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: Camila de Carvalho Mello

Week 7

During the past 7 weeks of Project Communities I learned a lot about online communities. We had different themes throughout this course: technology, teamwork, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing and marketing. All these themes were very interesting, but some were more relevant for our challenge’s solution. I think it’s great to see how much I’ve learned and every week I wonder: “What’s going to be the next theme? What more can I learn?”

Technology is all around us. Every day, all day long we use it, there’s no escape! It is amazing how much easier our life is now because of it. We are always connected to new information, to people all around the world and that makes knowledge flows so much faster! Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding are great examples of how technology connects and make things easier. It’s amazing to think that people can help support your project with ideas, insights and even money.

I’ve always used online communities and networks for my personal life, like talking to my family and friends, reading articles, watching videos, etc. But now with this project I use it a lot for research, communicating with my team members, sharing ideas and I feel much more connected to it. I can’t go through a whole day without checking my group page and my e-mail, there is always something to do.

What I’ve learned in this course is listening and sharing. When you work as group is very important to be open to other people’s opinion and also to collaborate. So I think the most important principle is respect. I don’t need to agree with everything that everybody says, but I need to listen to it, reflect about it and respect. I’ve learned a lot from my group and it’s amazing how our teamwork is getting better week after week.

One theme I think I would like to learn more about is Marketing. Creating, delivering and communicating value to customers is very important for a designer. If I expand my knowledge in marketing it would help me a lot with my future projects and delivering a more suited service for my clients. I intend to read more about this theme, and hopefully have opportunities to practice it in this course so I can improve myself.

Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Camila de Carvalho Mello

Almost there!

Last post for Project Communities! It’s been 2 months now and a lot happened.

This course was a whole new experience for me for many reasons. This is my first time studying and living away from home so it was kind of exciting and scary, a lot of new people and different cultures together! The way things work at the university are also very different from what I’m used to, but a new point of view is always good. The blogging for instance, I still think it’s very hard to write weekly reflections but I can see my improvement and this makes me very happy. I also have enjoyed a lot working with my team and can’t wait to see our final video.

Oh yes, the video… so much to do!

We decided the platform we’ll use: Prezi. I’ve seen this platform before and I think it’s very cool, but unfortunately I don’t have any experience using it. The group decided Kiki and Alex will be in charge of the video editing using Prezi, Kareem and Aline are writing the narrations for the video, me and Eline are writing the content of the video. I’m enjoying this experience and I think the group is closer than ever. We worked really hard on wednesday and I look forward working tomorrow. Making the video is harder then doing a report, but I guess that’s the point. Pushing ourselves to doing different things, learning with different approaches and being innovative!

Coming up with a solution for our challenge wasn’t easy either. We couldn’t do a lot of skype meetings with Maarten, sometimes his answers were very vague and we don’t know much about his clients. So basically, we created possible clients and worked with different solutions for each one of them. I really wanna thank Janneke and Nancy for all the insights, because sometimes we were kind of lost and you helped us a lot!

We are doing our best and I have great expectations for our final video. I hope that our advice is relevant for CNCPTMKR and Maarten, can’t wait to see everyone’s presentation!

Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Camila de Carvalho Mello

Week 6: crowdsourcing and crowdfunding!

This week I learned two new words: crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. What is that? Well, crowdfunding is raising money contributions to fund a project while crowdsourcing is gathering services and ideas from a group of people.

I think crowdfunding is a great thing, but for that to work you got to have a good and authentic project for people to support. During the class I watched an very interesting interview that talked about that. Here is the link http://www.forbes.com/sites/devinthorpe/2013/06/24/crowdfunding-expert-richard-bliss-shares-best-practices-live/
In this interview, Richard and Devin talk about how a lot of people come to them asking for help and for money, without even having a project! For this to work out you need to have preparation, a tribe that can support you and authenticity (be transparent with people).

Crowdfunding can be really helpfull if done with conscious and respect, because I think it’s a lot of responsability to use other people’s money to fund your own project. As Eline said in her blogpost “the con about crowdfunding is, that if you fail your project you failed for a lot of people” and I agree with that and think she made a great point!

Now crowdsourcing… that really depends on the type of person you are and project you are working with. If a person is more reserved, crowdsourcing is not interesting because you may want you project to be a secret until it’s ready. Or maybe you just don’t want other people helping you build it, you want a project that was entirely made by yourself. You could also want just some of your closest friends working with you.

But, if you are open to letting other people help with the project it can be awesome! Just imagine how many ideas, skills and thoughts can be shared and help you achieve your goals. I think it’s great when people get together to help each other and contribute to find answers and solutions to a problem. For me, crowdsourcing is very valid and can be rewarding for both sides, the person getting helped and the people helping.

Source: http://crowdtask.me/e-commerce/e-commerces-ganham-produtividade-via-crowdsourcing/

Kareem and Aline posted some great ideas of how crowdfunding and crowdsourcing could help our NGO, CNCPTMKR. Now, it’s time to use everything we’ve learned this week, talk to Maarten and see some results!

I think that’s all for now… See ya!

Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Camila de Carvalho Mello

Week 5!

So, this week we learned a little more about teamwork and how to try making it more effective. We watched Chris Corrigan’s video and also read some texts during the last class. The reading activity was very interesting because we had to analyze the texts with people from other groups, discuss it and then get back to our group and explain it. Basically, we talked about group sizes and how that influences on the teamwork. We’ve learned that smaller groups are better, because that way everybody gets to share their opinions and to actually do something. We shared a lot of thoughts and realized this can helps us with our NGO and his clients!

Wow, it’s been a month already?

In the beginning everything was so much harder! Having to deal with this new course, new country, new activities and new people… A lot of “new” in my life! I guess that was and still is challenging me, but I know this will be great for my personal growth and that I can learn so much from all this cultural differences. Being with people from around the world makes me be more open to new ideas, different perspectives and I can already see how that’s helping me work as team…

I really think my group is getting better every week. We discuss more about the challenges topics, we share more and now I feel more open to talk to them. I think the best part is when we all get together in person, because we can really express ourselves and see the reactions. Facebook and Basecamp are helping us a lot, but the work gets done and the ideas flow better in our face-to-face meetings.
Regarding our group size (6 people), like Aline said in her blogpost, sometimes it’s hard to divide the tasks, to decide what each person we’ll do. I think it would be easier if the group was smaller… But we’ll work on that!

I’m not used to working as team and I think this a good opportunity for me to learn how to do it and get the most out of it. I also think that the group could spend more time together (not just talking about the project communities assignments) , because that will help create an even better work atmosphere. =)

Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Camila de Carvalho Mello

Hi again! I’ll start this post talking about our week in Project…

Hi again! I’ll start this post talking about our week in Project communities…

We’ve been talking to Maarten by email since the beginning of the project and now we’ve already skyped him twice. Kareem had the first skype meeting with him alone and made a lot of notes about the topics discussed (at this moment things became so much clear). After our projcomm class on wednesday we skyped Nancy and got some great ideas from her (Thanks Nancy!). She told us to ask him stuff like: What technology can suport the activities he needs? What activities are these? Is that also what his clients want? After getting these answers, we can start thinking about the tools we’ll use to accomplish it.
Luckily for us, right after our meeting with Nancy we also skyped Maarten and got even further in our project. Now we know what Maarten needs and wants from us: a way to communicate easily with his clients by phone and being able to share documents, arrange meetings and do video chats. He also told us that this tool needs to be multi device (should work on adroid, IOS, etc), easy to use and be multi language (he has clients from all around the world).
The group we’ll meet again tomorrow and decide what are the tasks for this week and how we are going to divide it. We’ve already set up our next meeting with Nancy and hopefully we’ll get also another skype meeting with Maarten soon.

Now, the second part…

I think I’ve been using the internet for more then 10 years now (wow, I’m getting old). In the beginning I had a pretty old computer with lousy internet! Everything took forever to load and there wasn’t much to do, but it was still very awesome hahaha
At that time, I used the internet mostly to talk to my friends, play games and help me in my school projects. After 10 years I think I still use it for the same purpose, but now we have more tools, more ways to interact, we can share a lot of ideas for people from all around the world and it became a daily part of everybody’s life, I think. If I stay one week without using the internet I’ll miss 10 appointments with friends, 30 messages from my Mom and 50 deadlines of the university’s projects and reports. Sometimes it gets very crazy to keep up with all of this: I have to check my emails accounts, facebook, whatsapp, instagram, blackboard, basecamp and etc.
Personally, my favorite is Facebook, because we can do almost everything there! I keep in touch with my family and friends from Brazil, I talk to new people I met here in the Netherlands, I check my facebook groups with assignments from the university, I get to share pictures, documents, videos, ideas and so on. I used to use a lot of whatsapp too, but I’m trying to cut it down, because sometimes my friends text me all day long and it gets hard for me to do other things. 

So to summarize it I think the internet and its tools have made people’s life much easier and much more connected. It’s great for both personal and professional activities =)

That’s it for today, now I got to eat and sleep. Bye!

Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Camila de Carvalho Mello

Now we are getting somewhere!

Last week we made the first contact with our NGO, introducing ourselves and telling him that we would work together for the next weeks. We didn’t know much about our project yet so this first contact was pretty simple. The thing is, our challenge was already on Basecamp but we didn’t see it! Our bad =(

But now everything is clear and we can start to put our heads together to solve this: ”Create a blueprint for effective mobile collaboration: How can people effectively communicate and move their project forward using mobile technology only?”

At first we were having some problems, everybody talking at the same time and saying the same things over and over again. When we decided to put everything on paper it was so much better! We wrote questions we had for Janneke on the left, questions we had for Maarten on the right and our ideas for the challenge in the middle. After that we decided to brainstorm to get more ideas and make things clear, and it turned out great! We’ve already sent another e-mail to Maarten to see what exactly he wants from us and if we are going in the right way. While we wait for his reply we’ll have meetings to decide what to do next.

What about the communication platforms?

There are so many communication platforms to help us with this challenge that I don’t even know where to begin with! Basically I know how to use facebook, skype, google drive and Basecamp (the last one is still new to me, but I’ll get there). Now we need to share the platforms we know with each other and search for new ones to help us with this project. I’m always open to new ideas, so this part won’t be a problem. We’ll need to individually use this new platforms and make notes about the pros and cons and then share with the group our thoughts. Maybe we could also get together with the other groups to discuss this, since everybody in my class (group B) has a challenge regarding communication. =)

As you can see, there is still a lot to decide and do. Hopefully, we’ll get a reply from Maarten soon and continue improving our work!

That’s all folks!

Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Camila de Carvalho Mello