Isla Vista LocalWiki
January 13, 2015 2:25 PM   Subscribe

Isla Vista LocalWiki
When I went to UC Santa Barbara, the message I got as an incoming freshman is that the next-door student neighborhood, Isla Vista, is a risky land of parties and not much else. It took me a while to realize how interesting Isla Vista is, and how fun it is to go explore and understand it. I'd like to help other students get to that point faster, with fewer stereotypes about it and more stories about weird houses and public art and folklore and community gardens and land use history. I'm working on a LocalWiki for the neighborhood, in the style of DavisWiki, writing a lot of articles myself and also helping other people contribute. (LocalWikis have fewer rules than Wikipedia about things like notability and sourcing; you can write about the nice cat at the corner store if you want to.)

Isla Vista has a lot of interesting characteristics that make it a good subject for a community writing project: it's an unusually walkable place with many local institutions and traditions, and it's an unincorporated quasi-town with a complex relationship with the university and the county. But one part that I find really appealing is that this is a relatively unexplored topic with a small/feasible scope, unlike writing about San Francisco history for example. This area is less than 2 square miles, and it urbanized only about 60 years ago. There's some good material to work from (one book, a graduate student history paper, a community newspaper in the 80s, decades of student newspaper articles), and there's also lots of room for volunteer amateurs to cover unwritten parts. And when most of the residents are students who move away after a few years, retaining and sharing local memories is interestingly important.

Anyway, I'm having fun with this. You might look at LocalWiki's list of regions to find out if there's an active one near you.
Role: writer, organizer, photographer
posted by dreamyshade (0 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by Michele in California on January 24, 2015: An Unincorporated Historic Neighborhood Gets it Place on the Internet

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