Heidi: i hope i get a TV next week
Heidi: what? It is essential
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.
Heidi: i hope i get a TV next week
Heidi: what? It is essential
“I always think big, and then i think small, Heather Small. I tell myself; ‘What have you done today to make you feel proud?’” Sarah Hadland as Stevie Sutton on Miranda
Innovation is “the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, inarticulate needs, or existing market needs" (wikipedia.com, accessed 28.10.2013)
To me innovation is all about using future-proof technologies in the present to solve current issues. One of these solutions are online communities. Things such as crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, work teams, and marketing are very used today and can be very helpful and easy-to-use tools. Sometimes when i see these platforms i think “is it even possible?” The most important thing i learnt is that no matter what the platform is picked, it must be advised to the client as if it were tailored just for them. In this case, freelancer.com was a crowdsourcing platform that helps with the branch ‘access to expertise’ from our spidergram. I reviewed it and made a section titled “How does it fit our NGO?”. This is very important because it may be a useful tool, but it’s a priority to see how well the NGO can use it for a certain project, so we must look at these tools from different points of view. Here i think we had to have a more focused point of view, and find the right platforms.
My design principles would have to be that it works well. It may seem like a very broad and general principle, but i think that to design online communities it is of most importance to have something that the NGO can use not just once, but multiple times (if necessary), and with the least side-effects or costs (not money, but “causes the loss of…”).
And now, to my final paragraph of this post and of this module, or i don’t know exactly, but the project has come to an end, and this is the last paragraph (i think, or at least it will be for a while)
Project communities was an eye-opening course teaching us new things every week, and sort of ‘imposing’ them too, via the Google Hangouts, which show how useful online tools can be. To have the best Project Communities i think it is important to put it out there. By this i mean that you shouldn’t be afraid of proposing new ideas or ways we could do things, because at the worst, it will help you think of better ideas, so there is always learning involved. I know i wasn’t very outspoken, but i realize that i should have been to get the most out of it myself.
And now, my dear reader, it is time for my final what i call “Such fun”
Over the course of the past 7 weeks we have explored various themes, including; crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, work teams and marketing.
In my opinion our NGO, the Gogorobi Foundation, can use all of them in one way or another. In my opinion the one that will be of most use would have to be crowdsourcing.
As a recap, Wikipedia defines crowdsourcing as “the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers”
One of the reasons it can be very helpful is because using the spidergram we found out that they were missing access to expertise. With a crowdsourcing platform such as freelancer.com it is easy and convenient for our NGO to hire the right people needed for certain projects. And the people hired would be rather specialized since you can browse to hire per category and sub-category. This way whatever job the NGO needs to be done it will be done well, and they would only pay if they are satisfied.
The NGO can also benefit from crowdsourcing as the foundation isn’t very ‘social’. What i mean is, that they have a website (though only in 2 languages of which none are english) and a Facebook page (with just 155 likes). By expanding the social networks and media the foundation is involved, and also improving the existing one (for example; adding english as an option in the site). A great tool would be one where there are hashtags available, allowing more people to view posts and to so expand their network. An example that i believe would be great for them is keek. It is an app where you share videos up to 36 seconds. You can them hashtag them. I think this is a good platform because there are currently 58 million users (from Wikipedia), so many people can view the contents that have been hashtagged.
Thirdly, platforms such as forums or even their own facebook page can help them because they can get some content or ideas for future projects. Since we have seen that projects isn’t going so bad for them, i still think that having more input or feedback from the ‘audience’ can be beneficial for them to know if they are doing things well or they can get new ideas from their fans.
In my opinion, a possible solution would be to start with crowdsourcing, maybe working on the website and trying to get more people to like the facebook page. Then, the NGO should ‘invest’ in social media, like keek, twitter, instagram, and stare information of upcoming events, and even share videos. It is crucial for them to hashtag. It is an easy step to start also because the most famous social networks are in fact free of charge.Once this is completed they can start hiring freelancers and also start the process of crowdfunding in order to raise money for the projects. In the end, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding will have to work together seamlessly.
GIF from mirandahartfan.tumblr.com
Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing are 2 very important options for projects like the one my group is doing for the Gogorobi foundation.
According to Wikipedia, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding are (respectively) “the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people" and "the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations”
A couple of weeks ago with the group we explored crowdsourcing platforms, and we came across some that can be very useful and can be tailored to the Gogorobi foundation. We found tools such as photo-and-short-video-sharing app (for iOS and Android) Instagram. We thought it would be a great tool for them as it allows for them to share pictures of their storytelling and music events, and it also allows them to expand their network as many people use instagram, and hashtags can help them reach out to people who do not follow them yet. Like this, more people can be directly informed about what the foundation does, how it works and what it aims to achieve, and with this it can make people more aware of their problems and more people will aid the in the funding process. I think that crowdsourcing is more of a long-term goal, as i think that its benefits are visible in the long run more than the short run, as it takes time to build up followers (for example on instagram)
Crowdfunding is another important option for this kind of project. I believe that it is for the short run, and it may have people question the foundation if it is used in the long run too often. For example, if they start a kickstarter project (let that project be an event or a group of events), if they manage to raise the money for that project, then that is great!, However, it isn’t so great if they rely solely on crowdfunding for every project. The foundation has sponsors, but our goal is also to find a fundraising strategy.
I think that both crowdfunding AND crowdsourcing are vital tools for this project, however it is up to us to suggest how they should be used in order to be more efficient. As previously mentioned, i think that some crowdsourcing platforms (like instagram) should be used in the long run, and would be more efficiently used in such way. Crowdfunding such as kickstarter or indiegogo, on the other hand, are excellent tools to use in the short run.
Crowdsourcing in design in general has both its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages is that having more people to “work on the project” can keep it a realistic project, since many people “work” on it, however, since more people are “part of the project” the actual final result can turn into something very different than the original brief wa, and can also limit the ideas that everyone would have for the project. As seen in last week’s video, the ideal number to come up with ideas is 1 person. Crowdsourcing though, can be more helpful with coming up with services that one person alone does not have the availability.
We started this project way back in September, so a month ago (almost). This means we have had time to look back at how we work as a group and what is going well in it and me individually. In my opinion as of now communication is working rather well. Especially considering the mess in the beginning. Also, coming up with ways to stay in touch and organize files. We have our own Facebook group, Whatsapp group and shared Google Drive, which help us to stay informed and on top of everything when we need to, 24/7.
Not all things do go well, however. For me, personally, i find some assignments challenging, and at first i cannot always see a connection between the ProjComm assignment and the project for our NGO, but sooner or later i think that i can actually make a link and see how it can be used in the final project that we have to deliver.
Our group is made up of 8 people. This is the first time i worked with such a large group and it is a bit chaotic. It isn’t always easy to have a focused what i call meeting. For a project so important and so big, it is important to have a lot of people in the group, however it is easier if the group is divided into some smaller groups, for maximum efficiency, and then later have a meeting where all the smaller groups share their findings/ideas. Culture doesn’t play a big role in the group work, because most of the group is European, so our cultures have some similarities, but also some differences but they do not really interfere with the task, and we try to take an unbiased opinion and we try to keep our minds open.
To improve my experience and the group’s work it is important to be able to know what size of groups is the best for a certain task. For example, the first time we worked on the spidergram, the whole group worked on it, but the result wasn’t very accurate and time wasn’t spent efficiently. The second time we did the spidergram, only half the group worked on it, allowing more ideas to be shared, and allowing more room for personal thoughts and opinions. We also picked the branches of the spidergram to focus on, so we could have any opinion without interfering with another one’s. Some tasks may require just a small fraction of the team, however some may need a larger part of the group, and i believe it would be more efficient if we know what size works best.
"Individuals can and do make a difference, but it takes a team to really mess things up." - Author Unknown
“It’s common courtesy; he’s doing most of the work; you’ve got to encourage him.” - Joan Rivers
There are 3 main types of networks online; me, we, many.
Me - your interests, personal (digital) identity. Needs confidence, styles, emotion
We - “small” group, shared interest. Needs distinct power, trust
Many - large group, many interests that intersect. works with distributed power, less cohesion.
(Nancy White, 2013, We, Me Networks)
I usually use ‘me’ networks, meaning that i don’t interact with others that much, but i usually tend to gather information on my interests like cars, celebrities and phones. Of course i do have friends so i do communicate with them, usually via Facebook or Whatsapp or Skype…(i think that’s it).
I think that facebook is now a great tool that keeps on improving. It is useful for both professional and fun, especially the groups because many people have it and most people are connected with their cell phones so they can see new posts anytime of the day.
Whatsapp is another great tool that i use on a daily basis. its a phone-to-phone messaging platform which is compatible with most cell hone operating systems. This means, that most people can have it, and hence communicating between each other is a lot easier.
I generally prefer to stay in defined and bounded groups because i feel like it is easier to communicate between the members, and i feel more comfortable in defined groups. I think that both defined groups and wider networks are both equally valuable in their own ways, however i would trust a defined group more because i think they as a group it would be more reliable and more well informed to not hinder everyone else. I also think that in wider networks you are not always sure who is behind the screen and if they are reliable and trustworthy as a person.
The online world is very large, and with so many different tools it affects who we are. Due to the online communities we have developed a different identity than our personal one (digital identity, as it is referred to). In the real world you have command of who you are and how you are perceived, but your digital identity is something which is shaped by others too, and you cannot fully take control of it. For example, a “different” picture you have been tagged in by your friends on Facebook.(by different, i mean a picture that shows a side of you less known). I know this because i have been tagged in a what i call comical (and accidental) picture. When someone sees this, it will affect their impression of me, in this case. Could be both good or bad though.
Our digital identity is also shaped by our knowledge and skills with online tools. I am not very tech-smart, but using my intuition and (most times) common sense i can get around the many tools available. I think the easiest online tool (for me to use) would be social networking, as it gives direct contact with another person and gives us access to many people all over the world. Especially when working with online communities, these social networks play a vital role in the way we will think about new ideas and perhaps new products.
Social networks and proper research, can come in useful when thinking of new ideas, to have a better idea of how we must think to come up with this idea, and i think that those are things that i know how to do because of past experience (a lot in high school), but even non-academic subjects which i am interested in (like mobile technology, cars, showbiz…)
I am sure i am not the best when it comes to working with online tools, and even though i can find my way around the internet, i am not sure i am quite the person to be able to teach others about some tools (unless it’s basic stuff…like posting things around).
My group isnt the only one working with the Gogorobi Foundation with this project, and i know that our group has defined certain unmet needs for our NGO, i am sure that another group has come up with their own.
We have shared information with other groups working on the same project and i think it is very important because not only can we learn new things to help us do a better job, but it can also save us and the other people working with us (tutors, contact person) a lot of time, as things may not have to be repeated. May not have to be repeated.
I am writing this on the 10th september, however my first lesson of Project communities was yesterday. We sat in groups and received an assignment, associated to an NGO. Our assignment was for the Gogorobi Foundation, and we have to come up with a fundraiser idea that they can use to diffuse the storytelling tradition of Curacao and the Caribbean. Our team’s plan was to improve on what the foundation already has started in terms of funding, as there is always room for improvement. We would also like to make people more aware of this foundation, so that they will help the foundation more than they already have.
As for myself, i’m an ex IB (International Baccalaureate) student. A mandatory component in the IB curriculum was CAS (Creativity, Action and Service). It consisted in spending 50 hours for each area. As part of Creativity and Service, i helped out one of my best friends to start a foundation called Save the Cat. Its aim was to help preserve and research tigers, through the Beekse Bergen Safari Park in Holland. Although this was a small foundation, as a group we had to come up with ways to make money. I think that if they can be used on a larger scale, it can be an easy way for the Gogorobi Foundation to fund its mission. I also took Visual Arts, which helped me be more creative as a person and as an artist, by pushing me to think outside the box. I think that both these skills can be useful not only in this project, but also in future ones.
The Project Communities class is “project, a community and a set of tools for using online communities and networks for enhancing the design process in any context" (Project Communities Manual, 2013). Yesterday we had a Google Hangout with 2 people who are experts in this area and we had the opportunity to ask them questions. From the first lesson i think that this class will be centered around the idea that we are a community, and will give us access to important online technology and networks. From this class i would like to learn in what ways we can use networks and online communities to aid us in our academic life and innovation design.
For now, this is all.