Reflections on RealNEO - How far we've come!

Submitted by Sudhir Kade on Mon, 09/17/2007 - 16:34.

I've been a REALNEO regular and member since site inception and I feel that I must add a rallying cry to many of the other posts responding to a very potent question.  Though REALNEO has been encumbered by technical difficulties many have worked through these or indicated or demonstrated the resolve to help navigate what has been a great learning and social networking experiment.  I, for one, believe we have had far too many successes and collectively contributed far too much rich and innovative content to consider any aspect of our ongoing efforts a failure.  Consider how little funding we've had to work with - most of us have funded all we've accomplished from our own pockets.  We haven't had the luxury of million dollar budgets to throw at advanced technologists.  We define lean and mean!

REALNEO is a living demonstration of the power of FOSS technology to build value, raise awareness, uplift community, and bridge divides - on the cheap, nonetheless!  This is what exactly makes FOSS so suitable to regional and community transformation efforts where they matter most - in economically and opportunity-deprived places. 

Imagine the potential we can achieve should we actually organize more efficiently and perhaps develop REALNEO or some core aspect of it into a legitimate 501c3.  I know my individual Digital Divide efforts have begun to reap enough interest and contribution to warrant such status alone.  Considering the fantastic REALNEO roundtables pioneering members helped organize and orchestrate, featuring so many community leaders, and the outcomes we helped drive forward from such connections, we have much to be proud of.


We will only fail once we fail to try and succumb to any kind of doom-set mentality.  I've enjoyed learning more about Drupal technology and some of the irritiating intricacies that are now becoming much more lucent (i.e. photo posting via GIMP manipulation).  I've found this technology so interesting I'm now dedicating daily doses of time to more intimately studying Drupal CMS, from both user and administrative perspectives.  We should stand tall and remember that Norm's initial founding vision (2002) and all we've all done to drive it forward collectively the past several years are truly pioneering efforts for our region technologically - REALNEO brought Drupal to NEO first - and so many other great sites - Green City Blue Lake, Cleveland Public Library, etc - came afterward.  Ultimately the opportunity for so many of these sites to effectively network, merge and interface represents a very exciting future outcome.


 As some positive financial outcomes have very recently come my way, this has allowed greater time to be focused on some great transformative community efforts we pioneered at the same time REALNEO was founded - particularly the East Cleveland Transformation efforts, which we will highlight at the upcoming Beaming Bioneers Conference at CSU Levin College October 20th - 10:45 to noon.


Going back to rich content, I feel REALNEO has provided a platform for my own development as a writer, researcher, and aspiring social entrepreneur.  I've been able to provide pop prose and expository commentary that I feel provides us with unique and innovative solutions toward a better world and possibly saving our world, and some of these pieces have garnered expert Kudos and responses from Spokane, Washington even the Virgin Islands (a global expert in sustainable living machines and aquaculture, nontheless!).  The other day a lovely young lady from my apartment building in East 4th (which I am leaving soon for an East Cleveland domicile) mentioned how much she loved my poem, which she happened upon through search engine search of my name rather than any effort of my own.  Works and contributions can and have inspired many to return to REALNEO, to join the community, and share their own reflections and perspectives on content posted here.  Many concepts I exhibited at the last Ingenuity Festival (A Sustainable Future) were first conceived and developed on this platform - and some of these have gotten truly global recognition and will be the basis of a lifelong research and dissertation effort on the cutting edge of sustainability-oriented solutions.


These new connections, once bridged and continued, provide new and lasting value in cultivating a global community of thought and change leaders.  Such is the immense value and power of social networking that I have learned and loved firsthand.


So REALNEO community take heart - We have just begun to fight - mark my words - and watch! 

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