Wednesday, October 15th
We have two areas of focus this week: online communities for marketing, user feedback and customer support, and considering how to evaluate our work.
You have the purpose. You have the social architecture in terms of group type, size, and configuration. You have the technology. A product is no good if it isn’t put to use. There is one more critical element – the way we actually interact with each other and how we can make the most of that. This implies a Marketing strategy, one kind of facilitation for the client to gain access to potential users. Marketing can be a formal role taken on by the NGO, or it can be distributed across the people and done informally and in an emergent manner. This week we will look at online marketing in general, where it is similar and different to offline marketing, and then explore what practices might be useful in any of the different contexts you are exploring in your groups.
What online architecture, tools and processes successfully help designers connect their products to markets for marketing, user feedback and customer support? What differentiates these from other types of open innovation online groups and environments?
Use of a product is an indicator of impact. The final of the design process is i for impact; the realization of the changes and innovations. If we care about impact, we need ways to know if impact has happened. We need to pay attention.
This week you will also look at ways to monitor and assess the success of the online interactions and spaces you have been researching and explore the value propositions we started with in the first two weeks. There are lots of lofty claims about the power of the internet for groups and networks for innovative design. How do we assess that claim? How do we assess it for open and innovative design? How might our NGO’s check to see if the proposed impact would be a success? Can you think of a way to test this to predict your assumptions?
What is the value proposition today for communities and networks for open innovation design for your NGO in terms of marketing, user feedback and user/customer support? What elements of these are relevant to their challenge and how can online groups and networks address those elements? Describe a potential strategy, point to some relevant examples and justify your recommendations.
How could they MEASURE their proposal in terms of being successful? Design a simple monitoring and evaluation approach for your NGO.
Now it is time to start putting all the pieces together. Imagine you are back in front of the NGO. What would you tell them? Is it worth investing in these areas? Thinking of your NGO “client,” what trends would you advise them to pay attention to? Summarize your arguments and post to the community site. What is your final recommendation to them based on your research? What monitoring and evaluation strategy should they put in place to assure they reach their goals? This is to be part of your final presentation.
Personal Blog Reflection Prompt:
This week’s reflection question is simple. Through your research, what have you learned about using online communities and networks in innovative design? What are your design principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks based on your experience in this course and your project? What is the next thing you want to learn about this topic? Why? What is your plan for learning it?
Beth Kanter on measurement:
Chapter 10 of Digital Habitats
Learning objective: Students can give the NGO the advice on how to market their project to the customer community. Students can analyze, explain, and evaluate what they have learned on all 4 themes and demonstrate how they will aid communities with these skills in their weekly blogs.