With The Glocalization Site, you'll create a Web site that allows a global audience to experience some aspect of Duluth, Lake Superior, the Northshore or some similar locale. Because this global audience is possible only through the Internet, assume that they will never physically visit your locale. The only relationship your audience will ever have with your place is the online experience that you create, and the things you find to show and tell them. Luckily, you can "narrowcast" to a very particular audience with specific tastes and interests.What is Glocalizing?
To "glocalize" some local thing means to present it to a global, networked audience for reasons that make sense in the world of the network, rather than the physical world. The value that the audience gets from your site, therefore, should come not in some potential physical experience (typically, visiting your local place) but in the virtual experience of seeing something that they haven't seen, or learning something that connects to their interests. This glocal, networked audience is defined not by their origin or location in a geographic state or nation, but through their connection to the globalized "tribes," subcultures or "scapes" that exist via the mass media, international marketing or the Internet.Looking at Examples of Glocalizing on the Web
The following are examples of local topics presented to a global audience--not necessarily models of good Web design. In fact, some of them are crudely done.
Still, ask yourself who would find the experience of the site fulfilling or memorable. How do each of these sites potentially speak to some sense of identity or interest that exists beyond physical or geographical existence?
We can group these projects into at least four general categories:1. Origins/History
Members of groups are bound by their histories or origin-stories, and the places where these histories unfolded often take on a sacred status, even for those visiting them only virtually. You probably need to know about Mormon Church history to follow or care about this Tour of the Carthage (IL) Jail, but for the "saints" it's a compelling experience to see where it actually happened. Other examples of sites describing origins:
- Mary Tyler Moore Show tour of Minneapolis does something similar for the Twin Cities and fans of the '70s-era show, still seen on TV Land and Nick at Nite. See any similarities with the appeal of the Mormon site? What does that suggest about the role of network television shows in contemporary [networked] life?
- The New York City nightclub CBGB promotes its (arguable) reputation as the birthplace of punk. Certain kinds of music are good examples of how technology and networks can make the local global without requiring physical travel.
- Tabasco uses the exotic locale and history of its original home on Avery Island to market its hot sauce. Think about how this marketing establishes a close relationship of some tiny locale to the global market, undermining the mediation of the nation-state.
2. Local Instances of Larger Interests, Concerns, or Tastes (all student examples)
- Duluth Lynchings (political and social history)
- Beer Pong (youth culture)
- Seasons of Duluth (enthusiasm for seasonal change, photography)
- Duluth NIght (tastes for city nightscapes, night photography)
3. Local Experiences that Universalize by Personalizing (Literary Style)
4. Local Examples Presented for Educational or Analytical Purposes
What's makes The Glocatization Site Project Interesting
Never before in history could regular individuals like you and me address a global audience, or even a very narrowly defined audience dispersed across the globe. Now, anyone with an Internet connection and some basic technology can do just that. The challenge now become not reaching an audience, but defining them and understanding how to address them. We'll take on these challenges by attempting the following:
- creating a site that creates a rich online experience of a local place, group, event, phenomenon, "scene," product, etc.
- defining and addressing a global "tribe," subculture or scape who will value that online experience for itself, not as a mere advertisement of a physical experience to come,
- using the first (index) page of the site to establish the purpose, audience, and organization,
- producing an effective, multi-page Web site with navigation,
- creating and using an effective page-design scheme for the site which makes effective use of screen real estate, and that gives the site a consistent, unifying look and feel,
- creating something original and new that adds value to the Web,
- inventing a subtle means of documenting all sources of information, including links to online sources, without making the system of citation too intrusive on the online experience,
- designing pages of that consider Nielsen's recommendations for content-, page- and site-usability,
- combining words and images well,
- taking maximum advantage of your local access to develop original materials for your site, including your own text, photographs, and research, which add value to the Web,
- giving your content a sense of texture and voice which speaks to your audience
Since you will probably use information from other sources to make your site, you'll want to provide a means for visitors to find these original sources. Your site should provide a subtle apparatus to identify these sources and make them available. Citations for print sources should include author, title, publisher information, and month/year. For online sources, include the name and a link to the page where you found the information or other content. If you use pictures, you should ask permission from the owner or manager of the site, emphasizing that this is a not-for-profit school project.
In addition to fulfilling the general guidelines of excellent commentaries, the Glocalization Project Commentary should
- substantively quote, site, and discuss Roland Robertson's "Comments on the 'Global Triad' and 'Glocalization' at least once and
- draw a meaningful comparison to at least two of the examples of glocalization discussed in class.
You can open, download, and print the criteria checklist that I'll use to evaluate your project. This document is subject to change. I will announce any substantial changes to the basic expectations of the assignment in class.