Rural Services Online, www.rsnonline.org.uk, the new website for the "Rural Services Network" was launched last week. Although it is implemented in Joomla (open source, web 2.0 etc) it takes a very traditional approach. Non-members can only see the news from the last 7 days. After that, all but the headline and opening sentence disappear behind an ID and Password.
There's also an 'Analysis & Comment' section, a Forum and Document Store for members only. Anyone can read the events calendar.
The journalism is very good and is by Johann Tasker of Ruralcity Media but will this site help organisations part with the £400+ membership fee? What do you think?
Clay Shirkey's new book Here Comes Everybody is about "the power of organising without organisations". In it he says that Web 2.0 changes everything:
Everywhere you look, groups of people are coming together to share with one another, work together, or take some kind of public action. For the first time in history, we have tools that truly allow for this.
In the same way the printing press amplified the individual mind and the telephone amplified two-way conversation, now a host of new tools, from instant messages and mobile phones to weblogs and wikis, amplify group communication. And because we are natively good at working in groups, this amplification of group effort will change more than business models: it will change society.
On the other hand I found some scepticism about adoption of new tools among Circuit Riders at their recent conference as I noted earlier. I've now posted video from the conference sessions in which Circuit Riders talk about whether the tools for change are available - and whether they have the skills to use them.