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The Internet has always functioned best as a collaborative, co-operative medium. In some ways, it is not a commercial medium at all, and certainly those sites that provide quite a lot of free information often do best.

Nearly all of the server side software in which we develop our own applications is what is known as 'open source' - i.e. it is developed free of charge by programmers all round the world and the code is completely open for anybody to use.

In our case, we use PHP and MySQL to develop the interactive parts of our sites, while our servers run on Linux, the open source alternative, and in our opinion better, operating system to Windows.

Given a working environment like this, it would be very strange indeed if we did not ourselves offer some free services, and we do.

We are also committed to the idea of the Internet as a universal communication tool helping to bring people closer together in ways that TV and radio could have done were they not usurped by big business. As yet. the Web is still owned by everybody.

Charities, Not-For-Profit Organisations and Educational Establishments

We offer as much of our time and expertise as we can to help you establish a presence on the Web, working on the basis that if you teach somebody to fish you feed them for life - i.e. where practical (and it's not always) we'd rather show how it's done than do it - though we will sometimes just do it!

We are developing the community 'magazine' site, Shepton Life, which is completely free to use for not for profit, religious and educational organisations who get there own editable page(s) and the ability to use the calendar function to publicise forthcoming events.

The purpose of Shepton Life is partly to promote this area on the web, but it is also to help the local community communicate better amongst ourselves. By holding up a mirror we hope we are doing our bit to increase cohesiveness and pride locally.

It will include a guide to all the local businesses and shops, voluntary bodies, schools and religious groups; news reports and stories; a calendar; small ads; blogs and lots more.

If you would like take part, and have some skills that you feel might be useful - which need not be particularly 'techie' - please don't hesitate to get in touch.

We also have quite a lot of free resources on the site, including several hundred free templates that may be used to build a simple site. These are available here.