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 7
Once this group convenes and develops its project focus and team name, this will tell you more about this group.

This is my last post about my first post.

                Everybodies, first blog is my last. Well, I stand out of the crowd. Enought jokes, I will put on my straight face. So topic of week one is again of internet communities and networks and how can I put them in my advantage as a designer or student. This looks an interesting topic to discuss. So let the SHOW BEGIN.

                How can I use them? I will reflect on my sweet spot. My sweet spot is characterizing, which is hard to describe, but I will try my best. Characterizing is character describing – story, image, personality and so on. For me I have done something like this for a while. I have been reading books, watching movies, playing games and there is a huge choice of different characters, but how is that related to communities and networks. Good question, Watson.  I have been looking into different character designs for a while not. The best network and community I have found is a part of a whole different network. There is this online video game company called Steam. Steam provides people with easy access to different video games for the right price, but what people don’t know is that Steam also provides Workshop for the related game community. In this workshop people, can design their own modifications to the game. These modifications are mind blowing.  I search different character ideas in these workshops. People from around the world are joined under one community. These people are listing from, designers and artists to programmers and game writers. These communities provide me for everything I need to learn to focus on my sweet spot.

                Talking about different communities. I actively follow http://www.reddit.com/r/design for now I only follow L. I have considered for long time to do something more than follow, but I have never find time for it L.  If I’m talking about what I need to explore more of these communities, I think only things I need is a working computer with at least 10 mbs speed internet.  Little materialistic, but I can’t think of anything else.

                I kind of have seen my teams project outcome, and that’s kind of everything I want it to be. We used camera in combination with Adobe Special effects. That’s not boring. Talking about my contributed specially is awkward for me.  Kind of feel that they are pulling my weight, but I’m given a chance to bring my Adobe Illustrator skills with me. So, I will try my best to create the best report this group can create.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOTrOlaNRXk - A video some of the desings made in workshop are found.

Posted in Community, Group 7, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Kalvis Riptide Design

Can I fix my sink using an internet tool?

When a person, writes blogs in a row they lose thoughts about what to include into the introduction, so this is my introduction. Yes, I know nothing special, but the topic is what kind of useful online tools I can tell to other people. Well, I usually don’t prefer online tools, I prefer the program, tool or even game to be saved into my computer, I think that’s just faster and more reliable, but that doesn’t mean I don’t use online tools.

                Well, I have had my fair share of different programs connected with computers; one more specific is called Adobe Photoshop. If a person nowadays haven’t heard of it, he is  considered to be living in a cave. Anyway, this program takes up a lot of memory and it’s difficult to install, so sometimes I use http://www.photoshoponlinefree.com/ .  I haven’t mastered Photoshop, god to master Photoshop a person has to have years of experience, but I am very familiar with the program, and what can I tell about the website. The website is a huge help if you need some fast creating or picture modifying, but it’s not the real Photoshop.  If a beginner works in this website he may not see a difference, but If a person who has lost weeks with Photoshop he will go crazy by the algorithms. I just noticed I’m using a Photoshop as a verb.  The reason why Photoshop takes up so much memory is because its algorithms are so long and advanced that nowadays another program doesn’t stands near it. Anyway, talking about the online tool, I’m not saying it’s useless and there is nothing to gain, I’m trying to say that it’s not the real thing, but I would recommend it to anyone who wants to start doing something on Photoshop. Few YouTube guides and everyone can start doing something on Photoshop. The website is really great for beginners it’s easy to understand, no advertisement, allows you to choose different kinds of formats like banners, leaderboard which is basically a banner as well. It would take me all day to list all the good and bad things about this website so I will just move on.

                So how do I choose my “tools”. I don’t know really. I usually chose tools on other people review. My computer science teacher has told me about many useful tools in the internet that I have used in past, but that only proves that I know about different tools from other people. I don’t really go on a trip to explore the internet. I usually use the tools I know. If that doesn’t work, only then I start to think about different working points. Talking about if everyone in the group had the same preferences that I had, then I think it would be chaos.  If everyone used only like Photoshop and the same programs for the same tasks I did, it could be easier in some way, but I would go crazy. The problem with these tools is that, if everybody knows something about them, they usually consider that they know the most. I do that, but that doesn’t mean that I know the most. So if there was a task about picture modifying then everybody would go for that and there wouldn’t be any people to do other things. I know much about different programs and I’m handy with them, but I don’t want any pupils or followers.  If somewhere in the future I had a situation like this, than I would be probably the one that would back off.  If some one sad: “Hey I’m handy with video editing programs!” My answer would probably be:” Be my guest, I can try making animations.” 

                I know many people that are not good, but great at different programs, but I try to kind of learn everything myself, which is good and bad at the same time. Not always I have time for that, but I know how to do tricks with many different programs and I don’t need other people help.

 

Posted in Community, Group 7, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Kalvis Riptide Design

Networks are the REAL DEAL!

I wonder why this blog didn’t wrote it self.  That would have eased things. Anyway, fourth weeks topic is about networks. What is that?? Glad you asked, Watson. Let’s describe networks, as anything you do online. If you search information for designing that’s a part of your design network. If you look at your friends photo in Facebook, that’s part of your friendship network or something like that.

                Time to REFLECT.  How do I use my internet networks? Depends on the network, I have networks about games, drawing, music, guitar playing, socializing, working and so on. Each of these networks works differently. For example, in my video game networks I’m a lurker( a lurker is a term used in internet communities were a person reads or gather some kind of information without adding anything to it or engaging in discussions about it), so I’m just reading stuff about the video game, I personally have thought about engaging in conversations about video games, but there are some obstacles. First of all, I don’t spend that much time in video gaming, I play them once in a while, but not that much, so I probably wouldn’t be on the same page as others. Second, video game communities are “toxic” that means most of the things discussed there aren’t that useful for me and most of the time people there are arguing. Talking about other communities, I engage some of them very much. For example, about 4 years ago I found a pixel character drawing community – that’s the best I can put it in words. This community chooses different kinds of character through books, movies, games etc.  and draws them in pixels. Doesn’t sound that impressive, but its actually fun. When you know the right pixels to put in, then you can redo it on different surfaces. I usually put them into street art or something like that. The website is called http://www.pixilart.net/. Haven’t made new submissions lately, but still a part of the website ;)

                Talking about these kinds of networks or online communities, most of the people I interact, I don’t even know in real life. This excludes social networks. So talking about interactions it doesn’t matter to me if the community’s members are a small circle of hundred or a huge one of tens of thousands, posts usually are the same. If your work or comments are good enough then they will be seen.  In Latvia we had a similar website to 9gag. There people could post anything and if it was good then it was seen, ether a post or a comment.  It is harder to get attention in bigger communities, but that doesn’t change the way I interact with other people!

                From all of my networks, I would say that the most important are my social networks, because those are the only networks, I actually know people in real life.  It’s not the same to know people when he is standing next to you or knowing him with chats and posts. I try to keep relationships better with people in real life, because I know they will respond me better if I ever had a need for them. Talking about which one is the most comfortable that would be my Latvian 9gag website called http://spoki.tvnet.lv/ . There I can post anything – important stuff, silly stuff, random stuff.  I can’t actually notice my preferences. I have random communities. Some are art, sport, games, videos, jokes, social life – a little bit of everything.  I see some of these preferences totally opposite of the others like sports and art, I follow each one of them and I enjoy each of them as well.

To sum up, I use networks, more than I would like to tell anyone. I believe that most important information comes from peoples own life experiences not some theoretical sh*t I can read in Wikipedia or Facebook, and the best way to find these experiences is to visit different forums, communities or my personal favorite Reddit. 

Posted in Community, Group 7, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Kalvis Riptide Design

Finish Line/”Opposites attract”

 biSince the start of this course I militate for this idea that the force for an NGO is given by the connection with big business; and a sustainable relationship can be with a company. I had this idea for the last blog post and I did some research to find out the pro’s and con’s. A very good explanation was on the IISD’s website, where I found also the title for this post (I find it very inspirational). Check the website here: https://www.iisd.org/business/ngo/opposites.aspx

I agree with the fact that social networks helps an NGO evolving, but its not a reliable and safe source. On the internet a subject can receive major interest today and tomorrow everybody will forgot. Social networks are like a circle made by information which orbits always. Think about the IceBucketCheallenge which was a huge campaign on the internet one month ago and now almost everybody forgot it. This applies for PAGE too. My opinion is that the more people involved the better. I am not saying that they should neglect this aspect at all, but it’ll be prolific for them if they will try to establish connections with business and companies with the same core values as them.

An NGO and a company can help each other. The company can be a donor or a source of human resources but maybe you think “How the NGO can help a company?”. For example, my beliefs for PAGE are that they can be a source of advice and guidance. The cause for this NGO is not a world wide issue so they have to act on the local region. I did some research and in less than five minutes I found 9 big companies in the Asheville region. So there are possibilities to ask for help. 

It is not necessary to give money to the NGO, they can give them products or helping them in another ways, which will be also helpful. One of my idea busted when I found a stationery factory, close to their region. PAGE can create a brand which can be sold and part of the amount can go to the NGO and the other to the factory. Many factories practices that. In this way the factory will ear the trust of the customers. 

Another idea can be based on a change. Because everywhere is a leak of workforce and also people hardly find a job, the companies can help the girls to develop strong knowledge and then help them and give them a job. This will be helpful for the girls to create a future and also for the corporation because they will have well-prepared people.

Is still hard to say what will help PAGE , but I am sure that a real contract between them and a company/ factory will be a major aid in their development. it is a marketing relationship in the end.

With the team we tried to cover all the possibilities and give PAGE a large view of what they can do. I am happy that I worked with a really great team and we completed each other and the result will be useful for PAGE.

imageTo show you one example, this is one of the branding thing that I thought and created for PAGE and also a sneak-peak for what will be in the final video. 

Bye, guysss!

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Posted in Community, Group 7, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Laura Lezeu (Project Community 2014)

We can see the finish line

We are nearly at the end of the course and the project. Looking back I am astonished how much we...
Posted in Community, Group 7, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: SilverBlogging

Last Post already!?

I can’t believe this is already the last post of the course. If I’m being honest I wouldn’t want to repeat this experience. Wait! Let me explain: I really did enjoy the course because I had a really good group with nice people but the part of writing a report really wasn’t cool. One of the things I think were organized badly was that we had the class on Wednesday and the deadline of the blog post was on Thursday night, leaving us with less than a day to come up with a reflection on what we did in class. This experience was difficult for me for various reasons: Firstly, I have never been a good writer (even worse in English which is not my mother tongue) and secondly because, as I already explained in previous posts, I don’t like to write things on the Internet; I like to keep things private.

Well, let’s talk about the main point of this post: the movie. Personally, I was released when I knew that people in my group already have experience with creating animated movies because I am not familiar with any program that could help us. So, for the video we first met in class to discuss what type of movie we wanted to do. We decided to use animated pictures because we thought it would be the best way to present our ideas. That part was easy but to decide what to put in the video and in what order turned out to be more difficult. In fact, we didn’t make a real storyboard until we were asked to do so, but we had a plan throughout the process. So just after that we started to think about how we were going to illustrate our concepts and solutions that we came up with along the way through images. We came to the conclusion that we had too many things to put in the video and not enough time, so we decided to also write a report to explain all the ideas we wouldn’t include in the video.

Before finishing class we divided tasks, so everyone would do their part according to their personal strengths: Emily and Laura are in charge of making the video while Silver, Allie and I are working on the report. My part was the one regarding our recommendations for volunteering. So at the moment we are all looking to finalise our work before the deadline. 

I’m so excited to see the final result of all the work we have done. It as been a great experience the one of helping to make the video (even if I did not really help in the creating part) because we started the module knowing that we had to do a video at the end and we manage to not think about the video but about the content, and this is why, I think, we had to do also a report because we where working on solution and not on our final task. I have learned a lot from my colleges such as how to organise thinks better or just ways of working that could be useful to me in a future.

So as a last think, I want to thanks all my team for all the good job done and I’m looking forward to work again with them ( if they want to work again with me ;) ) 

Well that was my last post I hope you enjoy riding it!

Posted in Community, Group 7, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Xander's Project communities

One single but ultimate recommendation

If I have to choose one theme that can be the most beneficial to PAGE to help them overcome their challenge , Crowdsourcing is my ultimate choice.
Crowdsourcing covers so many different sectors. You can crowdsource ideas, knowledge , resources, (even physical/material resources).
Although crowdsourcing is now a days made use of primarily via online communities, crowdsourcing can also be very beneficial when it is solicited in a more traditional way - that is in the physical world.
In my regards, PAGE could make use of crowdsourcing as a pillar to solve their challenge of ‘getting more volunteers and donors’. They need to get more volunteers and funding , and in order to achieve this they need to raise awareness about themselves. 
To be able to raise awareness, one of the things they can do is enlargen their network. This can be effectively done through crowdsourcing.
PAGE could connect with NGO’s (on a local or global level) that have similar goals and values as them. That way, they can make effective use of crowdsourcing to share and receive information, experience and resources with these other NGO’s.  The Girl Scouts of America for example is a ‘hub’ of information and resources PAGE could benefit from via crowdsourcing with them.

Many NGO’s have the aim of serving the world and its people in different ways.  The impact created by such organisations can be enhanced if they regroup their ideas and resources to collaborate together effectively. This can be done through crowdsourcing. PAGE can make use of crowdsourcing for the above reason, but also to reach out and join forces with their clients, donors, volunteers and basically all the stakeholders affected by or involved in the things the NGO does.

Sales force 1 for Nonprofits is a foundation that serves as a platform and that has developed an application that helps NGO’s across the world to connect and collaborate with each other - PAGE could make use of such a tool to benefit from the extensive advantages crowdsourcing has to offer.

[View video in Previous post : http://emilieslightbulbmoments.tumblr.com/post/101345154119 ]

This foundation also offers tool kits on various topics including how to build a community. PAGE could use this, as building a community is part of enlarging their network of connections. This will enable them to overcome their challenge as they will be able to attract more people to help them. 

image

Source : Engage and Strengthen Communities Solution Kit, sales force foundation, page 8 

Crowdsourcing often results in innovation, new insights, improvements and enhancements, and is usually very beneficial and enriching , which is why PAGE could definitely benefit from it ; may it be to overcome their challenge or to improve and get more insights in general to aspire for a growing and fulfilled future.

SamaSource is an NGO that makes extensive use of crowdsourcing, leading to successful and positive results and consequences.

In addition, existing crowdfunding platforms can be very beneficial to PAGE as the topics discussed can provide guidelines and knowledge and resources for PAGE to use to help them grow as an NGO and get their projects successfully running. 
Crowdsourcing. org , is an online crowd funding platform  that covers several components of crowdsourcing : crowd funding, distribution of knowledge, open innovation and crowd creativity.
It is possible to just view the content posted and the reactions and opinions of the users of this platform. It is also possible to post questions,ideas,thoughts via it. PAGE could make use of such a platform to receive feedback on any ideas they have or problems they face. That way, they can get connected to other NGOs or people with more experience in the appropriate sectors, and receive responses, opinions, advice and suggestions from them.
This is a way of enabling PAGE to improve, and enlargen their network, people will get to know about them and could send more people (volunteers & donors )there way .
Since Crowdsourcing involves getting services, content or resources by soliciting help from a large group of people, crowdsourcing also includes Crowdfunding.
PAGE needs more donors/funding, thus, they could make use of crowd funding to achieve this. Platforms  such as Catapult and Crowdrise would be the most appropriate for PAGE as they are NGO-focused. Indeed, they are used by organisations such as UNICEF and the American Red Cross.
Refer to Previous post : Crowd: Sourcing & Funding   for  detailed description and explanation of crowd funding.
If I had to recommend ONE ultimate solution to help PAGE  overcome their challenge, it would be to Raise awareness by Enlarging their Network, and do so by  CROWDSOURCING in one or many different ways.
I perceive Crowdsourcing  as an equivalent of  the domino effect in this context [ You know, when you line up the dominos one after each other and you push the first one over : the others all follow one after the other]. What I mean is that like the domino effect , crowdsourcing can get PAGE going much further than its initial intended purpose. It can connect PAGE , get people to know about it, enable PAGE to obtain information, knowledge and resources, and let it tap into the people out there and get contributions from them in many different ways.
A Small change can have a significant effect and many beneficial consequences.
I believe Crowdsourcing can enable this !
image

Source: http://confluencecorp.com/tag/salesforce-nonprofit-starter-pack/
Ciao !
Emilie 
Posted in Community, Group 7, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Emilie's Light Bulb Moments !

Video



Posted in Community, Group 7, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Emilie's Light Bulb Moments !

The puzzle of the Solution.

 For some people this would be the last blog post, but not for me. I’m “special” in a way that’s not to be proud. Anyway, post theme is: “Which way is the most effective in achieving the unmet need of my NGO?”

For that I think the answer is AWAIRNESS.  The unmet need is a need that is unknown yet, but may appear in the future.  Future is full of surprises and you never know which person you will need. Anyone can be helpful in some way; they just need to know that you’re there to be helped. In this world there are many things, ways, hobbies and so on…. Too many things to be listed. These things are similar. Now I will use the Apple example, because everyone knows what apple is. There are a lot of companies that make phones, laptops, all together and more, but Apple is the most known one and the most expensive one. They can be expensive, because they are well known.  But how is it connected to NGO’s? That’s a good question. Well, there are big and small NGO’s, but only one “pie”. Let’s call world’s people awareness the pie. Well, the pie is only one and as in animal nature, the biggest animal takes the biggest part of the pie. They can take the biggest part because they are most known and that gives him more people, contacts, space and much more. The same goes for PAGE, to get people to help more, believe the cause, to volunteer, PAGE needs those people to know about them.

Awareness, of course that was the answer all along, but it’s not that simple. The road to awareness is long and rocky and slippery and many more ands.  To attract people is harder then it sounds, actually most of the things in this world are harder and more complicated than they sound, but let’s not get distracted.  What’s the key’s to successful awareness?

  • Marketing, what the hell is marketing??  I think marketing is everything that gives you awareness. If I go to a group meeting dressed like a chicken, the group members will think, I like chickens, I’m weird, and I like Halloween, but its not how you get the message is about getting the right message, in an attractive way.
  • Being different, well this involves a lot of creativity. Like I said, there are a lot of things in this world, and a lot of people trying to achieve same thing as you are, so being different is a huge benefit. The thing about being different is that you should never forget what are you trying to be different from. For an NGO, you want to be different than other NGO’s, that means you can’t go the same roads as they are going. You might have to be more aggressive in your marketing strategies, but there must be a line that separates you from the rest.
  • Believing your cause! Here is a phrase from the most famous quotes, but  that’s true. People do stuff to achieve different kinds of causes, but what people don’t realize is that they actually believe them.  I go to work, because I believe I will be rewarded money for it. The second I stop believing  they reward me money will, be the second I won’t get paid for my work, In that second I will stop going to work. There is a lot of words, but it’s simple to understand. People don’t do things they don’t believe in. NGO should believe that they are doing their goal, if not then why are they doing it, why are they even an NGO.

This text keeps getting longer and longer. Furthermore, what should be the solution to the whole problem; well I still think its awareness.  If PAGE as an NGO gets more people know about them that could solve many problems. My computer teacher from my high school had this story.  It was around year 1996 when he made the website for our school. He started it simple. At that time my high school didn’t have any computers except for the teachers. Students only learned theory about computers. At that time a professor from USA saw one of the posts my teacher made in a Europe school group. The professor wrote an email asking my teacher what would he do if he had 10 000$. Well my teacher wrote he would buy computers, for school, upgrade the system and so much more. At that time that was enormous money.  The professor believed that my teacher had the goal to educate students, so he gave him the money. My professor did what he said he would, he bought new computers for the school and soon after there were noticeable changes in students education. Year after that, the professor wrote another email to my teacher asking what would he do if he had 20 000$. The professors picture and name is still on my schools honor wall. The point is that, anything of this wouldn’t have happened if my teacher hadn’t made those few posts in the school group. The same goes for PAGE if she raises enough awareness then someone somewhere will believe that she is the proper person to achieve that goal and will help. That’s why I believe this is the solution.

Posted in Community, Group 7, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Kalvis Riptide Design

On the home straight …

So, we are nearly at the end of the course. Looking back I’m surprised about how much we have actually done within the past eight weeks - it didn’t feel like a lot!

Although we have discussed various interesting topics throughout the course I think Crowdsourcing and -funding are the most important ones for our NGO. We defined their problem to be not having enough volunteers and donors to guarantee a prosperous future for the organization. This is exactly where crowdfunding and -sourcing comes in. Through these techniques one is able to reach out to new people and actually get them involved by asking their advice. I was surprised how generous people are with their time and ideas! So this supports the improvement of two issues simultaniously: spreading the word about the organization, because at the moment the biggest problem is that simply not enough people know about PAGE, and picking up new ideas that can help when one is stuck with a specific problem.

Of course for this to work there are some criteria that need to be fulfilled. Most important is the presentation of the organization online. This as well is one problem we figured PAGE could use some help with. Truth is, the first impression counts. If your first impression on someone isn’t pleasant, it requires a lot of time and hard work to change his mind about you. That is why PAGE needs to improve their website and general visual appearance on the internet. Once this is done and the ‘new look’ is appealing to people, crowdsourcing and -funding will be great opportunities to gain more volunteers, donors or in general supporters.

Another thing I think would be really important for PAGE to do is to partner with other (larger) organizations that share the same values or similar goals. We found the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (www.wagggs.org) as one example of a possible future partner.

All in all there is a lot to do, but I am optimistic that some little changes will make a big difference in the future. As for me, I learned a lot during this course, especially to keep an open mind when it comes to technology and online networking. It actually is useful in various situations and I will try to make use of it more in the future.

I’ll leave you on that note and I wish all the groups good luck with their presentations and recommendations!

Cheers, Allie

Posted in Community, Group 7, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Allie vs Alex