What is the basic idea of REALNEO?

Submitted by Webmaster on Thu, 10/07/2004 - 23:31.

REALNEO brings together in one virtual place everyone participating in the new economy in NEO - entrepreneurs, business leaders, economic development experts, innovators, financiers, angels, VCs, academics, students, the media,government leaders, foundations, institutions, and service providers.

In this place, REALNEO enables secure identity and content management, allowing people to work together and share information - plans, schedules, messages, videos, dialogs, images, presentations - multimedia data of any type. Using collaboration tools people may wiki, blog, IM, VoIP, videoconference. Because REALNEO is the only place enabling all that, and doing that for free for all people seriously interested in economic development here, it will be the one portal where we shall all meet. Having the solution available will nurture many other types of social networks here - sub-communities (organic groups). People of the region willlearn an entirely new way to interact.

REALNEO enables ad hoc meeting and collaboration - a member may develop a new project or blog and promote that in the community - and members may seek out other members to share insight - REALNEO will enable getting in touch. But each member will set their own permissions to determine who may reach them and at what level - you mayhide most of your data.

REALNEO enables all team building and collaboration in the community - here is always available the perfect project management environment, for free. Any member may activate any level of private collaboration capabilities, simply be creating a new project and setting permissions to access, and inviting other members. So Jeff Buster may develop a very public Wind Power community of interest link (COIL) and invite allmembers interested in alternative energy. He may also start a private COIL on funding issues.

The intent is to develop this entire environment using state of the art open source code, drawn from the best open source projects. At this time we are proceeding with a Drupal core framework, to which we're adding wiki, PeopleAggregator and other capabilities. Just the Drupalcomponent will offer the community great capabilities.

To accomplish this goal, a team of experts has assembled. The team includes Marc Canter, a San Francisco expert in social networking, Boris Mann, a Vancouver, BC, expert in Drupal, and Ed Morrison, the Executive Director of CWRU's Center for Regional Economic Issues (REI). Other experts will be addedas the project strategy and scope becomes more clearly defined.

The desired outcome is for people with common interests in this region to be able to use optimal information technology to accomplish their goals. They need a common interface where they can all meet and share information and collaborate outside the meeting rooms and lecture halls. REALNEO will enable that.

Further, the people of Northeast Ohio need to become more skilled using common communications technologies, like social networks, blogs, wiki - and they need to be exposed to the value of on line all the time living and working. REALNEO will give people here reasons to participate in an important social network, and so they will be engaged. They will use wiki, and they will create projects andcollaborate. This will elevate their value in the global marketplace.

Further, REALNEO will put a global open source focus in and on Northeast Ohio, putting our local people and developers together with world class developers around the world to develop here the optimal virtual social network - we become the ultimate creator and creation. This will transfer here lots of sophisticated and valuable knowledge, experience and awareness. More people in NEO will learn about open source and see it as a business opportunity, and that will drive new business activity here and expand a valuable workforce. Having good open source resources here will accelerate open source adoption here, making regional enterprises more competitive and innovative in theglobal marketplace.

So, there is value to be gained from the community learning virtual community tools, optimizing the community, and the virtual community itself.

To put the opportunity in context, consider these thoughts from Marc Canter:

Though explicit social networking could be considered the hot new trend in software today, it is a solution without a context. Only by placing digital Identity, social networking and web services into a particular context can their full potential be exploited. Next generation on-line communities will combine all their predecessor's features (message boards and blogging/RSS) with a timely relevance to individuals and particular groups of people.What's been missing from social networking up until now are the activities and transactions that should follow once people have found each other!

The basic idea of REALNEO, therefore, is to provide the optimal social network for Northeast Ohio, to meet the needs of the highest value activities and transactions for economic development and entrepreneurship, and to bring all peopleinterested in this together there.

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