Computer network within a network

In true entrepreneurial style, Betsy Knapp is working on a solution to a problem. She belongs to the Committee of 200, a network of 240 women business owners and high-level managers. Though the group meets only twice a year, she is in touch with some members much more regularly than that.

The problem, though, is that fellow members are busy and scattered across the country. She says she often ends up playing ''telephone tag'' with members she's trying to contact, often not reaching them for days.

Her idea is to develop a computer network for the women's network. Members would have their own computers that tie in with a main computer in the middle, so to speak. Information held in the main computer would be available to all the owners at once and individuals could either send to or retrieve information from this central place. They could discuss issues, share business ideas, or just conduct the business of running the network.

Isn't the phone quicker? Not with time zones and schedules getting in the way , says Mrs. Knapp, senior vice-president of Knapp Communications Corporation, which publishes Architectural Digest, GEO, Bon Appetit, and Home. Besides, ''they can read at their leisure and compare their answers with other people's, '' she says. Interest among the committee members is high. ''We asked for a show of hands and practically everyone said they would be interested.'' Now Mrs. Knapp is looking for computer vendors to help set up a pilot program.

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