For my second digital project in my Communication, Technology and Culture course, my group took on the topic of Toronto’s potholes. As it is commonly known, Toronto is known as a city with one of the worst potholes in terms of being an urbanized environment. Many citizens of the GTA, including many students within my class, expressed their frustration and annoyance towards Toronto potholes. My group, consisting of Kiana, Meera, Daniel, Sherice and Syoma, decided to take on the challenge of making a plan in order to make a change to this issue. When brainstorming, we brought up the idea that the danger that is commonly thought of when addressing the issues of potholes is the danger to vechiles. Citizens have an issue with potholes due to the potential chance of the holes to damage their car, along with the uncomfortableness of driving due to the lack of a smooth road. However, my group concluded that the danger is not only to vechiles or drivers, but also to the rest of citizens. Not only are potholes dangerous for drivers, but to everyone whether you are walking, cycling, skateboarding, etc. Daniel, being an active skateboarder, noted that when he skateboards, he comes in contact with many potholes that increase his risk of getting injured. Although he realizes that potholes make it extremely dangerous for him to skateboard, he felt that it is unjust for him to be stripped his right to skateboard due to the irresponsibility and lack of effort from the city. In order to increase awareness of this issue to the city, our group made a twitter page as a forum for citizens to let their voice be heard. Users can tweet their concerns for potholes while incorporating the hashtag ‘#TOPotholes’ where we will retweet it to increase awareness. Since there are millions of tweets being produced everyday, our group decided to incorporate folksonomy with the hashtag ‘#TOPotholes’ so we were able to locate these tweets with ease without having to spend a ridiculous amount of time. The hashtag allows us to see all the tweets of concern for Toronto potholes. On top of this, we incorporated geotagging by putting a link on our bio of a map of Toronto where citizens can add where they have come into contact with potholes, along with giving the potholes a rating. Although we realize every pothole is problematic, we plan to have different layers on the map to act as a rating scale, from minor potholes to very problematic potholes. This will give the city a sense of which areas to start, as it makes more sense to fix the potholes with a higher rating first. Also, we decided to name our campaign ‘These Holes Aint Loyal’, as suggested by a student in my class, to provide as a creative outlook on our campaign. Seeing that our name is begin reference to a popularized hip-hop song, this will increase the awareness of our campaign. We feel that more citizens would be attracted to our campaign with this name, rather than our previous name ‘TO Potholes’. Seeing that our name is referenced to a young popular hip-hop artist, this will also increase the awareness with young citizens. Typically, middle-aged citizens are the leading group in involving themselves within the city and being aware. Having a reference to something that is close to the hearts of young citizens will increase their awareness and involvement, along with our campaign being on social media. All in all, with increased efforts, I feel as though our campaign has real potential in being active within he GTA. I also feel that our campaign only has such potential due to incorporating folkonomy and geotagging. Without incorporating these two aspects, our campaign would be very weak and ineffective. We wouldn’t be able to locate the concerns of citizens on Twitter and also wouldn’t be able to provide the city with a visual of the potholes citizens have reported to us along with a rating. It would be very hard to convince the city to take part in our campaign seeing that it would be a very difficult and time-consuming campaign without these two aspects. To conclude, this digital project allowed me to come to the realization of the importance and effectiveness folksonomy and geotagging has. Without these two aspects, our campaign would fail terribly.
Geotagging Map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zRxUg11QY4Yk.kF54vGA-fgTY