To provide the services for the Community Exchange costs a considerable amount of money; all the systems, and those of Digital Diversity, are run on servers hosted by Nigel Whitfield, a computer journalist.The Internet connectivity alone costs over £8,000 per year, and in addition a large amount of money is spent on equipment and upgrades.
Obviously, the project is not intended to recover all those costs, but to make them a little more bearable and to ensure that the provision of the services that are offered is dependent on more than one person.
To that end, a target of 100 members in the first twelve months has been set, with a minimum donation of £25 per member. Any additional money raised above this amount will be used to enhance both the service provided to members, and the free facilities provided.
The bulk of the ongoing costs are directly related to the Internet connection. Other expenditure is on computer equipment, which needs to be upgraded from time to time. For instance, the web server on which the Community Exchange project runs has recently had 2Gb of disk space added, and the mailing list server has been provided with a new motherboard, processor, disk controller and memory to make it more robust. Funding is also provided for a freephone number, which allows the maintainers of some mailing lists to provide a service without incurring any additional costs of their own.
After the target amount of £2,500 is raised, it is planned to use any additional funds to add an additional system to the network to help spread the load between computers and make it easier to offer additional facilities.
There are a number of facilities provided at present on the systems; some are Digital Diversity projects, some are personal projects, and others are for different groups and organisations. If you have a mailing list, or a community group that you believe would benefit from a service, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with more details.
These are some of the current services:
You can find out about other mailing lists by sending a message to email@example.com with the command
listson a line in the body of the message.
We make no bones about the bias towards lesbian, gay and bisexual projects; that's the background from which this project grew. We're happy, however, to support mailing lists and web pages of all descriptions - all we ask is that they too be in a similar spirit of tolerance, and don't include information that will jeapordise the service for anyone else.
So, if you'd like to be a member, all we ask is a donation of at least £25 per year. More details of how to join are on the next page.