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 Tagged den haag

“Nocturnal”

I write this post after a night working on a video on After Effects even if I will publish it tomorrow morning, if I will wake up. If I don’t, tell my boyfriend I loved him and that I’m dead fighting for what I believed: that After Effects is a total, crazy SHIT!

Now, after this emblematic intro, let’s start with the real post.

"Nocturnal" is the very last post of this course. The title is inspired by the book of the Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio "Notturno" (eng trans: Nocturnal) that he wrote while he was temporarily blind. Well I am writing this while I am temporarily (I hope) in a catatonic state, almost dead because of the video finished (not totally) at 3 am. This is my "nocturnal".

TOOLS

Our tools for video making are Illustrator (for single pieces) and After Effects (to make them move, etc..). At the beginning everything seemed ok, normal, After Effects looked a normal software able to do everything. What I didn’t know was the timing…

With an average of 4-5 hours of work per minute it is probably the slowest tool you could ever use for video-making, even stop-motion is probably faster! Moreover even if it seems very user-friendly you can experiment terribly different results, you don’t know why, but After Effects does.

I forgot to mention other important tools: coffees and cigarettes. With an average of 7-8 coffes per day and 7-8 cigarettes I managed to finish this video without collapsing on the computer (and maybe I would fix it because it is slowly dying too).

RESULTS

Now I have a video, that is not finished yet, that I hate even if it is not that bad. We still have to put the final part with group picture and credits. Nothing special or difficult anyway. On the other hand I am completely not living without coffees or cigarettes (I know it is called addiction but it is such a bad word) and now I finished both so be careful tomorrow (today?) morning! In my apartment I had a reenactment of the Korean war with packages of American cookies, speculaas, chocolate everywhere. A chair is now in front of the sofa and I don’t remember why. Tomorrow I will take some picture.

REFLECTION

I want to use After Effects once more for Personal Branding because I don’t have time to learn another software but it will be the LAST TIME. I discovered that with Prezi it is way easier and faster! Moreover the result is definitively better. There is plenty of softwares that are actually better than After Effects, maybe somehow it is better if you really know how to use it but I don’t, I have just learned since 2 weeks what do we want to expect? 

Anyway, now I calm down and I go to sleep. I have to say that I am a bit happy. I managed to learn a new software, and I used it even if it was terrible and I produced something in two weeks. Maybe the result won’t be so perfect like if I would have used prezi or a camera or stop-motion, etc… but it is a result with a lot of effort behind so, I think it is worth something, even if only personal. 

Now I will go to sleep, I finish this project even if not in a perfect status, I am worried and a bit tired but I am also motivated to go to the end of it. I will do it.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Community, Group 1, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: A road to the plain

I work with floating people

This course made me reflect about the relationships between the elements involved in the system of the online communities for innovation. I specified "for innovation" because the goal changes the structure of our web constructions. Let me explain this better;

THE GOAL

Online communities are generally a subjective system (this is also important, each person has a different online community) created by an individual and a bunch of weird people floating in the air. I know it is a creepy description but it works. Well, I can interact with these people through different means: social networks, blogs, wikipedia, crowdfunding websites, etc… nothing difficult here. Now, think to this structure, it misses something. It’s the goal. Without a goal it is pointless to use it! Different goals will change the shape of the community involved. If I am feeling alone and I want to find new friends I will use different networks to reach a selected number of floating people (I am alone, not desperate) and then I will change the relationship into a face-to-face one. On the other hand if I want to chat with a friend I just need to reach her/him and communicate (or her/his mother, father, sister, dog if she/he is not answering.. No, I am not desperate).

Now, let’s change this goal with a "design goal". Our project is a perfect example. Yes, I have a NGO but I can just take its purpose and translate it as my goal, it will make things quicker. Well let’s analyse what I learned about this love triangle: me, the online community and the project/purpose.

               

THE NEED

First, very important part is the need. Floating people have to express a need that could involve my project, my service. There are two different ways to approach this element. You can “feel the need” and design a solution or, and that’s our case, create/adapt the need to your project.

That could sound deceitful, but it is not (if it is not done by Apple). Look at our NGO, few people really think a Tiny House Community is a solution to a need, however the space on this world is decreasing and we are overusing our resources and that’s a problem, that’s a need. Money is also decreasing and we are living over our possibilities, that’s a problem too! "Creating the need" means to make these people aware that there is a different way of living!

To study the need we can use our marketing strategies. I love the Purple Goldfish Strategy (not only because of its name). It is all about what can you give that others can’t. In an ocean of red goldfish ( or orange or yellow, that’s the colour anyway!) what makes you “purple”? Merging it with the need you get something to make your difference even more powerful! Indeed if you have something the others don’t and it is something that people really need (or think they need or discover they need) you have a huge potential.

THE AWARENESS

This is the base of every interaction me-community, without it everything becomes useless, it is the crowdsourcing part of our course. Unfortunately we don’t live in a world where investors just knock at your door (or if they do they do it when you are in the bathroom), people won’t help you in your project if they don’t know it. Here we have many different way to make people aware. I continue to say that Twitter is one of the best one, but also Youtube (why not? Make a video and spread it through Twitter, Facebook, etc..). You could also think to more traditional tools. Why don’t use the “creative guerrilla strategy”? It’s a old (but not that old) marketing strategy that involves strong graphic works. In these works there is something that excites your curiosity (the color, a shape, a huge written like “BOOBS” or “SEX"(you see it worked?)), then if you look at them closer you will find all the informations or a message with a website, etc… It is a manual thing but you can use stickers with this kind of messages and spread them around, in a zone or a city easily and it’s very enjoyable to create these kind of graphic works. Returning to web awareness system we also chose to create events for our NGO, to make people understand that these tiny houses are very cozy and clean, not like in TV shows! In this case, probably Facebook is the best events spreading system.

Example of Guerrilla style campaign by Benetton (that in the meanwhile is exploiting chinese children to make clothes. Here it is another important thing for a project, consistency)

THE FINANCING

Financing is an action that you (aware) community does with your project. An important rule in this topic is “nothing is for nothing”. You have always to remember that people don’t give money for free, you have to give them something. On the other hand you have to give them something that doesn’t make you lose money, it could seem obvious but it is not. Fundraising is something precise, you should fix a goal, a number, you starting money, what can you offer, its cost… It is complicated, you have to be very careful when you organise a fundraising campaign and collect/use numerical data and measurements for it if you want to earn money. I have already talked about many other details in crowdfunding/microfinancing in my previous post. I actually didn’t know anything about it before I did this course (really, I was thinking to bag-snatches as fundraising tool before that) so, I think this is a great achievement!

THE GROUP

It could happen that you have an idea but you can’t do it by yourself. Let’s think about a videogame, maybe you have ideas about the story, the effects and you can draw 3D characters for it (you lucky girl/boy, I am not able to use Photoshop properly!) but you don’t know how to link the commands to movements, you have not any experience about computer programming! Well, here you can use again your online community! You can find partners that will help you in it. We learned how to manage a group in our course. For example for a videogame I would recommend you to work in group of three, so you can have a better control of the progress and, as Chris Corrigan said, you are more creative and that’s important for a videogame even if you lose “diversity” but, if you start with a clear idea of what you want to do you only need people who can help you in completing it (creativity). (I thought that a practical example would be the best way to express what I learned)

MAKE IT BETTER (BETTER, BETTER, BETTER…ok it is not about Beatles)

This is something I would like to explore. It is about those networks created to share a design idea and to use gathered feedback to make it better. It would be anyway a personal creation because the “deep style” is characteristic of the designer, but functions and shapes are modified by other future users or designers. Many web design competitions work like that, involving the customer/user in the creation of the final object. However the customer/user will give some tips but is the designer that has to translate them in a visual form. It could be very interesting to understand how to use it in the future to create a sort of “crowdesigning" and anyway, it is very challenging. I think that the best way to learn it is to participate or look to design competitions and analyse reactions to each work to understand if they could be valuable in the final elaboration. I would also like to see on the web if someone has already created something like that (we are in 2014, when you create something it is already created… except an easy way to go to gym).

      

  

WHAT ELSE?

Well, this course taught me all these things above about managing a project in an online environment and dealing with online communities. Obviously these are terribly important in our future, people are digitalising their lives (take a train and look around you, how many people do you see with the mobile in their hands? Probably a lot), if we will be able to meet those people on the web and to understand their needs and their thoughts we will be able to create new products that will totally change the world. Old ways of designing are slowly fading away except the strongest ones (that’s why i mentioned guerrilla). We have to find a new space to extend our networks and to link ourselves. The web gives us the possibility to do it remembering to not exaggerate using it. Our lives are here in the real world, not with floating people :) Well, stay connected for next post! I think I added enough pictures on this post, moreover I have in my mind an artistic representation of a floating person but I don’t remember the artist or the name, do you have some idea? See you next time!! :)

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Community, Group 1, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: A road to the plain

A future without memories

I decided to make a second post this week because there is a topic that deserves at least an entire discussion. It is also about questions asked in our “syllabus”: what did you learn about technology? how do you research technology? The last question in my opinion deals with our ability to look forward and anticipate what a technology will create and cause in our society.

So, first, probably the most important thing we learnt about technology is that is not only science. It is not immediate, it won’t show itself right away, at once, so we need to research, to reflect about it. Actually this is something most people forget and we make big mistakes. We take and use a software, a system because “it is easier, it is user friendly” and other stuff big companies think we need (or make we think we need) but actually we are wrong. I think that developing the wrong means we are losing a part of our richness (cultural richness).

For example I started this reasoning thinking to the digital photos, we could print them, but we don’t, Why? Because we developed most the digital storages for them then fast printing systems. If I want to print them at HEMA I have to go there, try to upload them (and it is not easy thanks to their crappy machines), wait for some time and go to take them after a while. Why we didn’t developed a cheap, easy and fast way to print them? (I should buy an EXPENSIVE photo printer, the EXPENSIVE photos paper, etc…) We didn’t because it was easier to store them in a Hard Disk. However how many times we lose some of these photos when we move them from an HD to another? Or we think we won’t need them anymore because we need more space, etc etc… And what’s the result? We are developing a future without memories. I can still watch pictures (printed) I have at home taken 15 years ago but it is hard to find pictures of 4-5 years ago!

So that’s another thing I learned about technology, don’t take the easy way, often it is not the best one! Think! Think before deciding how to do something, before deciding software, computer, system, etc… We would have so much more if we would have thought about what we were doing.

Another personal example? Ok, when I was a child (like 20 years ago) I used to listen to my grandpa’s old vinyls. They were really old and the authors of these songs were not famous, I can’t find them on Youtube. Well, I lost part of my memories because we changed through cassettes, discs, etc… without thinking to a cheap and easy way to transfer data, we just thought about an easy way to use them, spreading products that required them. Only in the last transition disc-USB we had computers that could transfer music (but I am almost sure it was a coincidence).

Here is the second answer to "how do you research?". Well, there are many means but the most basic and important one is reflecting. Just reflect. Use Google, Wikipedia, Yahoo answers, whatever you want but after you have enough information just stop and reflect: “is that the best way? What will happen if I use it? Can I use other means?”.

We had many generations just acting without thinking and now we have environmental pollution, Israel and Palestine, economic crisis. Each of these generations destroyed part of our culture in a different way (also improved it but we need to start to think improvements that are not devouring our world). Our generation, is struggling to clean our planet, to fight wars but is creating another problem: we created technology addictions, we erased and gave part of our life and our brain to computers (that are not reliable, did you see Windows 8? Would you really trust it?).

On the other hand we was born in a society that changed quickly and easily, we adapt, we know how to change. Well, let’s change, let’s think about what are we doing, let’s think not only to opportunities of technology but also to its limits. Here is the final thing I learned from this course, I will write it and just finish like that the post, because it is resuming everything and it is better to reflect on it.

I learned that technology is powerful, that it can completely change the world for the better and the worse and I learned that is humankind that will lead this change. 

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Community, Group 1, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: A road to the plain

Shouting as loud as you can

There is not a big difference between the real interactions and those of the web. You can find big similarities in the way you talk with other people in the world and our “Me, We, Networks” model. While in your life you can modulate the tone of your voice in the internet environment you can change network, while you can choose where and in which geographical and social context you can speak in the internet environment you change your community and your tools to define the audience (my loved and passionate relationship with hashtags is an example). Let me explain this better.

We can imagine our web uses and informations sharing as a normal dialogue in real life: we can whisper with one person because we are talking behind someone’s back (do not do the “goody-goody”, I know you did it about that annoying and overwhelming person that continues to bother you each single day in your existence), we can mumble loudly alone and if someone else hears us even better or we can take a soap box and start a tirade on the deviant costumes of our years (that was the favourite way of latin people but, be careful, Cicero was beheaded).

Our model follows this sequence, “me" is when we put online informations  without a direct reader (or listener, it depends on your network) but we know that we can be "read" by someone or we don’t really matter. That can be a good way to reflect, writing let us organise our ideas and let us remember them because they are saved on the web, on the other hand people can anyway help us, answering to our posts even if that is not really needed.

We" is built with all the interactions we make with people we know or that is working with us. It is like speaking with a person we know but nobody else is supposed to hear us. It is about organisation of activities, sharing infos or feelings we don’t want to give to others (or we don’t need to) or building relationships. It is a weird mix of works and feelings but that is probably the weird nature of the “human groups”.

The Network is completely different, it is not about human individual nature like the previous two, it is about the human behavior and how we can as individuals affect it. With networks we share ideas, we share thoughts and we want that everyone knows them, we want that people agree with us or give us suggestions to improve our ideas, to make them stronger. An ideal network would be able to build a common human idea by sharing and modifying a previous one. Obviously that is not possible, the essence of the mankind is the man, the individual, the one and her/his different values, we can link people with same values but we can’t create a unique common values set able to regulate our whole knowledge, we can’t create a unique common consciousness (the ones who tried to actually developed the worst errors in our history).

The tools of me, we and network can be similar, however the use and the usefulness can provide a grade for each tool in each “category" (that’s a good way to define them). Let me make an example, Facebook’s notes are a good way to reflect as "me" but Tumblr will let me store all my thoughts in  one page and people that share my same interests can help me to improve my reflections.

On the other hand Facebook is the best and the fastest mean for the “group” category, I can easily share everything with a limited group of people, or with one people through the chat, I don’t think there is a better way to quickly share our status to our whole friends.

However Facebook is terrible as a network, I can make people know my ideals with FB, the hashtags system is something still unknown even if now I can use them (that is really stupid considered the normal privacy settings we have). Facebook gather too many private informations, they can’t be shared by reasonable people. Twitter, I will repeat it till my death, Twitter is the best way to share infos to a huge audience.

That can be broaden using hashtags (specialists audience uses hashtags to immediately see what they need). I mean, every category can be broaden using hashtags, even the “me” (but not Facebook, I tried to use them, they don’t work, it is just weird!!!). Tumblr can easily switch from “me” to network using these and other systems.

Our NGO in particular should shift from the exclusive use of Facebook to the use of real network’s means: Twitter, Tumblr with pictures and a personal regional website! Participating at events around Florida with flyers for example is a good “real way” to increase awareness! Let’s leave FB for group meetings and internal, private stuff!

Now, I have a lot more to say and to tell but I think my teachers wouldn’t appreciate, probably they are feeling really sleepy at the moment so, it is better to stop here. Stay connected and wait for the next post if this one didn’t bore you to death! Bye!

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Community, Group 1, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: A road to the plain

The man is a social animal

This title is a short answer to the question about my online technology skills. I am not able to use complex technologies or codes to deeply manage my online world. I have never studied Computer Sciences and I grew up in what I call the “Bridge generation”, the generation that saw the rising of Internet but that was not born in an Internet environment. I can notice it with my younger brother: he is able to replicate my moves when using technological objects, I learned to do these “moves” in many years.

However I have different skills, maybe not technical skills but still useful. I have a good knowledge of social networking, I know how to make people read my posts using hashtags and I know how to connect and use different social networks. That could seem actually stupid, I know, but even if anyone can post on Facebook, it’s difficult to make people really read what you posted.

I have to admit that FB is a great communication tool between people you really know but it’s not the best advertising way for NGOs or organisations in general. I definitively prefer Twitter, you can spam your thoughts and everybody can read them, using the right hashtag you will spread your ideas easily. Tumblr is a good mean but with a different purpose, it is perfect if you want to share pictures or complex “orations” or music. Another important tool is Instagram, it is completely useless alone but, if linked with Twitter it will give you the pictures’ strength like Tumblr and the spam rate.

I think that personal preferences are only partially involved in choosing an online tool. Let me make an example, if in my work team someone suggests a different idea we just have to choose the one that is best suitable for the situation and it is very difficult that they can be considered both valuable in the same way. If we are working for a political party and we have to spread their values, well, Twitter! You can also use Facebook and whatever you want but you need to use Twitter as main network. If you have to sponsor an artist you have to use Tumblr! That’s what I think about social networks, actually for me is really difficult to think about other more complex ideas like “create a web platform/hub”, etc.. because I really don’t know how to create or how to manage them.

About the so called Technology Stewardship, well, it is difficult. First, I am not a technology steward, as you can read above I can be a communicator, an “advertising agent” but not a technology stewart, I am not skilled enough. With our NGO this is a problem, we have to try to provide great solutions that we are not able to build like a “web platform” or we just need to use what we know? What is their technological level? These are important questions we will ask them. I don’t really know yet where we should “stop” with technological solutions or where we should explore new ways.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Community, Group 1, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: A road to the plain