iqaluit by ascappatura

"arctic, iqaluit, fog, mist, night, city" by ascappatura, 2010

rhizomicon is part of a team working on initiatives in the North, with a focus on the Inuit in the Eastern Arctic and the Nunavik region of Québec. We are interested in developing culturally sensitive integrated marketing communications that use social media tools to:

  1. Enhance economic development
  2. Increase financial literacy
  3. Improve health knowledge
In order for such initiatives to be successful, there needs to be coöperation with local organizations, and agencies, along with a coordination of efforts. The complex dynamics of communities in Nunavut and Nunavik are often highly embedded within local social and institutional structures. Our team has contacts throughout the North, along with deep knowledge of the sociocultural milieu and how it affects both communications and project outcomes.
The Use of the Web
While there are challenges to using web strategies in the North due to access issues, the digital divide is shrinking with the availability of “broadband” services. Those living in the North are taking to social media to communicate with one another and there is a strong pattern of the use of video storytelling to share experiences. Culturally, this is not surprising and should inform communications strategies. While there are many examples of sites being developed for the North and seldom used, we advocate a strategy of leveraging existing social networks and institutional frameworks to help facilitate adoption and use of new tools.
The following is an example of how various tools can fit into an implementation for an outreach program:
Social MediaFeature Interactivity Goal Innovation
Social Portal Develop a platform for collaborative knowledge use and creation that incorporates other social media features. Through the combination and coordination of social media technologies, users will be able to network with others, customize their experience, upload multimedia content, share content offsite, and comment on content.
Discussion Forum Allow for conversations on and crowdsourcing of content that can be archived and searched Discussion forums will be integrated with other social media features.
Wikis Allow the development of structured knowledge by a community of users Wikis will be integrated with other social media features.
“Structured talk” blogs Allow for conversations and posting of content, as well as customization by letting users structure content posted by others on a dashboard. Content can be shared offsite through syndication. The development of this feature will allow for an innovative use of content creation, content dissemination, and customization of the user experience.
Mashups Increase customization by allowing the combination of technologies or the use of data in novel ways. Allow certain metadata to be open to allow users to develop their own mashups. Allow greater customization and use of metadata on the site to generate output.
Sharing/Syndication Allow the sharing of content offsite, disseminating information and potentially expanding the site’s audience. Sharing/syndication will be integrated with other social media features.
Mobile Allows the use of the site with mobile technologies (mobile Web). Added convenience of use for the users. Allows the development of smartphone apps to increase value-added


We are partnered with Louis McComber, MA of Serpentine Communications of Sutton, Québec and affiliated with CIÉRA at Université Laval. Louis has extensive experience with research on the sociology and anthropology of the Inuit and lived in Iqaluit, Nunavut for over 10 years. He has taught at Nunavut Arctic College and currently edits books on historical and contemporary Inuit issues.