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: by Isabel

The homestretch

It’s already week 8 of the project , time flies! We’ve only got one week left to finish our challenge and to show our NGO what we accomplished. I’m actually really excited!

Looking back I realize what we all have been doing all this weeks and what we all have learned, and that is quiet a lot! In the beginning I had no clue about this four hats or about online communities, until I figured that it’s actually a big part of your life as a designer. And it is now. I’ve been using online communities for years now without even knowing what they were and what advantages you can take of them. Now I’ve all seen what crowdsourcing and crowdfunding can mean to companies I think the internet is slowly taking over our whole world! It’s crazy what kind of knowledge or funds in such a short amount of time can be raised by using online communities in the good way.


Design Principles   

Considering all we have done and all we have learned I figured out my design principles for online communities and networks (thanks to http://principles.adactio.com/). First, design by committee. We’ve been doing this project as a team and I’m really convinced that teamwork can accomplish more then just single person work. Different people and different backgrounds know more and will come up with more ideas. The biggest challenge is to make the team work, but looking back at our team in the beginning I suppose every team can do this! Second, focus on the user. By designing online communities or networks it’s obvious that you want to make it work for the persons who need it. Look at their background, age, gender etc. Products has to be user-friendly, so do online communities and networks. And last but not least, they have to be useful. You can make the best layout or whatever, if the content isn’t clear nobody will use it how it’s supposed to be used. Clearness will affect the efficiency, what effects the usefulness on his hand. 


So this is it, my last project communities blog. Honestly, it was not always the most fun thing to do but in general I enjoyed doing this. Getting graded for writing your own thoughts about things, it’s not that bad.. And so was the whole course! In the beginning it wasn’t really clear to me what the whole assignment was and how we should proceed, but trough the weeks it became more and more clear and things were falling into the right place. I would really advice the teams next year to focus on the teamwork from the beginning, this will increase the development and the result of the project a lot I think! And of course getting all this fantastic blogs done on time :) 

Now it’s time for the final stage of this course, the homestretch! Thanks for reading and following! 

Posted in Community, Group 9
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: by Isabel

four hats, only one winner..

We’re in week 7, the first block is almost completed and all the pieces of our assignment are finally coming together! We as a group improved a lot the past few weeks I think, the teamwork, the involvement and the understanding of what we’re actually doing are all there now. We even started a good storyboard, a great beginning for the movie and the presentation. :)

Now we’ve discussed all of the four themes and worked on them, I can say they are all pretty important for our NGO because they’re all getting together at some point, they relay on each other. 
But I think crowdsourcing can help out our NGO and it’s unmet needs the most. 

- At first, crowdsourcing is getting people involved in what the NGO is doing and where they stand for. You can let people give feedback on your ideas or let them vote for the best new project you have to choose. It’s cheap, it’s fast and it’s worldwide. 

- Second, crowdsourcing can help the company out. If you’re stuck people from outside or, sometimes even better, within the company can give you new insights, new ideas, new information. It can help you connect with other companies so you can help each other out. It’s the easiest way to exchange knowledge, on different levels. 

- Third, crowdsourcing can be used on different levels, so it depends on the need or task on what level you want to use it. This is an important part of crowdsourcing, if it’s used right, it can help improve the company a lot and it can have them save a lot of money and time. But it’s not that easy as it sounds, research will in most cases be necessary to find out exactly which strategy for crowdsourcing the company (or project group etc.) has to use  to take the biggest advantage of it.  


Our design challenge for our NGO is developing a personal branding strategy to maximize knowledge exchange on the intranet. Our solution: Building a social intranet platform where all employees can have their own page where they can show their personal brands. On this profile pages you can find links to project pages of projects they are doing or have done. Their are open forums on this pages for problems and ideas. All employees involved in the project can add progresses, ideas, developments and pictures that are open for the whole social intranet. People can profile themselves, people can share information, people can look information up, people are involved in what the company is doing in other places, people can share thoughts and ideas. 

This shows crowdsourcing can be used on so many levels and in many different ways. I think giving the company advice on using crowdsourcing for developing a personal branding strategy can really help them, or at least take them forward in the process. 



Posted in Community, Group 9
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: by Isabel

Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding – Potato, Potatoe ?

Crowdsourcing, crowdfunding… At the beginning I had no idea where this two words were about. Now I even dream about it. I think crowdfunding and crowdsourcing can be very useful if it’s used in the right way and at the right level. If you’re looking for some professional scientific information or something, it’s more useful to ask help on a blog that only professors can join for example. As for crowdfunding it’s kind of the same, if you’re looking for big funders involving kids and students will be useless most of the times. So a company can take big advantages of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, but they first have to come up with a plan how to make it work and how to make it most successful. 

In the designer world is a lot of competition going on. There are these big designer bureaus who have global notoriety, but have to hold on their success by coming up with new great ideas time after time. On the other hand there are thousands of designers working on their own or in a small bureau who have maybe even better ideas but not the money. Crowdsourcing can be an outcome. 

Pro’s: Crowdsourcing brings people together. For designers it’s a great way to profile yourself to other designers or even the whole world. People or companies interested in you as designer can even decide to fund your projects, and so it is directly connected to crowdfunding. Crowdsourcing also can help designers out where they are stuck in their development or can be used for giving feedback and tips and tricks. More heads will bring more ideas and may lead to an amazing boost to the process. 

Cons: Then there is the ‘dark side’ of crowdsourcing in design. There can be too much input if you’re letting too many people involved. When the pool is too big, some great ideas might get lost in the big sea of opinions and thoughts. Also you cannot be sure about the reliability of knowledge shared by random people. It will cost a lot of time to figure this kind of stuff out and get it organized. Then there is a risky part about the crowdsourcing, you can’t control the crowd and you can’t control what they will do when you’re spreading your ideas. Before you know it your ideas are all over the internet with another name on it.. 


A lot of big companies wouldn’t be where they are now without crowdsourcing, some wouldn’t be there at all (websites like Wikipedia). Crowdsourcing can bring good ideas together and fuse them into an incredible idea. Crowdsourcing can let the world speak and let the people influence on what designers will create. Crowdsourcing is probably the most fast and low-cost way to help designers improve theirselfs. I’m totally into crowdsourcing, you only have to be careful you won’t loose yourself in it. 

The actual inventor of crowdsourcing. 

Posted in Community, Group 9
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: by Isabel

Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding – Potato, Potatoe ?

Crowdsourcing, crowdfunding… At the beginning I had no idea where this two words were about. Now I even dream about it. I think crowdfunding and crowdsourcing can be very useful if it’s used in the right way and at the right level. If you’re looking for some professional scientific information or something, it’s more useful to ask help on a blog that only professors can join for example. As for crowdfunding it’s kind of the same, if you’re looking for big funders involving kids and students will be useless most of the times. So a company can take big advantages of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, but they first have to come up with a plan how to make it work and how to make it most successful. 

In the designer world is a lot of competition going on. There are these big designer bureaus who have global notoriety, but have to hold on their success by coming up with new great ideas time after time. On the other hand there are thousands of designers working on their own or in a small bureau who have maybe even better ideas but not the money. Crowdsourcing can be an outcome. 

Pro’s: Crowdsourcing brings people together. For designers it’s a great way to profile yourself to other designers or even the whole world. People or companies interested in you as designer can even decide to fund your projects, and so it is directly connected to crowdfunding. Crowdsourcing also can help designers out where they are stuck in their development or can be used for giving feedback and tips and tricks. More heads will bring more ideas and may lead to an amazing boost to the process. 

Cons: Then there is the ‘dark side’ of crowdsourcing in design. There can be too much input if you’re letting too many people involved. When the pool is too big, some great ideas might get lost in the big sea of opinions and thoughts. Also you cannot be sure about the reliability of knowledge shared by random people. It will cost a lot of time to figure this kind of stuff out and get it organized. Then there is a risky part about the crowdsourcing, you can’t control the crowd and you can’t control what they will do when you’re spreading your ideas. Before you know it your ideas are all over the internet with another name on it.. 


A lot of big companies wouldn’t be where they are now without crowdsourcing, some wouldn’t be there at all (websites like Wikipedia). Crowdsourcing can bring good ideas together and fuse them into an incredible idea. Crowdsourcing can let the world speak and let the people influence on what designers will create. Crowdsourcing is probably the most fast and low-cost way to help designers improve theirselfs. I’m totally into crowdsourcing, you only have to be careful you won’t loose yourself in it. 

The actual inventor of crowdsourcing. 

Posted in Community, Group 9
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: by Isabel

Go Group 9!

Teamwork. A very interesting subject, sometimes it works out well, sometimes it doesn’t. But what does ‘teamwork’ actually mean? 

For me, good teamwork is working in a group of people who are all on the same level and all have clear tasks they have to do. If tasks are not clear, there will be chaos and inefficiency in the group. I’m not someone who’s very structured in her life, but I like it more when working in a group is structured. I don’t like inefficiency and wasting time when it’s totally unnecessary. In my opinion, speaking up and just say everything you want to say and what you think works really well for improving the group process, but that’s where cultural differences show up. ‘Just say whatever you think and whatever you want to say’ may be very Dutch.. It’s clear to me that some cultures don’t like to work that way at all. That can be hard when you have to work in a group with all different cultures and people. 
What I’m figuring out right now is that if everyone in the group adapt just a little to the other group members, the group work will improve more and more over the weeks. This is maybe something our group can work on a little I think, but we’re heading in the right way. 

I’m convinced there’s also a big advantage we can take of cultural differences within our group. Different talents, different interests and different points of view can take this project to a higher level. What I think is working really well in our group is that most of us are committed to the project and tasks they have to do and I’ve seen some great results so far (Let me mention the video about group work, great job!). 
But we still have a lot to learn. I think some more structure and better communication will help our team a lot. We have to save all our documents and findings in one central place (on Facebook or maybe Dropbox?) so we can oversight our group work better than we do now. Also we decided that it is efficient if one person is taking notes every week, summarize this notes and make an action list so we can discuss the next week what we’ve done. Besides, from now the team leader (yay, that’s me!) prepares what have to be done for the week and makes sure that everyone is involved. 

I’ve some experience in group working and I’ve worked in different group sizes. I disagree that working in smaller groups is better than in large groups. Large groups can be efficient as well, if there is a clear structure and if individual tasks are totally clear. I experienced myself in a group of 7 that this can work really well! Although of course, getting a smaller group structured is easier, but that’s the big challenge in group working! 


I’m really looking forward to see our group improve even more and more and I’m sure we will deliver something special AS A TEAM, cheers! 

Posted in Community, Group 9
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: by Isabel

My life online

I could say that I’ve built quit a big network the past few years. Since I grew up in Dordrecht, then when I was 18 moved to Delft and now study in The Hague I’ve met a lot of people in my life.. At least I like people :). 

It must admit it is hard to stay in contact with all of my friends and groups without using the internet. Mostly I use Facebook and Whatsapp for staying in touch with groups and friends. Whatsapp is actually an app for your mobile phone, but it is connected to the internet. 
On Facebook I’m in a lot of diffrent groups, like a group with my friends from high school, a group with my roommates and of course the IDE group. I think this is one of the easiest way to communicate to all people in the group by sending only one message. BUT, Facebook is an open network and I don’t trust it at all so I never post personal or secret information on Facebook. That’s where I use Whatsapp or better: a phone call. 
Whatsapp is more a network for short questions and announcements and gossip in one big group discussion. In big groups it can be really chaotic, although I’m using this network the most I think. 

Besides social networks there are some online networks that I use for administration and stuff. Like google docs. I’m part of a group of 15 girls and on this website (where we all have our own account) we can fill in for example when each person is available to hang out a weekend together. It works really well for us. 
There’s also a financial network that I use very often, it is called ‘Wiebetaaltwat’ and on this platform there are also diffrent groups I’m in. You can fill in what you have paid and which members of the group you paid for. For example: I paid for bread and butter for at home, I fill in 3,00 euro’s for me and all my roommates, and then I’m 3,00 euro’s positive on the list. So this platform helps you control your and others expenditure and this also works really well for all the groups I’m in. 

Those were for me the most valuable networks I use to communicate and especially for groups. This networks are all really different from each other and are used for other purposes, so I can’t really compare them with each other. It depends on the situation whether I use Facebook or Google docs.  

I only use networks that are really necessary or very helpful, I don’t like to posses to many accounts on to many different networks, that kind of freaks me out. Before you know it, your whole life is spread out on the internet.

Oh, I almost forgot: since a few weeks I’m also using Tumblr, my new favorite blogging network I’ll proudly add to my list of favorite websites! Very important. :)

Posted in Community, Group 9
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: by Isabel

Technology is everywhere

When I was a kid I used to play outside, playing hide and seek and rocking the skippy ball and when it rained I was baking cookies or drawing some cats inside. Nowadays all kids are using a computer and a smartphone by the age of 8. The world is growing up digitally. 

So basically everyone knows how to work with computers and digital networks and stuff. I do too, but I have to admit computers and I aren’t in the best relationship. They have the suspicious quality to do exactly what I do NOT want them to do. Anyhow, I have some skills in using sharing programs like Google Docs and of course Facebook and Skype. Besides I have some other basic skills in offline programs like Adobe InDesign and Illustrator. 

Tomorrow we’ll have a meeting with another group, so that’s the right time to figure out their skills and to figure out whether we could use them or not. Good contact with other groups seems important to me, otherwise we’re all doing exactly the same next to each other, which is really irrelevant. And we can surely use their expertise (and they can use ours) because 20 people know more than 10! I’m looking forward to this meeting and see what they have come up to and if we’re kind of on the same line. 


Technology is everywhere, people even use it to pretend they have a social life of to pretend like they’re someone else. I’m a little bit scared one day the world gets crazy and technology will drag us down, but for now technology is a good aid to the world as long as creativity comes from the inside and not from a computer screen. 

Posted in Community, Group 9
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: by Isabel

Let’s give Tumblr a try

Besides Facebook there’s not really a social platform where I’m into, but since we have to come up with a blog for Project Communities class I guess I have to give this a try. The ‘Thinking individually in the open’-thing is officially launched today! 

Our assignment was to answer some questions about the introduction of the course, so here you go: 


How do you understand our class goals?
I think this class is mostly about teamwork. Our challenge isn’t totally clear yet to me, but if you work hard and think hard as a team you will be able to collect as many information, resources and thoughts as possible. 


What do you need and want to learn as you / we explore the different themes from application of online communities and networks to open innovation design?
I’d like to learn about all kinds of networks and online communities because I’m not very well known in this area. I think as an open innovator it’s necessary to be up to date and to possess skills about all different kinds of sharing your experiences and work. 

What would you like the outcome of your team’s project to look like?
First of all, we need to build up teamwork. I want our whole team to look back on us and this project and feel great about the way we worked together. And than of course, I want to blow away our client with our project and presentation and I hope we’ll all be satisfied and proud of what we accomplished. 

What “specialty quality” will you bring and contribute?
Since I’ve got some experience in working in a group I think I’ll be a good team worker. Also I like to talk and to say everything that comes up in my mind, I like to present and I can take the role as leader when it’s necessary. Besides I’m known with the basics of some editing programs like InDesign and Illustrator. 


I have to admit: this could be worse. Maybe some day Tumblr will turn out to be my best friend! 

 

 

 

Posted in Community, Group 9
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: by Isabel