Communities come in all flavors but everyone in every community can use a big piece of paper and some crayons to tell your story. Those stories, told by you and your friends and neighbors, help guide the direction of how your community will grow. Or even if the community wants to grow!
It's really important to start with the story, the story of your community, told by your community. When the story is ready, we can add technologies, particularly geographic information systems that provide a lot of analytical and data/knowledge management tools to your efforts.
As electronic tools have become more ingrained in our world, a lot of terms that used to be intermingled are becoming more distinct. In particular, we now understand the big distinction between data, like the stuff in spreadsheets, and Knowledge, a much more subjective and difficult asset to manage.
When we learned the English alphabet, the letters L, M, N, O, P often started out in our young brains as one word elemenope. Many of you may be familiar with another term queehquecee - QA/QC as if it's all one word. Quality control is the technical side, 15% of the effort - the "information technology" part of the equation. It answers the question - "Is the database working correctly?" Quality assurance generally takes 85% of the effort in a project. QA requires deep subject matter expertise. It answers the question - "Is the document ready to be published?"