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!
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
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 ;)