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About Timenesia

Many communities suffer from "timenesia": a lack of awareness-of and interest-in their own past, present and future. They don't showcase their rich past, aren't aware of their neighbors different takes on their present, nor their hopes for their shared future. Timenesia.org's goal is to overcome this problem by enabling communities to awareness, engagement and excitement via hyper-local guided tours featuring residents' voices, pictures, and text about the past, present and future. We are building on a rich tradition of participatory research about how to engage the general public in community revival and visioning. Timenesia.org is a project of the MIT Center for Civic Media.

The My Dot Tour is our first try with this website. This tour focuses on the Fields Corner area of Dorchester in Boston. We are currently working with our community partners to see how people engage with the website as part of the My Dot Tour project. Based on what we learn, we hope to bring the project to other communities around the world.

Email us if you're interested: timenesia@media.mit.edu

About My Dot Tour

My Dot Tour is a project of the Fields Corner Collaborative (FCC). FCC is a group of non-profit organizations concerned with celebrating the culture of youth leadership, the history, and the architecture of Fields Corner for improved social capital and economic development. The organizations include: the Dorchester Environmental Health Coalition, Dorchester Historical SocietyFields Corner Main StreetHistoric Boston Incorporated, and SCI Dorchester/Dotwell. The Tour’s coordinator is Kate Balug and the two interns are Alex Olivier and Eric Saindon. The open source technical components are being developed in collaboration with and support from MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media.

My Dot Tour is a multimedia, youth-led walking tour of Fields Corner in Dorchester that presents a narrative of the past, the present and the future of this diverse and exciting neighborhood.

Theatrical in nature, a series of tour performances aims to enrich public life and foster youth leadership in Dorchester, celebrate the recent history and current amenities of Fields Corner, and provide a platform for sharing ideas about future improvements. Tours feature select notable sites identified and researched by area teens with help from archives, residents, and local institutions.  

To enhance the tour experience, each My Dot Tour stop hosts a street sign with unique location information accessible by phone at 617-300-0368, and via quick response (QR) code, an information-rich code that can be scanned using a smart phone. The tour website features audio, images, public comments and text written by the teen guides about each site. 

My Dot Tour emphasizes participatory involvement in the creation of a living archive of Fields Corner sites – public comments about the past, present, or future of each location can be phoned in or sent via SMS to 617-300-0368, and through a variety of ways on the website – and provides information to the public well beyond scheduled tour dates. 

Historic Boston Incorporated (HBI) has been working in Fields Corner since 2008 as part of its Historic Neighborhood Centers Program. HBI’s primary partner in the neighborhood is Fields Corner Main Street (FCMS). One of the goals of the program is to increase knowledge of and appreciation for community history.

In light of this, HBI, FCMS, and other local organizations, including the Dorchester Historical Society, the Dorchester Environmental Health Coalition, and Dotwell formed the Fields Corner Collaborative (FCC) to produce a historic walking tour. To develop tour programming, they reached out to mytown, inc., a Boston youth development program that led historic neighborhood tours in the South End. After holding a focus group to gauge area youths’ interests,  the FCC created My Dot Tour in 2009 and the first tour debuted in 2010. 

This year’s second iteration of the Tour builds on the tradition established by the earlier partnership with mytown. This year’s primary partner working with the FCC is MIT’s Center for Civic Media, who provided extensive technical expertise with the web and telephone components of the tour. The FCC expanded the tour topics to include the present and future uses of the area, and conducted auditions for the youth guide positions. 

My Dot Tour Partners

Sponsors