glocalization logoChoosing a Topic

With The Glocalization Site, you'll create a Web site that allows a global audience to experience some aspect of Duluth, Lake Superior, the North shore or some similar locale you're familiar with.

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 that they want to see, 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 online sources describing origins:

2. Local Instances of Larger Interests, Concerns, or Tastes ("Totemic Places")

3. Local Experiences Made Universal by Aestheticizing, Narrativizing, Intellectualizing, or Personalizing (Literary Style)

4. Local Examples Presented for Globally Relevant Purposes (Educational, Analytical)


Documenting Sources

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

  1. substantively quote, site, and discuss Roland Robertson's "Comments on the 'Global Triad' and 'Glocalization' at least twice and

  2. 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.