Digital Habitats is an interesting read so far. I find a lot of solace in knowing that there are others in the same situation of focusing on enhancing community potential with online technology. In my own pursuit of this desire I have seen social challenges dominate any technical considerations. I also appreciate the leadership aspect of assuming the responsibilities of a tech steward.
I am happy to report that there is much less installing and more simply configuring that tech stewards have to do theses days. A service I really enjoy is http://grou.ps. The solution is hosted and open. I am not bothered by the technology and can focus my attention on serving the community. I can customize practically every single
aspect of the services offered without needing to worry about how it all integrates. Full control without the headaches of dealing with the underlying technology. It truly feels liberating to know that I can sculpt and mold the features to fit the needs of the community. I hope that more community focused software takes this approach of configuring vs. installing.
I also came across a related list of tips for “community managers” (not quite tech stewards but close). http://mashable.com/2010/04/13/community-manager-tips/ I especially appreciate number 7 and leveling the playing field.