I N S I D E
"We’re one of the most wired cities in the world, but there’s still much we can do to bring the benefits of this technology revolution to all segments of our city." -Mayor Greg Nickels
"We’re one of the most wired cities in the world, but there’s still much we can do to bring the benefits of this technology revolution to all segments of our city."
-Mayor Greg Nickels
april 16 psact
Greg Nickels, Mayor
director, office of
D.H. CASS MAGNUSKI
Small businesses drive our economy and communities, but how important is information tech to them? The City of Seattle has just released the results of a survey looking at the needs and uses of information technology by small businesses. Results from 350 surveys show that most small businesses believe IT has improved their productivity and revenues, but this conclusion was not universal. Only 10 percent have a technology plan and just over half have a web site to market their services. The research also found some significant differences in adoption and use based on ethnicity, revenues, years in business and location. Of course, there's much more.
The City worked with Community Capitol Development (CCD) to conduct this research. These results add to the City's Information Technology Indicators Project, a comprehensive set of indicators developed to track the positive and negative impacts of technology on the region over time. Email a request for a free copy or download it from the community technology web site.
These results are already being used by CCD to guide their training programs. The results will help the City make decisions about how best to assist small businesses, so that they remain a vibrant part of the economy. We believe that this data also serves as an excellent resource for small businesses and those working with small businesses, such as local chambers of commerce, business assistance organizations, neighborhood planners, and community development corporations. It should spark discussion about the role that information technology plays in serving the business needs of our community.
The City of Seattle's Community Technology program, in conjunction with the Puget Sound Alliance for Community Technology (PSACT) and Digital Promise has helped to distribute 3500 digital cameras to citywide schools and non-profit projects. The cameras were a gift from SBC Communications, a leading data, voice and Internet services provider.
According to CTTAB's Mike Donlin, "With all the money invested into educational technology, all the training opportunities, all the wiring, all the hard and software, all the uphill battles, these low-end, non-threatening, easy-to-use, readily available cameras have been a major kick in the virtual pants!"
South Park lab coordinator Ellen Earth told us that "we are using the cameras as incentive for people to learn and earn." Students can win a camera for earning points by doing homework in the CTC lab, designing a CTC logo, participating in Giant Campus, web site design and other special projects.
Ronald Davis, formerly of Garfield Community Center and new lab coordinator for Denny Middle School's Community Learning Center, "When I arrive at the center, one of the programs I would like to start is a digital photography program."
Enter your pic to win! Have a favorite picture of life in Seattle? Win a Seattle Channel t-shirt. The Seattle Channel runs an ongoing photo contest, and your winning shots will appear on its web site. Deadline for submissions to the April contest is 11:59 p.m., April 30th. Both email and snailmail must be 'postmarked' by 11:59 p.m., and all snailmail received by May 5, 2003.
The CTC VISTA program provides full time volunteers to help develop the capacity of community technology programs across the country. If you need the help, now is the time to apply.
Based in Boston, the CTC VISTA Project is in its fourth year providing coordination, recruitment, training and support for more than 100 AmeriCorps*VISTAs who work in community technology centers (CTCs) across the country. Participating VISTAs attend a training institute at the UMass Boston College of Public and Community Service and the national CTCNet conference June 27-29.If you are interested in bringing a supported VISTA on board, please check out the information and application, and submit a preliminary notice before the slots are gone. It's inexpensive but not free. Site sponsors pay $2,500/VISTA for new CTCs, or $3,000 for continuing programs. All participating orgs will be expected to be CTCNet affiliates ($100) and provide support for their VISTAs to attend the CTCNet annual conference in Washington, D.C. this year, plus the equivalent of a monthly transportation pass and additional professional development and support.
Applications from CTCs will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis, beginning immediately. The project's PreService Orientation program for new VISTAs is scheduled for August 25-27, with new VISTAs beginning shortly thereafter.
No need to start from scratch when planning for an emergency or disaster. Good information is available on the Web:
The City of Seattle has a preparedness checklist: seattle.gov/emergency_mgt.
The Red Cross offers information on family preparedness, children, special needs, animal safety and tips for people with disabilities, in both English and Spanish, at www.redcross.org/disaster/safety/eqtips.html.
Alternative Voices/Free Speech The RealNetworks Foundation funds organizations and projects that enable alternative voices or foster the right of free speech throughout the world. They intend to grant a total of $100,000 in this program area in 2003. There are no geographic limitations on this program area. Pre-application letters should be submitted in accordance with the Pre-Application Guidelines by May 1, 2003.
Quality of Life The RealNetworks Foundation also funds organizations and projects that enhance the quality of life in areas where RealNetworks employees live and work. We intend to grant a total of $100,000 in this program area in 2003. This year, Real will focus on two geographic areas where RealNetworks employees live and work. $80,000 will be granted to nonprofit organizations in the Puget Sound region, and $20,000 is earmarked for London, England. Puget Sound pre-application letters should be submitted in accordance with the Pre-Application Guidelines by May 1, 2003.
All grant requests to the RealNetworks Foundation are reviewed by committees of RealNetworks employees in each program area.
Pack your bags for two great ones in two Washingtons this summer. Online registration has opened for the national community tech conference by CTCNet, taking place in Washington, D.C. June 27-29. The Alliance for Community Media is meeting in Tacoma July 9-12.
Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI) is offering free high tech interns, two days a week, starting the week of July 7. These interns are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays for three months. Visit the SJI site or email Susan Goodwin.
To subscribe or unsubscribe to Brainstorm, please email us, and we'll add you to our mailing list. We welcome your feedback and opinions. If you have ideas for future stories, please let us know and we'll try to accommodate them. We encourage you to visit the City of Seattle's Community Tech pages, seattle.gov/tech.