Why a Cooperative?


The following video is very succinct and accurate, although bear in mind that there are very large cooperatives bigger than most corporations, such as Mondragon.

 

If you still aren’t convinced, take a look at this movie trailer, Shift Change:

Monetizing Broadband through Cooperacy


Monetize means to convert something to money and this can be achieved quite simply by selling something.  Another way might be to take a tool or service that you have and use it in different ways to create money perhaps by utilizing it in such a fashion as to save your money being spent on other purposes. 

What then are the best ways to monetize that broadband connection that you have or should have? How do you monetize that communications service that you pay for.  How does your community monetize its broadband network?  The obvious ways are to use the Internet not just for data but for voice, television, and security systems. What are some others?

I’m thinking that there has to be others that are offered either free or at very little cost.  There is of course VOIP services like Skype which you can use to stay in touch with friends and family.  You can get a VOIP service provider to give you virtually all the capabilities and features you have on your analogue phone.

I got to thinking about this as my son doesn’t watch television anymore, nor I, especially now, since we cancelled it.  He doesn’t use the phone which we still have, perhaps mostly for nostalgia, as he talks with his friends, actually conferences with several at a time, over the Internet, or uses his cell phone.

What is this future generation watching? I know Youtube is one, but I’m wondering what other free channels, that is, URLs, as well?  I’m surprised that there is not a new version of  TV Guide called Free TV Guide.  Television was initially free.  Remember all those TV antennae on the roofs of houses with rotators.  All you had to do was to buy a television and an antenna, a one time charge.  Now you have to pay monthly to watch advertisements.  Have we been duped?  Shouldn’t the advertisers be paying for our service?

Well, we can still listen to radio free of charge and even monetize our broadband further by being able to listen to radio stations in other cities and countries, thanks to Internet radio.

You have a smart phone but no cell coverage.  With a soft phone app on your smart phone you can communicate using WiFi on your smart phone to take even more advantage of your residential broadband Internet gateway while lowering your cellular usage costs.

For HAM operators we can even use the Internet to make connections throughout the world.

For rural and remote communities, distance learning has to be another way of monetizing that broadband connection. You no longer have to pay for  travel to get to class.  Anyone else with some thoughts on reducing your costs by monetizing your broadband connection and virtual vacations don’t count?

Just thought of another one, not so direct, but still appropriate, and that is selling all those items we possess that are no longer used through classified ads or bartering.

Basically these are personal and family ways to monetize that broadband connection.  Now, how many ways are there for a community to monetize their broadband?  Well, in order to even think about this the community really needs to own their network infrastructure, otherwise the monetization process benefits others.

Assuming then that your community owns their network, hopefully through a cooperative endeavor, cooperacy, and not local municipal government, some of the ways that this broadband network may be monetized are: local phone service; promote local buying through a community portal; local web hosting; community WiFi for tourists and visitors; local radio broadcasting; local video streaming for council meetings and event coverage; Big Box stores without big boxes through affiliate marketing; promote local trade; local coupons; local classified ads; surveillance; water monitoring; meter reading; precision farming; and local fund-raising online.

What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community!

Locality of Application Tsunami


Application Internet Exchanges (AIX) are inevitable and will be facilitated by what is called cloud computing data centers which will transition and evolve accordingly.  Consequently community broadband application cooperatives are bound to happen.

We have tiered access to the Internet where we have providers that provide us with personal, home, and business access to the Internet.  Correspondingly, we have a second tier of providers providing services to the aforementioned tier one providers.  A similar tiered network will occur involving software applications and to some extent this has already occurred.  Some companies have unwittingly blundered into the opportunity; but the total market potential of locality of application has not been recognized as yet.

My personal experience with community broadband surveys is that most of the communications stays within the community.  You just have to look at the demand for local news.  If the only alternative for access to applications goes outside of the community anyone can readily and blatantly postulate and theorize that the growing trend will be outside of the community.

Data communications and telecommunications are going through a technological merger.  Data communication companies have been considerably more adept through this evolution and at making the transition because for the most part they have controlled the content and haven’t been burdened by legacy systems and introverted thinking.  Content, like software applications, vertical or horizontal, will prevail and drive connectivity.

Low-cost bandwidth will come about through competition at all levels: community, county, region, state and country.  The cost of technology is such that local community empowerment, local sustainability, and local self reliance is quite achievable and makes better use of local resources in more ways than one.

Demand by its very definition is neither static nor stationary as it invokes responsive change.  The benefits of locality of reference will always disappear when there is no local alternative; but inevitably market forces will prevail.  We have been and are being technologically bullied and like sheeple most of us just blindly follow the herd.

The premise for this blog is based on my personal education, experience, expertise, and observations.  This of course leads to my theorizing that locality of application, insourcing, distributed processing, tiered cloud-in-a-box technology, and whatever technological tools and methodology to empower communities locally will always outweigh the alternatives.

What is really needed is application peering in a distributed fashion down to the community level.   This is more of an evolution based on demand.  With respect to telecommunications, originally private branch exchanges were switch boards manned by operators who were then replaced by electromechanical switches and those subsequently replaced by digital PBX technology which has evolved to IP PBXs and virtual IP PBXs.  Distributed technology and processing when economically viable, and in most cases it is, will always take precedence unless outside factors, like legislation, dictates otherwise.

Another example of locality is the mainframe which has evolved to a new role.  The mainframe’s “general” commercial usage was usurped by the personal computer and servers.  When you aggregate the number of PCs and servers, and support costs in large companies and government to displace the mainframe, this was not a lower cost displacement but a local empowerment one for users, organizations, and corporations selling the technology.  We’re going through another version of locality of empowerment with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) where people insist on using their own personal devices in their workplace.

For every outsourced solution there should be an insourced solution where it can economically fit.  In other words, there should be community non-hosted solutions for relevant hosted solutions.  We personally don’t use hosted solutions ourselves if we can’t have a non-hosted version of it.

Taking the concept of insourcing and outsourcing a little further, backup and recovery  is another great example of locality of application.  Technology exists today to backup your personal computer and your business server both from a non-hosted perspective and a hosted perspective.  Novastor, http://www.novastor.com and several other companies have software which can be installed on your local computers and backup your critical data to external devices locally.  You can then go store the device in your bank’s safety deposit box if you want.  This is your first level of backup and recovery.  Most ISPs and WISPs offer local backup and recovery to some extent in your communities.  They in turn may back-up and even grandfather-father-son your data to colocation and cloud computing centers outside of the community.

There is a myriad of applications like accounting, social media networking, online games, CRM, CMS, etc. that can be similarly recognized and treated as both local and remote, hosted and non-hosted, outsourced and insourced versions.  There is a huge market opportunity awaiting the right buzzwords to entice the sheeple.

Smart phone technology is another good indicator of this next enormous wave coming in technology.  As I mentioned earlier the myriad of applications will inevitably include smart phone apps becoming more localized.  After reading such books as “Android Apps for Absolute Beginners” there is no reason that applications and their corresponding smart phone apps like OpenTable, Uber, Zillow, Yelp, DemandForce, GrubHub, 1stdibs, and Peixe Urbano could not be readily replicated locally to the benefit of the community.  Again, there is a huge market opportunity not only awaiting the right marketing buzzwords, but local entrepreneurs with a little geeky savvy.

The new reality, that is, centalization, is merely a transitional stepping stone brought on by a mere local absence through lack of foresight and hindsight which like a void will be filled.  Its inevitable, as it is human nature to seek local empowerment.  Those companies not addressing both centralized and corresponding distributed versions of their software and sell accordingly will inevitably fail to those who do.

Let me try to be more succinct about the consequences of not having locality of application.  Let us say we live in a rural community whose backhaul, that is, access to the Internet goes down, perhaps because of disaster, or more likely because someone has inadvertently dug up the fiber.  The community no longer has access to all those centralized applications like social media networking, or heaven forbid, applications which utilize public safety, like amber alerts.

The “scale of information flow and velocity” will inevitably be distribution first, centralization second, and that has already been realized but ignored for the time being.

Let’s take even another example, video conferencing.  Video conferencing applications exist today, which are free by the way, to run on community servers.  The expertise to create such an app has in all likelihood been done virtually perhaps by some geek who farms part time and not necessarily by some geek in a 30th floor apartment.  So, you want a video image of yourself, perhaps even that Darth Vader holographic image of yourself, presenting in a virtual board room.  Let’s call this application, VY, for Virtually Yours, and it is a centralized application developed locally by that same geek, and now your image needs to be constantly transported across a terabyte data stream to a board room in a distant community.  Would it not make more sense to have VY in each community so that only your virtual image criteria is transmtted and not consuming vast amounts of bandwidth while doing your virtual presentation, along with holographic images of those board members who actually reside and work in that community?

Let’s take even a more practical and more immediate application, a final example, like classifed ads. Would it not make more sense to have a classifed ad application resident on a local community server where most of these kinds of transactions are made?  Now assume this application, a micro application, is resident on communities all around the world.  Your micro application can then become a macro application to do searches, not just on a community level but a regional level, a state level, and a country level, so that you can find your Darth Vader mask that you lost while on a world wide vacation with Chubaka.  In other words, look for a distributed version of Craigslist, and eventually VY, that can become a macro version through an AIX.

Cloud computing has merely made this perspective foggy, not cloudy and only Application Internet Exchanges will be able to facilitate the cloud dispersion and locality of application.

Like the universe, constant expansion of empowerment is inevitable, unless it is taken away.  Now, where and when will the earthquake happen that will precipitate this tsunami and will some type of fracturing cause it?

What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community!

Outsource and Outhouse, or Cooperacy


We have hotels, motels, restaurants, theatres, sports fields, mass transit, car rentals, taxis, and public washrooms.  So, why do we have houses when we can outsource our sleeping accommodations, outsource our kitchen, outsource our entertainment, outsource our transportation, and outsource our bathroom facilities?  For the most part, we can probably sleep better, eat better and not have to worry about cleaning up after ourselves.  You know, we could become homeless. 

 A little while ago I made a comparison to the implications of outsourcing your bathroom to centralized computing applications in a previous posting “Shearing and Slaughtering of Sheeple“.

If you are a farmer and self-sufficient and self sustainable, or belong to a utility or food cooperative you have basically insourced your water supply, insourced your food supply, insourced your communications, and/or insourced your power supply. 

 So, why is it that we outsource our social media networking, our classified ads, and other cloud computing applications?  Why haven’t we formed community broadband application cooperatives to foster local development and ensure adequate access to broadband infrastructure?

Inhouse or outhouse; isn’t it really about convenience and efficiency?  The technological term is locality of reference.

You really have to be loco not to be local.

What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community!

Big Secret: Cloud Computing is Outsourcing


Cloud computing is another way of saying outsourcing which has proven to be detrimental to the nation and more relevantly detrimental to rural and remote communities.

The basis for local economic development, and my fundamental passion, is empowering the community, the demographic area, with their own resources.  I believe in community insourcing, not outsourcing, and that the “cloud” and the way it is being currently presented is just another form of outsourcing.  This mindless hype being perpetrated on the sheeple can be readily changed, https://communitydevelopmentcooperative.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/shearing-and-slaughtering-of-sheeple/

Really, does it make sense to outsource local community websites, their hosting, their development, or, does it make sense to pay outsiders for the right for us to communicate within the community, https://communitydevelopmentcooperative.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/why-do-we-pay-others-for-the-right-to-communicate/, or, does spending money outside of the community make more sense than buying locally regardless of the service or product?  This perspective can be readily changed so that everyone becomes a winner, the residents, the businesses, the associations and the institutions, and this even includes those monopolistic incumbents.

What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community!

Data Center’s Back to the Future


When I graduated from University, I worked for Control Data and one of my jobs while there was AIC (Analyst In Charge) of a data center operation.  It was my job to ensure the multi million dollar mainframes ran smoothly.  If problems occurred it was my job to ascertain whether it was a hardware or software issue and coordinate its resolution.  Those were the days when the cost of computers and running computer applications was so exorbitant only a few could justify the cost.  Sharing, that is, timesharing, became an economical way for many companies to use central processing technology through data center operations.  Initially the processing power was shared through batch processing, that is, submitting computer programs through card decks to run.  Then came dumb terminals and batch terminals making RJE (Remote Job Entry) easier using telephone lines, either leased lines or dial-up lines.

Today timesharing has been relabeled cloud computing by the sheeple herders and we’re moving back to the past in a lot of perspectives.  The information pioneer paths of yesterday have been replaced by information superhighways of fibre, copper, cable and wireless mediums.  This is being driven by the Internet whose creation was based on an open distributed architecture with no single point of failure.  For instance, social media networking, like Facebook, are examples of centralized processing, and we use the Internet to access those applications. 

Co-location facilities are another type of data center where companies store and run their servers to take advantage of economies of scale associated with power, air conditioning, and bandwidth.  They are basically a secure and fail safe environment which was once the domain of companies offering disaster backup facilities.

Yesterday’s data centers today are called cloud data centers and will inevitably become community cloud data centers.  These community data centers or community media centers, or whatever their designation, will fulfill local economic empowerment through insourcing, not outsourcing.  These data centers will share processing, and storage facilities, and even disaster backup facilities, all locally in the community, because the economies of scale are there to empower the community with their own resources.

Back to the Future can all be brought about by another type of DeLorean, a Community Development Cooperative.

What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community!

Highwaymen of Today


We have a new breed of highwaymen, informational highwaymen, not only laying in wait for you to travel the information highway, the Internet, but now enticing you with e-mail, websites, ads, and applications, all meant to extract your personal information.  They have spyware to detect and anticipate your movements on the highway.  They are devious and clever and invade your home and life with cookies, pop-ups, malware, rogueware, and propaganda.  They break into your home and business through hacking your computer.

The business social network, LinkedIn, was hacked with over 6 million passwords being stolen.  Given that information is readily and naively shared publicly by LinkedIn participants it makes you wonder why someone would bother.

There are even modern-day Robin Hoods travelling these highways; most notably, Anonymous.

These highwaymen are not just individuals but corporate information thugs who even monitor and track your cell phone and smart phone usage: “AT&T admits it tracks cell phone customers in quest for additional profits” .

This entire website, Community Development Cooperative,  is dedicated to how best to mitigate the actions of these perpetrators through local community cooperative endeavors and putting the broadband applications into the community with appropriate firewalls and increased security.

What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community!

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