Re: Network use by non-nerds?
From: Catherine Kehl (
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 94 15:09 CDT

On Tue, 12 Jul 1994, Pablo Halpern wrote:

> Hi cohousers,
> One of the discussions that was going on just before the list server went 
> down was about the usefullness of setting up on-line systems for use by a 
> cohousing group. One of the problems of such a system would be the 
> possibility that it would only be used by the "nerds" in the group and, 
> that being the case, its usefullness would be reduced such that even the 
> nerds wouldn't use it.

Well, there are two different kinds of systems for use by co-housing 
groups that have been being discussed.  One, would be some kind of BBS 
for the members to communicate with eachother.  Another would be for a 
co-housing site to have it's own internet node.  

The former doesn't interest me nearly as much -- I mean, if you're all 
living together anyway, what's the point? 

The latter, on the other hand allows members -- and I think I can say
especially children -- access to the resources of the internet.  Most
people can and will use email if they are lead through the system until
they really understand it.  (And they have people to send mail to).  Look
at us!  It's just so bloody convienient. 

Many people probably won't use much else, or won't use much else at 
first.  But on the other hand, email is probably one of the friendliest, 
most social, least nerd-like computer applications yet invented.  (Okay, 
I guess it can be considered nerd-like to have email instead of a social 
life).  However, at the moment you pretty much have to be a "nerd" or 
have a job that gives you a free account to be inspired to get on the 
internet.  Having a node at a cohousing site would make have access 
affordable, and would give you the built in resource of knowledgeable 
people to expalin how it works.  

> A. Does your job or hobby involve technical-level involvement with
>    computers (e.g. programming, tech writing)?

Not a bit -- I'm a Chinese Lang and Lit student who works at an 
elementary school.

> B. If not, does your job or hobby involve heavy non-techinical use of a 
>    computer (e.g. word processing, desk-top publishing, spreadsheets)?

Well, these days most students do use word processors, but other than 
that, no.

> C. If not, is there some reason you are connected to the internet 
>    other than that you just find it useful?

Best way to organize my social life I've found so far.  Cheapest way to 
keep in touch with out of state friends.  One of the better ways to get 
research done, sometimes.  But basically, no.

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