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Small Organisation Server

The Ambridge Garden Club

The Ambridge Garden Club does not exist, but I am presenting it as Small Organisation Server example, for how a hypothetical small organisation, a group of a couple of dozen to a couple of hundred people with similar interests can set up an Internet presence which meets their needs, without resorting to the alternative ‘Big Social Media’ model of advertising. I will demonstrate how the services it uses are paid for, and show how it was set up. It is also ‘federated’, so that it should work well with similar organisations.

The village of Ambridge does not exist, it is a fictional village in the long running radio soap opera The Archers. My parents listened every day, but I am no longer in touch with what is going on, but its characters provide a range of non technical people, who might well come to see the value of doing some things on the Internet, but as a tool, not as the central thing in their lives.

I am providing this as an example for several audiences. For small organisations such as gardening clubs, for software developers, and for Internet hosting providers.

For Small Organisations

These could be

  • Garden clubs
  • Model Railway societies
  • Parish councils

I hope to provide a step by step model of what I actually did to set up the Ambridge Garden Club system, from some of the options for renting the computers needed, to exactly what needs to be done for each step. I also hope the end site will provide an example of what can be achieved.

For their treasurer I want to show how much it cost. Everything has a cost, even the things which are apparently free. By providing options where the costs are explicit I hope to increase people’s choices, even if they decide the advertising supported route is better for them.

For Software Developers

I hope to give a model of how a small organisation, as described above, might want to bring together the various diverse pieces of software they use, with the things which could be improved to make it simpler for a non technical user base.

To get an idea of the target user base, ideally it should be possible to set up, administrate, and use the system on an iPad or similar, without the need to know about console logins or the command line at all. I know this is not possible at present, but there is no fundamental reason why this should not be a goal. It should be possible to understand how all the components work, but it should not be necessary.

For Internet Hosting Providers

I hope to show the types of services which might be useful for a group of people as described above, to enable them to target their offerings and provide transparent, easily understandable pricing. (not every garden club treasurer knows how many cores a server should have).

Feedback and community

The first version of this is likely to be more complex and technical than I would like, but having an open model allows the parts to be improved.

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