Help me understand this community

Hello everyone. My name is Matus Solcany and I study master of information design at Design Academy Eindhoven. I’m currently researching local online communities. I’m fascinated by yours since most of the online communities now moved to reddit or became facebook groups unlike this which is completely custom. I moved to Eindhoven only a month ago and this community let’s me see Eindhoven through the eyes of the local people.

I’m trying to understand communities like this better, if you have a few minutes to spare please answer some of my questions in either dutch or english:

  1. What is the biggest benefit of this community for you?
  2. Has DSE community affected your personal life in any way?
  3. What is the positive benefit the DSE community has on Eindhoven and surrounding area?
  4. What do you see as benefit of a local community against communities on sites like Facebook or Reddit?
  5. In what way does city of Eindhoven or national government support this community?
Thank you for your time in advance!

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4 comments

  • Bob Leenhouwers

    Hi Matus,

    To me DSE / DSEnieuws is a platform that provides the space to speak out. Or to simply publish a written story about next to nothing, simple things. What I like a lot, is that there is no Facebook or Google watch, nor is there any influence of the (local) gouvernment. Messages of stories are being checked though and also you might receive comments on your writings. This is done by a group of co-readers / editors that also keep freedom of speech in mind. As long as the language used is okay and there is no hatred or other undesireable stough presented, you are free to write about it.

    News presented by the town council or the famous Eindhovens Dagblad (paper of the Brainport region) is being commented on by several authors here at Digitale Stad EIndhoven. I think it is a very good thing to have democracy with media like this website. It is to bad that there is not more discussion about certain themes. I do think our city needs more interaction between the ruling powers and the people living in Eindhoven.

    Good luck on your work and with your learning of the language!

    Cheers,

    Bob

  • Rien Valk

    Bedankt Matus voor je bericht.
    Ik neem aan dat je ook hier https://www.dse.nl/ rond gekeken hebt? Onze gratis digitale stad is de enige die nog overgebleven is sinds 1995.
    As to your questions:
    1. Free and the possibility to have a website online with e-mail within 15 minutes if you know html.
    2. Yes but I’m not a good example as I’m volunteering as editor (I edited your picture above your article to 400 x 200 pixels)
    3. In the beginning DSE supported a lot of lokal initiatives and we still have a very good help desk
    4. It is regional without advertisement and data collecting.
    5. Short after our start the city of Eindhoven supported our community even the local paper used it for an experimental digital version around 1996 nowadays that kind of support is over.

    Leuk als hier nog meer mensen reageren

    • Matus Solcany

      Thank you very much for your answer Rien. I looked at dse.nl also, and i am still going through it. Having a website ready within 15 minutes must have been great especially in 1995’s when domain and hosting services were probably very crude. I assume that lots of the people in this community had the html skills to make a website. Was it common to provide web design & coding services to other local people who didn’t have the knowledge and wanted a website?

      Could you please name a few local initiatives that were supported by DSE? Was the support based on making these initiatives publicly known, by advertising them on dse website or by hands-on help, for example: creating a website for them?

      I agree that privacy, zero data collection and zero advertisement is what really sets de digital stad apart from any other current ‘global’ online community. It seems that newspapers have their own communities on facebook nowadays for example http://www.ed.nl, however they are centralised and communicate mostly only top to bottom. I think that it is great that here citizens can discuss, share ideas and speak as equal.

      • Rien Valk

        The 1997 homepage
        Above the 1997 homepage.

        In 1997 the available webspace was 50KB. So those homepage’s where very simple.
        Here you can find some users homepages from that time:
        https://web.archive.org/web/19970419233613/http://dse.nl:80/bewoners/.
        Later on the available webspace became about 100MB and you can always ask for more via our helpdesk

        Some of the supported initiatives are seniorweb, a lot of schools and kennisweb which nowadays have their own domains. Maybe this is a good example about an rather “recent” initiative: https://glowoff.dse.nl/
        In the early days our volunteers where giving some extra support. In rare cases depending on questions raised to our help-desk I myself gave some support “on site” But most of the time it is/was help with e-mail and screen-dumps. See also our extensive https://www.dse.nl/helpdesk/ pages
        Al those initiatives had the possibility to announce them on our homepage.
        As you mention ” I think that it is great that here citizens can discuss, share ideas and speak as equal” This is really one of the benefits of which I hope to be available for a very long time.
        Therefore we also need young people who are interested in supporting us with IT and moreover having a pleasure in writing on our homepage.

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