Relaunch of OneWebDay Website

We’ve long been supporters of OneWebDay, and were even invited by Susan Crawford, its founder, to talk at the first couple of OWD events a few years ago. If you want to help organize the excellent OWD in NYC, help out at http://my.onewebday.org/group/owdnyc.

Friends of OneWebDay,

Today, we are announcing our new Web site, our new social network for OWD organizers – my.OneWebDay.org, and our 2009 theme: “One Web. For All.”

Check out the first blog post from our new Executive Director, Nathaniel James: http://onewebday.org/2009/06/29/onewebday-2009-the-big-what-if%E2%80%A6/

I hope you can act soon to help us build early momentum! If you plan to support or organize for OneWebDay, there are 2 steps you can take right now. All told, these actions should take about 10-20 minutes.

  1. Be amongst the first members to sign up for my.OneWebDay.org, our new social network and collaboration platform for participating organizations and volunteer organizers. Here are some things you can do immediately:
    • Upload a picture for your profile. Let’s set a precedent for new members. It looks so much more lively and inviting when you can actually see the people in the community.
    • Start a group: If you plan to help out at the local level, start a group for your local team. We already have the OWD NYC group started. Consider naming your local group something short and snappy (SEA OWD for Seattle, DC OWD for Washington, DC, etc). For some, it will make sense to start a group on my.OneWebDay for your organization if you want to recruit your members to a hub to share your organization’s plans for OneWebDay. One exciting feature: local OWD Teams will be mapped. Don’t forget to add a picture for your group, too.
  2. For those who represent organizations: please let us know if we can add you to our list of Participating Organizations. Please let me know specifically how you would like to be listed, and I will pass that information to Nathan. Later on, we will shoot to post logos if you would like your logo to show as your link on that page.

Please let me know if you have any questions. OneWebDay is powered by your ideas, your energy, and your action. Thank you so much for your early involvement and support in OWD09!

Help Make Breakout Festival a Success this Fall (Meetup on July 1 @ New Work City)

Come join us for a meetup to solicit ideas, interest, participants and planners in the upcoming Breakout! Festival on July 1 at 6:45pm at New Work City (200 Varick Street, Suite 507b).

This summer the BREAKOUT! Festival will return creative work to the streets of New York. Using coworking as a model, and injecting lightweight versions of essential office infrastructure into urban public spaces, BREAKOUT! will explore new and productive niches for working outside of traditional office buildings. BREAKOUT! seeks to create a new architecture for the creative city by appropriating public spaces for the collaborative knowledge work that drives the contemporary city.

This meetup gathers together fans, volunteers, and planners interested in helping make outdoor coworking and the BREAKOUT! Festival a success.

The Agenda? Discuss:

  • the upcoming New York Festival (September 18th – October 30th)
  • ideas for facilitating breakout sessions
  • cool things needed for breakouts
  • how to participate in a breakout
  • how to do more

Response to City Wireless Internet Access for New York City Parks and Other Open Spaces (DoITT RFI)

NYCwireless submitted this response to the DoITT RFI City Wireless Internet Access for New York City Parks and Other Open Spaces” (PIN: 85809RFI0045) [PDF].

Download PDF Version

RFI Response to City Wireless Internet Access for New York City Parks and Other Open Spaces

Prepared by:

Dana Spiegel, Executive Director, NYCwireless
Rob Kelley and Anthony Townsend, Executive Board Members

Overview

NYCwireless is a non-profit organization that advocates and enables the growth of free, public wireless internet access in New York City and surrounding areas. Founded in 2001, NYCwireless serves thousands of individuals throughout the New York City metro area through the dozens of hotspots installed in NYC Parks, Public Spaces, and Affordable Housing Buildings.

Over the past several years, NYCwireless has built free, public wireless networks in dozens of New York City parks and open spaces through partnerships with local organizations such as the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation and Madison Square Park Conservancy and business improvement districts such as the Alliance for Downtown New York. These include hotspots in Bryant Park, Madison Square Park, Wagner Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Jackson Square Park, Stuyvesant Cove Park (the first fully solar powered hotspot in New York), Tompkins Square Park, Bowling Green Park, City Hall Park, the South Street Seaport, the Winter Garden, the Atrium at 60 Wall Street, Stone Street, Wall Street Park, and the Vietnam Veterans Plaza, among others.

NYCwireless also assists under-served communities in getting affordable internet access. NYCwireless works with Dunn Development Corporation and Community Access, a non-profit housing organization, to train volunteers and building residents to build and maintain wireless networks in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. The networks provide 8 buildings with more than 50 residents per building with private, high-speed wireless connections.

According to a survey by NYCwireless Board Member Laura Forlano, Wi-Fi is a factor in attracting people to specific locations throughout the city for 70% of those surveyed. These findings have potential implications for economic development and support the rationale that WiFi may enable commerce and productivity that would not have occurred otherwise. For example, one respondent commutes 20 minutes from Queens to use the Bryant Park wireless network on weekends in order to work on his food and wine website outside rather than at home.

At NYCwireless, we’ve worked with many local leaders. Some of them are BIDs like the Downtown Alliance or public benefit corporations like the Battery Park City Authority. Some are local developers, like the one we’re working with in the West Village who transformed a park and part of a neighborhood from being a place for homeless people to being a place for families and children. These local leaders have transformed their communities, and helped us bring internet to the people. Unfortunately so many more come to us with visions of helping out their neighborhood, but don’t have the funds to make it happen. While NYCwireless provides a very low cost option for building public Wi-Fi, its not without installation and maintenance cost. And many of the local leaders we’ve spoken to have no current means to get the funding they need to build and create local broadband. In speaking with them, we know that with just enough funding, these people too could change their communities, and bring whole neighborhoods online. Funding must be injected into local communities in order to provide resources for these leaders to do their work.
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