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RaceMatters SitePlan

RaceMatters.org is a web portal intended to encourage and provide inspiration and tools for racial reconciliation. It has information about racial matters throughout America and the world, both historical and current. However, our most important purpose is to provide information about people and organizations whose efforts are helping to achieve racial reconciliation in Palm Beach County, Florida and to serve as a resource for them.

Here are some thoughts that describe the perspective in which this effort was begun.

This effort has been underway for more than a year with encouragement from Commissioner Mary McCarty, Chairman of the Board of Directors of TAMPU, and from Pastor Ben Williams of Lighthouse Ministries of Boca Raton. People with technical skills in remote locations have been coordinating their efforts to fulfill this vision. The text included here is from an on-line database wherein we have been coordinating our work. As work continues, this information is constantly updated and serves as documentation and priorities for continuing work.

This document is a work program. It may need to be rewritten for use as a funding proposal. (this report was created 12/ 5/13 19:20)


BACKGROUND

Phase I of this effort has been documented at www.qkw.com/rmpd/RM-PhaseI.htm. A vision of a web-based portal providing a vast amount of information about race relations and ready access by means of a search engine was described. Twelve companies were asked to estimate costs for realizing the vision. Seven companies made proposals ranging up to $500,000 of development cost. All those proposals would put considerable burden on us to manage the web portal. So, an alternative plan was developed whereby our portal would be tucked under the wing of an existing general purpose portal leaving us responsible for ensuring that we get all the content into it that we want. (A great deal of the content we want is not on the web.) There will also be additional needs we will have that a general purpose portal might not have. We are now seeking funding to move us into the next phase of our work.

RaceMatters.org is in continual development and was last updated on April 28, 2002. So far, for demonstration and discussion purposes, we have identified 772 resource items, we have a search engine, and we have a well developed work program.

Our Frame of Reference

A very good expression came out of the TAMPU retreat (which was first said by Robert Theobald), "think globally and act locally". We are thinking globally by seeking information on a broad array of subjects that bear on racial and cultural subjects. Our subjects include community development, workforce development, child care and racial and multi-cultural matters. Our program planning will be "acting locally" as it will be devoted to undoing racism and valuing diversity, especially in Palm Beach County. We believe that the global perspective is essential to good program planning.

TAMPU expects to create objective measurement of the extent to which it accomplishes its objectives. That requires focussed program planning and good information. Because of TAMPU's desire for objective measurement, we will give special importance to objective information like the U.S. Census, the Community Indicators Survey by the Knight Foundation and Taking America's Pulse, a recent publication from the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ). We expect to create a database of statistical information in order to make it easier to access.


CONTENT

We have articulated six types of information that belong in our Resource Center.
  1. ideas for action or for progam planning
  2. good research based information providing insight
  3. journey (personal discovery)
  4. inspiration (poetry, anecdotal stories, spiritual matters)
  5. local (Palm Beach County, or southeast Florida)
  6. background (historical)
Content can be of many types, including text, photos, maps, videos, film, CD and DVD. All will be identified and managed in our digital catalogue. A great deal of our content will be entirely available from our digital archives. Some of our resources will be of types that must be "checked out" (as from a lending library).

Content Policy

Our content policy should be shaped by an Editorial Board led by TAMPU. Since we do not yet have an Editorial Board, the following is a starting point.

Content Sources

So far we have been gathering resources in an experimental manner to develop our procedures for managing a digital library and to provide a means whereby TAMPU people can discuss how our Resource Center should develop. We have been careful to identify our sources and to give full credit to the writers and publishers whose material we are gathering. We are encouraged in this by the practice of all internet search engines to "cache" content so that they can index it and so they can provide it if the original source moves it or removes it from the web. However, we do need to develop our policy on this and we need to make sure it is legally sound. When this policy is developed, some of our content may be removed from the web. It is expected that some media, especially local newspapers, will become "partners" to our effort and will therefore be happy with our use of their material.

Sensitive Content

Content We'd Like to Find

Partnerships

Partnerships of many sorts are thought to be an important idea for the development of TAMPU. Our Resource Center might be designed with at least two types of partnerships being essential. One would be our partnerships with the media so that as we use their information we use it in a way acceptable to them. A second type of partnership is with the people who are contributing to our technology. All effort thus far has been pro bono, and great progress has been made. It is TAMPU's purposes that our Resource Center will serve and it is the community of people involved in TAMPU who should guide our work. Furthermore, it is expected that funding will become available to our effort because of the community ownership of our project. Nevertheless, our technical people are contributing in an exceptional way and those contributions should not be overlooked. Out of pocket costs during the first year have been advanced by Carl House and by APL2000, Inc. Many hours have been contributed by Bill Parke and Adrian Smith. And Adrian Frost and Jonathan Manktelow are beginning to be contributors of talent as well. We hope Tom O'Brien and the Executive Committee will help us develop proper relationships in this regard.


RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Staff Can Easily Add Content

We'll Go Where Search Engines Don't

Evaluation Of Our Resources

High Speed Printing

Visitors Can Add Content

Bulletin Boards

Threaded Discussion Groups


DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Our development plan may seem ambitious, but it is made possible by two technologies that are already well underway and that are fully in the spirit we seek.

The first technology is evident in a web portal called OpenHere.com that is now one of the top 50 web portals in America. Our principles of ease of maintenance and ease of use are inspired by OpenHere.com. The operators of this web portal have adopted RaceMatters.org and have been hosting it on a courtesy basis and have been providing important technical help in its evolution thus far. They share our vision, and, in fact, have greatly inspired it. All of our tasks related to search engines will use technology that they have already developed for use in OpenHere.com. The principals of OpenHere.com (Eric Baelen and Fred Waid) live and work in and near Princeton, New Jersey and are the chief technical officers (and President) of APL2000, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cognos, Inc. Cognos, Inc. ...(I need to find the words Eric gave me to put here. C.H.) ....

The second technology is a facility for processing text in many formats with many types of computer graphics that has been developed by Causeway Graphical Systems. These systems are products that include a Windows interface providing all the flexibility anyone would want for producing documents and graphics. However, it is the flexibility of these systems and the readiness of their designer to work with us that makes possible our goal of providing a capability that will be simple, intuitive, very pleasing in its result, and that will not require special skills or training for its use. The Concept Map facility that we propose will be built from this technology. The designer of this facility (and President of Causeway) is Adrian Smith. His company is located in Malton, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom. This document is an example of the technology that is being developed with Causeway. This document is assembled from a complex database that is constantly being updated. Everytime any part of the database is updated, the update automatically flows into this document. As resources are improved, they only exist in one place and are easily fed into a new document or funding proposal.

It is also important to acknowledge the assistance of Bill Parke of Barberton, Ohio for software products that he has make available to our effort and for his continuing excellent technical assistance. His products can be downloaded from www.parkenet.com. Some webmasters say his Parkenet web editor is the best there is, and I can't imagine having come this far without his product "TruLink".

Icon Graphics

Eventually we will need to choose a logo (or hire an artist to create one), possibly a different logo for each domain we maintain. The logo shown on this document is for illustration only; it is not available to us. It is the logo for the Pulitzer Prize winning series in the New York Times How Race is Lived in America.

The design of a logo can extend to color choices and the design of navigational graphics. The current TAMPU logo could be used, but it may not be sufficiently bold to be effective on the web.

Information

We have the ability to gather a very important collection of resources and a far broader catalogue.

Search & Discovery

We have the ability to create exceptional tools for research and discovery.

Integration & Analysis

We have the ability to create exceptional tools for integrating information, gaining insight and teaching.

Technology

The technology for handling information is advancing very rapidly in the world today with billions of dollars of investment. It is NOT logical that TAMPU invest greatly in technology, but by being alert to development work already advancing and by selectively putting it to work, we can make remarkable progress at modest cost. The topics below represent opportunities for advancing our subject matter greatly by taking advantage of development work already under way.

It should be stressed that in each of these cases, importance will be given to acquiring technology that does not require us to learn special skills. Our technology must work for us in ways that seem simple and intuitive.

Much of our content will be stored in the way that it comes to us. Examples are printed material, CD's and DVD's, videos and film. However, text information that is stored in our digital archives will preferably be stored in a format that is as close to "unadorned" as possible. We, and those who use our resources, will make the choice of the format they prefer when they select it. Often that will mean it is delivered from a web server. In some cases, though, other formats may be preferable and our technology will make them easy to produce.

Annotating images

We are developing a photo gallery of the people and organizations who are working for empowerment and reconciliation in Palm Beach County. Examples are photos of the Guatemalan-Mayan Multi-Cultural Program and of Glades Artisans. Many more will be added to our photo library. However, the photos are not being adequately documented. We need an easy to maintain procedure whereby the organizations whose photos we are collecting can provide annotation on the web.

Creating Charts & Plots from Data

The Concept Map

Animation

Multi-Media

The Sun-Sentinel multi-media presentation on "Aids in the Caribean" As soon as RaceMatters.com has legitimacy as a community effort and looks like a search engine, we intend to contact the editor of the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel to seek their cooperation. Hopefully they will allow us to use their content as we are (with photos) and maybe they will let us put the "Aids in the Caribean" multi-media presentation on our RaceMatters.org CD.

Search Engine

Filtered Searches

Targeted Search
It is our intent to identify the most important websites in several areas of importance to us and to index them completely. This means that anyone using RaceMatters.org or ValuingDiversity.org will be able to conduct a search for a name or topic restricting the search to the websites we've identified as especially important. This will greatly reducing the amount of irrelevant material one must search through. The search can be targetted to sources we judge to be dependable and relevant. This is a great improvement on the search capability we've had until now because until now our search has been limited to material in our web portal (or the entire web).

When this work is completed, one will be able to select from the following "universes" when starting a search.

Another benefit of spidering our national community of websites is that as new or changed material appears on any of our websites, it can automatically be posted to What's New at RaceMatters.org (and ValuingDiversity.org).

Click here for the list of websites that are on these lists at the present time.

We Are Also A Megasearch Engine

Search Engine on a DVD

Forms

Quality Control & Audit

Promote the website

Search Engine Optimization


OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE

Administration

As RaceMatters.org increases in activity, we must develop systems of accountability and management.

Teaching

The content of RaceMatters.org, we believe, has important teaching value. We must develop ways of working with our teaching institutions and encouraging the development of teaching approaches and content.

Participation

This will discuss the ways we must participate in our community and elsewhere to help others to use our tools and to assure we are alert to the ways they must be improved to serve well.


FINANCIAL PLAN

Ownership & Responsibilities

We must develop appropriate relationships and legal instruments.

Priorities

Top priority is to obtain funding that will enable APL2000, Inc. (Fred) and Causeway (Adrian) to step up their level of work on tasks that do not require participation by Carl. Second priority will go to tasks that require Carl's collaboration.

Participant Roles

Coming very soon.....

Budgets

Coming very soon.....

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