NOTE: This is a full archive for the Project Community: You & The World (2013) please see the main site for the most up to date information.

All Posts Published at: Aureole

This Is It !

We’re almost done, and surprisingly I’m not as stressed as two weeks ago, relating to the project for our NGO. Since we realized, that this is the final spurt, we try to get the best out of each other to finish this project with an excellent and reach our goal in time.

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.

-Henry Ford - credits to http://www.brainyquote.com/

I really do hope, our Video and Advices can help Maarten, and accordingly Solidaridad. In the past weeks, we spent a lot of time thinking about how to deliver our insights and ideas in an informative and understandable way. But this week’s blogpost is about our reference to using online communities and networks in innovative design

Well, I’m sure that each theme we’ve been through during our project, is important and useful in it’s own way. A design process is set up with a lot of impacts and steps, but the most important thing is the financing of a project. It’s strange, for me to say that money is the most important factor of realizing a design project because actually I think it’s not the key to success. 

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Still, money enables an innovator to afford all the required things to start with an projects. The materials, the right people, the manufacturing are all important things but cost you money. 

Before Project Community I didn’t knew what crowdfunding is good for, and how it could help in a design process. Ever since, I concern myself more with crowdfunding, I noticed that a lot of people in my circle of acquaintances is already using crowdfunding. Like this project from two young film directors from frankfurt (my hometown) who need money to realize their documentary film about the gangs of frankfurt in the early 90s, and my cousin is one of the protagonists. 

http://www.startnext.de/tokat

In exchange for contributing, the supporters get benefits like the DVD or even invitation as a VIP-guest at the premier. 

The next part of my blogpost is about design principles for an online community or network. During our project we had to comb through various websides and do researches. For me the old-fashioned quote 'less is more' counts most ! It is easier to orient oneself on a webside with an easy and simple layout. I prefer pale and light colors in web designs, because it looks more professional. In addition the focus is just on the main message of the webside and is not distracted by too strong colors. Since I set high value on aesthetic, it is a large impact for me in web design. Though I like mystery and brainteaser sometimes, in this case,  clear and understandable content is important. At least honesty - in my opinion it is crucial in design. Creating something without believing in it, will lead to an unsatisfying result. If you’re not being honest with what you do, you won’t market it; you won’t reach the people. Being honestly will make the people believe in what you do and none of them can be disappointed. 

To get to the end of this very last blogpost I would like to use the space for some insights and advices for the upcoming next years IDE students. In the beginning we were an confused, scattered crowd without a clue what to do and how. But I can see a progress and development concerning our way of working. My tip would be to set up goals within your projects. It helps to have a project done, step by step. So you can continue when everything is clear. 

credits to http://kosherkitschen.onsugar.com/

A clear structure and routines are necessary, while working in a group needs a distinct system. Our weekly meetings with or without our tutor were very helpful, since questions and issues can be solved. Take your time to get used to everything but try to put your energy in your teamwork because otherwise you won’t be satisfied in the end. Instead of trying to do everything at once, try to do it step by step. Imagine it like a staircase - you can never reach the door at the end of the staircase with just one step. 

credits to http://nationalagentsalliancesales.com/

Thanks for reading or browsing my blog, i hope I can reach people out there who gain insights from my blogposts and support my ideas. 

credits to http://quiltish.blogspot.nl

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Aureole

The end is near

Time goes by so fast, this weeks, I didn’t even noticed that we’re getting closer to the end, thus to our goal. I really liked the picture of the creative process Anne used in her blogpost, because this is exactly how it is. This picture below gave me the final reality check, but so far, i can’t answer the question. 

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Credits: http://thephoenix.com/Boston/

The things we learned in the past weeks, helped me understand how communities and companies work and how much afford you have to put in your work. And it helped me understand what is needed for our NGO Solidaridad. So what can be relevant to our NGO and how could they make use of it. To get to this conclusion, first I’ll summarize the main impacts of the previous weeks.

Working in a team means collaborate, support and create ideas, you couldn’t think of by yourself. We learned how to get the best out of a team, by diversify different group sizes and divide tasks. Distribute various group roles like a teamleader, a timekeeper and so on, can be very helpful, since this creates a structure and we all know that it is way easier to work with a structured system instead of just gambling and tossing around. Especially in groups with so many different nationalities and cultures. But as you can see it is all about collaboration. As in crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. It is a way to involve a broader community to your work. Crowdsourcing for example gives people the chance to participate in a design process, by  giving feedback, share ideas and contribute. Crowdfunding is a opportunity for designers, companies or normal human beings, to gain financial support for a upcoming project. But the nice thing about it is, that the supporters are also normal human beings, who likes your ideas and trust in your projects. 

The important thing about a problem is not its solution, but the strength we gain in finding the solution

Still, collaboration doesn’t mean to completely forget about each individual part of a team, to get to the actual reason for this blogpost. 

Our challenge is, to introduce Drupal Commons to Solidaridad. Which basically means, to help Maarten (our NGO), persuade the members of the nine Regional Expertise Centres to use Drupal Commons. I think the theme Me-We-Network will be of the most use towards our goal of solving our NGO’s unmet needs. What they need is an intra- en extranet for wider knowledge exchange, for sharing news and documents.  So far, they communicate only via e-mail or skype. Since they don’t want to spend too much time or money on new technologies, a simple and easy to use Network would be a great impact. With Drupal Commons they could have full control of their own platform. They don’t have this possibility with Facebook, which they only use for Marketing and to keep their supporters up-to-date (which was also our main topic this week). In our group, we worked out a good opportunity to also set value on the Me-part, by creating personal profiles for each member, with profile settings. Containing basic information like age, name, picture, but also country and timezone, to be able to arrange meetings. And in addition it is a way to inform other members about the projects you’re working on at the moment and sharing your trajectory. Hopefully our recommendations will be helpful to Maarten and we will reach our goal with a happy smile and turning the end into a good thing !

Solidaridad Network Facebook Page

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Aureole

Working together is a success

Crowdfunding is nothing new. Most people don’t know is that the Statue of Liberty was crowdfunded. In the late 1800’s, the Statue of Liberty almost didn’t make it across the ocean, because The American Committee couldn’t raise enough money to finance the pedestal on which the Statue should stand. Joseph Pulitzer and his newspaper ‘the World’ involved the American people in his campaign to complete the monumental project, by using a earlier form of crowdfunding. Due to this campaign he was able to fund the lacking 100,000$ of total 300,000$ to build the pedestal, while the over 120,000 donations were in most cases less than a dollar. 

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Before Project Community I had no idea what the definition of crowdsourcing or crowdfunding is. But after watching couple of videos, scanning crowdfunding websites and reading through a lot of campaigns I got a notion of it. I used to know platforms that use the power of the crowd by gathering enough votes for petitions. I think it’s a good way to reach all the people in the world, who wants to be involved and who wants to help. By making a project public and asking for help, both sides can benefit from each other. Just like in the story above, in which the people who helped with a donor, got a miniature statuette. This souvenir made them feel like a part of the building. And that is the nice thing about crowdfunding. It is about reaching people, who likes your ideas and want to help you, realizing them. For me, it’s surprising to see, how much the people trust in these projects and in their founders, by donating and actually not asking for anything in return.

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By writing this blog following questions are coming up like…

Who are these people, donating for this projects ?

What was the main reason, for supporting this projects ?

How safe are all the crowdfunding websites or campaigns ? 

How much is in it for the crowdfunding websides themselves ? 

How many of these projects actually reach their goals ?

So while designers use crowdfunding only for raising enough money to finance their own projects, crowdsourcing is used to share, exchange and generate ideas and work together. Although I think a designer also should have his freedom creating new ideas. 

In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.”

~Rollo May

Indeed, with solitude you keep focused and it’s quite, but maybe it’s too quiet ?

Because Human beings (including designers) are still “social” animals, who are designed to mingle. With this conclusion another question comes up

Which tasks are given in crowdsourcing ? 

How can you make the best use of crowdsourcing ?

Well here are just a few cases of crowdsourcing. A webdesigner for example, could get feedback on his webside before making it public. Or the webside ‘Couchsurfing’. A social platform where people all over the world offer their couches, beds and even rooms to traveling people. Another good example is Crowdjourney a website which offers help for the people that want to crowdfund, to create a video to spread the word. 

Obviously working in a crowd, collaborate and trusting each other is a good way that leads us to success !

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Aureole

Teamwork makes a dream work

I think the best way to introduce this weeks blog prompt is to start with a quote of Henry Ford, which describes the success of teamwork.

'Coming together is a beginning.

Keeping together is a progress.

Working together is success. ‘

In the previous 5 weeks we were ‘forced’ to work in several groups with randomly picked group members together. The start was never easy, because we didn’t knew each other well and on top of that was this big cultural difference between all of us. But after a while i started to understand what the idea behind these groupworks is. It is the best way to experience new, challenging situations and get to know each other better. I guess without these groupworks i wouldn’t have had the chance to talk to all of the colleagues i worked with. We experienced different kinds of teamwork and group sizes, from groups of 2 to groups of 12. It is about getting the best out of your group by pulling together.

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Especiallyin the groups formed for Project Community, cooperation and collaboration are main impacts. We are a rather big group of 7 people with 6 different nationalities and in addition the group consists of 6 girls and one boy. I couldn’t even imagine a better mixed up group than ours, but i really enjoy working together with them. Each of us is very enthusiastic and willing to work, and that motivates me. We can laugh and have fun together but in the same time also work intensively together. We are aware of each other and always helpful. We get along in spite of the size of our group. What is the theme of Week 5 - Group size.

Since we spend so much time together in meetings, we intensify our work and become more and more one strong chain instead of single pieces. What works really well in our team is that we listen to each other carefully and respond. Everyone brings his own ideas and insights and we try to gain the best result out of it. Though sometimes it’s just a mess, when we’re exhausted or hungry, but we still can pull ourselves together and motivate each other. 

Actually I never thought about the impact of culture in a group because totally forget about the nationality of my group members when we are together, because we talk in a universal language. I am an open-minded person and vey curious about other cultures and their habits, thats why I really appreciate these differences between us. 

Though I can see a good development from meeting to meeting, we still can improve as a team. In the future I will try to focus deeply on our project and prepare myself before we meet to get sure, we can quickly start working and reflecting. It’s not about finishing your individual given assignment, moreover it is about helping each other whenever and wherever we can, because…

'If you want to go fast, go alone.
 If you want to go far, go together.’

(-african proverb)

At the very end I want to share this advertise with you, which shows how teamwork can lead you to success. 

The Power of Teamwork

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Aureole

‘Online access ‘a human right’

that is what Mark Zuckerberg (founder of facebook) said when he realized that the majority of our world population have no access to the ‘world wide web’.

For us, it is a matter of course that we have online access almost everywhere. It is rather strange nowadays, when you visit someone who has no wifi, because we are used to be connected all the time.

We are the digital natives ! 


My first online interaction started with Myspace - a social network platform with a strong music emphasis, which enables you to create an own profile using html, upload pictures and participate in different groups. I had no similarities with the people in my school or my hometown, and myspace helped me find people with the same interests, because the average user was between 15-25 years old. And the most important thing about it is, that i met my best friend through Myspace 6 years ago. 

Then appeared Facebook and a lot of people switched to it, because of a broader community. I am a member of Facebook since 2008 and i’m using it since 2009, and to be honest i love it. Starting with the staying briefed about your favorite bands,artists or movies, right through to be informed about events and occasions like birthdays. Since my friends and family are spread all over the world, Facebook is my main connection. Especially since i moved to the Hague, Facebook is a good opportunity for me to keep in touch with them. Beside the groups i use for my study, (project community, new open innovator…) i am a member of groups, where streetwear or sneakers were sold or exchanged, since I have a passion for vintage sneakers. As i mentioned in my blogpost last week, for me, privacy and being aware of your digital identity, is very crucial. I don’t post and show anything in the internet without being aware of what happens with it afterwards. I think it’s insensate to show too much of yourself, like fartkid did ! But i think it’s possible to find a balance between these things. 

and i like the fact (:

Beside the social network communities i use platforms to listen and find music, like YouTube, Soundcloud, Mixcloud, Discogs or Beatport. These are These are Websides, where you can upload and share music or buy and exchange Vinyls. Another platform based on music is ResidentAdvisor, which is one of my most visited pages. The focus is more on electronic music. I have my own profile, where i can add my favorite artists, clubs and labels, so i stay briefed about events and news.

In addition to this blog, i have another blog, which i basically use for collecting and sharing my favorite pictures. I like to comb through various websides like tumblr, weheartit or google, and discover new stuff.

Before i came here to study, i was a member of Kleiderkreisel, which is a  platform to buy, sell and exchange clothes, jewelry, shoes and so on. I think it’s great because i could sell or exchange the clothes i didn’t wear anymore and earn money in the same time.

Last to mention my beloved e-mail account. Since i managed to fix the setting of my account and got familiar with all the available features, i love using it. No matter what i buy or pay online, i get a receive for it in my inbox. My e-mails are split in 4 groups; Primary (private, conversations), Social (FB, Soundcloud, Tumblr), Promotion (Newsletters) and the Spam folder. 

For these several reasons, I am very lucky to have all these opportunities and hope that i will find even more interesting online tools.

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Aureole

Week 3: Technical issues

Being an innovator is not just about being creative and innovative, it’s also about the technical skills and how they can be useful for our development. 

Due to our assignment in Project Community, where we have to introduce drupal commons (a platform for either internal or external communities) to our NGO Solidaridad, we had a meeting with Maarten van Leeuwen, our contact person of Solidaridad. We talked with him through Skype, which is just one step in this process, that makes clear that using technologies and tools will be very useful and helpful for us.

So this week the focus is on our digital identity, thespidergram and our technical skills. 


Our digital identity is our appearance in the world wide web. So whenever we write,post or show something, we keep creating our digital identity, which helps people out there to get an idea of who we are ! 

The spidergram is a way to visualize the activities of  a community, and find the tools they need for this activities. We watched a video about that in Class, where Nancy explaines the use and idea behind this spidergrams. Here is a example of a spidergram, which is taken from ‘Digital Habitats’ where Nancy was one of the authors.

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And last but not least our technical skills which is the main topic the post today !

This week’s assignment is to share our technical knowledge, so others can make use of it. So whenever we need an ‘expert’ we know who to contact with our issue.

Since i was a child, all the technical things like installing the TV Receiver or just setting up the WIFI-Connection is my task. Whenever family members or friends had problems with their mobile phones, they asked me. I don’t think that i have a hidden genius of technology within me, i rather think it’s because i like to deal with those things. I like to discover new technologies and figure out, how to use them, by my own. I wouldn’t say that i’m a expert, i just have a knack for this kind of technology.

What about online tools ? Like the most of us, i use facebook. And most important for me is that i know how to use it. I think using facebook without being aware of your activities, can be a negative aspect. It is important to be familiar with the policies and privacy settings for example. So you can choose what to share with whom. 

My first encounter with the use of html was also with a social network community - MySpace. To create a personal Profile with own ideas and layouts, you had to use these html codes to generate different colors, fonts or links. I learned this by my own, by trying and experimenting.

At fashion high school, we had various kinds of tools for creating brands or pattern like CorelDraw Graphics Suite, or Dreamweaver for creating websides. I guess this could be helpful for others. 

I also enjoy doing researches in the internet. So just give me a topic and i will try to find out as much as i can. This could also be helpful since we have to find out a lot of things about our NGO by ourselves and the internet is the only source we have. 

I have some basic skills in Photoshop, but would like to improve these skills, so if someone has experience with that, notify me.

So whatever may come and no matter how confusing it is, i will try to figure it out, because i want to upgrade my skills and learn how to use them for future projects.

But remember:

"Technical skills can be learned by almost anyone who has the determination to pursue it, but innovative ideas and the ability to express them come from some place beyond the material world." (Carole Ann Borges)

 

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Ps.: i found a cheerful post with the reasons why technical skills are useful. http://naldzgraphics.net/tips/develop-your-technical-skills/

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Aureole

Reflections: Week2

We just had our first classes in “Project Community”. To be honest, at first i was really confused and didn’t even know what it’s all about. By reading through our website for Project Community (http://projectcommunity.info) i slowly began to understand what’s the idea behind it.

Within our group we started to figure out what the main task could be. We brought up some ideas and solutions. Our tutor gave us good advices, e.g. not to go too fast !


I think our class goals will be to get the best out of each other. In my group are a lot of very smart and creative heads with good skills. Our job is to find out what we’re good at and improve it. To get to know each other and of course, ourselves. We set up a couple of rules, listed our names and skills, and set our goals and assigments within the group. Now, each of us is an individual with his or her benefits but in the end we will be a strong chain.

"A chain is only as strong as its weakest link."

 I want to learn about myself. I want to know what i’m good at and from what i’d better keep my hands off (: I want to know more about our NGO, about our tutors and also about all these online communities,social networks and blackboards because they get me very confused sometimes. In addition i want to learn more about all this IT stuff and how to use it. 

My group is very enthusiastic and willing to work, thats why i think that our project will be something we’re all happy with. We already have some real good concepts and conceptions so i’m convinced about having a satisfying result.

I’m not sure about my special qualities but i will do my best to figure it out soon. First i’ll try to keep our group connected and make sure everyone feels comfortable. When there’s a question i try to help. I have a experimental, creative mind but sometimes it’s too crazy to express and use this.

Posted in Community, Group 1
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Aureole

Reflections: Week2

We just had our first classes in “Project Community”. To be honest, at first i was really confused and didn’t even know what it’s all about. By reading through our website for Project Community (http://projectcommunity.info) i slowly began to understand what’s the idea behind it.

Within our group we started to figure out what the main task could be. We brought up some ideas and solutions. Our tutor gave us good advices, e.g. not to go too fast !


I think our class goals will be to get the best out of each other. In my group are a lot of very smart and creative heads with good skills. Our job is to find out what we’re good at and improve it. To get to know each other and of course, ourselves. We set up a couple of rules, listed our names and skills, and set our goals and assigments within the group. Now, each of us is an individual with his or her benefits but in the end we will be a strong chain.

"A chain is only as strong as its weakest link."

 I want to learn about myself. I want to know what i’m good at and from what i’d better keep my hands off (: I want to know more about our NGO, about our tutors and also about all these online communities,social networks and blackboards because they get me very confused sometimes. In addition i want to learn more about all this IT stuff and how to use it. 

My group is very enthusiastic and willing to work, thats why i think that our project will be something we’re all happy with. We already have some real good concepts and conceptions so i’m convinced about having a satisfying result.

I’m not sure about my special qualities but i will do my best to figure it out soon. First i’ll try to keep our group connected and make sure everyone feels comfortable. When there’s a question i try to help. I have a experimental, creative mind but sometimes it’s too crazy to express and use this.

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Aureole

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”

““I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.””

- Mother Theresa
Posted in Community, Group 1
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Aureole

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”

““I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.””

- Mother Theresa
Posted in Community, Group 1
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Aureole