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edgeX - Mapping the Missing Grassroots

edgeX is a research project funded by the Australian Research Council under the ARC Linkage programme. It was developed by Liz Ferrier (UQ Ipswich) and myself; the other chief investigators in the team are Jo Tacchi (QUT), Dave Rooney and Phil Graham (UQ Ipswich), and our postdoctoral research Sal Humphreys. Our industry partner for the project is the Ipswich City Council. The official ARC title for this research project is "Mapping the Missing Grassroots: Ethnographic Action Study of Local Grassroots Broadband Content (Co-) Creation and Consumption", and the project officially commenced at the start of 2006.

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Project Overview

edgeX is a Web-based virtual space which facilitates the creation, exhibition and evaluation of locally produced digital content from emergent, grassroots, amateur content creators. Based on a world expo model, it features various forms of digital storytelling (in text, sound, images, and video), blogging, and music, with further content formats to be added at later stages. It plugs into existing digital literacy and technology education programmes and promotes take-up and engagement with new media technologies particularly by young and disadvantaged groups in the community. edgeX features regular events and competitions which recognise outstanding content and publicise it on a global stage.

edgeX is

  • an emergent digital grassroots eXpo
  • a community of emerging new media producers
  • a sustainable site for the generation of low-cost broadband content
  • using a world expo model for the exhibition of locally produced material
  • a Website exhibiting exciting new work by independent media artists
  • aimed at community groups, niche cultures, and young artists
  • able to tap into existing amateur and grassroots production in community, schools and colleges, and to extend the audience for their work

edgeX enables Councils

  • to engage with their constituents
  • to build and maintain strong local identity
  • to help local communities tell their stories
  • to display the vibrancy of local culture to a worldwide audience
  • to reflect the diversity of local communities and interest groups
  • to develop learning communities in the new media sector
  • to provide new opportunities for disadvantaged groups
  • to show leadership in the development of creative industries sectors
  • to increase active digital media literacy
  • to encourage, strengthen and harness local creativity

edgeX helps

  • place South-East Queensland at the cutting edge of digital media
  • promote the Smart State and the Smart City
  • provide pathways from amateur to professional media work
  • develop local creative industries sectors
  • encourage the take-up of new technologies
  • preserve local histories, knowledges, and identities
  • identify key trends in local grassroots content production

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