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 5
Once this group convenes and develops its project focus and team name, this will tell you more about this group.

That`s All Folks!

As you already know, our NGO for this Project Community module is CNCPTMKR, founded and managed by Marteen van Leeuwen. Our challenge: create a specialists (online/offline) network on Sustainable Agriculture and Social Innovation.

 While researching how to achieve our goals, we had many online meetings with Marteen and Nancy, who helped a lot. The classes also approached interesting topics, such as Work teams, Marketing, Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding, Technology.

Our starting point to help Marteen, CROWDSOURSING!

He needs help, that`s clear!
Although he has great ideas, it is not possible to make it all happen by himself. That`s something we can even see in a simple Project Community challenge, everything works better if you have a good team to support you. Marteen is overwhelmed right now and it`s so true that he is not even answering our emails anymore. He needs to manage better his online tools (Professional website, LinkedIn profile, Facebook profile…) and MARKETING!

Marketing?

Yes!

From our surveys, we realized that many people don`t know about Sustainable Agriculture, neither about CNCPTMKR. And as we explain people what is it about, many of them think it is a good concept, so … let`s make it known!

Marteen needs to create a strong brand, with a good approach and clear purposes to make it credible. Then, it has to go online through Crowdsourcing platforms, that`s how he will start to create a network around his brand.

With a strong brand and people to help him, the next step: HIS OWN PLATFORM!

An online platform based on Sustainable Agriculture, with many specialists and people interested in helping, everyone making the projects into reality. That`s the dream and we do believe it is possible to make it happen.

Now, what I consider a little gift from our group to Marteen – the logo for his brand.

 

Finally, I`d like to thank everyone from my group for all the meetings, help, `happy beers` and the great job we did together. It was great working with you!

Posted in Community, Group 5, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Larissa's ProjComm14

Goodbye and thanks for all the fish!

HI all,

This is the final blog I am writing for this course. But before I write the rest of this blog I want to take this opportunity to thank my group for the fun and experience we’ve shared! I had a good time and learned much from our meetings and discussions!

During this course we followed classes once a week, we have been discussing about different tools organizations or people can use to expand their companies/ organizations reach in this world. These tools are; work teams, marketing, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding.

Our NGO is CNCPTMKR and is founded by Maarten van Leeuwen. The trouble with one-man companies is that founders get stuck due to the lack of input. Therefore I think Crowdsourcing is a great way to enhance idea generation. I think crowdsourcing can be as easy as joining networks that have similar interest, and scanning them for useful ideas. To joining sites such as innocentive where it is possible to ask really targeted questions, with much fewer, but often much more thought trough ideas.

We started out this community project really well I guess. We were working really fast, had a few meetings with Maarten and Nancy. But then after a couple of weeks, it became harder and harder to get in contact with him. This is of course something that might happen due to other priorities. Therefore our project nearly came to a halt and we were forced to switch priorities because we came to a time limitation. I think, if the amount of communication hadn’t reduced over time, we would have been able to come up with much more useful advice.

Another thing we found out that in order to start a network, you need a good brand. Since most people are not wandering around aimlessly on the web in search for networks to join. Instead they join networks often made by people/brands they know and the quality of the network often decides whether they stay, or not. In order for CNCPTMKR to realize his ideas, he has increase the brands’ strength.

We are advising CNCPTMKR to join existing networks such as the sustainable agriculture network (SAN), because I think such networks can greatly enhance CNCPTMKRs brand on global scale. Because for CNCPTMKR it’s just not feasible to start his own network when so little experts and people know your brand.

That’s it folks! Tomorrow we are going to shoot our advice movie and finalize this course! Thanks for reading!

Tomas

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Posted in Community, Group 5, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: It's fab to be 5

Last but not least week 8

Hey guys,

Our project, to connect specialist around the world who are interested and curious in topics like sustainable agriculture and social innovation is coming to the end.
We became specialists in topics like technology and stewardship, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, work teams and online multimedia presentations. But for Maartens and our goal the most important are: crowdsourcing, marketing and technology. In the following post I am going to focus on the marketing part.
Marketing, is what made small companies big, if you take a look on the marketing giants like Red Bull, Coca Cola or Apple they all of them had great ideas but who cares about their ideas if nobody have ever heard of them, right nobody. Because the people are stuck in their consumption and living habits in their work or whatever so it is on you to remind the people that there is something new, interesting or cool thing what makes the world to a better, more relaxed or more efficient place.
The same counts for Maarten and CNCPTMKR with his new idea to connect people all around the world, which is awesome, because the people are interested in making the world to a better place, in sustainable agriculture and social innovation. The problem is CNCPTMKR is unknown as Frank Welker.
That’s why I think the solution for our project should be that Maarten join an already existing collaborating platform where he can find some well-known organizations and followers who share the common interests to expand his network till he have enough time and a big crowd to launch his own collaborating platform.

Thanks for reading


Peter

Posted in Community, Group 5, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Unbetitelt

It has already formed.

Two hours ago, I decided to start writing my blog for this week. I spent two hours not writing a single word, just sitting in my chair and thinking of everything about the project from the beginning until now.

It does not mean that I don’t know what to write, on the contrary, I have a lot of thoughts in my head but I need time to arrange all the information in the order that you can understand easily.

Let’s talk about the NGO of my group. Our NGO is CNCPTMKR, an non profit organization supports social entrepreneurs with other strategic and practical advice on online marketing & communication founded by Maarten van Leeuwen . Our group project is helping him by giving advice on creating a network for anyone especially for specialists who are interested in sustainable agriculture and social innovation. At this moment, among the themes I have been looking in to so far I believe that the theme of Marketing/User/Customer support Communities will be the most use towards our group’s goal of solving the unmet need of our NGO. Why can I say that?

First of all, when Maarten wants to build a network for specialists, he has to have wide networks. I see that Maarten has been creating many channels to be able to connect with many people such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, etc. However, the information I can get from those channels is not so much. He need to think of using these channels in the marketing way so that people can know more about him and his project.

Secondly, Maarten is running the CNCPTMKR by himself. It means that if he creates a new network, he will manage this network by himself too. I have a feeling that he is doing too much and he does not have enough time for those activities. He may need somebody working with him. Marketing will be the best way to let people know more about Maarten and want to work with him.

I personally think that Maarten will play a key role towards success during the process. Although our NGO is the CNCPTMKR but actually it is about Maarten because he is the only person behind the CNCPTMKR, the person who has many ambitions of working on sustainable agriculture and social innovation. Because of that, before creating a network for specialists I think our group has to start from Maarten.

In my opinion, the first advice of mine should be Maarten need to marketing himself. He has been doing it but I think it is not convinced enough. He should present and advertise himself like a brand of CNCPTMKR. There may be many people or organizations pursuing the same ideals as Maarten doing. But the thing that make people want to come to CNCPTMKR or want to join to a network created by Maarten is himself. To do that, he need to take time to add more information in detail about himself and especially the purpose as well as the process of what he is doing in all the communication channels that he is using so that people can easily understand without confusion.

The second advice is Maarten should join to networks that have the similar purposes to the network that he wants to create in the future. He should join as the founder of CNCPTMKR. There are many benefits from being a member of an network. Firstly, he can use crowdsourcing to get more ideas, experience from other people which having same interests with him. Secondly, he can get the attention of a lot of people from around the world of what he is doing so that may be there will be many people want to work with him, want to help him or support for him. Thirdly, by joining networks like that he will learn and have more knowledge also experience about how to create and manage an online network. These knowledge and experience will be very useful for him when he start to create one.

If he has already done everything I have just said I think he can start to create the network. But not as the same way of creating CNCPTMKR. This network is a platform so the success of an online platform depends mostly on its administrator. In my point of view, I think he should put his personality on it. For example, if he has sense of humour, let’s it expressed on every words he uses. He loves food and drinks so I think he can share anything about food and drinks in a particular way in the network. That will make the network different with others because it bears the stamp of Maarten.

I am not sure that our NGO can read my blog or blogs of other members in my group. If he can, I hope he can find something useful. And if he can find something useful, that is the success of our group. Good luck for Maarten and good luck for us :D!

Thank you for reading!

Posted in Community, Group 5, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Nguyen Ho's ProjectCommunity2014

#projcomm14, die, 22.10.2014

3 great possibilities!

This is probably going to be my last blog post in project communities! I learned many things during the last 6 weeks and a I had a lot of fun with my team members, but also with my NGO :)!

I would like to reflect about the key role considering online platforms for my NGO during this blog post!

Which of the themes were the most useful topics to help our NGO? Why where they the most useful topics? What should be the solution for our NGO?

So our challenge for CNCPTMKR was: “How can CNCPTMKR collaborate with specialists in the world” :)?

I personally believe that the 3 most important roles for CNCPTMKR are: Crowdsourcing, Work Team and Marketing.

I think crowdsourcing could help Maarten (CNCTPMKR) effectively. He is running his own company alone at that point of time. Therefore it might not really be possible for him to create and to develop new Ideas – to get new views. Getting very active in Crowdsourcing would be great! He could gather a lot of new ideas, getting inspired by other people and he would be able to run his business next to it during this time :)!

Nether the less maybe a good Work Team would be also a great idea! A Work Team makes sense, because Teamwork supports a more empowered way of working and removes constraints which may prevent someone doing their job properly. Furthermore does Teamwork foster flexibility and responsiveness, especially the ability to respond to change! And to achieve a goal with a partner is also a lot of fun!!

Marketing is another very important point :). We learned that a good marketing strategy is the key to success during the last week! The reason that marketing is so important to businesses is that it is how you get customers. Clearly nobody is going to walk into your office and ask for whatever it is that you are selling unless they know that you are there and what you are selling. The way that you make sure that they do know is through marketing. It seemed to me that all companies understand the need for marketing but most of them do not really implement it!

CNCPTMKR already knows that marketing is important, because Maarten is represented on almost every social network (e.g. facebook, twitter, LinkIn). But during our Online Survey/University Survey/Street Survey we figured out that only a few know CNCPTMKR ..

Therefore I believe that it would be very good to work on these points:

  1. People are getting know CNCPTMKR
  2. Building up a stronger “marketing” network

Share your thoughts with me!  Do you have any other ideas: “How CNCPTMKR could collaborate in a better way with specialists” :)?

Thank you for reading, Ronja :).

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Posted in Community, Group 5, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Ronja's Project Community IDE Reflection

My progress in online communities

Before I started project communities in this module I didn´t have any knowledge about online communities, and I wasn´t really interested in.

But now I found out in the last weeks that online communities are more than chatting with friends & family, especially for a person who wants to create something like a designer. You are for example able to join a collaborating platform, where are more people with the same interests like you who want to bring something in this world forward, they can help you with finding a solution for your project where you got stuck or help to find an investor for your great idea.

But there are so many online communities outside in the internet that it is hard to find a good one which suits to your field of interests. My group and me, we did some research for our NGO CNCPTMKR and checked out some collaboration platforms and online communities. The problem is, that a lot of this platforms boast them self with the high number of members which live around the world and that looks for you as a user on the first view awesome, but there are just a few members regularly active. So you need to some research before you can taste the sweet side of online communities. In my opinion you have on the one hand little work and on the other hand huge benefits which help you to create something big.

My Design principles

My priority is to safe the time of the users.

To attract the people with the same interests, an online community and collaborating platform should have an easy interface and at their welcome page and short, informative and recognizable slogan. This help the future members to know if this is the right platform for them or nor, and to save their time which is a decisive aspect for working people.

I think in a lot online communities the people get to easy access to the platforms they just create an account for take a short look in this community and they are not really interested in what is going on there so the numbers of members is fake, and this irritates the interested one who are looking for a platform with a large audience.

I have three solutions for this problem:

  1. The people who wants to join have to answer a questionnaire (people who are not really interested are too lazy to fill in that).
  2. The people who wants to join have to apply for a membership.
  3. Or to add a counter on the website which shows how many people are regularly online.

These points can save interested user from wasting their time (on a long term view) and losing their motivation while using online communities with inactive members.

I would like to know: “how to keep the members interested and active?”

Because that is what a successful website distinguish from a less successful one!

So if anybody have an idea for answering my question, feel free to let a comment here.

Thanks for reading

Posted in Community, Group 5, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Unbetitelt

Expending the Network

So here we are in week 7 of project communities. Past few weeks we have been working on examining different kind of online communities and rating them on different kind of criteria. So just to give you a quick heads-up; Our NGO gave us the challenge on how to get in contact with experts around the globe. Therefore we immediately thought of creating a platform where different people could join, talk and share ideas on sustainable agriculture and social innovation. Because we’ve not worked with a lot of online communities we thought we could analyze a few and see what a “good” online community is and which applications it is using. This gave us but little insight in the way different online communities operate, but still, little is more than no insight.

In this research we found one or two sites where it was really hard to join by creating an account. This was one of the first criteria that we were scoring the communities on, because, depending on the community, we thought a good online community should have easy access. Nowadays, many online communities have applications which would let potential users connect with Facebook, Twitter or other online profiles. Because many people use these social network profiles, for most people it’s rather easy to join.

Secondly I think that people are lazy by default and need some triggers to get them to do anything. Therefore news and information should be as easy to access as possible, preferably the information should come towards the user. I think this is why Hyves (the first online social media I used) isn’t existing anymore, for it was not possible to access the information easily. I hourly check my ‘own’ Facebook homepage, which shows information others find important, like or want to share with others. On Hyves I had to search for one of my friends and look on their homepage to see what they were up to. Therefore I think that the ease to access information and news is one of the most important factors in online communities, preferably the updates should come to you.

This is what makes social media so attractable to businesses and organizations, for people don’t have to look up information about for example; planned events, your new designs or redesigns. Anything you want to share, spreads to the people that are interested in, or ‘like’ your organization.

For the future I’m interested in how to raise awareness for a certain company or organization. For my roommate raised his own company and when I can, I help in branding and raising awareness. So far, it has been time consuming and not very fruitful. I just discussed that social media can be very effective in sharing news and information, but I’m wondering how to use social networks to raise awareness.

Thanks all for reading and see you next week.

Tomas 

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Posted in Community, Group 5, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: It's fab to be 5

I think I’ve known you (online communities, networks) :D

Like I said in my previous posts, before attending in the Project Community course, I did know much about online communities and networks except Facebook, Google+. Now I know some more such as Whatsapp, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumbler. During the course, I have realized that if I use online networks in a right way I can gain a lot of benefits from them not only in daily life but also in innovative.

I keep in touch with my family members and my friends that live far away by using Facebook, Whatsapp or Google+ because they are very easy to use. By sharing updates, photos, videos, and messages, I can stay connected with them even if I am living half way around the world far from them. In this course I mainly use these networks to contact with my friends, my tutors and the client for the project.

Twitter is the networks that I can find people that share the best practices and resources in shorts bursts.

LinkedIn can help me to find professionals and experts in their fields.

And if I want to gain information or see many different viewpoints, ideas, opinions from a certain subject that I am interested in I can easily find a platform with that subject in the internet.

I have learned the value of each online networks I mentioned above during the project, they are useful for me in studying. And I’ve learned that when I say I use a network it means that I have to take time to make connection and contribution in that network.

First is about the connection. I before used the network such as Facebook merely for reading, watching and listening. Now I see that is not connecting. I think at least I should click on the like button, reply to a question or leave a comment on a post of somebody to show that I know what is happening with them and I care about them.

Second is about the contribution. If everybody just joined to a network to gain information or experience from other people without any contribution how can we have a huge online source of information like we have today. So I think if I know something that may be useful for other people I should post it online. Its like a circle of giving and receiving. How much I give, that much I receive or more.

Above are what I’ve learned as a user. What if I am a founder. Connecting to my client in the project, he has an intention of building an online network for anybody who are interested in sustainable agriculture and social innovation. I and my group want to help him by giving advice on how to do that. In my own point of view, when I think of designing a online community or network the first principle is I need to know well of my purpose. I build this network as a place for people connecting and sharing interests with each other or I build this to marketing for what I am doing or for something else. Its hard to start without clarify the purpose because this purpose will tell me what I need to do and make the network different with others. Secondly, I want to design my network with applications that easy to use with everybody. The users can join and connect to the network successfully even in the first time. If I have to do a lot of steps or be asked many questions I don’t want to use this network anymore. The third and I think is the most important principle is thinking for the users. Thinking for the users will help me to have ideas that can help people gain benefit when they join to the network. And that may be the reason to keep they stay with the network.

Designing an online community or network is not an easy work to do but for me its not as difficult as keeping the network alive. There are a lot of principles for fostering online networks but I want to say the most important one, in my opinion, that is setting time for networking. It’s very easy to overlook networking or to let other duties and responsibilities take a priority. But in order to build a strong network I’m sure that there is a need to dedicate time for networking and connecting with others. The best way to be sure that networking will not be overshadowed by other tasks is to set aside time in the schedule specifically for networking. It doesn’t need to be a lot of time, but it should be a part of the daily, or at least weekly, schedule.

I think online communities and networks are amazing for anybody who know to use them. I just stay at my home but I can meet anybody all around the world, can learn anything, can help people, can introduce myself,etc. Many online networks I am using now mostly be introduced by other people. People like them and introduce them to others without any thinking like oh I am advertising free for that networks. This is exactly the thing I want to learn more about online network. How to make people volunteer to advertise for a network or my network maybe :D. I think that is kind of marketing strategy but I am not sure about that. What do you think?

Oh, I have said too much. Now its time for my networking :). See you later.

Thank you for reading!

Posted in Community, Group 5, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Nguyen Ho's ProjectCommunity2014

#projcomm14, ide, 15.10.2014

Creating an own community?

We are starting into week 6! Today I would like to reflect about what I learned by using online communities and networks in innovative design.

I learned that online communities and networks in innovative design are very useful! Innovative design means that innovators have to create something unknown. New concepts are disruptive but this doesn’t means that it is impossible. So why not making it possible with the help of a community through crowdfunding or crowdsourcing? You are easily getting a huge variety of ideas and you can already use your community as a possible target group.

I personally believe that knowing why your customer (community) cares about you is the main design principle in creating online communities. You need to create a platform which only exists ones in the world. A platform/community were only your customer cares about! A platform were one common point is shared by the whole community!  Because there are plenty of other communities in the world.  I learned this point during week 3, when we were comparing different websites (e.g. FarmHack, Innocentive) for CNCPTMKR. There are already a lot of communities about sustainable agriculture. But why is CNCPTMKR so unique? We figured out that CNCPTMKR is so unique, cause of the fact that Maarten believes in empowering his customers to do a better job in ‘moving social innovation forward’! No other website had that point!

What happens if you do not know the answer to the question: “Why are they caring about me”? Just go out and ask your costumers: Why do they care about you? What do they love about your product/service? I’m sure that they will be happy to give you an answer about that :).

What about fostering an online community? I personally made the experience that fostering the online community is an important factor! If you do not care about your customers, business partners or your community – who else will do it for you? Probably no one and that means that you are losing from time to time customers/users. You need to be active in your own community, in other communities, on social networks (e.g. facebook, twitter) or in “real life”. That all costs a lot of time! Therefore you need to be willing to spend all that time. But in the end it will be definitely worth it!

During the next weeks I wold like to learn how and when the best time would be to create a platform for companies? Would it be useful to create a platform if I’ve got 100 customers or would it be better if I’ve 1000 customers? Or are 1000 customers still not enough to create an own platform.

What are you guys thinking about opening an own community/platform? When would be the best time? Or is it all about a good marketing strategic?

Thanks for reading and till next week, cheers,

Roni :).

Posted in Community, Group 5, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Ronja's Project Community IDE Reflection

Have I learned anything?

Welcome back all!

Since we have started this project with CNPTMKR things have either worked out quite nicely. There we often situations where we were confused and didn’t really know which direction we should take to continue this project efficiently. But what have I learned in these last few weeks? 

I always thought that people are very dependent on their social network like Facebook, but just because of the need to be in constant reach of other people. People are internet-addicts. I know that because I am one of these addicts. However what I did not realize at the time was that businesses/ organizations really depend on social networks in order to survive. The other thing I learned is that ideas need a heck of a lot of development. As amazing our brain might be it is still limited to one opinion. For ideas to really flourish they need to be created outside of the box. Social networks make this process very easy theses days. Product Designers all over the world post their ideas on on-line communities to receive criticism and constructive feed back for them to develop their initial idea. I think that this is a very efficient and successful process because today its all about interracial relations and how better to create something that has received ideas from all over the world. To add to that, this can already start on who finds what interesting. So when I post an idea and a lot of young people post different feedback, I should realize through that, that young people are interested in this topic. And there you have your first customers. 

Now I don’t have any first hand experience on this but that is how I imagine it would work. 

Working on this project just made it really clear for me what can be achieved through on-line communities and what else can still be done for the world by the click of a button. 

Posted in Community, Group 5, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Sebastian's first ProjCom