NOTE: This is a full archive for the Project Community: You & The World (2014) please see the main site for the most up to date information.

All Posts Published at: ali bertolo's thoughts!

Final video? Already?

So, final week, final blog? Funny how the first module went by so fast, and even funnier how at first we had absolutely no clue about how to help our NGO and now we even have almost the final video made (or at least in the making). This class has been a long journey in which we have learned a lot of things, and I think the first of them all is learning to listen to others opinions and leaning how to deal with them to get the best out of it. We were able to do a good team work (we didn’t kill each others, at least not yet haha). 

During the free week and this week we started working on the final video we are presenting to our NGO, our teachers and the whole class. Tuesday was recording day, so we spent all day at university recording parts of the video and taking a bunch of pictures to do our stop motion. I was in charge of asking random people at university to interview them, it was pretty fun because I had to shake my fear off and talk to complete strangers and ask them favours. I was also able to see how my team mates took the pictures for the stop motion, and this was super exciting for me because it was the first time I saw the whole process in the making. Stop motion requieres a lot of time and a lot of patience, but in the end it’s definitely worth it! we already have so footage put together and it’s awesome! I fell in love with this technique and I will try to use what I learned here for my personal branding pitch movie :)

source: teamwork. pictures from our stop motion video.

So, this will be the last post before the presentation of the video and even though I’m happy that all our work is coming to an end, I am also sad because I enjoyed the time spent with my group (even when we were super stressed haha). Anyways, I hope you all like this post, and our video next week :)

Thanks for reading!

-ali

 

Posted in Community, Group 2, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: ali bertolo's thoughts!

Hello there, one more week! Sorry for the little delay, this week was my birthday and the cake got…

Hello there, one more week!

Sorry for the little delay, this week was my birthday and the cake got me distracted! but I’m back here now (now that cake is over)

source: Elle SLee’s Facebook account

Back to the main topic of this blog, this week we discussed about marketing strategies, user feedback and customer support, and considering how to evaluate or measure our work and results. We went a little bit crazy discussing about this with the group (as always). We usually start really focused to talk about topics and then we loose track and end up with a lot of different subjects going on (which in a way is good, because a lot of ideas come out of that too)

We thought about how can we help our NGO, thought as a client, track and measure the success of the finished project, (in this case, our online platform). This can be done for example tracking down the number of entries to the webpage. This is also a good marketing tool because for example if you know from which nationalities, age or more the entries are coming you can select better the audience that is more interested on your cause and choose your target group. 

About connecting the product to user feedback, it’s was kind of “easy” for us, because as we are making an interactive online platform where people can actually be a part of the webpage. Post news, pictures, questions, etc, and all this make easy to connect and share experiences and knowledge. I feel that we are using online communities to create another online community, sometimes this makes me feel overwhelmed of all the information we have to process, and study and develop, but all this information helps us too to make our platform as complete and centralized as we can, which is what our NGO wants from us.

Even though the end of the module is coming and with it also this project, I feel that we (and I specially) still need to learn more about this powerful online tools we have in our hands, and learn how to think about so many issues at once, introducing also marketing strategies, design, managing information, sourcing, and putting all that together to fulfil the needs of our client.

Thanks for reading!!

-ali

Posted in Community, Group 2, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: ali bertolo's thoughts!

Hello there, one more week! Sorry for the little delay, this week was my birthday and the cake got…

Hello there, one more week!

Sorry for the little delay, this week was my birthday and the cake got me distracted! but I’m back here now (now that cake is over)

source: Elle SLee’s Facebook account

Back to the main topic of this blog, this week we discussed about marketing strategies, user feedback and customer support, and considering how to evaluate or measure our work and results. We went a little bit crazy discussing about this with the group (as always). We usually start really focused to talk about topics and then we loose track and end up with a lot of different subjects going on (which in a way is good, because a lot of ideas come out of that too)

We thought about how can we help our NGO, thought as a client, track and measure the success of the finished project, (in this case, our online platform). This can be done for example tracking down the number of entries to the webpage. This is also a good marketing tool because for example if you know from which nationalities, age or more the entries are coming you can select better the audience that is more interested on your cause and choose your target group. 

About connecting the product to user feedback, it’s was kind of “easy” for us, because as we are making an interactive online platform where people can actually be a part of the webpage. Post news, pictures, questions, etc, and all this make easy to connect and share experiences and knowledge. I feel that we are using online communities to create another online community, sometimes this makes me feel overwhelmed of all the information we have to process, and study and develop, but all this information helps us too to make our platform as complete and centralized as we can, which is what our NGO wants from us.

Even though the end of the module is coming and with it also this project, I feel that we (and I specially) still need to learn more about this powerful online tools we have in our hands, and learn how to think about so many issues at once, introducing also marketing strategies, design, managing information, sourcing, and putting all that together to fulfil the needs of our client.

Thanks for reading!!

-ali

Posted in Community, Group 2, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: ali bertolo's thoughts!

Designers go solo?

Crowdfunding is a word we have been using A LOT since we started project communities this year because one of the first ideas we had to help our NGO was to raise money so they can buy a piece of land to establish the Tiny Houses community. What better way to raise money than through social media? We bumped with a lot of websites created with this purpose and that we could use for our project and had a lot of information in our hands. 

(These are some of the crowdfunding websites. The source of the pictures are the official websites of each)

For us, as a team, the crowdfunding to buy the land for the Tiny House Community was understandable because we saw the need people had to establish a community. But while working in mixed teams last class during an activity, we discussed about the fact that it’s not so easy to actually get the money for that cause considering it’s not a charity/social/save the children/water/forest, etc kind of cause. It’s not like we are helping to develop a cure an illness, or anything like that. So we were wondering the whole time: How can we make people interested enough in our <private> cause to make them donate? 

We don’t quite know yet about the answer to that question, but it was interesting to hear some ideas during the hang out last class. Some said that It was important to put the cause out there first of all, because you have to reach to everyone, and then focus on your target group (cause they are probably the ones donating). Another thing was the advertisement of your cause but without being so overwhelming (which can be really annoying). In the end the most important thing is to put yourself out there, get people to know your work, and put in motion some crowdsourcing!

I don’t know why some designers like to go on solo and not do crowdsourcing. What I think is that crowdsourcing is a great way to share knowledge and let other people be part of your work too. As my dad says: "When you share, you learn". You can make your design really rich in diversity. But I can understand also the fact that there is a danger of getting the idea or concept of your design stolen (and that would suck!) In the end is each designer’s choice to choose to put their work out there or not (and maybe sometimes it can depend also on the project) but either way it’s a choice to consider!

with nothing more to add, i say goodbye (for now) 

Thank you for reading!

-ali 

Posted in Community, Group 2, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: ali bertolo's thoughts!

The more the merrier?

The first thing that comes into my mind when I think about team work is: “oh no! here we go again”. Don’t get me wrong, I love team work, and having support to develop a task, and not having to do it all alone, but sometimes (specially when you are not able to choose your group) it’s kind of hard to get the team work in an effective a smooth way (or at least that’s what I think (specially at the begining)).

We literally have groups in EVERY class we are in, and of course, they are different groups with different people in everyone of them. The first step I think is important it’s to know every member of the team you are in (their names, where are they from, their age, etc.), because if you know them a little bit more it’s easier to understand what’s the direction they want to take during the development of the work, and in which areas each one of them is skilled or not. 

Even though all our groups are of 4 to 6 people, I prefer always pair work.  I know that 2 people is not actually group, but I think that it’s easier and you get a lot of work done when it’s just a one to one relationship with developing your final project. Our project communities group it’s made of 6 people, and sometimes when we are all together I find it hard to generate new ideas or be creative. Chris Corrigan said (on the video we saw in class)  that the creativity and innovation usually come when 1 person reflects on its own, so in other to get that a group of 1 it’s the best option. I think we apply that a lot in our group when we divide tasks for the week. In that way each one of us has the chance to reflect on what we have to do, and come up with ideas which we share in our weekly meeting. Some ideas may not come to reality, but then some do and that’s how we move forward. We talk about these ideas all together, and that’s when the cultural differences we have arise (in a good way) and you can actually see the diversity of ideas we’ve come up with! 

Source: my personal notebook.

Breaking our group of 6 into smaller groups for doing tasks makes (I think) our group stronger, focusing always on each ones skills and strengths.

So, coming back to the question: the more the better? well, I think that smaller groups work better, more efficiently and each member is more connected to the other members, which makes the communication easier, but in order to stabilise ideas and moving forward is important to share with more people, in that way you have more “edges”, more resources, more diversity and in the end, you have a more creative solution putting all together!

Thank you for reading!

-ali

Posted in Community, Group 2, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: ali bertolo's thoughts!

online tools or online distractions?

We talked about online tools last week on the projcomm class, and as I’ve been updating my blog here sometimes I feel like instead of tools they are a distraction for me. I can almost say I have an account on every social media available nowadays, my cellphone literally is dying of slowness due to all the applications.. and I don’t have to mention the fact that I have so many usernames and passwords that my mind is going crazyyyyyy.

Of course I have my favourites and usually are the ones without so much text, like Instagram and Snapchat. I don’t consider myself a Technology steward regarding those apps because I am still trying to figure out Snapchat haha, but I am a very active Instagram user and (I think I’ve already said this) I have an Instagram just with food pics and healthy lifestyle! I enjoy taking pictures and edit them with apps such as Typic, Over, Retrica, etc (I could go on forever with this, that’s why my cellphone is so slow!! haha) of course I’m not a professional but just an amateur technology user!

I wish I was more interested in online tools such as Twitter and written tumblr blogs because I know I could get so much more information if I actually read something and not just spend hours looking at pictures, but I don’t know, maybe It’s just the way I am made. Pictures and colours make me happy, letters a little bit less. Maybe me my group for the project can help me get introduced to twitter, since I have an account (of course) but never use it! haha

At the end, I just wish I could separate my work time from my online time. Even here on tumblr, since I’m posting for the projcomm class, I’ve discovered really interesting pictures blog and I get easily distracted and my blog takes forever to be done.

Anyways, I hope I’m getting better with my writing skills, which have never been my strength! haha

Thank you for reading!

-ali

Posted in Community, Group 2, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: ali bertolo's thoughts!

Very productive day!

Yesterday was a hectic and busy day! (even though I had only slept 4 hours the night before) I got a lot of things done (even a little bit of viscom, which is driving me crazyyyyyyy).  One of the other many was that finally we met our NGO!! (Yayyyy) I thought that day was never going to arrive haha, but it did, and it was great! We talked with her for half and hour, but that was enough for us to clear the ideas we had bouncing around our heads. Now we know how to put hands on this project! (I don’t know if that phrase is good in english, but in spanish we use it a lot!) and now we feel more motivated to continue the job.

So now what’s next?

During the class, we came up with our CHALLENGE, for the tiny houses enthusiasts project, and it came ended up like this:

(source: from my personal notebook)

After putting the challenge out there in the open a lot of questions appeared, like:

what information can you find there?

who are the target groups for this platform?

what’s the tiny house way of life exactly?

Those are things we need to work at, so now that we know (kind of) where we are headed, we divided tasks in our group. Simple but useful tasks that will be needed for this week group work. While dividing the tasks confusion appeared, because we didn’t know if it was just 1 task per person, or a pair task, or even a group task. At the end we had a little bit of everything in our weekly “have-to-do-list” I think sometimes it’s not about the length of a task, or how hard it is, is really about giving the right task to the right person in the group, because we are all different and we have different skills, different interests, things we are naturally good at and things we naturally suck at! 

One of the individual tasks we wrote for each one of our group members is to do some research and try to come up with a guideline of what we want to have as basic information in our platform. For completing that task we are going to spend a lot of time in front of the computer just goggling about related topics. I have to admit i hate doing that… specially after 5 years studying in Spain, where basically all projects were research projects. I get easily distracted, and being in a computer with internet access don’t make it easier to concentrate (opps!).

Another one of the tasks that I personally have to do is a pair work with Luiza, we need to finish building our new spidergram! and this is more what I like to do, working in small groups, thinking about specific topics, with a clear task and also get to write on paper a little bit! I can focus more in something when I got someone next to me doing the same thing, so I feel more productive working in small groups. And also, (and most importantly) we learn and coach each others at the same time!

I think we can relate this task thing with our preferences with working as an individual (ME), in small groups (WE) or in a much wider network (MANY). About the last one, mmmm, I rarely use twitter, or means that shout out information to a wider scale,I don’t know why but it just makes me feel uncomfortable sometimes.  Even though I don’t like sharing information, I do like sharing food pics to a wide network on Instagram (but maybe it’s just because of my love to food! haha).

To say goodbye I will share my today’s breakfast picture (it’s going to be a good day if you have a good breakfast!) ((and yes, i’ll share it later on Instagram too :p))

Have a really good, happy, joyful day :) <3

-ali

Posted in Community, Group 2, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: ali bertolo's thoughts!

Finally Nancy!!

We finally met Nancy yesterday! Did google hangout with her and she cleared a lot of questions and doubts we were having. I loved her energy and enthusiasm. We got more information about how to handle our meeting with our ngo (which we are finally meeting in half an hour) and we also have a lot more to work with! 

This project is starting to have a shape :D

Posted in Community, Group 2, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: ali bertolo's thoughts!

Overwhelmed with so little information!

Week 3 already! Time seems to be speeding up, and I feel we haven’t done all the work we need to yet. Maybe I feel this because we’ve not been able to connect with our NGO yet, so a lot of questions are still unanswered (That’s were confusion starts), but even though  I think we are working hard putting ideas on the table and discussing wether they are good or bad, and so we’ve made lists of everything we need to say to our NGO when we finally meet :) (which we are really looking forward to)

Last class wasn’t as crazy as the first one (maybe because the first one was a huge shock for me) but still we got a lot of work done. One of the things my group and I sort of worked out was the division of roles in our team. During the first meeting we gave roles to everyone in the group, but yesterday we changed the roles. I think it’s totally normal, because at first we didn’t know each other so well and without knowing the skills each of us have is hard to choose the role that suit each one of us in the best way. Maybe we will stay in these roles, or maybe we will change again, who knows? The thing is that I think we are making the right changes to make our group as functional as it can be, so we can accomplish our goal of making a good work by the end of the module! 

Another thing we made yesterday was a SPIDERGRAM of our work until now. We tried to keep it as simple as we could, but still I think we ended up putting a lot of information in there. I don’t worry too much right know because things change super quick in this class, and just as the roles, the spidergram will be changing for sure too. We wrote down there all the things in which we are working right now, and made a comparison between where we think we are regarding those topics (red dots) and where we think we need to arrive (black dots). Right now our priority, as you can see in out spidergram is to meet our NGO, so that’s what we are working on as a main point. 

I hope we can get in touch with our NGO before next week class, so I’ll probably will be writing here news about that.

That’s it for today’s blog! Thank you for reading! 

-ali

Posted in Community, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: ali bertolo's thoughts!

We even have a hashtag for that!

So, that was interesting for sure.I mean, the class yesterday was crazy! I don’t know if for some of my classmates it’s normal, but come on, a video conference with SEATTLE? a hashtag for our project this year? starting a tumblr blog? definitely surprising (in the good way). 

image

When I first got to the class (15 minutes late, sorry about that) I sat down there and started listening to what the teacher was telling us, and I don’t know what my facial expression was telling my classmates, but my brain was like WHAT IS THIS? WHAT DID I GET INTO? I didn’t understand what we had to do, or how. But then I realised that apparently that was the point of the class. To FIND OUT what we have to do and how, and to learn during the process (because we will mess up a lot for sure). 

Realising that took me back to 2012, when I was studying in Spain and I had this class (which I kind of hated) were we had to do this big project about urban planning in our city (Granada, lovely <3) and the “rules” of the project were so open that my teammates and I just didn’t know where to begin and of course we didn’t know what was the end of it. The bottom line of this is that even though I hated that class, now that I see it from “the future” I can say it was one of the classes in which I learnt the most (and we also got the second highest grade yayyy). When you are given materials, directions, rules to do something, you do it and that’s it. But when you have to come up with ways to build everything from the beginning that’s when you really learn.

I was supposed to write here also what would I think I will be bringing to my group, and what would I get from it. I was kind of putting that off, because I find hard to think about what I will bring to the group, and how I am going to be useful, but here it goes. I think I am an organised person (even though I do stress A LOT when I have lots to do) but I always like to keep and agenda and I love the feeling of putting check marks to my daily “Have-to-do-list”, so I think I can help my group doing that. On the other hand I AM SURE I will be learning a lot with my teammates, because they are all of different nationalities, with different cultural backgrounds and that’s just fascinating (at least for me).

Now I think I’ve written enough, (It’s funny because I did not know what to write, and now it’s the longest post ever) so that’s it for today!

If you are still reading this until the last line: thank you very much! 

Talk to you soon <3

                                                                                               -ali

Posted in Community, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: ali bertolo's thoughts!