To be completely honest, I did not expect that we will start our program with a course like this, but I really saw that it can be useful for a lot of our work in the future. It was also a challenging start that put us on our tiptoes because this was all very new to most of the students… and it still is to me.
Project communities made me explore another side of the Internet space and of using social media - the professional side. As future designers we will have to dig deeper in these online societies and find what will work well for our personal purposes.
I discovered so many different platforms and websites that I have never heard of before. There were even things that I did not know that I can do online as, for example, making storyboards and portfolios. I had the chance to start a blog and to use Google Hangouts. Also something very useful was the website for sharing creativity and knowledge with the possibility of giving credits to the author and of respecting his/hers rights. > Creative commons … I have always wanted to give credit for the things I am using, but sometimes it can be quite hard, and this is a simple way to do it. :) I learned as well what is a Spidergram and *SURPRISE, SURPRISE* I found out that it is a graph in Microsoft Word, so if anyone needs to do a spidergram urgently - you can use that! ;) It is an amazingly interesting process to learn from each other. This was a part of our Me,We,Network class and it also contributed to the Group size discussions. I loved that my team partners are so different. I can literally learn so many things from them. And I think we are all appreciating the opportunity to work with real NGOs and with so many professionals. One of my important discoveries is how we can apply things that we learned in one class to another. As we saw, marketing is a very very broad field but while we were doing our research during class today, we found out that some of the strategies are similar to the ones in Personal Branding. This made the process a lot easier and faster. Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding seemed like something very difficult to me. The more we research, the more possible they look to me, but still I don’t feel comfortable enough in using them. Thankfully, I will have enough time before I have to apply them for my personal needs. The first step should always be awareness and network presence. So I might as well start with that.
We decided on the same approach for our NGO. PAGE needs to create a wider range of online places where they can show their work and their beliefs in order to get to the stage of involving more people in the organization and of finding big and stable sponsors.
From my whole experience I would remember for sure some of the basic steps and principles while operating online or offline with other people:
> research, research, research … and share! ideas and knowledge
> define your goal and your view of success
> judge and doubt the platforms before using them
> plan your steps and your strategy
> be opened to critics and to others’ ideas
> work in small groups and devide tasks
> know your audience and your market
> know what makes you stand out
> brand all your work and your approach
As I mentioned before, I still have a lot to work on regarding my social media presence. I will have to consider using some more professional platforms like LinkedIn. I would also have to learn how to create my onlilne portfolio, because it is better if I start gathering my experience in one place from the start of my study. I have already seen some possibilities so I will have to explore them and see what suits me best. Any new suggestions are welcomed as well! :) Another thing I plan to do, is to get in an online communities that can tutor me and help me start using programs for videos and design. This will be very useful for my future courses. Regarding marketing and crowdsourcing, I will have to take my time for now. First of all, I have to decide on my brand and on my designer future before I try to apply any of these techniques. It is still good to know what is out there… I just know that it will rapidly change, as everything around us these days, before I get to use them..
And the most important principle> STAY CURIOUS!
^ further than your nose if possible :P