Alaska Rural Development, LLC

Using Web 2.0 Tools to Connect Rural Businesses

Summary
In January 2008 ISER published a study of businesses in rural Alaska“Viability of Business Enterprises for Rural Alaska”. By creating a virtual social network using connective technologies and innovative communications we can make it possible for support organizations to reach rural businesses and communities. Rural communities are better served by growth of existing businesses and the nurturing of new businesses. Open networks can help make that happen. We propose to address the problems identified in the study by developing a Web 2.0 based presence and relational database for use by businesses and individuals in rural Alaska.

VIBES – Rural Needs

Charts from the VIBES study, ISER 1/2008

OBJECTIVES
This project will create a community for businesses, consumers, residents and economic development groups that includes the following key components;
◦ Development of a social network identifying existing businesses and opening communications; Development of a relational database incorporating resources, businesses and individuals available both in Rural Alaska and available to Rural Alaska (USDA, SBA, etc.); Development of a web site for easy use by clients and the public; Development of internet modules such as E-commerce , Social Networking and forums for creating interaction between rural and urban business; Distribution of training programs for rural entrepreneurs and businesses Utilization of Texting, Twitter, Peer to Peer networks, RSS feeds, email and individual web pages to encourage a back and forth flow of information and opportunities.

Information – what you need, when you need it.

Marketing Training

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Financing

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Information for Success

Web 2.0 Cloud

Web 2.0 Tools
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Google AdSense Peer to Peer data transfer BitTorrent Chat Wikipedia Blogging RSS feeds Search engine optimization Forums Web services Participation Wikis Tagging ("folksonomy") Email Text messaging

Web 2.0
No single software application can do it all. What is essential is that they all work together. There are a ton of different technologies out there. We will use open standards to fill this cross platform need – RSS, PFIF and CAP. Making the assistance available to all.

Our Approach
The full scope of the research and development will include the following:  Finding methods for identifying and assessing the needs of individual businesses and startups,  Analysis of existing internet capabilities and overcoming the shortages of service,  Development of a network of existing businesses and mentors to assist,  Development of networks for training, financing, and the transfer of information,  Creating E-commerce capabilities that will allow anyone to make their goods and services available.

System Development

Analysis

Networks Assistance when it’s needed

Business and Commuinities

Program Legend

Our Method

The project will develop and field-test techniques for rural businesses and local economic development organizations that:
  


USDA Diagram

Increase connections between rural and urban economies, Increase connections between rural villages, Develop training opportunities, mentoring and venture facilitation for new and existing businesses, Improve communications, Foster a network to develop micro lending to the villages.

Process

Why Network?
Entrepreneurs should network not just because it’s fun to exchange business cards. Networking is about doing business, where entrepreneurs find;  Assistance
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Complete engineering on Database Develop Web Site Share Prototype with Stakeholders Bring Beta to the Public Work on version 2.0

Customers Investors Partners

Service providers

Benchmarks
Modifications to our proprietary database for use at the core of our efforts; Development of a suite of networking tools integrated into a web site to make the use of the tools developed simple and clear; Creation of an E-commerce interface that will allow anyone to put something in the marketplace quickly and easily; Development of kiosks and memory transfer techniques to allow everyone access to the information they need. Development of security procedures to make the network safe.

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