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About Reutterwerk....

Posted 09-14-2008 at 01:02 PM by Admin
The concept really started during a trip to Haiti in 2008 and the challenge was form a "virtual community" to benefit "real communities". During that trip to Haiti, I was privileged to be joined by a man who posts here on the Forum as "Patrick" to look at what we were doing with two programs within Project Rennwish (our partnership with Pwoje Espwa and the completion of another school) - so we had several opportunities to discuss the site objectives. In short, we concluded that - the majority of the proceeds from this site will go to our programs in Haiti...

Since returning home, and the weeks following, I reprogrammed the Project Rennwish site - and well, just started adding features. And one thing led to another, as they often do when one is programming/hacking.

So what you now see on Reutterwerk is a "work in progress" - both in the sense of programming - but in a much larger sense - what I believe a "Community" should be about. Esoteric, perhaps only in conceptualization, as the code to "make it all work" as a community - and many of the features you see here - is because a few dozen folks on this same website - share those same ideals in "community" and have spurred me to develop a codebase to follow their ideals and vision. If I am in the least bit successful with the programming - it is due to these folks, certainly not me...

Will Reutterwerk ever move into the web "mainstream"? I don't know. For now - it's a close group trying to achieve a web community on an entirely different level that most Internet "sites" could ever envision.

In fact.... The Reutterwerk community is self-moderating. In other words, the community itself is responsible for moderation - not a single person. Since there is no one moderator for everything â?? Iâ??ve deferred the responsibility to act maturely onto each of you who choose to post and participate. In fact - folks that have registered during the beta test (which is now) - can give infractions... Too many infractions from 50+ senior folks mean that you will be given warnings - or voted out of this community not by me - or a single moderator - but by your compatriots within your own community...

Further, there are no paid â??Membersâ? (this site is free, including all the features). There are, rather - simply â??Supportersâ?. In fact, any and all funds generated from this site over its cost of operation will be donated to â??Project Rennwishâ?. If you choose to donate over $100 â?? you will become Supporterâ? and you will get a receipt for tax purposes for 80% of your contribution - which is the maximum allowed by current IRS laws as they have been explained to us.

For that - weâ??ve tried to bring to bear many technical innovations into a single site. For example, you will see new â??Product Reviewâ? software; buyer/seller feedback forums, the ability for any registered user to create, maintain and publish their own BLOG; the picture capabilities/galleries are three various technologies â?? allowing each person to decide what degree of complexity and features they require for publishing and maintaining their own photo gallery. And a lot of other things - like multiple style choices for viewing Reutterwerk, the ability to customize your experience through the User Control Panel, Classifieds, and an Off Topic Forum which is by invitation of the current folks - not me..

One of the most interesting concepts are the "Community & Social" Groups. These are set up by members of this community - and they span a variety of interests. From photography, to gardening, to regional communities - through communities that share a common interest. In this way - this site is nothing more than an International community which has exploited technology to serve as a local community portal. And further, these same groups are setup and moderated within the larger site by their own stakeholders/owners...

Anyway - what started out as a "concept" in Haiti with two folks - has evolved into it's first "beta" iteration on the "web"...

We welcome you to our community - and to yours..

John
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