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C’est fini!

So we finally came to the end. What a journey..

It’s crazy to see how in the beggining we were completely confused about what to do, how we could help our NGO, and now we are so focused in our solutions. At this time the most difficult part is to show it in a clear and interesting way to our tutors, NGO and classmates in 5 minutes. Within this group there are people who know exactly what PAGE is and others who have just an idea, and all in common don’t know about our solutions.

Since my group has Roxi (amazing drawing skills haha) we decided to do a drawing filming video, using a whiteboard. Yes, big dreams, but I’m sure that we can make it. If not, there is always a backup plan! We plan to do something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMadAArTucs

 So, Melvin and Elle are our techonlogy experts and will work on the editing part of the video, but for now they are helping on structuring the script and seeing how we can come up and film the drawings. At the same time I’ve been working with Ava and Elle in the script, where we in the end will have the text that our American Accent girl will make the voiceover.

While making the script we realized that is really hard to put in words what we have been doing, who is PAGE and what are our solutions in a catchy, interesting… not boring way. Choosing the right words, using retorical questions and metaphorical drawings will be our way to do it.

In this part of the work, something really important was sharing what we have been writing with the “other group” working on the script was very useful, because sometimes they where imagining things that we didn’t write, and to make the video consistent this talk is very necessary.

At the end of these 8 weeks, I can say that besides the subjects we learnt which week, such as crowdsourcing, crowdfunding and marketing, what I’ve learned the most was group work, which I believe is very useful not only in the educational environment but in many other aspects of life.

One thing is: speak out is a very important thing..when you don’t understand something, when you don’t agree with it, when you have another (good or bad) idea. My group is very good at it. We always stop to hear what our teammates have to say, and this is something that don’t always happen with every group.

The other part comes all together: sometimes you have to be that annoying person interrupting when the group is out of focus, remembering the others about deadlines, and to stick the feet in the ground. Because sometimes we come up with amazing ideas, but they’re are not suitable for a certain need or time… Productivity is something that is very easy to escape when you are with friends haha

Have a to do list and stick with it, even if it is late and there is only you and your group at the university. All in all, time is precious!

Hopefully, we will put all these things that we learned in practice and make the best video we can, getting our audience attention by its visuals but also with our ideas, helping PAGE the way we can and worked hard on!

 See you!

Posted in Community, Group 8, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Maíra's Project Community blog

Flashback

Time passed really fast through these 7 weeks! Looking behind on my progress, I feel that now I have more knowledge on online communities and from that I can work on that for my career in a responsible succesful way.

It can be really usefull to using online communities to innovation. It starts on the research part, where you can see what have been done, what has worked, what are people needs, select target groups..then engage one network and through that you can show the steps of your work, have feedback from it, talk to the people who will probably be your customer when this product is ready, and then you can change it in the best way to fullfill your target group  the best way, but never lose authenticity!  Using internet communities is very heathy for your network as well because it becomes easier to expand and feed it, all around the world. And of course, crowd-source-and-or-fund!

Crowdsourcing was something that I didn’t know what mean and now I’m very interested in, and in the other day I realized that’s a resource that we are using for PAGE in our idea with the virtual internship thing. This means it’s a strategy that works not only for companies but in various ways, depending on how do you translate it to your needs.

Crowdfunding I knew about, but something that really surprised me was how many are there and with different ways of doing it, but in all of them the key is an interative process.

 However, with all these pros,it can be tricky if you use it in a way that is only one way communication, a estatic work. You have your work there exposed, but don’t have a place to get people’s questions and answers or just don’t care about it. This is sort of what my group asked to Nancy in our Hangout yesterday. How can we maintain a relationship like that? The answer is basically always ask yourself how is it going? Does it matter for anyone? Which means measure satisfaction.

I’ve learned that everything has its time. For example, my group was considering a worldwide internship program in the beggining, but we realised that it’s not PAGE short-term goal to expand  to the whole world, so we focused on the cities around them. For the same reason we haven’t choose crowdfunding as a strategy for PAGE now because they need to be known first.

 Teamwork is something that I’m used to do in my hole life, but this time is a different experience, because it’s not in my original language (sometimes is difficult to express na idea properly hahaha), people from different parts of the world, relatively big group and so many other differences. Also, to divide tasks is not something that I’m good at, and in this case we had to do it almost every week so the group continued working. There was something interesting in my group, that combines group work and online communities: we had a Hangout group meeting! It shows that is possible to be productive using this kind of network.

 Something that I would like to know is how to put in practice this knowledge in a visual way, as in a website..which colours, fonts, shapes, positioning are better to communicate what I want?

Posted in Community, Group 8, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Maíra's Project Community blog

“Fundraising on steroids”

This sentence was a simple, funny way to describe what crowdfunding is. However, going deeper on the meaning of it…

 is important to start saying that crowdfunding is different from crowdsourcing, which is “to get a large number of workers, only when you need them. You decide which skills you want, and workers supply them—sometimes from nearby, sometimes from another continent.”

 Is something like what we are doing for our NGO’S, by adding our skills to help them to achieve something bigger in just a short period of 10 weeks. In conclusion, “It’s an incredibly flexible and effective way to solve problems, add value, and bring specialized expertise into your organization.”

 Now, going back to the crowdfunding. In just a few words, it is using a network (generally the internet) to fund your your work. Can be a project, service, product, investment or cause. So, the quetion is: how to make people  give their money for a product that in most of the times is not even done yet?? There is where are some strategies to be succesful.

Basically, people has to few like they’re being rewarded for the money their are giving for a certain matter, so it must be na interative process, in which you release it to testers ; get feedback; answer users questions; make updates to make people always come back and see the progress and share ; only promise what you can deliver, be realistic; and always be and show passion.

Also, is important to make a video pitch, from where you can explain your goals and your project and reach out the media and more people.

 It’s possible to use various platforms to do crowdfunding, you just have to choose the one that is better for your goal and type of fundraising. From the examples given at the projcomm site, the only one that I knew was Kickstarter, that is a platform that can be used to fund creative focused projects: Art, Comics, Crafts, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film & Video, Food, Games, Journalism, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater. Also, it is used the all-or-nothing method, what means that if you don’t get the amount settled as a goal in time you don’t get money, but the at least feedback on your work!

 Circle up is more focused in investment in companies, as they say in their website, it is necessary to make a registration, that “is a complicated and expensive process, which may be prohibitive for smaller companies”

Angel List goes to the same way, focused more in startups meeting investors.

However, Catapult is focused on donating to help improve life of girls and women. After 5 months, if the project reached the goal, it gets 100% of the money. It is very interesting that in the period of the campaign the donators have the knowledge on which things they’re are giving their money for.

 Tinygive is a very interisting way to use socialmedias, as twitter to make a quick na effective donation. You choose the amount you want and in just a few words and clicks you have donated to the cause you appreciated. 

 Well, know that I know some of the platforms most used to crowdfund, how can apply this to my NGO? Also, is crowdsourcing interisting to PAGE?

Looking at these examples, Catapult would be very suitable to PAGE’s cause, because it is about girls education, girls effect as they say. The thing about using crowdfunding to this ngo is that they need constant donators and volunteers, besides donations for computers, cameras, tablets and books, buses.. which could be funded in a plaform as those.

Then, I’m not sure if crowdfunding can be the most succesful way to do it.

In the other hand, of course it would help to spread the world about this organization because of the credibility of these platforms. And there is where tinygive is interisting(using socialmedia to make the donations) but at the same time not so effective to organizations that are not known as PAGE.  Because how will people donate for a cause they don’t know? Ok, only by going to the platform website or getting interested by a donation that a friend made on twitter.

Crowdsourcing instead I think is a very good option to PAGE, for example. In that way they can receive help for a short-term period in something that they are in need on moment, from someone who know a lot about this necessity. I think it is a good option to PAGE specially because their work is focused on the summer and in the rest of the year they are preparing to that, so they still need volunteers but not as much as in the summer.

I think both options have pros and cons for PAGE, so is necessary to evaluate every aspect and use each method in the way that brings most positive results to the organization, like using the crowdfunding to raise awareness and get equipments and use crowdsourcing to get more volunteers to work in specified tasks, such as improving the website, increase network with other organizations and schools, developing new activities to the girls or just giving more ideas to help!!

 <http://www.forbes.com/sites/netapp/2013/06/06/crowdsourcing-for-business/>

 <https://www.kickstarter.com/learn?ref=hero>

<https://circleup.com/getting-started/>  

Posted in Community, Group 8, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Maíra's Project Community blog

7 (SEVEN)

This week we talked about group sizes, and as a general conclusion, big groups are not the best idea, because sometimes a bit confusing and over tasking( like everyone doing the same and don’t really getting anywhere)…

unless you can work on smaller ones inside of it, and that can work pretty well, specially using some methods like the “Group Pattern”, where the group works in cards that are references to plan sessions for example. In my group we are seven, and making a little research on this cabalistic (as misterious and enigmatic) number in numerology and found some interesting definitions

"The number 7 is the seeker, the thinker, the searcher of Truth (notice the capital "T"). The 7 doesn’t take anything at face value — it is always trying to understand the underlying, hidden truths. The 7 knows that nothing is exactly as it seems and that reality is often hidden behind illusions.

A person who has a chart dominated by the 7 is usually easily picked out of a group. He will be somewhat introverted, perhaps shy (not to be confused with low self-esteem), never truly comfortable in social settings.”

(  And here I can kind of identify my self!) Also, reflecting more about it, on the list my name were duplicated and I guess I could have been in group seven :o ok, this is getting awkard…!

 It is true that working in groups can be tricky, as in this series that I was just watching, Prison Break (I know, it’s old, but I’m finishing the last season, finally! So no spoilers please!). They had to work in this group with all kinds of people, persuing the same goal, but for different reasons and vallues, which make the goal not that clear, and represents lots of conflict! It’s na extreme example, but shows how can teamwork not work if you put your own issues before the group.

 In the beggining, probably because of the number of people in the group and that we didn’t know each other enough, we were confused, but when we realised what path should we go, it was easier to divide tasks and have it done. We also setted a date to our meetings, so we can produce knowing that on Tuesday we have to be a step ahead. And it really made the difference.

The group improvement was made in part for it self. The ones who feel more comfortable on talking took that task on meetings with the NGO and Nancy, for example. There are the ones who prefer to search on the internet, others that have good network and can talk with friends to help somehow. I think it was a very good way to set roles and design tasks, because it is more probable that you do better and with more effort something that you appreciate on doing. We also combined couples to do tasks that are similar, as smaller groups inside the whole, which will “report” the new achievements to the rest of the group to make judgements aand helping improving. In this case we have just the odd number, the if the group get stucked in a decision it will never going to be 50/50.

We divided the group in 3 main goals, which are virtual learning with local universities, techology equipment donating and how to present a good video, then in this three we splitted in others, as for me I will search about other universities that have done it before, background in general, but also help the others if I find something interesting in the way.

 It’s definetly a good thing to always ask what you didn’t understand about something that a teammate said, for example, and I continue doing that. Listen to what they are saying, analyse it and put your opinion, be the devils advocate. Sometimes one idea of a brainstorm seems amazing, until you talk to na other person, specially someone in the outside, who shows you that it’s not that good or it’s not suitable for your goal, like the “PAGE Book Challenge” that my group had..we’re so excited about it in the moment that we didn’t think about some details that made it not the best idea for PAGE. But still is good to brainstorm and expose your insights for your group anyway.

Finally, in that way, we could narrow our random ideas into a few that we think could really help PAGE.

 http://www.numerology.com/numerology-numbers/7

 

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Posted in Community, Group 8, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Maíra's Project Community blog

About crowds, and sourcing

At first I hadn’t understand the concept of crowdsourcing, but after googling it this video explained in a very good way and made me think.. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Buyub6vIG3Q

 Our groups on projcomm, working with Nancy( which my group didn’t talked yet :(( but I’m very excited to get in touch with her experiences and grow ideas after that with the group!), with each other and other potential co-worker is exactly what crowdsourcing means! (If I understood it correctly haha). We are all different and with different backgrounds, opinions and ways of thinking and that’s what make this network so rich!

Reflecting about it, this is a best way to build companies, in spite of the big shark moving slowly, a bunch of fishes swimming to the same direction, but each one with your personality.

 In these days is almost impossible to find someone who is not on Facebook, at least. And through this kind of social networks I’ve seen many little companies start and be succesfull. More you expand that net, more you get and share. But also, more heterogeneous it gets.

 Working alone has your advantages as well, but not the whole work, because I think is necessary to share and receive critics. For example, when you post something on your Facebook. It all starts with a Me, and as soon as my closest friends reads it goes to a WE perspective, and if my friends start sharing it can go all over the world, and become a network example.

 Applying this concept for me and my online profile I am more the kind of person that reads, and think about, see others opinions, like or share but don’t comment on that to much. So, it’s a fact that I am not a person who really put out things (specially words)  about my life, but I think if someone is on my page and see what I enjoyed and shared he/she will know what kind of person I am and what I like.

Facebook is a very good tool of technology because from it you can find your group, the one that you identify and even when you’re abroad you can find people with the same problems and desires that you have. For example, I’m in groups of Brazilian’s in The Hague, and there we share our problems and solutions, such as in which supermarket I can buy beans :) . Which is better and easier to find some answers than googling it, because then you will have a wide range of answer, that doesn’t exactly answers what you need.

In the other hand, there are cases that you need to have a view from a total, with more points of view, so it’s probably better to google it or find a bigger Facebook group, for example Expats in The Hague, like good places to eat tradition dutch food.

 See you!

P.S.: On the last post I forgot to mention the photo sources, so here they are:

by Elle // bowelcanceraustralia.org // www.hoax-slayer.com

Posted in Community, Group 8, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Maíra's Project Community blog

Clarifying..?

This week it all started to make a little bit more sense. The group met at Danny’s house, there were these delicious beer pancakes (to warm up a little) by Roxy

and we had the chance to know each others cultures and personalities better..and then we had a very good conversation with Elizabeth.

At first we wanted to be prepared so we made some research in the website, but when we started talking to her was a bit confusing.
However, at the same time was better, because she is the person that could know better about PAGE and specially its needs, more than we could find in any other place, and very willing to talk to us and give us as many information as we wanted and needed.

At the end our minds were full of ideas, going everywhere, but we all considered that AWARENESS is the main goal to this NGO.

Starting from there they can aim for more donators and volunteers.This way, we began to brainstorm about many ways to do it, specially through students, just like us. For this next week I hope we can focus on a target public, doing it in a way that suits best to PAGE and the real resources that we have in hands.

As already seen, only a Facebook page for itself does not make the role work. The users have to feed it with photos, videos..in a way that attracts people. For example, I’m not really a person that frequently posts things, but I share what I like, and it’s already a big step to make people know about something.

So, I think that even if I’m not very used to a tool and don’t have expertise in that - but this could be the best choice to help PAGE properly- I wouldn’t hesite to go for it, specially because I’m in a group, and someone in it can know more about it than I do.

Therefore, I think the main group challenge is to show why people should CARE with these Appalachian girls.

I believe that in this case, it’s not really required to have a big knowledge on building platforms, but using the ones we have and most people use, in a way that gets people attention to read or to click on a video. Should be something simple and soft, but that speaks to the viewer’s emotions.

Than I start thinking…all this students in Project Community, for instance, are only getting to know and working with this NGO because of this subject. What if we didn’t have to, or if we had other options to choose, would we give the same attention to this amazing projects??

And also, at the same time that Facebook would help ordinary people (who would probably become volunteer) would it approach to big companies that would be donators?

These and many other questions we have to make ourselfs to succed in this work…

Posted in Community, Group 8, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Maíra's Project Community blog

First time in this blogging thing…

Hello all, as you can see this is my first post ever in a blog, hope you like it.

At first I didn’t really understood how the Project Community classes work, and I’m still a little confused, but I think that working with my group I/we will find a way by organizing our thoughts and goals.
I consider working in this project a huge opportunity because we will deal with real people, so real problems as well. And in the end I hope we can help them with good (no, excellent!) solutions. But also, I think they will help us a lot to learn.
For me at least, as a shy person, I hope to be able to interact more with other people, in work space or not, because in the end of the day, as Nancy said designing is much about your network.


So, I guess that’s it for now…I hope that in the next reflections I can come up with more things to blog about and also more clarified ones.
See you next week!

Posted in Community, Group 8, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Maíra's Project Community blog