Review of Technology used by Collins View NA over the years (D-R-A-F-T-!)

This is an attempt to connstruct a history of the technology used by collins view NA. Things may be out of order, or unspecified for a while till the timeline is complete.

paragraph here.

Placeholder - a photo illustration of a Floppy Disk, c 1984-1990

This is not an actual floppy used by Collins View. Should one be found, we'll post a real photo.

See also the Technology Platform [PAGE] In progress!

Overview - The Early Days

Before computers, Bylaws were typewritten. Minutes were oftentimes handwritten. News Articles were hand delivered to the SWNI office typed or handwritten on paper, and then SWNI somehow produced the paper.

Wiith the advent of personal computers, articles and minutes may have been edited and then printed, but still delivered to SWNI on paper, or on a floppy disk. Word processing programs were used, but the content would be exported as plain text and then imported for use in production. How the SW News paper was produced before word procssing is beyone the scope of this article!

The Macintosh and PC allowed people to produce nicer documents than typewriters. An occassional 8x10 Poster was fun, but not advanced by access to technology.

Communication with and to Neighborhood at large

Intro sentence for this section.

1990's - Majordomo

CVNA used Majordomo, a mailing list manager. The number of addresses on the list has been lost to time. It was provided free of charge by Lewis & Clark College.

Pre 2004 - NeighborhoodLink

NeighborhoodLink. A web presence was originally set up by Karen Swafford on NeighborhoodLink.com. This site, and collinsview's entry still exists, although there is very little on it. There is one post from Jan 14, 2006. http://www.neighborhoodlink.com/Collins_View

Early GMAIL Addresses

CVNA president Prakash Joshi used the address 'CVNAmail@gmail.com'. John Miller (?) requested and got 'collinsview@gmail.com' In any case, johnmiller still uses it as the webmaster address, and for testing.

2007 - An early Google Group - collinsview

A 'collinsview' Google Group was created as a replacement for Majordomo. 'collinsview@gmail.com' is/was the owner of the Google Group 'collinsview'.

The collinsview Google Group was populated by inviting people who were using MajorDomo to join the group. The Google Group grew over time to 193 members! Here is how the group grew: 91 joined in 2007; 9 joined in 2008; 31 joined in 2009; 14 joined in 2010; 14 joined in 2011 and 32 joined in 2012.

This group still exists in 2021! However, some of the email addresses may no longer exist, but is not in use. [JM is aware of the ... LACK OF FORMATTING HERE] See https://groups.google.com/g/collins-view/about See conversations (most recent was 12/11/12) here: https://groups.google.com/g/collins-view The group Description was edited to state that is it no longer in use, but it has not been deleted.. it could be revived if needed for some project or whatever. People posted to it by emailing collins-view@googlegroups.com.

2013 - Nextdoor

NEXTDOOR was soft-launched in late 2011. They chose Portland Oregon as one of their test markets because of its established neighborhood structure, covering the whole city. Nextdoor was able to target these ready-made groups using the geographic boundaries available through city/Metro GIS information. Thus began a marketing campaign. (This process could be documented here.)

Somehow Collins View NA made the decision (on date) to adopt the new platform (Nextdoor) for communication and to move away from using the Google Group as a mailing list. (A note on the Network Effect).

We exported the collinsview Google Group to a spreadsheet, and used it to track the adoption of Nextdoor. We sent messages out (via the group) over a period of months, inviting people to sign up on Nextdoor, with instructions. (2013)

It was not long before the noise (chatter) on Nextdoor drowned out the platform for use by neighborhood association messages. In its early years, the platform was free of advertising. (Their venture capital covered this as part of their business plan.) The Nextdoor platform has essentially Hijacked neighborhood communication across the country. Some SWNI Communications Committee members were likewise not happy about this. Nextdoor is becoming more like Facebook as time goes on.

2017 - Constant Contact

CONSTANT CONTACT. There was also a Constant Contact list set up in 2017, intended to be used for a periodic neighborhood newsletter. This never got rolled out. Maybe a dozen or two people signed up. (Training may have been offered, etc.) See May 2017 msgs from SharonK.

History of Files

3 of many archive boxes of papers

Archives, paper, floppies, thumb drives, ... things transferred via email, ....

At one time, boxes of old papers were collected and stored in a closet at the CV school. But CVNA lost access to that closet, and the papers were re-located to ... ? Various past presidents and secretaries probably have papers.

History of the Web Site - domain name and hosting

2004. Jeff Vandehey took some of that data (from?) and designed a standalone site using mac.com. Jeff registered the domain with dyndns.com on December 1, 2004, and hosted it on his own computer for a while. (Evidently Jeff paid the registration fee for 2 years, possible up front.)

2007. When Jeff moved out of CV at the end of 2007 (?), John Miller recycled content from the more timely pages plus new info into the site design you see here, and hosted it out of his home by running an apache web server on linux, and evidently paid the dyndns registrar.

2008-2010. It's hard to believe, but John hosted the site out of his home for 2-3 years, paying only for the domain registration and electricity. It was on the internet! John never paid to have a static address for his home internet connection, so must have used DynDNS to populate DNS. Unfortunately, the linux computer had to be on all the time, even during vacations away. And, website traffic consumed bandwidth potentially needed for personal (home) use.

2010. John transferred the Domain Name registration and hosting to an account at webmasters.com, and maintained the website there for a couple of years.

2014. John transferred the collinsview.org domain name to a dreamhost.com account. John covered the annual DNS registration fee ($15). Hosting for the site is provided at no cost, via John's business, Time Haven Media. Buy John a beer sometime.

History continues in the SWNI/DNS Era section below.

SWNI / DNS Era

2017. At SWNI's suggestion, The collinsview.org Domain Name registration was transferred to SWNI's set of domains in May 2017. (omnis.com) This was thought to be a good move — SWNI would pay the registration fee for all time, keeping it independent of mere mortals in Collins View.

Further, SWNI set up email addresses, such as outreach@collinsview.com to forward messages to a given (hidden) personal email address. Likewise, a multi-address group was set up for board@collinsview.org. (See the technology platform page for current set up.)

Documents

SWNI wanted Nhoods to have document retention and public access to minutes, and so on. Previously these were filed on paper. SWNI took advantage of its non-profit status and used Goggle Workspace, both for email addresses, message retention, and document sharing.

website

SWNI used DNS to set the address for our domain to point to John Miller's web hosting account (TimeHavenMedia) at Dreamhost.com where collinsview.org files reside. The Hosting did not have to change, and John continued to maintain the site as usual.

2020-1. With the disruption of SWNI office, and loss of control, John requested the domain name registration be transferred from SWNI's account to his dreamhost set of domains, and worked with SWNI Volunteer LeeB to do this. The Google Workspace integration was left in place, with email routed through Google Workspace / G Suite. (This is done via custom DNS records.) There are also documents on Google Drive, but no new ones are being added as of Nov 2021 by 'SWNI' staff. (This belongs in Tech Platform, as it is not yet History. --jm)

Again, the website has been hosted using john's hosting service since 2010, unaffected by the Google Workspace stuff.

DNS transferred back to CVNA, with Google Workspace integration intact.

DNS transferred back to CVNA, with Google Workspace integration intact. For a period of time (better part of 2021?) Collins View had no way of managing the group groups associated with email address. This was during the COVID-10 pandemic, and people made do with what was set up.

Use of Email by the NA Board.

Initially, no email addresses what-so-ever were established for the domain. People simply used their personal or work email address, or allocated some other address (eg. gmail) to use for neighborhood business.

As of 2021, there are no fully-functional email addresses set up — to both receive and send email. That is, there are no e-mailboxes for use by a person, or shared by two or more persons (by position on the board for example). Any mail sent on behalf of CVNA, is sent from a personal email account.

At this time (11/2021), a message sent to board@collinsview (or other addresses) is delivered to a specified group of individuals, or a particular individual. This setup is described in detail on the Technology Platform page. (We have some control over this.)

Zoom

During the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face meetings were verboten, so groups of all kinds began holding meetings via zoom. This was awkward at first, but eventually people got used to the etiquette of online meetings.

Historical Note on Zoom License. (Now in flux.)

The use of Zoom for on-line meetings is covered on the Technology Platform page.

File sharing via Goole Drive

history of this

Documents for meetings, Agenda, Minutes distributed via Email

history of this

SW News article written by various persons, submitted to SW News via Email

history of this

Popular technology NOT adopted or used

We had two meetings led by Avi Solomon about using 'SLACK' for collaboration, but Avi moved out of the hood. I don't know of any 'hood using slack - It's wild, perhaps too wild for us luddites.

Collins View has never set up a Facebook page or Twitter feed.

CMS - content management system backing a website would allow for entry of contents for pages via web, where a user with minimal training could update and perhaps create web pages in a defined style and format.

Dropbox - for handing off files, temporary storage.

Google Docs - for multi-person real-time editing of documents. That is, two people can be working on the same doc at once. Or at the least, can take turns editing a documemt that is stored on the web, not on their computers. This beats passing successive versions of document back and forth for editing.

MediaWiki - Collins View has not set up a wiki for any purpose, such as NET.

Current State of Technology

See the Technology Platform web page for the current state. When any of those things change, they will be added to this Technology History page.

References

A link appears with each reference, to the source.