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RCM and MRL : a reflection on two approaches to constructing community memory

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conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Roderick Jewell, Mary O'Flynn, F De Cindio, Margaret Cameron
Rete Civica di Milano (RCM) and Mackay RegionLink (MRL) have operated as two web-based community networks operating on opposite sides of the world. RCM celebrates its 12th anniversary in 2006, and is a rare success story in this field, yet its potential appears still to be realised. MRL has expended its funding from the Australian Government and is now off-line, yet could still provide a much needed basis for community growth in the Mackay Whitsunday region. It is timely to reflect on both projects to determine where they should go from here. This paper compares each network on the basis of context, purpose, and implementation, and discusses lessons learned from RCM that could be applied to MRL. It concludes that while both RCM and MRL have been markedly different in context and implementation, they have actually been trying to achieve the same purpose: to build a strong community based on active memory sharing from its citizens, government and private enterprise. RCM has built an admirable base for a citizen-driven network hosted by the University of Milan, that includes strong government participation, but perhaps now needs to encourage more participation by private enterprise (starting at the micro level) if it is to assist in improving the performance of the Milan business community. If MRL is to be successfully re-launched, it should continue to develop its links with private enterprise, as well as integrating itself much more as a community forum hosted by the local university, and achieving stronger government engagement at each level.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)


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Prato, Italy


Centre for Community Networking Research, Monash University

Place of Publication

Melbourne, Vic.

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

Prato International Community Informatics Conference