When I met Steve Snow, he was not only embarking on a life-changing journey, he was embarking on a journey in which he changed others lives as well.
Charlotte’s Web (here in 1997) was conceived before the Web was really or readily available to all. Steve saw potential for strong and broad democratic involvement aided by technology that would transform communities like Charlotte reaching out to the homeless and to public housing equally with outreach to those more privileged.
Charlotte’s Web had a fantastic start then ran into trouble, mostly political due to it’s involvement with various parts of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg government each of whom had a financial stake and so a policy stake in the enterprise.
Steve somehow managed to manage CharWeb through that time and into the future until about 2001 when Charlotte.com picked up the project and Steve left.
Steve was an outspoken advocate of full-community participation in the online community. He helped found the Association for Community Networking and advocated for access for the homeless.
Steve still cared about and was involved in community even in his counseling and consulting practice in Asheville, NC, which he named CommCure. In his own biography on the CommCare site, he described himself this way:
“Among his primary interests academically are integrating human needs and technical infrastructure and Jungian applications of SandPlay in virtual environments. He also has a deep commitment to addressing complex trauma in children and adults, with a special emphasis on men who commit domestic, family or interpersonal violence, an area for which he is a regular speaker in national and international conferences.”
The final sentence rings true especially as it pertains to Steve’s commitment to others: ” If you are interested in talking about any of these things, please send an e-mail note and he’ll reply quickly.”
If only that were still true in fact as well as spirit.
About the photo: 4/11/96 – Steve Snow, on the right, is shown with Bill Gates, founder and chariman of Microsoft, during Gates’ visit to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Virtual Library. GARY O’BRIEN/Charlotte.com
Alert! @andycarvin be talking about Steve Snow (and maybe Steve Cisler) on Talk of the Nation tomorrow December 31 at 2pm EST.