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Waynet Executive Board Retreat
March 1, 2003

Present:

  • Chris Hardie, President (Summersault)
  • E. Thomas Kemp, Vice Present/Treasurer (Law Office of E. Thomas Kemp)
  • Bill O'Hara Felker, Secretary (WHON/WQLK)
  • Randy Baker (Richmond Power & Light)
  • Jim Buckler (Richmond WorkOne)
  • Thomas G. Kirk, Jr. (Earlham College)
  • Bill Pendley (Potter's Wheel Bed & Breakfast)
  • Larry Turner (First Bank Richmond)
  • Nancy Wilson (Reid Hospital & Health Care Services)
  • Misty Hollis (Wayne County Visioning Project)
  • Jane Holman, Executive Director (Ex Officio)

Summary:
The retreat was authorized by the Executive Board at its regular meeting on January 16, 2003 for the purpose of discussing WayNet as an organization, where it is headed and what changes might be made to improve it. The retreat was held in the Bard Room of Morrison-Reeves Library from 9 AM to 12 Noon. President Chris Hardie was facilitator.

After lengthy discussion it decided by consensus to survey WayNet members and members of the Chamber of Commerce to determine how they would respond to changes. The survey will be shared with executive board members via email before it is sent out.

The main focus of discussion centered on improving content of the website, how to do it and how to pay for it. It was suggested to change memberships to sponsorships which could include some advertising, expand content and arrange it in different ways. It was suggested to study the feasibility of hiring a part time sales person who would service present sponsors and seek new ones.

It was suggested we seek funds for a new technical plan. This could include new content software… also utilize volunteers to help convert to a new system. Chris said the cost of updating and improving the website would be a small percentage of what its eventual value would be.

As for content… there were proposals to make the website more community friendly… put on more for students, dating, autos, auction, discussion groups… sell links to build a "yellow page"… a family reunion page, use advertising on pages such as the employment page.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill O'Hara Felker
Secretary

Additional comments by Chris Hardie:

There was a pretty good discussion about the issues involved in providing more "local services". The board seemed to agree that this was worthy of pursuing, but that there were lots of technical and political issues to work out (not to mention the de facto financial ones).

There was a brief discussion of a model involving the licensing of content, where WayNET could formalize its process for allowing external websites and organizations to use WayNET content. This could be as simple as providing a "news feed", or more complex involving various content areas of the site.

It probably doesn't make sense to try to record all the aspects of the "content management" system possibilities we discussed, but let the record show that there was general consensus about proceeding with exploring that option.

It was also discussed/agreed that we should pursue more formal partnerships with other organizations that are dealing with visitors to the area (tourism, hotels, etc). We discussed a number of ways that this could happen.

At one point it was clarified that we weren't really thinking of eliminating the concept of membership, but instead refocusing it towards a concept of "placement" on the site.

The rough plan we agreed to at the end of the meeting was:

  • Develop and send out a survey to A) members, and B) the community
  • Develop a technical specification for the enhancements we want to make to the website (based on our conversations and survey feedback)
  • Get cost estimates / development details for that specification
  • Seek funding
  • Implement the new development plan

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