My primary reason for wanting to network Avalon and all its entities into one platform--visible and shareable by anyone in the world--is that many of my students (who I will enlist as allies in this task) are readily available and willing to contribute to the difficult task. What makes the task so difficult is that many businesses, organizations and other clubs on the island are unplugged; they don't have a functioning and/or efficient web-presence (besides Yelp, Trip Advisor and Facebook). Many of these entities are just behind with technology, and lack the motivation to plug themselves into the vast global network that is only continuing to grow.
To review my "wicked hard" problem for this course in detail, here it is:
How can I create a sustainable, technological platform for connecting all Avalon businesses and organizations in one virtual location?
Avalon is teeming with nonprofit organizations, various clubs, recreational outlets and local businesses. Many of these entities are vital to the health of the City of Avalon, but sadly, there are several disconnects between them. It is important for these organizations and businesses to promote a sense of community by establishing a shareable network.
- What are the names of all of the businesses, nonprofits, clubs, sports teams, and other entities to be considered in a communal network in Avalon?
- What social networking sites, if any, do each of the named entities utilize regularly?
- Could the social networking sites be linked together efficiently with all blogs and/or reviews fed to one source?
- Is it feasible to create a website for each entity that contains similar layouts? What about upgrading each existing site to include common features?
- Would a Symbaloo-like platform be appropriate for organizing all of the sites?
- Who would oversee the maintenance of the virtual platform, and how much maintenance would be needed to keep the sites updated?
- How could I effectively advertise the platform to all visitors of the island?
- Should/Could students be involved with creating sites for local businesses, clubs, etc.?
- Can the platform be multilingual?
- Can visitors upload photos and/or videos to each site listed in the platform?
- Are there filters needed for such a platform, or is transparency the key for this to succeed?
To begin my pursuit, I will assemble a team of students who will be my allies in this endeavor. I will create a chart of the entire island and it's businesses and organizations, some of which do not have a physical location. My team and I will then visit with each group and discuss our idea with them, in addition to assessing their current digital presence to the global network. This won't be easy to get many stubborn groups on board, but by teaching my students to selfishly act as resources to these groups and provide site maintenance, we may have an idea for mutual symbiosis!