ellohay! West Michigan

We did it!

Posted in breakthrough, donations, feedback, surveys by forgr on September 26, 2008

Yesterday we reached our first fund-raising goal of $140 through fundable.com (the third time’s the charm!).

We are all so grateful for your contributions. Fundable.com isn’t perfect (long load time, errors) but it’s been a HUGE help. Thank you for sticking with it and with us. Be sure to drop them a note and let them know what kind of trouble you experienced on their website.

We’re one step closer towards making positive differences in the lives of under-served individuals through connections with technology, and assisting them in creating a lasting, healthy and meaningful bond with these tools in their community.

We’re going to give ChipIn a try for our next collection and see how they compare… please stay tuned.

If you have a moment to spare, we’d really like your opinion on our future name, tagline and url. Please take our super-short (one question!) survey here at surveymonkey.com () and we’ll share the results one week from now here at the forgr.wordpress.com blog.

THANK YOU again for helping us reach our goal. It is so very lovely of you all!

(Photo from flickr-user gaetan lee, for use under creative commons license)
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Tech and what makes us tick

Posted in breakthrough, discovery stages, logic by forgr on August 3, 2008

Technology can be intimidating.

Trying to understanding technology by ourselves can be intimidating.

Most individuals avoid people, places, and things that are scary.

Avoiding something is a way to protect oneself from harm.

If we fear technology, we will avoid technology for as long as we can.

Avoiding technology is very difficult, it’s everywhere because it is effective.

Personal computers are very helpful tools.

Many tasks in the workplace, and in our personal lives are computer-based tasks.

If we understand what makes a piece of advanced technology a helpful tool, we are more likely to make room for it in our lives.

Relying on someone else to provide education and support is very common.

Many people who have home computers now, rely on a kind neighbor, relative, or friend to help them trouble shoot and fix their computers.

Most companies have tech support resources at their disposal, and rely on them to troubleshoot or fix computers, but their company pays for the service.

New technology is very complicated to understand.

The fast pace of innovation is difficult to keep up with.

If a person misses out on some new technology paradigm, it is often difficult to catch up later.

Not knowing something that everybody else seems to know is often embarrassing and overwhelming.

It is difficult to avoid technology as it becomes more and more prevalent in our everyday lives.

Many of us use a computer at work.

Many of us use a computer everyday.

New computers are expensive.

Used computers are affordable, but often unreliable.

Affording any computer is difficult, and there are usually other necessities that take precedence.

Computers make our lives easier overall.

Everyone deserves to be on a level playing field.

Everyone deserves the opportunity to have access to common tools.

Many of us, because of our financial status, do not have equal and meaningful exposure to technology.

Those of us that can afford new technology, have an upper hand.

Understanding how to use computers can make us more efficient in our daily tasks.

Abundant information is available online to learn new skills, and understand the world around us.

If we can be more efficient and more intelligent, we can potentially get better, more high paying jobs, and our quality of life will improve.

If we know how to use technological tools, we have a greater opportunity to get higher grades in school, which leads to great opportunities for college and education.

Having access to the internet and the tools to digest the information available online is beneficial to us.

Having access to the internet allows us to research, purchase items, sell items, publish information, digest information and communicate efficiently.

Having access to the internet allows us to communicate with one another in high volumes, in many different ways, over long distances, and at a low cost.

If we are exposed to each others cultures through sharing information on the internet, we can understand each other better.

If we are able to express ourselves through digital means in high volumes, in many different ways, over long distances, and at a low cost, those who did not have a voice previously can now be heard.

Hey. Hi. Hello.

Posted in breakthrough by forgr on July 20, 2008

My name is Marie-Claire. I started writing here, back in February of this year, about people’s lives and how they are (and could be) impacted by technology (computers, access) and community.

There were several meaningful conversations with community leaders, there were great stories, there were genuine successes.

Then I took a break in engaging with it. I originally took a break to write independently and get the ducks in a row, but then life happened. There were health problems, there was bad timing, there were a lot of crummy things that made things complicated for me personally. Life happened.

But now that I’m ready to give my time back to this project, I can see that IT never really stopped at all, the thoughts here never took a break, this project kept going without me pushing it. That’s how I know that it’s meaningful, and that caring about other people’s connectivity is not something that I hold by writing in a blog, it’s something that belongs to the community. I has legs, it’s bigger than I am.

Kimberly

Kimberly and the laptop.

While I was writing and planning, then dealing with the unexpected, people were still being touched. I got four emails, a phone call and several personal inquiries during the time that I was away. People were not only engaged, but concerned. People were worried that the project was going to stop.

“What’s going on with that project?” or, “What’s the next step?” and, “How is it working so far?”

To answer your questions in front of everyone: It’s not stopping. It’s going to keep going. It’s bigger than a single person. And you can help.

In one person’s opinion, all I’ve been is a lot of talk and little action. I’d like to change.

Stay tuned for a new leaf, and some fresh faces.