A cohousing web hosting service
From: Dirk Herr-Hoyman (hoymanddanenet.org)
Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2005 07:57:50 -0700 (PDT)
The discussion around an electronic decision log leads me to cast out
an idea that's been knocking around in my brain for the past few days.
Why doesn't someone, oh like cohousing.org, provide a web hosting service for Cohousing communities? This would be filled with standard web-based tools for each community. Getting a web site would be just one part of it, you'd also get things like a discussion blog (if such a thing can be said to exist), a few email accounts and so on.

I see lots of interesting web sites for cohousing communities and some have features like this. Why reinvent the wheel, I ask myself, we should be sharing these approaches. Actually, I'm in the "market" for such things at this very time. And I'm a long time internet, computer geek, but at this point in my life (and the cohousing project I'm involved with), I'd just as soon pick up something already done and use it.

This really isn't a novel idea. I have the same need for the UU society I also belong too. I've been working on a new web site and we also wanted to move to a new web hosting provider that would have email accounts and maybe a place to put some files. Voila, uuism.org is doing just what we want and for a very reasonable cost. It's a cooperative of sorts, just run been someone who wants to help the UU Community.

There would be a great deal of value in such a service to me, if it were
run for the CoHousing community.  How much would we pay for this?
Gee, $25-$100/month. Compared to the overall costs for the CoHousing project, this is but a drop in the bucket. It would literally be an exchange of time for money. Even for ongoing use, after one's project is done, this would still have value at about this level of cost.

Many groups are using Yahoo for some of these services.  While that's
ok for the simple email lists and a place to put a few files, this doesn't provide the other features that one gets with a commercial web hosting service. Yahoo is free, but it also puts in a bunch of ads, which are a tad annoying. I don't see Yahoo adding custom features, just for the Cohousing style usage.

Now, for this to work, and I'll take the decision blog as one example,
it would need to be "not so hard to use". Not too many complex features.
Simple is good.

--Dirk

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