Prairienet is an online, interactive site related to the Community Informatics Initiative (CII; 2007-11) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. While the CII website has now been archived since the grant ended, it still offers valuable information to many who remain involved in community informatics at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Much of the content has been transferred to the Center for Digital Inclusion‘s site. The Prairienet website is intended for current and future community partners to share experiences and reflections about community-based technology.
Founded in 1993, Prairienet originally was a community information network for Champaign-Urbana and the surrounding East-Central Illinois region. The staff, students and faculty who established and sustained Prairienet until 2008 contributed in these ways:
- Strengthen community organizations by helping them provide and retrieve networked information.
- Empower individuals by providing access to networked information and by teaching the skills necessary to access and use this information.
- Facilitate information and resource sharing in support of community development efforts.
- Promote equity of access to computer resources for everyone in the community.
There is much to be proud of in Prairienet’s history and we respectfully build on that legacy. The Wayback Machine has captures of one of our earliest versions of our website as well as our website as it appeared during our 10 year anniversary. Co-founder Greg Newby wrote a few reflections on Prairienet in 2004 and also gave a presentation on Prairienet at a University of Illinois conference that reflected back on 50 years of community computing.
The Prairienet server was shut down in 2008 and every effort was made to help users find substitutes for their email and webhosting needs. If you have thoughts to share about Prairienet’s past, present or future, please send them to:
Martin Wolske, firstname.lastname@example.org