THEY'RE VIBRANT, THEY'RE TALENTED, AND THEY'RE LEAVING: Luring Our Youth Back Home With TechnologyWritten by Jill St Claire, President - JSC Marketing, LLC
What do young people of Humboldt County do after leaving high school and college? Some can’t wait to leave, and others want to stay but aren’t satisfied with job opportunities, or lack thereof, in this place they’ve known as “home”.
The real question is -- how do they perceive options available: minimum wage retail sales, join a branch of U.S. Military, family farm, or just hanging out with their friends who are in same situation.
Some, through their own entrepreneurial activities, see options for working from home or for business opportunities in their own community. Most however, are just glad to have found a good job somewhere, and “somewhere” usually isn’t Humboldt County even though leaving home isn’t what they really want.
The editor William Vitek says in his essay, Community And The Virtue Of Necessity, "What keeps a community together is inability of its members to leave, either because of dangers that lie outside community--a forbidding desert or an enemy clan, for example--or ties that lie within community--traditions, laws, fear of being cast out, rejected, or destroyed." In recent times that has been mitigated (or weakened) by technology: automobiles, telephones, outside investments, ties to state and federal assistance programs, but some people do not feel that they can ever leave and continue a constant cycle of struggling with finding a means for economic security.
For many of Humboldt County’s residents, their identities are heavily intertwined with their community. The importance placed on where they live and what keeps them there (other than “we can’t just move farm”) seems to be tranquility, natural beauty, perceived lack of crime, and most importantly, people and relationships.
To prevent loss of our productive population and slow death of many of Humboldt County’s smaller communities, as we’ve seen happen with all too many, we have an enormous responsibility to make this place matter enough for our young talented people to want to stay or return after attending college elsewhere. By garnering our connection to technological age and educating our youth about unlimited entrepreneurial possibilities technology offers, we provide opportunity and a mechanism for our youth to succeed. Having a job that makes use of skills acquired in college would be an important step in keeping them here and luring those who’ve left back home.
While technology and Internet alone may not revive an entire community, it can provide a good income in places where there are few traditional new jobs. Some good examples are: GIS expert working from home in Hilo, Hawaii; pack goat supplies in Weippe, Idaho; Tionesta students selling digital stories; small ISP in Imperial, Nebraska; future Spanish language institute being formed in Elsa, Texas; and marketing of fine wood products in Orofino, Idaho.
The Coming Television RevolutionWritten by Terry Mitchell
The revolution is just getting started and will begin to make its mark this year. By 2010, it will begin to take off. By 2025, it will be standard for all TV viewing. It's called Internet Protocol Television, or IPTV for short. IPTV works with a set-top box connected to any broadband interface and to a TV. It will allow users to choose among thousands (and eventually hundreds of thousands) of hours of programming, including movies, sports, classic TV, etc., and download their selections from internet to hard drive of set-top box. Initially, set-top box hard drives will be able to store up to 300 hours of programming at a time, but capacity will expand as technology becomes more refined. Also, download times will become shorter and shorter as broadband connection speeds become faster and faster. Eventually, a two-hour movie will be fully downloadable in a couple of minutes. Once programs are downloaded to hard drive, they can be viewed on connected TV at any time via a DVR-type interface provided by set-top box. Besides convenience of an all video-on-demand (VOD) environment, IPTV will provide a much wider range of programming than broadcast, cable, and satellite TV, or even major video chains, could ever provide. Because programming is available from internet, it will be almost completely unlimited and unconstrained. Programming from all over world will be available along with every imaginable genre of niche programming. Also, previously unreleased independent films that have been sitting on shelves for years due to lack of a distribution source will suddenly become available to masses via IPTV. Films that previously could not be made at all will become a reality and be available on IPTV services. Long forgotten films and TV shows will have new life breathed into them by IPTV. To top it all off, much of this programming will be eventually be available in high definition (HDTV)! Most IPTV platforms will be divided into "channels", but not same kind of channels that we have grown accustomed to with traditional TV services. In this case, a "channel" is defined as a division of an IPTV service by individual content provider. Each content provider carried by a given IPTV platform will have its own guidelines for delivering programming on its channel. Some will provide their content for free to everyone who owns a given IPTV product. Some will be subscription based, i.e., everything on their channels will be available for a monthly or annual subscription. Others will be all pay-per-view. Still others will provide a combination of all of above.