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So, what is the most important thing I have learned about using online communities and networks in innovative design ?

Using online communities and networks in order to generate, create, refine and build up ideas and concepts is a very useful and encouraging method to bring designs into existence. We have talked about tools like Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding but also creative inspirations and platforms for collecting and exchanging ideas. What I face as a new and interesting fact, is that many creative and innovative people like artists and designers have difficulties to “disclose” their ideas, probably facing the fear of loosing connection to it. Through sharing and revealing, they take the risk of loosing impact on the concept or in worst case the adaption of the idea by someone else. An other factor is the “lost” of originality and self-initiative. Nevertheless, in my opinion, these factors should not be restricting or limiting the creative/creating process. But should be exploited in all kinds of levels. Regarding this, the most important insight I can extract is, that it is not necessary to “go the way alone” but instead be open minded for inspiration and help. Because in the end, it can bring enrichment and new perspectives to both sides.

Katinka’s design principles for online communities and networks :

 + Good design should be direct and obvious

Design in online networks should encourage and comfort the user, relying on a clear and obvious structure.

+ Good design should be user friendly

It is important to emphasize the user by demonstrating and underlining the handiness and usefulness of the platform.

+ Good design should be pleasant and esthetic

An esthetic and pleasant appearance brings visual and mental harmony,complementing its usefulness.

+ Good design should be inviting

It is crucial that the user feels connected to both the structure and appearance of the networks design, so he feels invited and addressed to its content.

+ Good design should be adjustable and customized

A good design should offer a customized use of the platform, adjusting it to the individual user and offering a distinctive and unique design.


So, we reached the end of our ProjectCommunity course. Looking back, it was 8 weeks full of confusion, conclusion, questions, answers, serenity and above all, full of emotions. Im pretty sure, that every single person of our class experienced these weeks in a different way. Not only regarding us as individuals and the way of development with all its obstacles, but also our experience to work in a group. Naturally, and as I had expected it, every group had their difficulties and issues, and though it was a tough task to manage that, I think and hope we all learned from our experiences with the people around us, so we can use and apply it in the coming years. What I experienced is, that most of the times, especially the difficult and unpleasant situations are the ones that you can learn the most of, if you handle them consciously and reflect yourself and the people around you. And I think that we all can be a little bit proud of ourselves. Though we dont know our NGOs mind yet, I think we did a good job and everybody checked that he has a responsibility for the group which motivate to contribute our own work. In the end, we laughed,cried and struggled together and that made us grow together.

Regarding my advice for the next years students, two things come into my mind :

+ ” grift your teeth and go for it “


+ ” all roads lead to Rome “

The former, because I had to frequently tell this to myself, and I think I was not the only one. Especially looking back to the big CONFUSIAM at the beginning I guess it was kind of a helpful motto to have.

The second, because I think that everybody in this course searched and found his own way through it, and made different experiences and got different impressions. And finally, we all reached our goal, going contrary ways in different directions !

Finally, I can not give any advice on how to get the best out of this course, besides of trying to be attentive and conscious and not to give up, even if you feel like it sometimes.

Now to answer the last question, I have to admit that I can not really answer it yet. In my opinion it will be answered by itself, through experiencing the next steps on our path. But I did learned a lot, and Im sure I will use my knew knowledge and skills in the future.

Thats it for now.

Thanks for reading :)



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


This time I want to start with a brief overview on the themes we have been looking at in the last weeks and then analyze them and make a reference on our NGO’s unmet need.


These tools give the opportunity to make an ‘open call’ to a wider community. Used in the ‘right’ way, these tools are the perfect start/base for sharing knowledge and ideas and moreover they can bring diverse perspectives and critical thinking to the problem/situation.


These three components, which are part of every community, are based and build up on each other. Starting with the ME, which can be an individual person or project, and which represents the WE as well as the NETWORK. Then the WE, which is crucial for gathering ideas and perspectives and then working on them on a collective level. And finally the NETWORK, which empowers the ME’s and WE’s to cooperate and collaborate and through this, to achieve higher goals.


Not only the teamwork itself but furthermore the structure and form of teams/groups have a huge impact on a running network or community. Knowing how the group size influences the work and how this knowledge can be used to work on different creating processes is central and can be very helpful.


For me, marketing is a very broad term with lots of subtopics. Thats why I am gonna focus on my understanding of it, especially regarding our NGO challenge. Referring to Solidaridads problems and difficulties, I guess the marketing is more focused on an internal level which makes it an ‘internal marketing’ for me. I did some research on this and found the following definition : ‘Management philosophy of promoting the firm and its policies to employees as if they are the (internal) customers of the firm.’
( source : )

Moreover, internal marketing is described as an inward facing marketing, which is used by marketers to motivate all functions to satisfy customers. I think this idea can be transferred to Solidaridad.


This is a visualization i made, to explain my thinking. Solidaridad is the center, surrounded by the different topics in different colors. But finally,in combination with Drupal they are combined.

That is because I dont believe that there will be ONE specific theme of which Solidaridad will benefit the most, but a combination of all of them, since they are build up on another.

I think the most crucial part in introducing Drupal to the various Expertise Centers is, to show them that we are aware of the fact that they have different cultural and ethnic values and understanding of things and to try and support them. Furthermore, we should try and comfort them in their usage. I believe that it plays a central role to give them the feeling of being helped and supported if needed. For example by connecting them with an individual contact person ( respectively ambassadors ) or by creating a interactive guide, so they can successfully implement the platform and finally use it on a daily basis. To sum up, the perfect solution should be based on motivation and support for the employees, created through transparency and direct communication/help. So, we should try to create an easy running internal interaction for every Expertise Centre and then, if that works, connect the smaller parts of Solidaridad on a global level. If we can achieve that, I guess that we have build a good base for them to finally work collaboratively together..

Thats it for now.

Thanks for reading and kind regards,


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Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: +



'Harness the Crowd to Increase Awareness, Cultivate New Volunteers, and Gather Information for Your Charity'

Making the right use of croudsoucring- and crowdfunding networks,like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, is essential for starting up with any kind of project and idea. By using these tools, people get the opportunity to make an ‘open call’ to a wider community. Besides of sharing knowledge and ideas, it can enrich the designers/starters and bring diverse perspectives and critical thinking which may help refining or revising their idea. As I said, it is important to know how to use these tools, in order to reach the right audience, and make use of the communities build around the project to support it.Still, they can bring a lot of supportive help for starting up with an idea/project and I guess it connects the right people and creates a good basis for exchanging, creating,refining and raising.

'If we really see each other, we WANT to help each other'

- Amanda Palmer


As I was watching this video, I realized its connection to our current prompt. Moreover, watching it made me very emotional, because what she explains is very touching and true. She brakes this issue down, to a personal and human base, by talking about her experiences of searching for self-fulfillment and accepting. And, even more important, about the circle of asking, giving and receiving. As a basic requirement, she views the ability of ‘seeing’ each other, not just as strangers or competitors, but a lot more as human beings with fears, mistakes and hangovers. As we all know or probably even all have experienced, these thoughts and emotions are part of us, since we all are afraid of failure in our lives. Lots of people, including myself, are afraid of asking for help (no matter of what kind) because they feel like it makes them vulnerable. Showing to others that we need help, and through that admitting that we cannot solve our problems on our own, makes us feel like giving a surface for corroding. BUT, instead of letting this fact holding us back, we should use it and try to face each other, with all our doubts and fears. Referring this to the challenge of designers, who often feel urged to ‘make it on their own’ it shows the importance of trust and openness, and above all, the ability of admitting to need help and ASKING for help, without being ashamed. What I guess is, that innovative people, like designers are, have the fear of ‘sharing’ their ideas or the related problems because it might feel like being not creative enough to do it on their own. But in fact, experiencing that should not make us feel like failing. Instead, we should be open for exchanges of thoughts and feelings. As it is true for sharing on all kinds of levels, if you do it with a right intension, it should enrich and help you, and not make you feel like loosing or giving up. Therefore, as we learned last week in our assignment about collaborative group work, Crowdsourcing can be a very helpful tool to use after the individual/organizational idea generation, for refining ideas and bringing different view angles and perspectives. Finally, I see more advantages than disadvantages for Crowdsourcing in Design. 


As I did my research on the weekly topics, I found this amazing organization, which in my opinion, has a truly commendable aim. By giving people all around the world access to capital (even small amounts) they encourage and support them on their way of creating a better life for themselves and their families. What I personally find most adorable is, that the focus here is not only in helping people by funding a bigger project, but in supporting those who need financial help in order to have a perspective for their lives. It gives everybody the possibility to help by making a loan in order to support a specific person or project. Moreover, you are getting updates about how the project is going, and in the end, you even get your money back! So, you can use it to fund another project or donate it to KIVA. So PLEASE check it out !


'a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved'  and  'a joy shared is a joy doubled'

Thanks for reading,


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Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: +


”We often think of communities as organic creatures, which come into existence and grow on their own. However, the truth is they are fragile blossoms. Although many communities surely germinate and bloom on their own, purposefully creating communities can take a tremendous amount of hard work, and one factor their success ultimately depends upon is their number.”

- Christopher Allen

Life with Alacrity

As it is true for all kinds of relationships and interactions between people, it is a fact that there are no relationships which are perfectly balanced and smoothly working without putting effort in them. In fact, relationships are hard work. I suggest everybody can agree with this, regarding personal experiences, for example in partnerships. However, this is valid for all kinds of relations in which interdependences and coexistence are found. There are a lot of factors involved, one of them is the huge importance of mutual communication and understanding. Without communication, every bond between people will sooner or later break apart, or even be teared dramatically. Consequently, the right communication is the most important component of a working relationship, no matter of which kind and consistency. Regarding relationships within groups, there are several components which affect the efficiency and and creativity. Supporting Chris Corrigan, I have also the opinion, that the group size plays a crucial role. As he pointed out, groups of one, or respectively the individual work and reflection, are the best basis for generating ideas and being creative and innovative. The group benefits insofar, that these thoughts and ideas are brought back to the bigger circle afterwards, which brings the possibility to combine and connect them and through this, a broader field of creativity. Moreover, small groups which consist of odd numbered members, like 3 or 5, tend to be very creative and energetic. Whereas group constellations with more than 5 members will probably have difficulties with being creative, as well as with working together, because the members may start pulling away instead of cooperating, which has the result of loosing the benefits of diversity within the group. Nevertheless, the more diversity and ‘edges’ a group has, the more source you have to work collaborative on one topic.

For me personally, this is a very useful and supportive insight and I think, our group work for the NGO’s can be a perfect model to implement this idea.


Our group consists of 7 members, with 6 different nationalities and cultural backgrounds. And of course, 7 diverse individuals, each with his own personality, values, beliefs and understanding of the things around. Taking this into consideration, I believe that our group corresponds pretty well an that we get more and more to the point, where everybody realizes and recognizes his or her role in this cooperation. Of course, if you can’t see your own abilities and qualities, you consequently can not contribute them to the group. For that reason, it is very important to organize the group, distributing roles and responsibilities. That is the base for finding and developing our personal position within the group. Furthermore, it is very significant to be in constant exchange with all members, so we have the possibility to align our thoughts and ideas, share our insights and conclusions and as a result, being on the same level. However, this is an ideal model of cooperation, which we have not reached yet, but i think we are on the ‘right’ way to understand the issue and finally get there. Yesterday, I experienced that we worked more focused and effective, if we divide the group in smaller parts. We want to implement this from now on, which means that we will work in smaller components and afterwards combine and connect the results as a whole group. Regarding the hangout on monday, i think everybody agrees that it worked a lot better with splited groups. Furthermore, it gave us the possibility to keep on working, while the two members could be focused on the hangout. I hope, that we now can better organize and structure our group interactions.

For me, the biggest challenge and difficulty does not lie in our group internal communication, but in having trouble with being ‘up to date’ in all the different fields and courses. Which, of course, has the result that we are not at the same level and insofar can not always really exchange our thoughts and insights. A possible help or solution could be, that we try to communicate this more precise in the group, so we can finally help each other by sharing all kinds of extracts we make. However, I hope and think that the confusion will lessen with the time and we can finally make use of our experiences and knowledge, both online and offline.

” A chain is as strong as its weakest link ”´

- German saying -

Thanks for reading.


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



Today we coped with the topic GROUPWORK.

It is important that groups organize themselves, which includes the arrangement and distribution of roles and responsibilities. We went through some chaotic period which (as Nancy mentioned) did it’s good job, as we understood the importance of being organized. One of the most important ideas we got is that we should visualize and align all the information we have.

We were really inspired by the video of Chris Corrigan, who explained us that the number of members a group consists of has a huge impact on how creative and efficient a group can work.We want to apply this information to our group now, try out different kinds of components and arrangements.
Moreover, we want our group to serve as a “model “, so we can use this information and our personal impressions and insights to pass them to our NGO.


We have the opinion, that for now, it is of big importance to try and gather all our group internal insights, conclusions and ideas into something readable (something the whole gruop benefits of), so we decided to work with different folders on trello.
So, for our idea generation, everybody can individualy post hers/his ideas and afterwards we have the possibility to assemble and connect our thoughts.

TEAM WORK ( 3 people )

In our smaller groups, we arranged that, generally, two of us should be discussing and one of us should take notes, so we dont loose or overlook any thoughts or insights. Afterwards, we want to discuss this in the whole group. We plan to show interdependances so that every one realizes the importance of his/her role.


That’s it for now.

Thanks and have a nice evening.


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


First of all, I want to reflect on what I have learned and experienced in my research on the topics which were mentioned as Readings for this week.

Regarding the information about CROWDSOURCING and CRISISMAPPING ( which I had never seriously dealt with ) I was really inspired and surprised about this positive intension behind both of them.

I like the thought of collective power and cohesion, of gathering and sharing knowledge and information and then the individual contribution to a ‘bigger’ or ‘higher’ task.

I am happy to see that there are people who actually care, and who try to help others, using this kind of communication/community tool.

Besides, I am sure that this is an accurate and very useful way to do research on certain issues, or even find a collective solution and try to help others.

” in the classic use of the term, problems are broadcast to an unknown group of solvers in the form of an open call for solutions. ”

I am really inspired by this idea, and thinking about becoming a member in this collective formation.

 + ME/ WE / MANY +

ME can be useful :

individual ideas, personal experiences, skills, knowledge, emotions, inspirations —- > inspiration for the WE

WE can be useful :

implementation/ improvement of ideas, gathering of informations, perspectives, knowledge, working out ideas on a collective level and in different sight angles —- > basis for the MANY

MANY can be useful :

power of collective, collaboration, cooperation, achieving of higher goals



Now, I would like to go on with reflecting my personal network use.

Honestly, I was never particularly interested in technology and computer, I used them of course, but I was rather dealing with something else than computer games and internet.

Consequently, I am not especially skilled.

That is why I’m kind of happy to be in this course ( though in the beginning quite surprised because I haven’t expected so much digital touch ) and to have the opportunity to change my relation towards electronics and technologies, and to use and apply all developments and improvements in our global community and society.

As for the moment, I would say that I primariIy use networks for my individual and personal issues.

ME :

I use FACEBOOK and SKYPE for keeping in touch with my friends and family.

Moreover, I have some group interaction on that basis, for example I am a member of our IDE- group, which i found helpful but also confusing, because i don’t feel like i can be up to date all the time, since there are all kinds of topics and questions posted frequently.

Beside of that, I am member in several private groups for all different kinds of things and topics.

On top of that, I use GMAIL for more serious and important communication.

Plus some other kinds of networking sites like TUMBLR, PINTEREST, SOUNDCLOUD, YOUTUBE, to just name a view, but these I use more for private and personal issues than for actual communication.

Regarding my interest in communicating with people all around the world and exchange of music and other files, I would say that Facebook and Skype are most valuable networks for me.

In general I prefer user-friendly and clear tools.

To sum up, I am still happy and curious about the next weeks and their tasks and challenges.

Thats it for now.

Good Night 


We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

Albert Einstein

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According to our motto TECHNOLOGY STEWARDSHIP, this week is about learning how to create our…

According to our motto TECHNOLOGY STEWARDSHIP, this week is about learning how to create our personal digital identity, and how to use and improve our techniques and skills.

Here are some questions coming up :

 + What is my intension of creating my digital identity ?

 + Do I necessarily need to define myself in the internet ?

 + If so, what is about privacy ? how far do I want to go in sharing my personal life ?

 + Or, will my personal and my digital ME even fuse into one defined  picture  ?

 + What is an accurate way, to handle this Fusion of analogue and digital  life ? 

Though I understand, that this is part of our work, or even the basis for all our online communication and practicing, I am thinking about how to handle it, what message/personal image I want to create. Since we all have already a digital identity, it is now time to define and brand it.

Therefore, we can make use of all kinds of technology/online tools, some of them we already know, and some of them we will surely get to know in the next weeks..

What is most important now, regarding our group-works and our class goals, is to keep on exploring ourselves, in order to share our competences, our knowledge and our skills within the groups so we can strive together for achieving our goals and, in first place, to enrich ourselves and the others…


By now, I don’t have much experience in online tools, so I fear i have not much to contribute to this.

Nevertheless, I like doing researches and gathering / using this information.

Most of the tools i know/ use are tools for communication and sharing.

I would really like to learn more about how to use programs as :

+ Photoshop

+ InDesign

+ FinalCutPro

+ Logic



A big Thanks to Maarten van Leeuwen, who gave us a lot of his time to answer our questions and to discuss the difficulties and problems they face within their internal communication.I have now a better understanding of what is needed and what we can effectively contribute to help them. 


Creating the spidergram was also a helpful task, regarding both the priorities within our NGO’s community, aswell as in our group.


I hope this week will bring new ideas and inspirations, so we can improve and finally also share our skills !


“It’s not where you take things from — it’s where you take them to.”

― Jean-Luc Godard





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


I would like to write some more things, since I dealt with all these questions in my head and all this information on the screen.

The people of Solidaridad have a vision, in which they help fighting against the poverty of our world, aswell as they try to create new ways for implementing sustainabilty in both agriculture and industry, and to develop the fair trade.

Peace and justice are the superior goals and part of their mission.

Solidaridad is an international network organization with nine Regional Expertise Centres worldwide.

The international structure and orgaization of these centres is still in construction, but is visioned as a coordinated program, which makes an equal input from all centres possible.

With this new communication structure, they claim to change the relationship between North and South in a significant way.


It is our task now, to think of an useful and creative way to help them develop their program, so that finally all centres can be linked, and an interactive, supportive and hopefully user friendly communication will be possible.


I’m looking forward to work on this with my group and i think we can fusion our minds to support their vision.




Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: +


I beleive, the most important factor in our group work and for our class projects in general, is to help and support each other, in the same way we should try to complement each other.

Because, like we said, we all have our strengths and weaknesses, but we can use this and for sure we can all learn from each other, at all different kinds of levels.

As for me, this whole internet-communication is quite confusing since im a nerd in this. But im doing my best to change this.

Regarding the next weeks, and what i want to learn, i can only say that i really want to understand how to use and handle all this new impressions and tasks and hopefully be ready to improve my skills and knowledge. 

Reflecting our course on monday, i have to admit that i didnt understand much of what was going on, but I enjoyed the hangout with Nancy and Alan and Im very excited about what they will let us experience and learn, and how we all will make use of this kind of communication, so we can work together on our projects and goals.

I dont think that i can name a special quality regarding my contribution, but i think this will all show up in the next weeks.

For now, i will give my best to support my group and i hope, that together we can achieve what we want to ,and be there as a team but also as individuals who can enrich the group.



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“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

““We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.””

- Oscar Wilde
Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: +