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: Projectcommunities2014group2

effort, patience and cutbacks

Since week 1 we knew we have to make a 5 minute movie presenting our project. Well, knowing it and doing it is a big difference. In the first 3 weeks we didn´t really think of what shall be presented in our video and how we´re going to do it. Before the holidays we realized, “damn, we need a storyboard” and that we just have like 3 weeks left. As we have talented and hard working group members, we got some good ideas and thoughts written down. We wanted Shorty to interview some tiny house enthusiats and sent her a questionnaire with all important information to represent the problem and guide to our solution. As it was pretty late, we couldn´t get this idea done. So we had to cut back and “fake” these interviews and ask volunteers to talk in the camera. The good thing is that the answers are pretty obvious and wouldn´t differ from the real enthusiasts!

The last days were pretty much filled with interviewing, thinking and doing about 500 pictures for our stop-motion part. This part includes an explanation of our website (Luiza has designed) and will have a voice-over talking about it. Doing a stop motion is a big action, believe me. We had to try out differnt camera angles, light and the movements itself. The most important thing is that these placements shall not change! So I spent sitting next to our set for hours and hours moving the arrow of our website for millimeters. Pretty annoying. But in fact, the result is awesome! 

Now the biggest part is fortunately done now and we “just” have to put all footage in a video, find music and upload it!

I hope I could show that it takes a lot of effort, patience and cutbacks to make a video with a team, because everybody has different ideas and thoughts. But now we all agree with the results and hope for the best!

Cheers,

Kili 

Posted in Community, Group 2, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Projectcommunities2014group2

hey folks, this week, in class we talked about marketing, user feedback and measuring in order to…

hey folks,

this week, in class we talked about marketing, user feedback and measuring in order to include these tools in our project.

As our project is pretty much done and the “only” thing missing is our final video, we were able to take our product and just think of how a website can be marketed. On the one hand it´s all about sharing, like using other websites to share articles, videos or pictures to get attention and attract people to visit our website. So people using twitter, tumblr, facebook and instragram shall be able to spread it all over the net :) On the other hand, marketing for a website is also how easy you can find it. SEO, short for search engine optimization is a tool you can use to make you website appear on google in the first few unpaid(!) search results. This is made possible by using a good quality of content, tags and keywords which are frequently typed in search engines, as I read about it.

The measuring on a website is pretty obvious. You can use tools to find out how many IP-adresses visit your website per day/hour and even where they come from. As our website is exclusive for florida, it would be interesting to measure how many people from different countries, continents visit it. Also you can measure the traffic of posts, blogs and discussions on a website. The news part in our website will include an open forum for interested and experienced people to share ideas and ask questions on special topics our guide can not answer.

What I learned in the last 7 weeks about online networks is that they are more power- and helpful as I always thought. Sharing things and important information to thousands of people would be a hard task to do without internet. Also skyping or hangouts with Nancy and her idea-crowded brain, gave us a lot advices and good information to use for reaching our goals! Having free access to this communication in networks and communities is awesome, but we should not forget to appreciate a face to face conversation OFFLINE.

I know this video is old and I don´t want to support it too much because this story is kind of far-fetched but watching it and thinking how true this guy is in several points makes me feel stunned. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dLU6fk9QY

cheers, kili

Posted in Community, Group 2, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Projectcommunities2014group2

it´s all about crowds

This week I could already see really big result in our teamwork. Not only that everybody does his task well, we are all on the same wavelength what makes decisions and solving problems easy! Also Luiza set up a prototypical website which now “only” has to be fed with information, pictures and other technical stuff. Considering we´re in week 6 out of 9, that´s pretty good! 

Also, Noran an Luiza made their idea of the “teeny tiny house” reality  and lasercut cardboard to pur together one of these beautiful cute houses. They shall be a small gift for the donators in our crowdfunding part contained in our website! Today we got the idea to make them a “teeny tiny savings box” for donators to put money in for whether their next donation or their own tiny house. You can see we dealt with crowdfunding before this weeks lesson. But as Shorty wants us more to concentrate on that website, group 1 will specialize on the crowdfunding part and we hope we can link their results to our website in the end! I hope for good collaboration with them :)

What we also considered in doing for the tiny house enthusiasts was kind of crowdsourcing in form a minor programm for either architecture or industrial design students. They would get the task to build a functioning tiny house, which would conform to the rules for tiny houses in florida. It would be either a contest between groups in the study programm itself, between architecture and industrial design students or even between universities. The winners tiny house would get a prize and might be shipped to Florida and included to an existing community. Too bad Shorty doesn´t really want us to build up this idea because the status of the tiny house project is not far enough to have time for that big organization and all the included work. But it could definetly be a good thing for the future! 

I can´t really see a con in crowdsourcing or crowdfunding. I guess everybody is involved in things he´s interested in and would like to get or give financial support to get the best results. Also the crowdsourcing only brings positive outcomes. Imagine you have to think of 100 ideas for tiny houses yourself, or you let 500 students do 100 different types, which solution would you decide for? ;)

Cheers, Kili

Posted in Community, Group 2, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Projectcommunities2014group2

splitting up!

Hey folks!

Our project is taking shape! We know what Shorty wants us to do in the next weeks and I´m sure we will be able to handle this. We don´t actually have to design a website, but kind of a prototype on paper which helps a prospective technology steward to really make it and put it in the web.

This was actually our situation last week, so we decided to give everyone the task to sketch or to write down what is essential for our website, concentrating on the content. The actual design didn´t play a role for this task. My action included looking at some websites, what buttons they have, what keywords get the most attraction and how it is structured. Then I thought of the needs for our tiny house website and it was not hard to find between 5 and 8 keywords, which is already a good start! The result showed up in yesterday´s meeting, we all brought our papers with our suggestions, compared them and put it in one temporary document everybody agreed with. To reflect this, I want to say that I´m glad everybody in the team does the work he is supposed to do and interacts well with the other teammembers.

What we actually will change, is to seperate us six members in smaller groups to handle tasks faster and more effective. Comparing 2 solutions is way easier and faster that comparing 6. Of course, 6 persons got a bigger knowledge and might have a more voluminous solution, but we have to consider the fact we only got 4 weeks left. We might have to cut back and concentrate more on having content for every keyword on our prototypical website, with regard to that it will still be developable, mainly by “specialists” and tiny house enthusiasts afterwards. 

Actually, we already have some rough ideas for our video. It shall include kind of a stop-motion showing a website visitor clicking through it and/or a stop-motion trip through a miniature tiny house community we will design and build! That´s some first thoughts on our video that popped up yesterday.

So we´re kind of having a plan of how things are going to happen!

Cheers,

Kilian

Posted in Community, Group 2, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Projectcommunities2014group2

Things are getting more and more clear!

Hello everyone!

I´d like to tell you that a lot things changed since yesterday!

We had a hangout with nancy and could ask all questions we had, to prepare for today´s skype meeting (finally!)  with shorty, our NGO! Nancy knows a lot about how to do online meetings and could give us good advices how we should organise it! Thanks to Nancy again!

Today we had our first skype meeting and it was really great. Shorty is a really nice and friendly person, it was a pleasure to talk to her. So we got a first impression what she has to do with tiny houses, who she is working with and what they want to achieve. We presented her the four ideas we had prepared for her and she was really enthusiastic about all of them! Because we can´t do all of them, we let her decide what she is most interested in. It actually is a combination of two ideas. I now present you the challenge as it is at the moment:

"Create a visible online platform to guide people into the tiny house way of life, where you can find information, communicate with other tiny house enthusiasts and even make donations"

The questions that popped up from Laura and Matthijs were about the target group of people, for which region in the world it is meant to be, what information it will include and especially to explain “the tiny house way of life”. As we are now in the very beginning of our work with the NGO, I hope we can answer all these questions till next week. Our group task for next week is a first structure/design of this “website” and what it shall include. This might also give some answers! 

What I really enjoy is how good our group is working together! We all have our tasks and the group meetings have always been successful and effective. I guess, tools like our whatsapp and facebook groups as well as skype help us a lot to communicate and plan. I really appreciate that because these are common tools for me. I have a ot of whatsapp or facebook groups where I can contact a special “target” group. It can be a group for playing soccer, going snowboarding or just going out friday evening. A kind of network has developed, not only on facebook, thousands of groups where people from 2 different cities post when they go to the other city by car, to offer a lift for anyone to share the gas price and travel cheaper than using public transportation. I like to be active in such groups because it is just smart! So this is maybe the only way I use networks up to now, like to get an advantage of it or offer something to it.

But this communication in groups, in my case always leads to a meeting in reality, like the snowboarding or lifting part. And that´s actually my favourite thing, talking to each other face to face, whether it´s a stranger, friends or other students! This might be a small problem for our ongoing project because Nancy and Shorty live in the U.S., but still skype and google hangouts make good conversations possible (as I learned from today and yesterday). I think in the upcoming weeks of our project, we´ll be working a lot with facebook groups, blogs, websites and hangouts to communicate whether with Laura, Nancy, Shorty or an tiny house enthusiasts and now I am sure this won´t be a problem any more! (my early doubts are gone by now :))

Kilian

Posted in Community, Group 2, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Projectcommunities2014group2

Me as a “Technology Steward” !?

Hello folks!

I just figured out that my “good organisation” for the team is something which makes me a technology steward somehow. I took some time to write down how I want to structure the first meeting with our NGO and I want to show it Nancy and ask her if that plan is allright. I put in there all questions and ideas which my team came up in the last meeting! But I somehow felt like putting it in one document, just to get it more clear. So this is what I wrote:

" Structure for the skype meeting with Shorty:

  1. Short Introduction of myself, role in the team (communicator)
  2. Short introduction of other group members, roles
  3. Explain why we didn´t want to have a big, chaotic skype meeting with group A1
  4. Questions:

-        What status does her project have and what are they doing?

-        How many people does she work with?

-        What are your expectations for the next year? Goals?

-        Why living in a tiny house?

-        Who wants to live in tiny houses? Target audience?

-        Is living in a tiny house a lifestyle or just to escape the “normal” life?

-        Are there existing tiny house communities in other countries/states outside Florida?

Our 4 Ideas of how we can help:

  1. Crowdfunding: create a website where interested people can donate money to become a part of the community and help to finance the project
  2. Make a part of an existing tiny house community a tourist attraction, to make people attentive to these communities. (“tiny hotels”, beautiful tiny houses to visit, feel the lifestyle)
  3. Create a guide/manual: How to become part of a community, where to go, how to build the house itself and all including stuff.
  4. Create a minor program for industrial design/architecture students in which students have to design and create a tiny house for the community.”

I added a picture of one of our visual communicatos, Luiza!

I hope I could help the team! :)

cheers, Kilian

Posted in Community, Group 2, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Projectcommunities2014group2

ConfusiasticCommunities

Hey guys!

I kind of still feel lost in our Tiny house enthusiasts project. The problem is that our communication to our NGO is pretty rare and we did not get any information about what we shall do/create/organize for them. I hope that will change soon and we can finally talk to Shorty on skype and get answers to our big amount of questions and ideas! I personally do not like having an assignment which does not declare the tasks clearly..
But my expectations are really high for the project to get started!

What also makes me feel unsafe is that I have got almost no experiences in any online tools up to now, besides facebook, skype, email and whatsapp messenger. So I am really proud to tell I got a tumblr account, a dropbox account and a google mail account added to my “toolbox”! Just in one week :) I kind of know how to do a google hangout now, but we in our group prefer to communicate in a facebook group, whatsapp group and in personal meetings, but I guess that will change in the next weeks, maybe.
I prefer doing personal meetings, because it is the easiest way to get problems solved, give tasks to different people and have clear statements, criticism, and everyones opinion.
I made really bad experiences using skype with bad internet connection.. :(
But if my groups majority decides to use some other tools, I will totally try to adapt to it :)

Thats it for now!

Cheers, Kilian

Posted in Community, Group 2, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Projectcommunities2014group2

first blog in my life

Hi everyone!

Im Kilian and I have never blogged before.

In our first Project community class we got to know who our NGO is, which we will work with the next eight weeks. It´s about a community where people want to live in tiny houses I guess. I hope I will get to know a lot more of what they want us to do for them and I´m really looking forward to that!

What I can bring is good organization, creativity and well fitting into teamwork, what I hope our NGO is expecting and can use!

Cheers, Kili

Posted in Community, Group 2, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Projectcommunities2014group2