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.

Posts From Group 4
Once this group convenes and develops its project focus and team name, this will tell you more about this group.

Before and after week 7: current achievement and future goals

Countdown to the end of the course and this following question pops up:

How can I bring the knowledge acquired during ProjComm’s course so far to my personal life and my career?

Well, the main subject discussed during the classes is how online communities influence daily life and work. I’ve learned that online interaction can be useful for many different purposes! For example, I always had many kinds of networks, but most of the time they were related to personal matters and not specifically work. In Project Communities we focused on a wider use of this networks in a way that people could improve the solutions of their problems and then be innovative in their work.

In online communities we have a lot of minds thinking together for a common purpose, we have very different points of view that could help building a wide range of possibilities at the end. That’s what innovation is about! It’s about thinking outside of the box, with no early judgments, and trying to come up with an unique effective solution at the end. When you set up a group for a specific task, you know that you’ll have support during the process and that makes the work easier and more interesting to do. Also makes the results better!

Source: http://www.attunity.com/sites/default/files/content/masstlc-innovation2013.png

From now on, I really want to see if I can be more effective in my online communities in order to get better results for my work, but I don’t know yet how to do this. This blog, for example, could be a good start to practice! Every week I try to put in words all our work and development during the course, but it’s hard to do it since I don’t have any experience in blogging or something similar. So this platform here could be considered as a “Project Community Online Network”, because we are always getting feedback from colleagues and tutors so we could improve ourselves as designers.

One good example of how this ProjComm’s Network helped me to improve my work is the weekly comment/grade on my blog post. Every time I looked at my grade, I thought "Okay, there’s something missing here!" and then I read "link your thoughts to external ideas".

Hmm… okay… how exactly?!

I started trying to expand my opinion about the subject by searching from others related sources and I ended up being impressed by the huge amount of blogs and websites that I could found! For this week I did the same and that’s how I found this consulting company website called PA Consulting. They have a really interesting article about "Designing smarter online communities to create innovation and support change" where they point out three main characteristics to be considered on this challenge:

How do you design a successful generative online community to help you achieve your objectives?

1. Encourage lack of structure and hierarchy

2. Choose a technology platform that supports freedom

3. Enable interaction, reflection and representation

Source: http://www.paconsulting.com/our-thinking/designing-smarter-online-communities-to-create-innovation-and-support-change/

On the website they describe each of this topics. If you read it, you can see that those are really good principles that we should follow to have our network experiences improved. It’s similar to what we had during the classes with our team work and the use of online platforms (Basecamp, Facebook, Skype), but this article has everything explained in a clear way.

So, at the end of the day, what could be the next step?

For me, now it’s the perfect time to see how can I build a solid design network and keep the good useful sources apart from the messy content that already fills my online work space. My plan to achieve that is to look for what platforms are the most used by graphic designers community and then see how I can fit myself among them. I hope this experiment works out well and then brings good results for my career!

 

Enough for today, guys! See you next time ;)

Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Aline's ProjComm reviews

Did we learn something? (design principles)

Did we learn something? Of course we did. Each week during our Project Communities class we learn something new. The themes of the week address what new things we will learn. Last week we learned about crowd funding, the week before we learned about work teams and in the third week we learned about technology stewardship. Each week, we discuss a new/different topic in class, and link this topic to our NGO and of course our challenge. 

If we combine everything that we have learned, and link it to online communities and innovative network designs, we can see why all aspects may be important:

Technology Stewardship is important for an innovation to become a success, as these stewards will have had enough knowledge about the technological needs. This should make the design of the network easier, as there is an steward involved. 

Crowd Sourcing as well will have an impact on network design, as the designer tries to get information from people who may know something about the topic of the network. The designer will try and get as much information as possible to help him/her with their design of the network.

Work Teams, Crowd Funding and Marketing Research also all have an impact on networks and specially online communities. 

Using online communities and networks can affect a designer or design team significantly. For example, communication through these communities or networks may cause some confusing if someone is not able to access the internet. This person can then miss out on something important that was being discussed and therefore will be behind on schedule which could cause problems. Communication in any network is very important, therefore if a team decides to use online networks they must be aware of the things that could affect communication via these platforms. 

My design principles for designing online communities or networks based on my experience during this course are quite simple. Communication is number one. Communication is the most important factor of success in a group I believe. This is because people must be able to share ideas online, make sure everyone is able to see each others work or be alerted if there is a meeting. With communication comes punctuation, however this is a sub category of communication. Another important principle is RESPECT. Respect, just like communication is very important for groups to be successful. Everyone should be open to others opinions, and hear what people have to say. If people respect each other and get along with each other, the working environment and atmosphere will be much better. A better working atmosphere = better production. 

I would like to learn more about marketing. Marketing aspects to a company like what is the best way for advertisement, how is marketing most successful and when is marketing most successful. I will look forward to learning more about this topic during this week as week 7 is all about marketing. We have had some examples about marketing like the purple goldfish to name one. I enjoy learning more about marketing strategies in the future.

Overall I feel like our group is really making progress, we have divided roles for pre-production to our video, as well as roles during making of the video. I look forward to see the end result that we will have developed.

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Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Kareem's blog

find and fund!

Week 6 blog: crowdfunding networks         

This week was quiet as for the group work. I believe everyone has been busy doing other things and we haven’t gathered after last Wednesday, so tomorrow we are meeting up again! I hope we don’t lose the feeling of working actively together. Because of the silence, which I of course was a part of, I didn’t have a clear idea on what to expect for this week but that changed after the class. We played a fun game in which we were asked to come up with difficult questions and ask them to our fellow students and also to Nancy. It was fun and interesting to see how much we had learned in a little bit more than an hour. I think we should do these types of activities more often in class!! So the class itself was very cool, the most exciting one so far. We have been learning about and Crowdfunding. Specifically what crowdfunding is, what the strengths and weaknesses are and exploring the potential options for using it with our NGO, CNCPTMKR.

 But what is crowdfunding exactly? In simple terms crowdfunding happens when there is an idea that someone or an organization believes in but doesn’t have the finances to carry the idea through. Therefore they advertise their idea through various sources and hope to gain the support from other people, who then in turn will give a donation to help fund this idea and make it a reality. People sometimes get a return for their donation, like the product they’re supporting, or a special experience like a tour in a museum. There are already endless amounts of successful examples if you only look on kickstarter.com, or startsomegood.com.

image

In class we were divided into groups containing only people from other teams. We researched different sources given to us and came back together to talk about the knowledge we just gained. I found out that the concept of crowdfunding is something very powerful for many types of projects or campaigns and it’s getting more common by the day.

After class we’ve gathered to talk about how crowdfunding might help our NGO; CNCPTMKR. This is very hard I think, because our NGO is not a typical NGO… In my opinion, CNCPTMKR works more like a business than a typical NGO (no offense Maarten). But then I kept thinking, there must be ways to apply this type of funding to our specific challenge, which is helping CNCPTMKR creating a more effective way of mobile collaboration.

Maybe start with crowdsourcing, make it clear to people what he does. This makes it easier to find more people who are interested, and more people= more ideas!

CNCPTMKR only has 6 likes on Facebook so I believe it’s crucial to broaden his online network. This is necessary to even make crowdfunding possible. I’m not sure if Maarten needs funds from other sources, but I guess it’s always a good thing. It might support his interaction with international companies or individuals, which makes it possible for his NGO to grow. 

I think there are some important steps to take for us as a group. We have had two interesting weeks before which subject very much apply to our challenge. We have to start thinking about the advice we want to give Maarten for his NGO and how this is going to look. I’m looking forward to working out the ideas together and getting closer to our goal

Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Kiki's creative world

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

Making room in the crowd: how to increase influence using crowdsourcing & crowdfunding

Hello! =)

Main subject for this week: crowdsourcing & crowdfunding.

C R O W D !!
Source: http://ernestbarbaric.com/non-profit-guide-to-crowdfunding/
(interesting reading, besides the cute picture!)

Before start talking about this, I want to put a little previous note that I saw on a crowdsourcing blog which explains in a very simple way what are the differences between both terms:

"People often get confused between crowdfunding and crowd sourcing. They do sound similar and are also similar in a way that both emerge from the crowd and are online platforms. However there is a difference between the two. To put in simple words in crowdfunding the crowd has to give in their money and in crowdsourcing the crowd has to give in their opinions, creative skills etc.

Crowdfunding is when funds are collected from many people for a project. Although the concept of crowdfunding has its origins from crowd sourcing it is still different from it.”

Source: http://www.crowdsourcing.org/blog/difference-between-crowdfunding-and-crowdsourcing/30274

Bringing these two realities to our study case (NGO’s challenge), I ask you to think… is there any scenario where crowdsourcing and/or crowdfunding potentially help the NGO’s development? At first, I didn’t see crowdfunding as a good option for CNCPTMKR because this NGO’s work is very similar to a regular for-profit company work (Maarten works as an adviser to other companies). In my point of view it makes more difficult for people to donate money to something that looks more like a “private business” than to a “global social cause”. But then, reading the blog I’ve mentioned above, I discovered that there are different types of crowdfunding and then I started to think that maybe we DO have options to work with that!

"Crowdfunding is of four types:

1. Equity based crowdfunding - Investors receive a stake in the company.
2. Donation based crowdfunding - The funds are collected for charity.
3. Lending based crowdfunding - The money is returned to the investors with or without interest.
4. Reward based crowdfunding - A tangible reward is given to the investors in return of the money invested.”

So if we start thinking about “funding” as an investment instead of charity and Maarten’s funders as companies, we could try to place them into types number 1 or 4. But one thing is certain: to put money on a project like this one, people will expect some returns!

The "equity based crowdfunding", for example, could definitely turn CNCPTMKR into a “business” if alliances were made with for-profit organizations, because those ones would require a stake in the company in a way they could get more money back. On the other hand, if Maarten found other related-issues NGOs to partner with, it could be really interesting for the development of his work. Together, they could go for bigger clients, dig into deeper problems and then come up with more effective results, because now they have support!

Another slightly different option would be to work together with other companies as temporary partners, in a way that these partners could invest in the NGO and then receive credits at the end of the projects. Both non-profit and for-profit organizations could join this kind of partnership, so the range of possibilities would be wider. This is more "reward based crowdfunding" and it’s very likely to work well!

Source: http://idealog.co.nz/venture/2012/08/social-backing-new-kid-crowdfunding-block

Regarding to crowdsourcing, I think that sharing achievements would get more attention from the people to the projects and to the NGO itself. In that way, Maarten could listen to the “crowd” and get substantial information about how his work is being accepted so far, how it’s helping people and how it could be improved. There are many ways to do it… beginning, for example, by investing more time and effort in online communication and it includes: improving website, updating Facebook page more frequently, advertising to get more attention, making NGO’s purposes clearer…

Oops! I think I’m getting into our “main challenge” solution!

Maybe the solution for CNCPTMKR’s clients is the same for CNCPTMKR itself! The difficulties that the companies face regarding communication and online network could be faced by Maarten as well. If that’s true and at the end we come up with a very good solution/advise, I’ll be glad to know that we doubly met our challenge! 

Thank you for reading! See you ;)

Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Aline's ProjComm reviews

Crowdsurfing!

These days, we’ve been taught about crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. First time, I thought these 2 are the same thing. However, researching on the topic, I found out that crowdsourcing is basically, the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people. Crowdfunding is all about money; trying to raise more funds in order to materialize a project or an idea.

One thing I notice about crowdfunding & crowdsourcing is that they are closely correlated to Internet and online networks. In my opinion, the online services play a huge role in these processes. Via Internet, everything is simplified. The information is shared quickly, so that a good plan or idea is immediately noticed by others, who are willing to help, either with skills and experience(crowdsourcing), or with money(crowdfunding). One of the iconic examples regarding this subject is Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. Experts and not only, can write articles on a wide range of themes. The interesting fact, about this online space, is that studies shows that Wikipedia is at least as accurate as Britannica. Me, personally, I wouldn’t expect that accuracy for an online encyclopedia, which can be edited by anyone.

Designers can make good use of such tools in their work. I tend to believe that in this field, crowdfunding would work better than crowdsourcing. They, of course need money to build, market and deliver their products. Nonetheless, crowdsourcing would be a bit difficult to put in practice. Designers are artists, creators. Putting them in the same box, confronting mind blowing ideas will be quite annoying. They have strong egos and will hardly let go to their own way of finding solutions to a problem. Yet, crowdsourcing would help designers find a team, people they need, having complementary skills. It’s better to have experts from different fields together, rather than trying to form a lineup of people with the same qualification.

Crowdsourcing in the key to future projects. It’s popularity is growing rapidly and people start being aware of the usefulness of such programs. It is a great way to find people with the necessary skills and motivation to work on your ideas.

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Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Dan Alexandru Blog

Sourcing vs. Funding

Crowd sourcing vs. crowd funding. Obviously many would choose funding. Everyone wants money. However, is crowd funding really a better option? 

Another week has gone by and during this week we discussed and learned about crowd funding. Crowd funding is basically the same thing as crowd sourcing, only this time you are funding. Crowd funding is when a person who has an idea or innovation asks for investment from others in order to fund his/her project. There are many websites online that allow people to create this ‘funding’ system. Websites like kickstarter or 1%club are very well known websites for people to start their projects. 

Source: http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/x/crowd-funding-19009534.jpg

As we were learning more about crowd funding, during the hangout with Nancy and many other experts, I started to think if crowd funding would be applicable to the NGO that our group is working with, CNCPTMKR. At first I thought that Maarten does not really need any money for his company, he just needs us to help him find an effective way of mobile collaboration with him and his clients, and to help his clients move their project forward with mobile technology only. Although after that, I thought; why only focus on one aspect of his challenge. Why not broaden things up, and bring them all back together. So, I came up with an idea that CNCPTMKR could use with crowd funding.

During my skype interview with Maarten he told me that he gives a lot of seminars and presentations to help his clients. If Maarten’s clients are trying to improve their company, and with the help of Maarten they do that. It means that the companies make more money. However Maarten helps companies improve by giving seminars or presentations with companies. So if we (the people) fund Maarten’s seminars and meetings, it will allow Maarten to give more presentations, then the companies that Maarten helps will learn from his presentations and hopefully make an eventual profit. Although this idea is quite vague, and may not totally work properly. I thought it was a quite interesting thought that was worth noting down. 

Many designers also prefer funding over sourcing. A lot of people prefer working on their own in order to have a clear vision. This can be a positive for the designer as it allows him/her to understand what he/she really wants. It also helps the designer to get more credit on the final product, which could lead to more fame as well as money. However, as mentioned in my previous blog post, more than one person = more ideas. Before you make an invention an innovation and bring the product into the market place, you need criticism and feedback. When gathering information through crowd sourcing this help will always be there which creates more room for improvement. 

I think both crowd sourcing and crowd funding is important. However, it depends on the situation of the designer which is more important. If a person has a lot of money, they can fund their own project, therefore sourcing would be more useful. If a person has no money, but a whole team behind him, crowd funding will be more important. 

There are many pros and cons for both sourcing and funding. You choose which ever is more important. :)

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Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Kareem's blog

The more, the better!

As a designer, listening to others is like the most important thing of your job. Of course you can create stuff what you like and wait and see whether others like your product. BUT if you want to attract a large group or help other people with your designs, you need to see what they like and they need in a product. Maybe you dont have the expertise of all skills you need to have to make that product reality. Maybe you dont have enough money to create the product that you want to make. For these problems you have crowdsourcing and crowdfunding.

I really like the idea of people helping eachother to make a dream reality. With the help of other people you can do so much more. Of course you want the product to be your own design and make it like you think its best. BUT what you think best isnt always the best option. If you invite people to look at your product they often see problems with the product which you never seen on your own. Crowdsourcing is the best and cheapest way to fill your weak spots. If you ask someone with a lot of expertise on a certain subject they will do it much faster and better then if you tried to do it yourself. BUT the negative part about it of course that not all people share the same opinions or if you invite others they might make mistakes. That is the negative part about teamwork. Aslong you as the teamwork works perfectly crowdsourcing is definitely a pro.

If you have really great ideas, but you dont have the money for it and you think other people will like your idea too. You might wanna think about crowdfunding. Also if you post your idea on a crowdfunding website, it becomes more wellknown. There are enough people who are interested in innovations and ideas to make their lifetime experience better. They want to help people being creative and have a chance to fulfill their dream. I think its a really beautiful for people to act this way. BUT the con about crowdfunding is, that if you fail your project you failed for a lot of people.

Personally im a designer who does come up with ideas when im with other people. My inspiration comes from the streets and nature. If I share my opinion with others, my idea becomes bigger and more realistic. BUT thats just me. I dont know whether others feel the same like me, but i think teamwork makes a lot of things better. :)

Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: - Eline -

Eye-Opening

Week after week, I learn more about facilitating groups and growing their productivity. After 5 weeks of finding out lots of information on this subject, I realize that I know nothing about this stuff. Actually, I haven’t even known that there are so many ways in which people can improve collaboration.

Setting up a team, is no easy job. I thought that it will be pretty simple. “Some people, some tasks…How hard could it be? Piece of cake!” I was terribly wrong. There are so many “Ifs” and “Buts” in the process, which throws you in the cruel reality, where you discover your organizational skills are 0. But admitting that, is a huge step forward, I guess.

From my personal experience, I believe that respecting each member is the most important aspect of creating unity within a group. Listening to everybody and trying to mediate disputes over ideas, as soon as they appear are two ways of implementing respect among the peers. One’s intention, while being part of a group, is to make himself/herself heard. The point here is not using everybody’s ideas, discussed at the table( because yeah, sometimes, some theories just suck). It’s about LISTENING to all of them. Make sure, everyone feels that he/she has a contribution to the project. That way, people are motivated to work harder as they see themselves being an efficient part of the “machine”.

This week, we’ve been taught about how the size of a group can influence it’s performance and affiliation. We’ve been talking about open space techonlogies and techniques like the ones shared by Christopher Allen. Small groups are useful for creativity flow, while big groups are productive for putting things together. Extrapolating, we can see the difference between artists and Formula 1 teams. On one hand, we have the artists. They always need to be alone, disconnected from reality, connected to their own universe, in order to create masterpieces. On the other hand, we have the Formula 1 team members. These guys can replace 4 tyres in only 2.3 secons! They do that together, and this is the key word, TOGETHER. All these people, the pilot, the mechanics, the radio guys, they all have their own task in the “game”. They possess complementary skills and being united, the team can do magic!

In my opinion, a good way to improve my group efficency is brainstorming in teams of 2 and see if we could connect one idea to another in order to create networks of possibilities. I also believe that researching together could be beneficial as we will better understand the essence of a study.

P.S.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maBvgp3r61k

 

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Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Dan Alexandru Blog

Looking into the past, with a bright future ahead!

Its been already 5 weeks since i started with this course. It is a pretty vague project, to be honest. Luckily my team works and organizes well. Like when we distribute tasks, everyone does them. Everyone also tries to come up with opinions about the subject. I am pretty satisfied with team 4! Although the project is pretty vague, through skyping with Nancy and Maarten it is becoming clearer and clearer. 

The thing i am still struggling with is the blogging. I am the kind of person who likes to experience and look to the future. The past isnt really bothering me. Although i like old industrial design. I just love old movies and furniture, but always with the intend to make something new!

I know u learn a lot from the past, thats what i learned with this course to be honest. Like my writing and seeing what goes wrong really helped me to improve. I read a lot of blogs from others and saw how they were working as a team and their difficulties. How do they work in a team, because its not the same as i am used to in the Netherlands. Of course it is that we have to talk into a different language, but also the pace we are working in and the ideas how to deal with the challenge is different.

Like the brazilians like to talk and write down a lot.

The dutch want to have structure.

Alex likes to discuss a lot and ask questions.

It accually really works well together! We come up with different opinions and thats really helped us a lot to see the challenge from different sides.

The group is only six people, but the question we’re asked every week can’t be divided into tasks for everyone. So we make them together. We tried the first week to divide them, but it didn’t work out for us. The creativity is accually really high in this group, although it is they say a large group. Everyone has their own opinion and wants to share it. Then afterwards we discuss them in our meetings.

What we might be able to do to improve is; trying to do the questions during the class and the discussions in our meetings. Then we can ask Janneke during class an explanation about our exercises. Also we need to try other teams about their difficulties with their challenges. Also some homebaked cookies and drinks would be nice for our meetings. Anyone?

I can’t really think of any other things to improve, because our organisation is really good. We do what we plan to do and have to do. Also we discuss about what we do and why we do. We ask questions when needed. I really like the way we work!

We can beat this challenge!

Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: - Eline -