The NordSESIL.net project aims to help communities in isolated parts of the Nordic region to access information and people that can enable them to develop more sustainable energy solutions. This online Town Square
is a place where people can meet others who have common interests, share experiences, and hopefully get ideas happening.
online resource was selected to host the Town Square site as it met the core requirements of the project team, including:
- Provide the functionality needed for a networking site where individual profiles can be created, people can identify and communicate with one another, and information can be shared through discussion forums and blogs.
- To provide an opportunity for collaborative development of ideas and the site in general.
- As accessible as possible to as many people as possible - both from the perspective of individuals adding and changing content, and the ability to access and use the site from locations with varying qualities of internet access.
- Require as few resources as possible to develop and maintain the site, particularly in the future when the funding available to the project will be reduced.
- Reproduceable by other communities in other parts of the world (who are also interested in creating local knowledge hubs to address sustainable energy challenges).
We believe that the Ning platform was the best available resource at the time, and may still be. There are some constraints to the site, such as the lack of options to automatically translate to other languages. However, the Ning platform is constantly developing and we hope that translation to additional languages will be available in the future.
The Town Square is one half of the two key components of the NordSESIL.net project's online presence - the other half being the Knowledge Hub at www.nordsesil.wikispaces.com
. Unfortunately registration of a log-in name and password is required separately for each site, but can't be avoided at this time.