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Where Does the Promise of Broadband Meet Real Needs?

A Web Tour of Existing Social Media E-Gov and Economic Innovations

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by Frank Odasz, Lone Eagle Consulting

Email: frank@lone-eagles.com

The age of Future Shock predicted by Alvin Toffler in 1970 is upon us. There are those who somehow are able to stay current on the latest trends and innovations despite continually accelerating change, and there are the rest of us who don’t know what we don’t know and need to at least understand what is happening all around us.   There is a generational difference between those of us who are able to handle cascading volumes of new information on a daily basis, and those of us who are geared for a different world where change wasn’t as constant as it is today.

The following web tour serves as a very brief literature review on the trends of:  
1. Rural broadband deployment,
2. Use of web 2.0 social media tools for local, state and federal government,
3. Issues related to health and educational reform as to who needs to receive either specific education, or related services, (often without asking.)

E-government systems must learn to presume what’s needed and not rely on citizens knowledge as to whether they may know what they need or what’s available.  Even a quick scan of a few of the first articles will reveal how much change is already underway regarding how we will soon access the information and services we need. With the Obama presidency, we know change is in the wind.

Two books have become part of the dialog on the current paradigm shift, The Creative Class by Richard Florida, and The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. Their main points can be summarized by the tension between creative individuals who are able to teach themselves how to live and work anywhere, and the rise of global multinationals, like Walmart and Google, who have increasing power over our information and life choices. The emerging question is who will control the future of our global society and economy and what risks do we face which we do not yet understand?

The Kevin Kelly video  at http://ted.com (19 minutes) on the next 5000 days of the web is a great example of what rural folks don’t know they need to know. 5000 Days link: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/kevin_kelly_on_the_next_5_000_days_of_the_web.html   This TED  site alone is a model for what's possible having short videos with leading visions easily accessible to help guide us all forward.  Can we simplify these trends and help guide rural folks to the best of the best “broadband benefits” which meet rural needs?

Next Government Portals to Offer More Mobility, Personalization and Simplicity

 http://www.govtech.com/gt/print_article.php?id=427091  Reading this one article on state E-gov innovations already in place is a good example of what you may not have known is taking place – that you really do need to know because “what follows” is already underway.

How Web 2.0 will Transform Local Government
A concise summary of opportunities for local innovation engaging citizens and more effectively sharing essential information.

Social networks exploding, may appear in government
Begs the question of how to effectively engage citizens at many levels.

The 2008 State New Economy Index Report from the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship
http://www.kauffman.org/uploadedfiles/new-state-index-2008.pdf   The Kauffman site www.entrepreneurship.org is one example of a resources which will leapfrog you ahead to the crest of the wave of entrepreneurial innovation.

The National School Board Association has published this report on the use of social media in education:
Creating and Connecting; Research and Guidelines on Online Social - and Educational Networking 
 www.nsba.org/site/docs/41400/41340.pdf   Summary, just as educational institutions resisted change and waited for the Internet to prove its value for education, so are we waiting for similar recognition of the value of social media.

Consumer Insights to America?s Broadband Challenge  (from Connectednation.org )

New Report on Internet Information Access Shows Montana is Way Behind the Nation

http://matr.net/article-31658.html  Addresses DSL, Cable, Universal service, but doesn’t address new wireless options or citizen training and engagement issues and barriers.

Social Media and the Changing Consumer Experience
http://blend.cdn.fm/amex/FEED1.pdf  An exceptionally current report with many examples of how social media innovations are changing nearly everything related to consumerism and information access. 84 pages.

The Portal for the Caribbean Centre of Excellence for E-Governance was launched on October 1st, 2008.  
http://cceeg.org   Seeking to model E-Gov best practices. A model to consider for the U.S.  Emphasis on use of cellphones to provides education and services to those in poverty. See also www.jamaicanheadspace.com (teaching basic reading and math via multimedia to cellphones)

First-ever Global Entrepreneurship Week
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 17, 2008) Beginning today, Global Entrepreneurship Week, the world's first-ever celebration of enterprising spirit, arrives as an international, open-source answer to the current economic downturn. Recognizing the global nature of many of the challenges we face, Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 17-23, will connect innovative young people with their counterparts around the world, and ultimately create a global movement of entrepreneurial people.   Co-founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in the United States and Make Your Mark, a business-led, government-backed campaign in the United Kingdom, the Week is estimated to engage more than 5 million young people in 77 countries through more than 11,000 events. Global businesses supporting the Week include global sponsors Ernst & Young, IBM and NYSE Euronext, as well as Honda, Dell, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Intel.  To learn more about the Week, those involved and the activities around the world, visit www.unleashingideas.org

Social Entrepreneurship Teaching Resources Handbook
http://www.usasbe.org/knowledge/socialentres/   Extensive quality resources.

Global Youth Enterprise Conference and Report
www.youthenterpriseconference.org  The report has extensive resources.

The National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices
www.nga.org recently issued this new report State Efforts to Expand Broadband Access”  

Connected Nation has statewide grassroots broadband awareness and adoption campaigns in six states. Reports at their site detail the opportunities: www.connectednation.com This is perhaps the most well known broadband advocacy group in the U.S.  Broadband mapping innovations are their forte.

 National Extension Ecommerce Initiative
A limited but significant initiative. Additional links follow:

Explaining the economic importance of community broadband

Last year’s RFP for proposals to create ecommerce curriculum for extension agents
http://srdc.msstate.edu/ecommerce/enews/07rfp_pre.pdf Ecommerce RFP 2007

Ecommerce Curriculum grantees

Resulting Ecommerce training Products 

Capturing the Promise of Broadband for North Carolina and America

21st Century Skills, Education and Competitiveness

Next Generation Web - Broadband is Green
Addressing the emerging synergy between energy issues, green businesses, and broadband connections to solutions as they emerge - all to be ideally complemented with an Egov and smart communities component.

One Economy
Promotes broadband poverty reduction training applications and has begun posting best practices in video at their beta site  www.pic.tv

The Broadband Economy and Intelligent Communities
  http://www.intelligentcommunity.org    Mostly urban focused with some reference to rural solutions.

Oracle’s Teleworker Jobs Matching Service  
Matches corporations seeking to save 40% by hiring remote home agents (teleworks) with rural citizens seeking home-based employment. There is a short video, and features to check the suitability of your connections for telework, etc.


The Thirty Day Challenge
 This Australian model of free distance learning is a great example of using free tools and video instruction. However, they are very push selling many related products. It is suggested you ignore all fee-based product offerings until you finish all the instructional videos. You can still learn a great deal about web 2.0, ecommerce, and search engine optimization. Not recommended for those intimidated by technology. A much shorter version for Montanans would make a lot of sense.


Startup Nation
Touting 150,000 pages of content and results from a competition for the best 100 home-based Internet business, this is certainly worth explore. An Internet radio station is included.

Foundations Have Role in Fostering Innovation
"Innovation itself is a field in need of innovation," said John Kao, a consultant to governments and corporations and former professor at the Harvard Business School. "What we really need is more original thinking about how innovation works in society and that could come from the philanthropic sector as well as universities."

To address the problem, Kauffman established the iBridge Network, http://www.ibridgenetwork.org/ a Web site and database containing three thousand inventions posted by scientists and engineers from forty universities.  the Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation  http://www.kauffman.org/ www.eventuring.org

The New York City-based Rockefeller Foundation has announced a partnership with InnoCentive, an online scientific network and platform, to create a nonprofit area on the InnoCentive site specifically designed to foster science and technology solutions to some of the world's most pressing humanitarian challenges. The agreement is the first step in a larger Rockefeller initiative aimed at promoting and increasing access to proven innovation models on behalf of poor and vulnerable populations worldwide.


Lone Eagle Consulting’s National and International Rural and Indigenous ICT Advocacy

Since creating the Big Sky Telegraph in 1988 to connect one-room schools "online" I've been innovating in Montana regarding e-learning, community networking, and in 1998, became “Lone Eagle Consulting” creating and teaching online courses for Alaska Pacific University and Seattle Pacific University as well as working with multiple projects  teaching rural ecommerce and telework strategies.

Take a minute and go to http://searchme.com and enter  “Frank Odasz”  and select “Search All” for a quick overview of the volume of online resources. Add the keyword "native" or "Alaska" and you'll see only the Lone Eagle Native and /or Alaskan resources displayed. A published history is “Big Skies and Lone Eagles http://lone-eagles.com/history.htm

Examples of priority recent Lone Eagle events and articles follow:

Presented for a 21 nations Global Rural ICT conference in Tokyo, March 2008:
The Global Rural ICT conference context is described at http://lone-eagles.com/tokyo-report.htm
The Lone Eagle formal 15 page whitepaper has MT and AK case studies: http://lone-eagles.com/social-engineering.htm
A short summary of the draft report advising global collaboration regarding rural telecenters best practices is http://lone-eagles.com/tokyo-summary.htm

21st Century Citizen and Community Wellness Broadband Best Practices
http://lone-eagles.com/hit.htm This document is my input for Senator Baucus on health care reform and Health information technology policy - as related to wellness broadband applications.The links to the short articles on govt. use of social media and the longer Razorfish report on consumer social media indicate major opportunities for innovation, particularly with citizen service learning engagement.

This Navajo Youth Chocolate ecommerce entrepreneurial success story is worth a quick review.
(Frank Odasz Blog Interview)
Daily Yonder Rural E-newsletter Article:
Wanted: Broadband and Broader Minds
http://www.dailyyonder.com/wanted-broadband-and-broader-minds  Rural Telework, Youth E-entrepreneurship, and rural broadband benefits.

After Lone Eagle train-the-trainers sessions in Wolfpoint, MT, Fall 2007, for the Fort Peck community ecommerce incubator grant http://lone-eagles.com/fort-peck.htm , local trainers taught youth how to create their own free ecommerce pages complete with affiliate programs with Amazon.com and Walmart which return commissions of 10-17% for items purchased online. See "Rez Bread" at http://snarf2000.tripod.com/ Web-raisings were held where attendees created free ecommerce sites in less than an hour using the tutorial at http://lone-eagles.com/tutorial.htm  Web-Raising events have been conducted in multiple communities and for MT's SBDC directors. Montanan Ecommerce Successes are listed at http://lone-eagles.com/ecommerce-successes.htm and at http://lone-eagles.com/montana-successes.htm

Lone Eagle letter to Senator Tester with details on my DC, FCC, Tokyo and other major events - with emphasis on Native American Internet training. http://lone-eagles.com/tester.htm   

June 11, 2008, Washington, DC: Attended a meeting with Native Affairs directors from SBA, USDA, FCC to discuss an online clearinghouse for broadband training best practices. Also met with the program director of www.connectednation.org which has an E-communities leadership model with grassroots broadband awareness and adoption campaigns. Their online reports are well worth a review. And met with MT Senators Baucus and Tester to discuss the letter to the MT Gov. suggesting a Rural Ecommerce and Telework Support Network and to propose hosting a conference “Why Broadband?” focused on Montanan ecommerce and telework success stories.

June 2008, Reviewed grants for the Corporation for National and Community Service www.cns.gov  for their Higher Education and Social Media Service Learning RFP.

July 17th, 2008 , Salt Lake City: Presented for the FCC Indian Training Institute conference www.fcc.gov/indians on creating a broadband training best practices clearinghouse.

The FCC has posted broadband training best practices http://lone-eagles.com/best.htm on their www.fcc.gov/indians site (listed as Examples of Broadband Training Best Practices) in their Internet Resources listing: http://www.fcc.gov/indians/internetresources/     With a new FCC chairman anticipated and a new President we can expect to see a lot of innovation related to Broadband and Social Media.

The Montana Economic Development Association Lone Eagles resources handout:  http://lone-eagles.com/meda2008.htm has details on the Fort Peck Community Ecommerce Project http://lone-eagles.com/fort-peck.htm   and the pending Wyoming Ecommerce Network - http://lone-eagles.com/wyomingrcdproject.htm    both as models for how Montana can grow rural demand for Broadband services.


First Indigenous ICT Conference Summary page
International Telecommunications Union sponsored First Indigenous Rural Telecenters conference. See the photo slideshow and video at the bottom of the page.  I took the photos and video - but note the poor quality resolution for what they posted. ITU and IDRC have both stated the intent to use new media to effectively promote Indigenous content but they do not seem to demonstrate any such expertise. Something to consider showcasing in order to motivate funding in the future. This commission was the result of this conference.
The Indigenous Commission for Communications Technologies in the Americas
http://www.iccta-citca.org    The Guatemala trip report http://lone-eagles.com/guatemala.htm

The question stands: Where does the promise of broadband meet rural needs?

Frank Odasz
Lone Eagle Consulting
Web: http://lone-eagles.com
Ph/Fax: 406 683 6270
Cell: 406 925 2519

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth" - Eric Fromm