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: Ghazaleh's big thoughts

Last but not least …

During the Community Project I learned a lot about online communities as well as various features of some of those. I also learned what features are the important and should be considered when looking for a specific online platform. This course was a great opportunity for me to catch up with the online world of today and see how everything can be done within a network. I also learned and experienced that having a blog and update it regularly with new posts is not too difficult as I used to imagine.

Throughout what I learned in this course, I believe there are certain principles that should be taken into account when designing and fostering online communities and network. For instance, design principles such as diversity, appropriateness, user-friendliness, and honesty are very important in designing communities and/or networks. If the content is appropriate but diverse, it can help a wider range of customers with different needs and wishes. Designing a user-friendly and self-explanatory network is respecting the customers; as they will not struggle with learning how the service works and how they can use it. Honesty in design is also very important. If we are designing for people and we want to be welcomed and supported by people, we must make it possible for people to trust our design.

To next year’s class I would say that planning, researching, and being active during this course is very important. Starting the IDE program by this course, may not be very easy for everyone. But this course is a great opportunity to quickly learn about challenges and principles of team work, clients’ expectations, design, deadlines, and online networks and platforms.  

This course gave me the initial knowledge about some very important path in design business, such as marketing, research, strategy, planning, etc. I think these will all be very useful when doing my future projects. In the future projects, I will use the knowledge I gained from this course as tools for more efficiency and productivity.

Posted in Community, Group 2
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Ghazaleh's big thoughts

Marketing: A key role for a successful business

During the last few weeks we discovered and worked with some very important keys to design a successful fundraising strategy and network expansion for Gogrobi foundation. These themes, in my opinion, all are connected together and one supports another.  However, among all I think MARKETING can help the NGO the most.

First of all because marketing plays a very important role on the expansion of a network. Therefore, it can extend NGO’s network among fundraisers. This means that more people and organizations with funds available to donate will know about our NGO through marketing. This will give the Gogorobi Foundation more opportunity to get direct and indirect financial support. 

Secondly, marketing can and probably will also extend the target group of Gogorobi NGO as desired. The bigger the target group (or the groups of audience) the bigger the reputation, and the more chance of donation.  Through marketing and advertisement, more people will know about this NGO and I think more children will join and enjoy the events. Parents and/or families will hear about those events and their purposes through both their ads and the audience. There may be some donors among the family of those children. It will also be a better chance for donating companies to advertise their brand or business by donation to such NGO. 

Last but not least I think a successful marketing requires specific skills and actions including technology steward, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, etc. It also requires some improvements in the quality of events, service, and work that our NGO does. This makes the marketing an important role towards success and solving the unmet needs of our NGO.

Posted in Community, Group 2
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Ghazaleh's big thoughts

Why crowdsourcing?

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Crowdsourcing is one of the important terms in the competitive business world of today. The increasing number of crowdsourcing platforms and their users prove that this type of collaboration is used by a considerable number of people nowadays. But whether crowdsourcing beats the power of the individual genius depends on the industry and its goals, I believe.

Although many people including designers tend to work individually, the positive effects of the crowd on one’s work cannot be ignored. Working with a relevant crowd can be an easy and effective way of getting ideas, information, feedback, and advice. Furthermore, crowdsourcing provides the possibility of getting work done by experts from different fields in a shorter period of time as opposed to getting all the work done by an individual. He/she may also lack the sufficient knowledge and skills required for the project.

On the other hand, the negative aspects of crowdsourcing should also be taken into consideration. For instance, the possibility of experiencing issues regarding the copyrighted material used for submissions, lack of direct supervision on the process, and time consumption while searching for the right expert or information are some of the disadvantages of this type of sourcing.

Posted in Community, Group 2
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Ghazaleh's big thoughts

4+4=10

       Talking about group size in today’s session, cleared it up for me why our group of 8 was not working efficiently in the beginning. I also realized that we were not the only team that had experienced the same problem.
After the first week of working in group of 8, we decided to split our group into two smaller components. I believe this division helped us to focus more on different aspects of given tasks and to have a more effective result. In addition to this, I believe that organizing small tasks and meeting their deadlines that we set withing our team is going really well too. I think meeting agendas that our team coordinator provides, is a very great and thoughtful way that make the tasks clearer for us and make our group work more organized. Seeing that most members have an active role and almost everybody in our group brings something new related to what they have worked on during the defined days keeps me very motivated.

       In contrast, one thing that is challenging for me in our group work is that sometimes it is not clear to me whether all our group’s needs will be covered and/or who is going to do what. One reason of that is for example not everyone write his/her name in the task document we share on-line between our group members even until a the due date comes up. Another challenging thing for me is about some of our group meetings including “The Chaotic Mondays”. Every week we have 3 group meetings organized. However, usually only the last one of them is task organized in advance; Only in the last meeing of each week we know which tasks will be discussed, and what we are supposed to bring to our group.

       After today’s meeting and discussions we had, I think it will really help if we try to organize and plan all of our weekly meetings to avoid chaos and frustration in our group. I think, I as the scheduler, can play a more active role in this regard. I will try to provide a more detailed schedule than what I did before and I hope it boost our effectiveness.

Posted in Community, Group 2
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Ghazaleh's big thoughts

Me and The Magic Box

As an individual, I use online spaces frequently.  To me, having access to the internet is like having access to a magician’s box. Online, you always find what you need and always can get what you want. Even if sometimes it may be time consuming, especially when it comes to harvesting information, you still can get what you look for. I use online spaces for finding information about different topics, finding out how to do something myself instead of going to an expert, sharing a variety of files between my different accounts to document them for myself, etc. Although I use it so often, I can’t deny how addictive, yet frustrating surfing the web for different purposes can be. However, it is still more convenient than alternative ways, such as standing in line at a “real world” physical service desk.

I use online spaces interactively with others as well. Sharing thoughts, photos, documents, and other digital types of files with my classmates, friends, and family are the most common thing I do in that regard. Time to time, when I can’t find a solution that works for my specific problem or need, I use online spaces interactively with others. I may post questions on forums and online communities, such as different software forums, Yahoo Answers, and Facebook. It may usually take a few days until I find a good answer, but considering the quality of the answer, I think it’s really worth it. And of course I react to questions I have an answer for in return. Knowing that there are so many people all over the world that don’t mind to share their knowledge and help each other is so important to me; It feels like we all belong to the same community, being there for each other in almost all matters.

There are so many different tools and communities about different topics online. Among all, I prefer self-teaching and educational ones. whether it is an individual tool or a community network. For example, WikiHow is an online place, where you can learn from shared articles, ask How To questions, and share your How To knowledge to teach others. 

Posted in Community, Group 2
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Ghazaleh's big thoughts

I have some goodies to share :)

Hello all dear readers,

Talking about technology knowledge and online tools during this week’s lesson, made me enthusiastic about sharing some of the good online tools I have practiced during the last few years. Most these tools and services are found just by googling solution for my needs, and being open to try suggested tools and websites by friends. Yes, I use the google search engine a lot; for many question I face. “how to” and “tutorial” are two very important keywords for me that I use a lot when searching for something online. Among all the fantastic online sources, services, and tools, the following ones are my favorites that I am going to share with you. Please ask me any further question you may have about them. I hope they can be as useful for your. 

  1. Diigo is an online bookmarking website that allows you to tag and bookmark web pages, highlight any part of a webpage and attach sticky notes to webpages after you sign up and all these for free. Diigo allows you to have always access to your bookmarks and notes from any connected device to internet. 
  2. 4shared, online file sharing and storage that gives you up to 15 GB free web space. 
  3. Scribd is a digital documents library that allows users to publish, discover and discuss original writings and documents in various languages. I believe it is also one of the best places you can find full portfolios of artists.
  4. Google Chrom is my favorite browser. Not only because it is said to be the fasted, but also because it offers growing services to its user. “Instant translator”, “Pdfy me!”, “Photo Zoom for Facebook”, “FastestChrome - Browse Faster”, and of course “Diigo Web Collector”   are my favorite extensions for this internet browser.
  5. Did you know that you can simply drag and drop any image from your computer or an open tab of your internet browser in a google image search box and look for another size of that image or find some information about it? However, this feature may work only in Google Chrome. 
  6. Pixlr is an online photo editing website. It is easy to use, quick, and free. The advance Pixlr editor offers your most of the features you find in Photoshop.
  7. In Tripwire online magazine you can find amazing photo manipulation tutorials. Don’t forget to check their other topics.

There are also a few new tools that I was introduced to recently, which you can find about them bellow. Although I do not have much experience with them yet, I think they worth trying as much as the above ones.

  1.  An easy to use mind-mapping tool called BubbleI recently found this online tool. Although I do not have so much experience with it yet, I like the user-friendly interface of it. 
  2. A collaboration tool named TeamBox: apparently Teambox is a popular new collaboration tool that started out as a project management tool. But now it’s grown to include powerful messaging tools. This makes it one of the best ways to communicate with your team about each of the projects you have going on. You can assign tasks to others, check your own projects, then discuss them with your colleagues, all in the same app. 
  3. With Google Drive, you can store all your files in one place, so you can access them from anywhere and share them with others.

By this time, I still do not exactly know what the identified unmet needs of your NGOs are, more than what was written in the assignment handout. But I believe that some of these tools can help you to find the right information you need, sharing them within your group and your client, and present them in a memorable way. I would be very glad to help you further with any of the tools I know. So please ask  me questions if you think my experience in using these mentioned tool may help. :)

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Posted in Community, Group 2
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Ghazaleh's big thoughts

What is this all about?

After the first class of Project Community, I think the goal of this course is guiding us to make positive changes in humans lives with the help of the current technology and online networks. Although the start was a little bit confusing, but I am still enthusiastic about what I am going to learn in this course.

I can’t imagine what will I learn from the people I work with within my group and from the experienced teachers we have, but one thing I am sure about is that everything I learn will be steps for reaching my dreams.

I don’t know how close my wish can get to the reality, but I really would like that my group have remarkable and noticeable outcome that makes the outsiders amazed.

To help my group achieving the best result, I try to effectively participate in all tasks and do my best as a team member. I can also bring my experience to the group and share the new things I learn along the way.

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Posted in Community, Group 2
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Ghazaleh's big thoughts

WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST HUMAN MEMORY?

I know it may sound weird to many people, but my earliest memory if from when I was only 1 year and a month old. It’s from when my dad was taking my mom to a hospital before my brother was born! :p

Posted in Community, Group 2
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Ghazaleh's big thoughts