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August 4, 2000: This message was distributed by Papyrus News, a free e-mail distribution list on the global impact of information technology on language, literacy, and education. Feel free to forward this message to others, preferably with this introduction. For information on Papyrus News, including how to (un)subscribe or access archives, see <>.


An Invitation to Join the e-list Community Informatics

The list is concerned with promoting Community Informatics as an applied research discipline and practice.

Community Informatics is the application of information and communications technologies to enable community processes and the achievement of community objectives.

The list is hosted by Dr. Michael Gurstein of the Technical University of British Columbia and a Board Member of the Vancouver Community Network who have generously offered technical support and hosting for

To subscribe to the list CommunityInformatics send a message to:


subscribe CommunityInformatics

Adapted from the Introduction to "Community Informatics: Enabling Communities with Information and Communications Technologies", IG Publishing, 2000.

"Community Informatics" (CI) is concerned with carving out a sphere and developing strategies for enabling individuals and communities to take advantage of the opportunities which Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) are providing. and for ensuring that many who might otherwise be excluded are able to take advantage of these opportunities. It is also concerned with enhancing civil society at the local level and with strengthening local communities for self-management and for environmental and economically-sustainable development.

CI pays attention to physical communities as the context of technical systems and to the design and implementation of technologies and applications which enhance and promote community activities and objectives. CI begins with ICT as providing resources and tools that communities and their members can use for local economic, cultural and civic development, and community health and environmental initiatives among others. CI includes the technology/ICT and the "user" (and the "uses"), and is as concerned with community processes, user access, and technology usability as it is with systems analysis and hardware or software design.

CI accounts for the design of the social system in which the technology is embedded as well as the technology system with which it interacts. Thus CI is an extension from "organizations" to "communities" of the "socio-technical" approach to systems design, and reflects the increasingly ubiquitous distribution of personal computers and Internet access to communities and individual end users as well as corporations and governments.

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Last updated: August 6, 2000 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0