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 9
Once this group convenes and develops its project focus and team name, this will tell you more about this group.

I am a KID in online networks and in innovative design, but kids are those who learn faster!

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

Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: My staircase to MILLENNIUM

Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding

Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is the online gathering of a group of people to share knowledge and wisdom to build a better product.

Crowdfunding

Same as crowdsourcing, only that the community involvement moved into the financial arena.

Useful or not?

I find tools for raising awareness of your *insert here whatever you want to raise awareness to* very effective if you actually know how to use them to the purposes you want to achieve. In the particular situation of an NGO, this tools can be of huge help to raise awareness and money coming from donations, you expend almost no money and you have a platform full of donators to see in which project expend their money next. For that, of course, the proposed project that is target for donations should be attractive and beneficent for the donors and for the causes they share with the NGO. I am not saying that depending on your cause is the success of your campaign, but it kinda is, because if you are doing a stupid thing that works for nothing and benefices no one, well, it’s more likely you will get no donations at all, but of course, like everything in this world, things get weird and maybe those projects can be successfully founded or known.

I think most of the work is done when the project or cause is fixed and the branding (or whatever they called branding) has been done. If you have a relevant cause combined with a nice, clear way of explaining to people why is this important for them, and for you, you’ll certainly have you project/cause funded within no time.

Design and crowdsourcing

When it comes to design, I think crowdsourcing is a very good way to have feedback on your product/project and to make it better from that feedback. A lot of good things can develop from crowdsourcing as a designer, like having a previous backup before you launch your product, people will want it before it actually exists; improve your product based on users critics; gain awareness for your product; and helps shaping the way this product is going to be born in the outer world. On the other hand, there are also bad things that can happen when crowdsourcing, like having your work stolen and made by someone else that saw your idea, and had the means to do it right away, and since you have no rights on the idea because it’s barely complete, then you will have to let a maybe great idea go away.

I am personally selfish with my ideas, and I don’t tell a lot of people about them, because I am really afraid that someone will steal them. Maybe my ideas aren’t that great and maybe I really don’t have to worry about them getting stolen, because they are like an ugly child no one wants to kidnap, but still I have lived it before, and from that moment on, I decided that won’t happen to me again ever, so that has shaped me as a reserved person. I don’t have boundaries when creating, but I do have boundaries when sharing the ideas (where am I sharing them and with whom).

Apart from my personal experience, I say thumbs up for crowdsourcing and their money equivalent, crowdfunding. Why? Because this kind of platforms are the ones that make great things possible.

Thanks for reading.

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Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: A glimpse into Isabella's mind

Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding are DESERTS. First cook your main dish – your design personality and your brand.

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Crowdsourcing -  our way of dipping our fingers into cake mixtures of all over the world, choosing the one that suits us and then personalizng it. There is nothing as delicious as a self-made cake recipe (=idea)! ;)
Crowdfunding is the same, but more focussed on getting what we need in order to make the “cake”.

These two can be very very useful, but we should know where to draw a line. There are some pretty interesting articles related to crowdsourcing here. Feel free to check them out! ;) 


On one hand, as designers, crowdsourcing works for us as feedback, as a sharing and evolving opportunity, as a way to make our work come to life.  Yes, it is not easy to put your ideas out there and not always everything will be positive. But this is how we learn and how we see in what we should put our effort in the future. I, personally, see sometimes a little threat in putting all your work in the open space. In this way it can be stolen or it can provoke an idea in someone else who can overshadow you in the future. That’s why I think that there should be a right moment for reaching out for feedback or maybe even it can be in a social network in which you trust the other people or at least know some of them. The other thing is that many people go to crowdsourcing and crowdfunding without realising their own intentions and their true goal. They just do it because they think they should, or in some cases, because they have even got addicted to it with time. The truth is you can get a lot of answers on your own. There is no need to put everything that comes to mind on the Internet. Put whatever you have already worked on and thought about. Only in that way you can get real help and you can fully understand it.

Regarding crowdfunding, the design idea has to be presented in an interesting way that makes people want it. There are millions of ideas on the web. The designer has to find out what is the thing that stands out for his idea and to build his strategy around it. Another important aspect is - where exactly do you put your ideas? I accidently ended up at this website - Betabrand. It gives you the opportunity to present your idea. to make a prototype and even to make it a product that can be bought from the website, if there is enought interest. :) 

On the other hand, crowsourcing and crowdfunding are also very important for organizations. The platforms give them the chance to find more people interested in their work and also people who believe that this is important to the world. That is what drives the funding for most of the non-profit organizations. In our team work we pointed out a couple of general “must-s” such as: keep the community updated on your progress and on the money flow directions, always thank your donors, and brand your fundraising strategy. The last one was a great discovery for our team, because now we can apply our new skills from the class of Personal Branding in our work for our NGO. This will make our message and our vision a united whole.
We found out that we can suggest to Elizabeth the platform Catapult. It is closely related to PAGE's idea of trusting the power of educating girls which will eventually come back to its rootes and create new opportunities. 

The Partnership for Appalachian Girls’ Education (PAGE) is not yet ready for a big step into crowdfunding. Although the organization is working well and is growing slowly, it has to work on their publicity first. The main reason why our team chose to work on the challenge for raising awareness is because you can’t start a funding campaign without a solid social media presence.

At this stage on our way to becoming innovative designers I think that we should put our effort primarily into understanding who we trully are and what do we want to do. The knowledge of the platforms can be useful to us in the future when we will know what we can offer to the world and how exactly to do it. For now, as starting design chefs,it will be better if our experiment recipes are kept to ourselves… and to our teachers. 
Go try something new! You’d never know when something will become a masterpiece … just like this cake:

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Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: My staircase to MILLENNIUM

week six : just a designer?

In my opinion, crowdsourcing in design is a generally minimalistic way of describing the funding process. While design may entice potential customers, it can never be the lone driving force of a successful product. Crowdsourcing should be used not as a verification method, but as a launchpad for thoroughly developed ideas. Crowdfunding is not always a “choice”. Funds are a necessity in breaking into today’s vibrant market, so great designs may never be noticed without a sufficient business plan. Going it alone is an unaffordable cost.

Launching a crowdfunding campaign also requires a ton of work and dedication. Obsess over your product. Dedicate every waking moment to its success, before, during, and in the future. In the words of crowdfunding consultant Vann Alexandra Daly, “…pre-production is the most important part of launching a successful crowdsourcing campaign. If your project doesn’t explode as soon as it goes live, it’s probably going to just limp to the finish, or die trying.” But that’s not all. Jon Fawcett of Fuse Chicken urges future crowdfunding entrepreneurs to locate a manufacturer as early on as possible to reduce unforeseen delays. For that, Alibaba is your best bet. I’ll just leave out the standard schtick regarding the perfect pitch for the sake of brevity. However, I highly recommend taking a peek at this document to gather some statistically-backed inspiration.

Engineering / programming: $10,000 → 
Marketing and press: $5,000
Building the mold: $10,000
Manufacturing the first 500 units: $10,000
Expedited shipping and distribution costs: $10,000
Fulfilling pre-orders: $15,000
Unforeseen costs: $1,000,000,000,000

And this is a theoretical “limited” launch. Intimidated? I thought so.

If you have absolutely zero interest in starting your own company, Quirky.com offers somewhat of a safe haven. The crowdsourcing site aggregates a steady stream of product concepts submitted by its user base. Their partnership with General Electric allows users the freedom to utilize any of the latter company’s sea of patents. Eventually, an idea is chosen and becomes a runaway success (ex. The Pivot Power).

Starting from scratch is really, really difficult and absolutely requires the right business connections. If you choose not to raise funds for your product, whether they’re from Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or the classic angel or venture capital investors, then I wish your independent career good luck.


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Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: http://projcomm.tumblr.com/

It takes two flints to make a fire

The time is flying so fast and week after week we are coming to final class for this module. Every lesson we get some important and interesting information and new experience. This time explored crowdsourcing and crowdfunding,so I would like to share my opinion about that.

First of all,  the difference between those two words is that:

Crowdsourcing is the practice of engaging a ‘crowd’ or group for a common goal — often innovation, problem solving, or efficiency

                                           and

Crowdfunding is a way of raising finance by asking a large number of people each for a small amount of money.  Organisations are using the internet to communicate with a tremendous amount of people. 

In my opinion that are  very  important things when you are trying to achieve your goals. You can easily achieve many things during a short period of time only because you are working not alone on that thing. The more people work on one goal, the easier it gets.

Crowdsouring in design could have a different view. So what are the pros and the cons of crowdsouring in design?

Well, I strongly believe that in every situation crowdsouring could have a positive affect. It is because more people could achieve the main aim faster and prepare a better quality together. On the other hand , people could say that more persons take and more time but I would disagree and say that, if you know how to manage and divide the work in a small groups,the aim can be reached faster. 

Anyway,some designers would like to work individually and go on their way alone. I would suggest them at least sometimes try to become as a part of a group and evaluate their work quality with other people. That is the best way for development!

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Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Corner of my minds

week five : creative mush

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The impact of size on a group’s efficiency seems to be understated by many. In my personal opinion, larger groups have the tendency to turn a multitude of ideas into a pile of mush, for lack of a better term. In a large group, one may quickly realize the extent of compromises imposed in an attempt to realize a product. The personality, or culture, of a project can therefore become weaker. Smaller groups of, say, five or fewer active team members streamline the creative process by imposing a more conversational method of productivity. While some may argue against smaller teams, citing the lack of diverse idea generation, it is obvious that in the context of larger group work, tasks are rendered most effective when broken apart amongst dedicated members.

It is also important to consider the ways in which culture plays a role in teamwork. To that point, I say that either the chemistry is there, or that one or no team members saw their ideas through. I believe that if everyone feels appreciated by the other group members, the chance that the respective project will hit a chord with audiences is much higher. And larger groups do not tend to that need very easily, leaving perhaps several members astray.

In the context of my petite group of four, the efficiency of task completion is throttled. It took a single meeting to bounce ideas off of each other and arrive at a somewhat concrete plan. This was due to our ability to orchestrate a controlled conversation about our NGO and in part due to the amazing speed at which we arrived at the designation of our roles in the project. The latter depended on the unique circumstances involved and may not offer any useful work-template for other teams. In the coming weeks, it will be useful to establish a mutual understanding of how to go about finalizing our concepts with our client.

Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: http://projcomm.tumblr.com/

WHAT DO YOU HOLD ON TO? I choose to hold on to my group’s goal – together for the better.

I just watched the video that Nancy posted in the Open Innovator group: 

Trust Is Worth The Risk. Don’t Take It From Us, Take It From These Acrobats. (In collaboration with Cirque du Soleil)

… Who do you trust? How do you see trust? Fork? Reaching hands?…

I call it LUCK!

We were put together in this group for Project communities by the teachers. We didn’t choose our partners. We barely knew anyone back then and still barely know most of the people in the course. This was all just fixed for us without our say in it. But it worked. It works so far. Or maybe we were just lucky… We trust each other. I don’t know how or why, we simply do. I think we won’t be able to work otherwise. Trust is something very fragile, but for now we have been only making it more stable.

And it is so strange how our little group with missing members turned out to be our advantage. Somehow we ended up all the right people together. We have one that is good with contacts, we have our tech steward, we have our researcher.. and they have me - to help them put it all together. Each one of us contributes in a different but also in a very important way. When you have a small group, you have to make it very efficient in order to get all the work done in time.

Insights on group sizes:

During our discussion on the week theme of group sizes we found out how we can channel our advantages. The small groups are operated easily and also we had a very productive brainstorming. Our internationality and  our previous experiences also contributed a lot. We come from really different environments and we have worked on projects that have nothing to do with each other. This bring us great diversity and a broader reach to people and information outside the group. 

We tried as well working and discussing in pairs and individually we do the research because in that way we achieve more creativity. I believe we add the so called “edges” from the video: Chris Corrigan on Group size in Innovation and Opened design

There always has to be something that makes it difficult. Otherwise we won’t improve.

Some of our challenges were to narrow down the ideas, to see what can we really put forward at this moment and from our position. We have to be very careful with choosing the right approach regarding to what audience we want to attract. We are still deciding on some platforms and looking at possibilities. The biggest challende is to find something that will suit the case of the NGO. I think today actually we made a big step ahead. We finally got to have our second Google Hangout with Elizabeth McIntosh. We were focussed on our chosen ideas but we wanted her to say which ways are more convenient. We wish that our ideas are going to be brought to life and are really going to make a difference for PAGE. That is why it is so important to us that she will be able to operate these networks and that she feels comfortable doing so. We also shared our insights from the extra reading material on group sizes. And we got to know more about the organization itself. We really hope she will find something useful to apply in her circles.

A HAND reaching ro HELP:

The task that she gave us to think about is what can we suggest to her team for the times when they have to work separetely, at a bigger distance…?? Yeah, the first thing that pops to mind is the “magical” Internet, but what is the best way? Especially, when the coverage in the county is not so good. We will have to see if we can give her a shoulder on this one. :) 

So far, so far… and how further can we go?

 Our group has been going very well, but there is always better. We would have to think about the video. We try to think in advance of future obstacles. In the up-coming weeks we have to start testing out some of our ideas. Also, we are going to help Liz with some marketing for her current events.

We believe that it is not only about social media help. This is how we decided to put our main work more on the local area. But we won’t forget to tap into the world’s online ocean of hands offering trier trustworthiness.

Thank you, co-workers! ;)

I don’t feel like there is so much to change in our group work at the moment. I’m not afraid to reach out my hand for help anytime, nor am I hasitating on offering one for the rest of the members. Today I was sitting there… looking at Sai and Paul talking and enjoying the work. I was just contemplating for a moment. I was thinking about how we go to lunch all together and how we have fun after the “real deal”of the meetings. I think this is what makes the pole of trust stronger. I honestly believe that we are becoming friends… it takes time, but hell ! it feels good :) 
I will be looking forward to seeing their point of view. And maybe their suggestions about the group work. Who knows? Maybe it can be even better? 

Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: My staircase to MILLENNIUM

10 posts!



10 posts!

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Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: A glimpse into Isabella's mind

Better Big Groups or Small Groups?/Small Groups Team

On my personal opinion, the size of the groups depend on where this groups belong. My (small) group and I were discussing this during todays class at Project Communities and we noticed there are some cases, like inside a dance class, where the bigger the group the better; but for working/studying environments, small groups will always work better. 

I find my (small) group as a completely functional environment where every time we set a meeting we know we are going to work in that meeting, and not to chit chat around and waste the time. I find everyone in this group useful and necessary to achieve our goals. Of course, that can only be in a small group, because in a big group there will always be persons that can be substituted and others that will not work at all.

Another important thing when making groups is the culture of each member of the team. Culture can play a very important part when it comes to choice making and with the process of thinking and brainstorming. In our group, for example, we have Paul who is from USA, just as our NGO, PAGE, so he can give us a more objective view about the solutions, because he knows the current situation in USA, and how do most people react towards our NGO’s situation.

Sometimes, being assigned to a certain group is difficult, and even more difficult is having an assigned group with a fixed cause/task/goal. When you have to work together with some other people to achieve something at the end, and not all the members of the group are fully committed to the goals that had been defined, working harmoniously and smooth will definitely be a problem. Maybe this doesn’t applies entirely to our group, but I can speak for myself when saying I would have never worked on this if I hadn’t been assigned to it. In this case I am good with it because I am still a bachelor, but if I hit into this same bump in my professional life I will be very pissed off. In my opinion, when working in a profesional environment, if you obligate someone to join your group and your cause, without this person sharing your ideals and goals, this would be the most useless person in the history of useless persons. Forced tasks and groups should be kept hidden on the abysm pits from where they come from.

So far, my group has functioned very well, we are all committed to the cause, despite if we share it or not, and we are all busting our brains to really make something different. I think we may achieve that goal at the end of the first term, when we need to handle in our video. We still have a lot of work to do, but the progress is palpable.

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Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: A glimpse into Isabella's mind

Small but very productive!

Working teams- that is the most important thing about this project. Everything depends on how good is your group and I am really happy about mine.

During the first weeks I was thinking why some groups have 7 members and we have only 4 . It looked that we will have to work twice more than others but that was not right. Our group works very well and very productive despite the fact we are only 4 persons. We easily divide tasks and prepare it fast enough. We make group meetings and enjoy working together. We do not have any problems inside the group and every task we get is accomplished really quick and correct.So I could say,that small groups work faster because we know very well our tasks and it is easy to comment some of them among a few persons. 

What is more,  the size of our group helps to keep a good communication with our NGO because Hangouts and other things are much easier to make at one time all together than in a bigger group of people. 

Second thing about our group is culture differences. The thing that all of us are from different countries helps to keep the same communication language. Talking about my past experience, I was working in some projects where more than 2 persons are from the same country and they always prefer to speak in their own language to each other despite the fact you do not understand them. That really decrease the efficiency of group work. So ,different countries and different cultures help us to work better and keep us together as a team.

However, sometimes bigger groups could have some more advantages. A bigger group can find more ideas and give better tips related with their tasks. This is a challenging part of a small group that you have to put much more effort, if you want to participate and achieve best results.

Comparing smaller and bigger groups, anyway, I would stay in the same 4 persons group because we complete our tasks very well and get a good feedback ,which means that we do not need to change anything and we are small but very productive group! 

Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Corner of my minds