative tools can benefit everyone simply and with great economy.


SEED Learning Circles


The adult leadership learning circles will begin with a simple survey assessment of their current awareness of essential strategies (see Appendix D).  Eligibility for the learning circles program will simply require interest in discussing the themes and content of each lesson face-to-face after exploring each lesson’s resources on their own. Participants will be required to conduct the hands-on ten two-hour lessons in the self-directed online course “A Beginner’s Guide to Profiting from the Internet” at http://lone-eagles.com/ecom.htm


As participants work through the short online lessons exploring new ideas and resources their visions and skills will quickly grow to the point where only a few short months later they will be able to tell about dozens of opportunities of which they were unaware prior to joining the project. We’re all challenged with demonstrating the proven concept that new knowledge will create new opportunities.

Creating Learning Circle Study Groups


Rural "learning circle study groups" will demonstrate significant knowledge gathering processes for their community to motivate more locals to become involved in also gathering and sharing new knowledge regarding community technology applications. Interested individuals would commit to attending five 2-hour meetings over a ten-week period and committing to explore the online lessons as a source of new ideas for consideration and discussion. Minutes for all meetings will be shared online with an invitation for public input. The end result of the learning circle will be to develop consensus on an action plan regarding spending SEED monies provided by the grant for citizen inclusion and peer-training establishing both a community ecommerce center and a people-centered community knowledge network demonstration project.


Serving as rural leadership groups, these “learning circles” will review potential innovative approaches to local collaboration and to bring new knowledge to the community. Emphasis will be on inclusive collaborative tools and processes whereby everyone participating will have access to all participants’ knowledge. Youth will be integrally involved demonstrating their often superior technical skills to generate content and to identify entrepreneurial opportunities that would allow them to remain a part of their community’s future. (Learning Circle Methodology is detailed in Appendix A)


Rural SEED Community Ecommerce Centers

The following SEED Community Ecommerce Center model will be created to utilize existing resources such as school computer labs after hours and other community facilities.

The first challenge for the SEED Center is to identify the most effective means for directly engaging those not likely to volunteer their time to learn computers at a community technology center. As a model Community Ecommerce Center the goal would be to motivate citizens to learn-to-earn by offering them the opportunity to bring items for sale to the center for free posting on online auction sites. A small commission would be charged only for items sold, allowing citizens an effortless way to turn their salable items into cash. (Validation for this model is in Appendix E – EBay Drop-Off Stores Sprout on Main Street USA, and Community Ecommerce Center Details are in Appendix C.)


SEED People-Centered Community Knowledge Networks


Future-Proofing through Building a Secure Info-Structure


The operational challenge will be to demonstrate how just a few people and a simple toolbox can be enough to sprout the seed of a functional community network that can truly grow. The meaning and context of such an effort are essential to make clear if we are to successfully nourish this first little sprout.


On both free and low-cost replicable community network online systems, youth will demonstrate the benefits of the diverse modern methods for gathering and sharing knowledge to include:


Email, listservs, web pages, open source content management systems features such as photo galleries, blogs (web journals), interactive calendars, interactive web links catalogs, upload/download file systems, citizen news-sharing systems, discussion forums, and more.


Youth will create a draft “dream site” to share with their local community with a listing of hyperlinks to the best innovations of others for presentation to the adult learning circles for their consideration and assessment.


Open source content management systems provided by Old Colorado City Communications (Dave Hughes Sr and David Hughes Jr) will be established as demonstration systems in two rural communities in year one. Year two will include showcasing many advanced open source broadband multimedia applications reflecting the very best new capabilities along with integrated simple online tutorials.  A sample low-cost community network using this software is the Lone Eagle Self-Employment Incubator at http://lone-eagles.oldcolo.com (Technical Details are in Appendix F.)


Community Involvement (10%)


In the computer information world, what you give to others often comes back to you tenfold. We appear to find ourselves in a situation where we can only unlock the potential treasures if we’re all working together instead of each focusing only on one’s own benefits.


“Community is the sum of what we give to each other.” Citizens need to experience how the searching time each person saves by sharing their knowledge with others generates exponential benefits as the number of participants grows.


Working Smarter Together to Build Intelligent Rural Communities


The highest benefits of the Internet tools at hand can only be realized if we’re working

smarter together. The benefits of many eyes and ears working and learning in a coordinated manner creates a learning community. We have the opportunity to see for ourselves how we each directly benefit from the knowledge of many others if we each can agree to regularly give a little of ourselves. If we each share what we know, we'll all have access to all our knowledge. The profound extensibility the Internet provides for the creativity of even one individual to impact the lives of many others when multiplied by many persons in a rural community is infinite.
(See Social Learning Outcomes in Appendix G.)

This type of initiative can start with as few as two or three people modeling for others how to gather and share essential current information in an ongoing and summative manner, with the efficiencies of the online medium for widespread distribution and collaboration.


Two key incentives will assure broad citizen participation.

The first key incentive of social recognition is the invitation to mentor and support the learning and benefits for others. There is no better way to learn than by teaching others. Social recognition is often more motivating than economic incentives, even by those in economic need.


The second key incentive is each individual’s own entrepreneurial ambitions which will be directly supported in return for their proving their sincerity by completing the ten two-hour lessons in the online course “A Beginner’s Guide to Profiting from the Internet” http://lone-eagles.com/ecom.htm and by agreeing to generously share their knowledge mentoring others to generate social value. A peer-mentored Ecommerce incubator model will result demonstrating high levels of collaborative capacity leveraged by multiple Internet communications tools.

Project Feasibility (20%)


Montana Job Training Partnership (MJTP)  

As a 501c3 non-profit organization, MJTP will serve as administrative entity for the SEEDS project.  MJTP already has many workforce and community-building programs underway in Montana and Wyoming.

The Montana Job Training Partnership, through a new five-year demonstration grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy, addresses the needs of Montanans to understand the many ways they can earn income through Internet Ecommerce and telework strategies.

Individuals with disabilities interested in self-employment will learn of exciting online and offline training opportunities. K12 educators, parents, and students will find exciting opportunities for youth entrepreneurship and online learning. The online course A Beginner s Guide to Profiting from the Internet requires minimal computer experience. Everyone interested is invited to take this online course. Preview the lessons and details at http://lone-eagles.com/ecom.htm. (Summarized in Appendix B.)

This project is redefining workforce education by addressing systemic change and the grant is summarized at http://lone-eagles.com/MJTPChoiceProject.htm. For an informal description of this major five-year demonstration project see http://lone-eagles.com/MJTPschedule.htm

This project has benefited from online courses and printed training resources developed by Idaho State University and Lone Eagle Consulting. The partnership between MJTP, ISU, and Lone Eagle Consulting has already resulted in yet another innovation; the Lone Eagle Self-employment Incubator at http://lone-eagles.oldcolo.com

Lone Eagle Consulting
http://lone-eagles.com  Specializing in fast-track Internet training for rural, remote, and indigenous learners, Lone Eagle Consulting is currently serving as online Ecommerce and telework trainer for the Montana Job Training Partnership. Lone Eagle Consulting is also creating an online clearinghouse on self-employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities for both MJTP and the University of Montana Rural Institute: A National Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Services http://ruralinstitute.umt.edu . (See Appendix H for more details.) 

Idaho State University Special Programs Workforce Training Division

A partner of Lone Eagle Consulting since 2000, ISU has supported the creation of extensive online training resources for rural, remote, and indigenous learners. Three years of Ecommerce innovations are detailed at http://lone-eagles.com/connect-idaho.htm and http://lone-eagles.com/montpelier-story.htm ISU Special Programs will advise MJTP and Lone Eagle and other SEEDS partners on effective strategies for engaging rural citizens and designing community awareness events and workshops.


Association for Community Networking http://www.afcn.org
For over ten years this national association has championed the cause of intelligent community applications for use of Internet collaborative tools. (See Appendix I for details.)


Old Colorado City Communications http://wireless.oldcolo.com
Specializing in rural satellite and wireless communications as well as open source content management systems, Old Colorado City Communications (Dave Hughes Sr and David Hughes Jr) will create demonstration community knowledge networks in two rural communities. A sample low-cost community network using this software is the Lone Eagle Self-Employment Incubator at http://lone-eagles.oldcolo.com (Use the Internet Explorer browser to view.)


Two rural communities in Montana. The communities selected for the two-year project are Butte, Montana, represented by the Butte-Silver Bow Community Development Department, and Hamilton, Montana, as represented by Authentic Computer Tutoring.  (See Appendix J for descriptions of Hamilton and Butte and Appendix K for letters of support.)


Evaluation (10%)


Visible measurable outcomes will be graphically represented on the web on an on-going basis as an automated feature of the community content management systems such that all participating communities can self-assess their levels of participation and productive results at any time. MJTP will receive funding to provide a professional assistant to assist with data-gathering throughout the project.


Mr. Steve Cisler has agreed to be the external evaluator for this project.  He currently is a librarian and telecommunications consultant who has been involved with community networks since 1986.  In the 1990s, while at Apple Computer, Inc., he made grants to libraries and communities that were building Free Nets and other community networks.  He convened two community networking conferences, Ties That Bind, in 1994 and 1995 that brought together networkers from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, and Germany.  He headed a project to free up unlicensed wireless spectrum (5 GHz band) for public use.  In 1996 he helped found what is now the Association for Community Networking and since then has been active in the rural United States and in Latin America to help grow community-based ICT projects. Mr. Cisler served as evaluator for the Kellogg Foundation “Managing Information for Rural America” project and has been a leader in the community networking field for nearly twenty years.


Throughout the project as indicated in the graphical Timeline (Appendix L) evaluations will be taken for all ongoing activities. All evaluative instruments will be developed with the assistance of the external evaluator. The first six months of the project will be used to design and conduct a pre-assessment for community readiness to use as a baseline. A post-assessment will be conducted at the end of the project.  The data will be summarized and compared to the pre-assessment and the compared to business trends in Montana and the U.S.


Appendix A

SEED Learning Circles Methodology


K12 educators and administrators along with elected community leaders are often the least likely to attend presentations related to technology innovation – to the detriment of their communities’ abilities to adapt to a changing economy and thus sustain their community. High visibility recognition for sponsoring a high-profile community project is likely to be the key incentive, along with the responsibility of decision-making regarding SEED monies provided by this project.


In general, adults don’t read online and often find learning new technology skills and behaviors intimidating and difficult. In marked contrast, youth quickly embrace and use new communications technologies. They have already proven that their generation will use these tools at a far higher level than current adults.


Most adults and parents will confirm that youth are generally very interested in technology and are the technology leaders of their community. Youth need to be directly involved with demonstrating tangible methods of using Internet communication tools for future-proofing their communities by establishing effective ongoing methods of gathering and sharing innovations already proven to be working for other communities and individuals.


Youth will demonstrate actual working models for review by K12 educators, administrators, and elected leaders regarding specific community opportunities to benefit from thoughtful use of multiple specific collaborative Internet tools.  Educators will serve to facilitate the group process dynamics in support of participating youth. Youth will demonstrate the process by which innovations from other communities are gathered and shared online locally to fuel the home fires of innovation.


The adults will then assess the utility of these diverse knowledge sharing methods and tools. Together, youth and adults will devise an ideal community action plan with emphasis on what can be implemented without significant outside funding. SEED funding will be available for specific projects as a key incentive for direct participation by rural leaders, school administrators, and educators.


1.      Establish “learning circles” (study groups) of three or more interested individuals willing to come together for five two-hour meetings to share and talk about their hands-on discoveries with the ten online lessons for “A Beginner’s Guide to Profiting from the Internet” http://lone-eagles.com/ecom.htm. (See Appendix B.) Review local initiatives and best innovations locally and elsewhere, participate in youth presentations on the innovations of other community, and assess the best local options for investing the grant-provided SEED money of $20,000 per year... Minutes of meetings will be shared online along with an invitation to the whole community for input in online discussions.


a.       Document everyone’s ideas and contributions online to share broadly along with gathering lists of resource links gathered by participants. Give full credit to the activity and contributions of all participants.

b.      Generate operational definitions for growing a learning community, community knowledge network, a smart community, civic intelligence, smart community, tech-savvy community, etc.

c.       Create an informal internet awareness self-assessment for the community.

d.      Survey visions for the best a community can do, before and after the learning circle awareness raising experiences.
Assess a survey listing the ten best logical initiatives to grow local capacity. Review community e-marketing options and models, web site levels and features (youth select wish list features as web tour on a dummy community page)  Demonstrate models how an individual can exert grassroots leadership through example and by providing web tours, paid services, encouragement, etc.

e.      Write the press release for their ideal community success story.


2.      Consider what local events might help make more citizens "aware" of their opportunities through events and workshops. (Suggestions at http://lone-eagles.com/academy.htm

a.       Additional examples include creating a local web review, web business directory, create a mentors roster (skills registry), CTC, eBay drop off center, Kinko’s service center showcasing local self-employment models, Ecommerce website incubator, web-raising events and competitions to generate local web content. List local Internet expertise such as web authors, ecommerce successes, online businesses (web directory), and those willing to "mentor" others.

3.      Youth Components: Engage youth in identifying youth retention issues and solutions such as youth entrepreneurship and Internet opportunities. Educators will be directly involved as group facilitators. Suggestions at http://lone-eagles.com/our_community.htm

4.      Create a method for simple online content gathering and sharing to model "people-centered knowledge networks" Beyond a simple single listserv and shared web page consider the Community inquiry lab software as free and super simple to set up. This Software is literally training wheels for those considering a community network complete with logins, privacy, permissions, and several simple collaborative tools. This hands-on experience will give the simple idea of how a community network can be controlled and organized system.

5.      Self-assess progress and accomplishments after an initial 3-6-12 month period to plan how to grow the value of such knowledge-sharing practice. 

Appendix B: 

 A Beginners Guide to Profiting from the Internet


            The ten two-hour lessons at http://lone-eagles.com/ecom.htm present a hands-on overview of what’s working for others like you and include activities exploring many of the best Ecommerce and telework training materials and resources available – from which you’ll easily be able to determine the resources best suited for your continued self-directed learning.  It is designed to be interactive with others and the instructor. 

Lesson OneEcommerce and Telework Readiness Skills.  This class will provide a hands-on overview of your key opportunities related to Ecommerce and Telework. You’ll review what has already been proven to work for others and will learn where to find specific information when you need it.

Lesson Two
Ecommerce Fast-Track Strategies – With the world changing so rapidly, you need to find a way to keep track of new trends in order to know what’s working for others and what is coming next.  Because there’s so much that’s changing, finding ways to deal with information overload is a priority.  Take advantage of available resources that have already summarized information

Lesson Three Ecommerce Cooperatives and Virtual Incubators.  If you are a crafter and just wish to sell your crafts, perhaps you don’t need your own web site.  You might use eBay, or you might just post your crafts on a crafters’ cooperative web site along with the crafts of many others to benefit from collaborative marketing.

Lesson Four E-Marketing Strategies.  Using available resources, you can market your products or web site globally just as effectively as anyone in a big city – once you know how.

Lesson Five Entrepreneurship Training Opportunities.  Imagine being able to live anywhere, either working for yourself running your own businesses, or working for someone else, but still able to live anywhere and set your own work schedule. 

Lesson Six Online Resumes and Job Sites – Selling Yourself.  Extensive resources on all kinds of careers, both online and offline, can be found at job-finding sites that allow free posting of resumes and many other sophisticated features.

Lesson Seven Telecommuting and Telework Opportunities.  Telework relates to work performed via telecommunications.  Employers are finding that many high quality workers are demanding this type of flexible work arrangement as a condition for employment.

Lesson Eight International Trade Training Resources.  By U.S. standards, most of the world is still in poverty.  New satellite and wireless systems will soon be able to bring the Internet to nearly any point on the globe – bringing the potential for new economic solutions. 

Lesson Ten New Rules for the New Economy.  In a world of accelerating change, your strategy is to benefit from those resources that allow you to “ride the wave” instead of being dragged along.  There is increasing importance on the value of relationships.

Appendix C

The SEED Community Ecommerce Center Concept


Online auction businesses, like eBay, are the biggest Ecommerce success stories, having not only survived the tech stocks bust, but continually demonstrating rapid growth internationally.


eBay, with over 50 million users, exchanging over $40 million in goods daily, has given over 150,000 people the opportunity to become self-employed fulltime buying and selling via eBay. Even without a product to sell, anyone can quickly learn how to research how most people on eBay have learned to identify the going rates for products selling on one part of eBay, and then to identify sources for purchasing these same products at lower prices elsewhere. With minimum capital required to get started, tens of thousands of people have learned to be successful buying and selling online.


Utilizing vacant storefronts on the main street, the Community Ecommerce Center is a combination community technology center, Ecommerce/fulfillment center, and Kinko’s-style community cooperative service center where free services are offered to take digital photos of products for sale, (Ex. Quilts, crafts, antiques, etc.) and then store them for shipment for a defined period while attempts are made to sell them.

This unique storefront E-business would display all posted salable items for others to see what’s being auctioned online. Shelves of products will be open for bidding, as well. Public records would be highly visible for what has sold and at what price.


As word gets around the community that cash-in-hand for contributors really works, more and more citizens out of curiosity will begin to show increased interest in what does sell and will begin to understand the process of determining new markets for online selling. Cyber-cafes have also proven to be a successful model – replicated thousands of times worldwide, providing the added incentives of a cup of coffee and/or food.


The Center service will provide free sit-down sessions to help newcomers get comfortable with how to both research markets for their goods as well as how to post their items themselves. Six Internet-connected computers will be immediately available to open the door for one of the biggest first steps of all, self-initiated hands-on computer exploration and learning. 


Community Ecommerce Center Services:


          1.      Quick-Cash Auction Services to Raise Awareness Quickly

off an item for sale via online auctions on a commission basis with a standing invitation to be shown how this is done and how you can learn to easily do it yourself.


            2.         Fast-track Training services to Rapidly Generate Local Skills
Short 30-minute trainings will deliver real skills quickly - with emphasis on creating for-profit products and services. Extensive existing Ecommerce Curriculum has already been created via a partnership between Idaho State University and Lone Eagle Consulting


Ten 30-Minute Mastery Learning Skill Units


1.      Browsing Basics (Example http://lone-eagles.com/browse.htm)

2.        Searching Basics (Example http://lone-eagles.com/ecommerce-search.htm)

3.        Email Basics (Example http://lone-eagles.com/ecommerce-email.htm)

4.        Listserv Basics for Group Collaboration (Ex. http://lone-eagles.com/ecommerce-mentor.htm)

5.        Web-authoring Basics (Ex. http://lone-eagles.com/netscape.htm)

6.        Digital Photography and Photo-manipulation Basics

7.        Digital Art Tablet Basics

8.        Multimedia Basics (Online sound, video, animations)

9.        Downloading and Installing Software Basics

10.      EBay Basics (Entry Level Ecommerce Basics)


An Ecommerce Web Mall and Support for Emerging New Businesses A web mall will be created and will provide existing and emerging new businesses the opportunity to easily learn how best to get on the web quickly using web templates and/or low-cost Ecommerce store-builder services.



Appendix D

Is Your Community a SMART Community?

A Ten-Question Survey:


List your community strategies for each of the following:


How well is your community . . .


1.        Aware of what the essential Ecommerce Internet skills are and how to learn them?


2.                Aware of existing fast-track entry-level Ecommerce strategies?


3.        Aware of best models for ecommerce cooperatives and virtual incubators?


4.        Aware of easiest low-cost ways to get a business ecommerce page on the


5.        Aware of best E-marketing and collaborative E-marketing strategies?


6.        Aware of online Entrepreneurship training resources and how to stimulate
new entrepreneurs with minimal training?


7.        Aware that 1 in 10 jobs in the U.S. involves Telework and how to register
and market the skills of local citizens?


8.         Aware of online resume and job seeking sites?


9.         Aware of International trade training resources to tap into the global


10.       Aware of how a local community knowledge network can answer these
questions and much more for all your citizens?

                Updated Version is online at http://lone-eagles.com/smart.htm


Appendix E

EBay Drop-Off Stores Sprout on Main Street USA

Reuters News Service

Wed Jan 14, 2004


By Lisa Baertlein


LOS ALTOS, Calif. (Reuters) - EBay Inc., the world's biggest online marketplace, is inspiring an unlikely entrepreneurial spin-off:  Bricks-and-mortar middlemen of the kind many thought Web retailing would force out of business.


The drop-off stores, including newly minted chains such as AuctionDrop, iSold It, QuikDrop, AuctionWagon and Pictureitsold, charge a commission to handle eBay auctions for people who are unwilling or unable to do it themselves.


The stores are important to eBay since the company's growth forecasts hinge on signing up more new eBay sellers and getting existing sellers to become more active.


"Only 8 percent of our customers have ever sold o­n eBay, so it's totally incremental for them," said Randy Adams, chief executive of AuctionDrop, the most richly funded of the drop-off stores that have sprung up in the last year.


Hani Durzy, eBay's spokesman, said the company embraces the offline outgrowth of its business and has no plans to open stores of its own.


"It's just another way of extending the eBay marketplace. We're happy to see this growing and expanding out of the trading assistants program," he said.



Store owners say they have helped customers sell everything from four lifetime seats for San Francisco 49ers professional football games and Lucchese handcrafted cowboy boots to new and "classic" computers.


Users say the stores -- which take a commission and pay eBay fees before sending proceeds to customers -- often do a better job than they could of taking pictures, researching fair value, writing sales blurbs and shipping.


Carol Shaffer, a software company training director, has been selling on eBay for almost six years and tried AuctionDrop after a new job left her too busy to oversee her own o­nline moving sale o­n eBay.


All told, Shaffer said she's sold well over 100 items via AuctionDrop, including several Coach purses and jewelry. "It was just the perfect idea at the perfect time," Shaffer said.


Thus far, AuctionDrop has collected $6.6 million in venture funding from Mobius Venture Capital and Draper Associates. It operates four stores in the San Francisco Bay area that feed into a central processing hub.


Since opening its first store in March, the value of items sold by AuctionDrop is $1.6 million, with $300,000 of that coming in December, said Adams, a so-called "serial entrepreneur" who in 1994 sold his start up Internet Shopping Network to the Home Shopping Network.


The windows of AuctionDrop's store in the wealthy Silicon Valley town of Los Altos display current for-sale items, including an oboe, an antique beaded handbag, a vintage Kodak camera and various high-end gadgets.


This year, AuctionDrop plans to add company-owned stores in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas and to expand its West Coast hub. It then expects to open an East Coast hub in New Jersey and a Midwest hub in the Chicago environs, before launching other hubs in the Dallas and Atlanta areas to support local stores. Profitability is targeted for 2005, Adams said.


AuctionDrop's planned move into Los Angeles will put the company in direct competition with rival iSold It, which opened its first store in Pasadena in mid-December and already is selling franchises.  Also franchising is Costa Mesa, California-based QuikDrop, which has stores in Texas, California, Alabama, Montana, Virginia and South Carolina.


ISold It founder Elise Wetzel, who started the Wetzel's Pretzels franchise with her husband, got the idea for giving people an easy way to sell o­nline after she arranged a school fund-raiser in which parents raised money by selling items from their closets o­n eBay.

"You can do it yourself, but who has the time and the knowledge? We're giving people access that they don't have right now. It's a value-added service," said Wetzel, who is scouting locations for 15 stores in Southern California and thinks that there could be 500 iSold It stores in the United States by the end of 2005.


Wetzel said iSold It boasts a 95 percent sell-through rate and takes a 25 percent commission.


Including all fees, a person selling a $100 item through iSold It would keep close to $70, Wetzel said. According to AuctionDrop's Web site, selling a $100 item at o­ne of its stores would net the seller about $59.


Appendix F

Technical Descriptions for SEED
People-Centered Community Knowledge Networks

Old Colorado City Communications
Specializing in rural satellite and wireless communications.

Open source content management systems provided by Old Colorado City Communications (Dave Hughes SR and David Hughes JR) will be established as demonstration systems in six rural communities. Year two will include showcasing many advanced open source broadband multimedia applications reflecting the very best new capabilities along with integrated simple online tutorials. These advanced applications will include streaming audio and video with emphasis on meaningful content as examples of how these capabilities can best empower community communications. A sample low-cost community network using this software is the Lone Eagle Self-Employment Incubator at http://lone-eagles.oldcolo.com (Use the Internet Explorer browser to view.)


The free easy community networking tools at (http://inquiry.uiuc.edu) can quickly create a functional community network with multiple collaborative tools (discussion forums, file sharing, and a calendar) and privacy/security. This type of network will be created and used in the short-term to help everyone understand the basic concepts and functionality. The youth would populate the site with examples for all to appreciate. These toolboxes are termed “community inquiry labs” and are provided by a ten year NSF project to generate online collaborative innovations. http://inquiry.uiuc.edu/cils )


The next step is to create a demonstration open source content management system which can be easy to learn beginning with just a few basic collaborative tools, but which will have dramatic expandability.


Example: Lone Eagle Self-Employment Incubator http://lone-eagles.oldcolo.com
A model open source content management system which is replicable at low-cost, can be technically maintained remotely, and is highly customizable using dozens of modular collaboration tools.


Initial Hands-on “Web-Raisings” as Community Events

An initial two-day “Web-raising” workshop will engage citizens and community organizations in hands-on community building initially using the free and easy community networking tools at http://inquiry.uiuc.edu

Sample site: SisterNet: Participatory Design
A model project using the community inquiry lab above.


Creating “Next Step” Community Knowledge Networks
Below are model “open source content management system” community web sites which present an initial simple format with robust expansion capabilities to be added step-by-step as people learn the value of the diverse knowledge gathering and sharing tools and behaviors:


Open source content management systems provided by Old Colorado City Communications (Dave Hughes Sr and David Hughes Jr) will be established as demonstration systems in six rural communities.


BEST Example:
Lone Eagle Self-Employment Incubator
A model open source content management system which is replicable at low-cost, can be technically maintained remotely, and is highly customizable using dozens of modular collaboration tools. (Use the Internet Explorer browser to view.)

(The following links are from the Community Networking Models Web Tour at
http://lone-eagles.com/democnlinks.htm )

Native American Community Web Sites:
A SMART communities project from Canada using open source content management systems for six Aboriginal communities.

Australian Aboriginal Youth Community Web Sites: www.deadlymob.org

An open source content management system supporting multimedia skill development of Aboriginal youth in a dozen remote communities in central Australia.

Caithness, Scotland www.caithness.org
A well-developed open source content management system in the highlands of Scotland.


Bethel, Alaska www.deltadiscovery.com
A people-centered information clearinghouse model from Bethel Alaska.


As a brief example of available support resources, here’s a reading list on community networks for those who might be interested:


Appendix G

Social-Learning Outcomes This Proposal Will Produce

SEED Draft Press Release  for Oct. 1, 2005 on anticipated outcomes:


Montana Communities Sow SEEDS of Success


Beginning only a few short months ago, the SEED project began by creating learning circles of interested citizens to explore together online what is already working for others using Internet Ecommerce and telework. As a result there has been a major discovery; mining raw human potential using new web tools has revealed a new gold rush for communities willing to leverage their ready human assets.


In two rural communities in Montana groups of grassroots leaders came together to explore how they might better gather and share knowledge to benefit their community’s ability to adapt to a changing world. Each group established a “learning circle” study group involving both youth and adults to meet regularly to share what they each had been discovering through online guided tours on the Internet regarding innovations from other communities.


An empty storefront on Main Street is now a bustling Community Ecommerce Center where items for sale can be dropped off to be posted on online auction sites, new Ecommerce business web sites are being generated, and local technology skills are being marketed and shared.


From this seed group sprouted new awareness of real opportunities from which they created a simple local community knowledge network to share with their community the exciting new opportunities they were finding. As more people saw the value of their efforts, more diverse ways of gathering and sharing knowledge were found and exercised.

Keeping current has become easier and less overwhelming for everyone. As the number of people contributing increased - the whole community grew smarter, future-proofing itself as ever new and more powerful tools for gathering and sharing knowledge were discovered and implemented to benefit the community.


As the SEED project has grown from a sprout into a tree bearing fruit in the form of new jobs and opportunities, other communities nationally have begun to notice that wonderful innovations were being demonstrated that they could learn from, too. And it all started from a few people committed to working together to learn. A low-cost highly replicable and functional “Community Knowledge Network” model has been the result as demonstrated at http://lone-eagles.oldcolo.com.


Appendix H

The Role of Lone Eagle Consulting


Lone Eagle Consulting - Frank Odasz, President and CEO, will be contracted to be the project administrator and master trainer.  His services include, but are not necessarily limited to, event planning and execution, specialized event presentations, event promotion, train-the-trainers online ecommerce and telework instruction, online mentoring, general training workshops, and general project consulting.  Based on his daily rate for work performed remotely, $500 a day and calculating six full days per month - $3,000/month x 12  = $36,000.  Based on his standard rate for presentations $1,500/day and five 2-day workshop events per year per community (five 2-day events x $1,500 x 2 communities = $30,000), his services would total $66,000 per year. (With no additional paid benefits.)
           Lone Eagle will create and customize curriculum specific to the project, conduct community self-assessments, and facilitate additional community events and peer training as in-kind match.  This is based on a daily rate of $500 a day and calculating 3 days per month = $1500/month x 12 months = $18,000- per year; totaling $36,000 match for two years.  Lone Eagle will also use $18,975 of Montana Choice efforts for each year as in-kind match from services provided to individuals with disabilities, One-Stop center staff and others in the Butte and Hamilton areas for a total of $37,950 in match.
              A resume for Frank Odasz is at http://lone-eagles.com/articles/frank.htm along a biography and a 22 page chapter on Frank’s twenty year history engaged in online learning and community networking innovations. (To be published summer 2004.) During 2003, Frank Odasz presented keynotes on Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) for government conferences in Australia and Jamaica.
               During 1998-2000 Frank served as a popular presenter for the Kellogg MIRA (Managing Information in Rural America) project. Kellogg’s assessment of the value of one day workshops was $3000/day. Evaluations from all Lone Eagle workshops are in the MIRA archives at www.wkkf.org The recent history of Lone Eagle events is documented at http://lone-eagles.com/new.htm  An Internet search for “Frank Odasz,” “Big Sky Telegraph” and/or “Lone Eagle Consulting” will reveal the scope of impact to date.
             The San Jose Mercury News in Silicon Valley published a full front page article on Dillon, Montana in 2001 titled: “Net makes rural Americans less isolated - A Montana town struggles to reconcile Old West values with the new Net economy. Here’s a quote: Nobody in Dillon knows more about cultural barriers to new technology than Frank Odasz, the Johnny Appleseed of community networking.”

             Extensive existing resources reflecting twenty years of experience will be available for use by this project. The following sample resources are specific Internet training products for which Lone Eagle Consulting retains full copyright. Additional extensive resources are at http://lone-eagles.com/.


Major Training Resources From Lone Eagle Consulting:


NEW Online course “A Beginner’s Guide to Profiting from the Internet”
http://lone-eagles.com/ecom.htm  Ten two-hour hands-on lessons providing an overview of what’s working for others like you regarding ecommerce and telework self-employment.


Rural Ecommerce and Telework Strategies http://lone-eagles.com/eguide.htm  A 200 page book including ten online lessons.


Master Listings of Original Writings on Internet Empowerment
Community Internet Empowerment http://lone-eagles.com/ruralempowerment.htm
 The first article is a Authenticating Rural Internet and Broadband Benefits - A Reality Check Written for the Australian.

Rural Ecommerce Success Stories http://lone-eagles.com/connect-idaho.htm  The first article is Rural Ecommerce Successes in Idaho An ongoing collection funded by the USDA through the Rural Development Council of Idaho.  See also Two Years of Montpelier Events Awareness-raising events and ecommerce success stories from the two-year effort to create Idaho’s first community success story - in Montpelier, Idaho.

Common Ground: A Cross-Cultural Self-Directed Learner's Internet Guide

http://lone-eagles.com/guide.htm  Created for USAID, AT&T and the ERIC clearinghouse. An instructional brokerage resource with emphasis on pointing to the best online tutorials, and educational resources, on the Internet for self-directed learning. This is the text for the online course "Making the Best Use of Internet for K-12 Instruction."


This guide is supported by free access to two graduate credit online classes:


1.      ED 597 4L - Making the Best Use of Internet for K-12 Instruction
Alaska Pacific University Three Semester Credit Version

2.      ED A597 6L - Designing K-12 Internet Instruction
Alaska Pacific University 3 Semester Credit Version

Published book chapters and articles:

Big Skies and Lone Eagles: Lending Wings to Others, Online - A Rural Perspective  A 20 page history of Frank Odasz written for an upcoming book as a history of online learning from a rural perspective.  http://lone-eagles.com/history.htm  

The Future of Community Development; Making the Living You Want, Living Wherever You Want http://lone-eagles.com/comdev.htm Published by Technopress.

Other published and unpublished articles at http://lone-eagles.com/articles/articles.htm


BIOGRAPHY: Frank Odasz, M.A., President and CEO, Lone Eagle Consulting

            Born in Cody, Wyoming, in 1952, Frank Odasz has been a carpenter, oil field roughneck, dude ranch manager, and college professor and is now a “Lone Eagle” – that is, an independent instructional entrepreneur living on a ranch eight miles southwest of Dillon, Montana. Modeling western individualism by pioneering the electronic frontier, Frank is living proof the Internet can be used to allow rural citizens to retain their cherished rural lifestyle. Lone Eagle Consulting champions the cause of creating more rural Lone Eagles able to live and work anywhere they choose.
            In 1982 Frank attended the University of Wyoming to learn the benefits that computers and telecommunications could bring to rural citizens.  As one of the early pioneers of both online learning and community networking, he founded the Big Sky Telegraph network in 1988.  This was one of the first online systems to offer online courses for rural educators in over one hundred one-room schoolhouses in Montana.  He directed this program until 1998.
            Frank served on the founding boards for both the Consortium for School Networking and the Association for Community Networking. Frank has been a very popular presenter providing rural community workshops for the Kellogg “Managing Information in Rural America” project, workshops for educators for the International Thinkquest Competition, CTCnet national conferences, AFCN-cosponsored community networking conferences, and has advised on grant applications for the Hewlett Packard Digital Village initiative, as well as U.S. Dept. of Ed. Office of Migrant Education technology projects.

In 2002, he created Rural Ecommerce and Telework Strategies as a non-credit first online course specifically for rural learners. Recently, over 40 rural adults, and 16 Athabascan High School youth are enrolled in the Rural Ecommerce course. Frank has been the keynote speaker for the Rural Workforce national conference three years in a row and for many other Ecommerce conferences including the National Native American Employment and Training conference, 2003. Additional Ecommerce presentations are listed at http://lone-eagles.com/new.htm .

Frank has been teaching rural citizens and teachers consecutively since 1988. Among the other online courses he has created are Classroom Collaboration on the Internet; Mentoring Online; How to Create and Teach an Online Class; Making the Best Use of Internet for K-12 Instruction; and Designing Online Curriculum for K-12 Instruction. Frank teaches online graduate courses for Alaska Pacific University, Seattle Pacific University and the non-credit Ecommerce course for Idaho State University.

Specializing in fast-track Internet training for rural, remote, and indigenous learners for the last 20 years, Frank has traveled over half a million miles presenting at national and international conferences on online learning, community networking, and rural Ecommerce. Frank has diverse experience working with Alaskan villages and rural communities. Frank’s work has been recognized for excellence by four congressional reports, the White House, and dozens of books and publications. Resume: http://lone-eagles.com/articles/frank.htm


Appendix I

  Partnering with High Level Expertise

The Association for Community Networking


To address the need to continually gather and share the best replicable models for CTC's, CN's, online learning, citizen engagement, cultural expressions, and identification of replicable measurable visible outcomes the board of directors for the Association for Community Networking will participate by engaging qualified experts in creating a national online clearinghouse as follows. $25,000 per year for two years will be matched with $25,000 in-kind time volunteered for content creation by qualified experts selected by the AFCN board of directors. A content manager will be selected to coordinate and supervise these project components.


Quoted from AFCN’s letter of participation in the appendices:  “AFCN agrees to participate in SEEDS by developing a clearinghouse of resources relevant to the creation of community knowledge networks, with a focus on rural capacity development and e-commerce. The clearinghouse will be implemented and maintained on the AFCN website, to maximize broad access.  Using an open and fair process, AFCN will recruit experts for this project from among its membership to produce the following:


·        A web-based directory of community networking consultants: people with expertise in the application of information and communication technology to community goals, such as economic development and civic engagement.


·        An online mentoring roster that helps to match technology experts with SEEDS youth.


·        A digital collection of information resources relevant to SEEDS goals and activities, including original overview articles that address the needs of rural communities.

While AFCN will take responsibility for implementing the clearinghouse, we are also committed to engaging SEEDS youth in developing clearinghouse tools and resources. This collaboration will provide a valuable learning experience for participating youth. It will also provide AFCN with useful experience in engaging a broad constituency in the collective enterprise of community networking. 

            Sincerely, Gene Crick, President, Association for Community Networking”  End Quote


The Association for Community Networking www.afcn.org  represents many early pioneers of community networking with vast knowledge on generating genuine collaborative capacity from knowledge gathering and sharing. Their expertise will be shared with youth from the participating communities to create replicable low-cost “people-centered knowledge networks.” The Association for Community Networking provides resources, shared learning, and experienced guidance to help communities and organizations use information and communications technologies effectively. The AFCN advocates strategies, provides resources and offers services to help communities function more effectively and remain healthy amid the complexities of this Information Revolution


Creating a Model Online “Community of Community Networkers”
Many community systems could automatically receive multiple channels of information (via RSS feeds) as a demonstration for how to share new knowledge efficiently with many rural communities on an ongoing basis. The intent is to share clearinghouse information openly and without restrictions.


Appendix J


 – Community Descriptions for Butte and Hamilton, MT
     Offline, but available on request.


Appendix K


Letters of support from partners and communities

Offline, but available on request.


Appendix L




Year 1 - 1st Quarter

Oct 1 – Dec 31

Year 1 - 2nd Quarter

Jan 1 – Mar 31

Year 1 - 3rd Quarter

Apr 1 – Jun 30

Year 1 - 4th Quarter

Jul 1 – Sep 30

Year 2 - 1st Quarter

Oct 1 – Dec 31

Year 2 - 2nd Quarter

Jan 1 – Mar 31

Year 2 - 3rd Quarter

Apr 1 – Jun 30

Year 2 - 4th Quarter

Jul 1 – Sep 30

Meet with community teams to plan and schedule events, buy needed supplies, and prepare centers. Develop curriculum, develop newsletter template, and finalize evaluation and data collection plans, survey tools, and methodologies.


















Five half-day events beginning with kick off event, preceded by full day youth workshops









Begin online lessons and collaboration









Community Action Plans Discussions


















Open center for learning and auctions









Fast Track Business Skill Development









Create e-mall and self-employment jobs showcase


















Establish networks and train youth









Create content and demonstrate knowledge sharing tools


















Pre-Assessment of Communities









Collect evaluative data









Complete and write final evaluation









Progress and budget report to TOP









Final report and claim to TOP