Friday, October 14, 2005

A picture is worth a thousand words

Last night, we took a tour of the East Kong Yick (pronounced gung yick) building, the soon-to-be new home of the Wing Luke Asian Museum. The building is an old "mixed-use" space built in 1910 by the pooled resources of 170 Chinese pioneers. Over the years, it has housed migrant workers, served as a community center, in addition to providing retail space for the neighborhood.

This picture is one of the images I took last night. It's of a sink in one of the communal kitchens in the building.

While it doesn't even begin to capture the full spirit or history of the area, it helps me to convey my experiences to others about the history of the building beyond what these words here could ever do.

Granted my digital photography skills are lacking a bit, but it helps me share this quickly. If I had a camera phone, and a flickr acct tied to this blog, I could have uploaded it here a lot quicker. Tie in the blogging aspect in real time, and that's even better.

Had I all the tech, I would do that all the time. The notion of digital pics and sharing them in real time present really interesting opportunities for fostering greater civic engagement. I'm not the first to write on this I'm sure, and certainly I won't be the last. I just believe that if digital pictures are used effectively, they can help spread the mission of an organization or cause far faster and wider than what any of us could do ever before. Likewise, I think this same tool, if used well can then also inspire people to action, and help people document, record and share with a wider group than before...fostering greater momentum and the like. Tie in the notion of say GPS with an image...and then you can have an invite to a specific place with the context all provided in the image. Could you imagine what that means for protest or participation in public meetings, etc?

Sure we're not all bloggers or photojournalists...but if there's something to be said about getting better with practice, we all might be soon enough.

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