Thank you for being with Web Networks!
As the Internet extends into more aspects of our daily lives, growing numbers of commercial interests try to develop the formula for online community. At Web Networks we have been supporting both face to face and virtual communities since 1987 through appropriate and innovative communications technology. Our success is measured by the number of you, both individuals and organizations, who choose to support us.
That support comes for many reasons in addition to innovation and affordability. Many are deeply committed to the principles of social responsibility, ecology and economic justice embedded in our mission. Many support us because we are a non-profit. Others support us because we are one of the only unionized services in this area.
We try to earn that support by working according to those principles and by providing affordable, reliable and shared applications of new technology.
Web Networks is an online community. You are receiving this message because you are among the almost 3,500 who have an online home at Web Networks. Many of you choose to build your own online communities on Web Networks. Several hundred web sites, including many individual organizational sites and servers, reside with us.
We succeed by listening to you and by building community online. Many have asked for cost effective ways to build dynamic web sites. We responded with various web-based database driven applications. Events
(http://events.web.net) and Alerts (http://alerts.web.net) are the first of several shared applications that help get your message across. A growing number of you have contracted with us to move data resources into a web accessible space. Sometimes for public use, at other times for restricted use. Others have asked for different connectivity arrangements. During this year we intend to introduce a new ‘middle tier’ between the current 5 hr. and 90 hr. monthly accounts. We have just installed our first low-cost internet connection for a LAN. Expect more of these.
Increasingly, organizations consult with us in advance of submitting project proposals that include strategic application of computer communications.
This provides us with opportunity to apply lessons learned and to consider new innovations.
I would like to share some personal commitments with you. During the coming year I will work hard to keep your confidence, your trust and your support.
A self-reliant community enterprise such as ours requires a strong network of supporters. The quality of our service must reach the heights of our values. This means addressing some long standing issues. Chief among these is past failure to provide accurate billing and to ensure responsible collection. By now you have received the first statement from the new billing system. If you believe there are continued inaccuracies, please contact me immediately. I am committed to accurate, informative and comprehensive billing.
Most of Web Networks revenues come from online accounts and development work. Less than 20% of the annual $1.2 M budget comes from grants and projects. This is a wonderful asset for an organization supporting social change. Members contracting for services, not funders, dictate organizational direction. We rely on your payments. The majority who do pay promptly make Web Networks possible. Unfortunately, we also have those who pay very late or worse, not at all. These jeopardize our ability to serve. I am committed to establishing financial stability during 1999.
Interesting work is taking place on our infrastructure. This infrastructure is a combination of Unix, NT and Windows based systems. Web Networks has considerable expertise in determining which provide the best solutions for specific needs. While we have not yet released our Y2K compliance report, initial analysis suggests that our conferencing system is the primary endangered application. This application is shared with other related networks around the world. A global replacement is under development. I am committed to making the infrastructure investments that ensure reliable service in 1999.
The Internet is growing. We want to be an integral part of your plans for growing it in directions that serve change, that serve community. Again, thank you for being part of Web Networks.
[sent to all members while I was Executive Director of Web Networks]