Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Traditional award categories

Traditional award categories
Originally uploaded by cuuixsilver
One challenge to developing programs or projects in digital media is determining whether there are any prospective students, or any interest from local communities. This really struck me when I went to the county fair. Though CSU Stanislaus is an "urban campus" and the population of Turlock is about 70,000 (and growing rapidly) still, local identity seems to still really be based on agriculture, as is obvious in this picture.

Of course this element will be highlighted at the fair, but what really got my attention is the way it's highlighted in spite of, for example, the 4H club having programs in science and engineering, communications, and metal-work. There wee no exhibits of that work, just the agricultural group's petting zoo of farm animals.

I think there's a lot of nostalgia shaping local identity, and a real reluctance to connect with the "other" California of Silicon Valley and the high tech industry. Lately several residents who have been here a long time have commented to me on how closed a city this is. I'm starting to wonder if ICT's much vaunted ability to connect people has been completely misunderstood. When I think of the regions I know that are very connected online, they are also very connected with public transit, while those that are not well-connected online also don't have much public transit.

Has anyone ever studied a possible connection? Something else to track down...

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