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.

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Project Communities

Good evening,

This week’s blog will be focusing on what has been learned from the course so far.

To begin with, through the weekly process of learning we were able to understand how the different stages of a project should be done. However, the most important aspect I have learned, is regarding how vital for the designers’ work the networking and the proper use of social media are.

So far, the globalization has been increasing and the society has been capable to reach all kind of information for no time and share even larger amount of information. I learned how important our online presence is and that it can always be developed and improved, depending on the its target group.

The design principles for raising online community I have developed during course would be:

  1. Focus on the community’s unmet needs and wants.

Making sure that you understand your community and its requirements would allow you to focus on what is important better and develop it well. Without a clear view, of what is vital for your community, it is impossible to achieve success.

  1. See the “big picture”.

Looking at a particular problem is good, however understanding the cause of it and looking into it from different perspective is also integral part of the designers’ work.

  1. Say what you want to say in simple way.

One should spread his/her message clear and simple. The target group should be able to understand it fast and easy.

 In order to have one positive experience from the course, I would advise next year students to take action and get involved with the project as much as they can. Since, the work has been done for real companies, student have the chance to bring their work to the next level and get involved with actual businesses and NGOs. I would say that it is very important to do your desk research well, so you would have the chance to make better decisions. The course will help you to improve your team work skills and will shed some light of how to proper use the internet space, things that are important for the designers nowadays. 

Greetings,

Iliya

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Iliya Elenski

Reflection on WorkShop Sessions

To begin with, everything we have been learning during the classes so far is giving positive reflection on our group work. I am not surprise, since the aim of this course is to give us directions and clues of how to work with NGOs and shed some light over different topics regarding our projects.

For me every lesson is valuable as long as it is learned. It is hart to line up and try to give a grade to what we have learned, since each theme covers different, vital for the outcome of the process, aspect. However, in my point of view, one of the most beneficial themes, a theme that has increased the creativity of our team and has improved our abilities, is the one about the group sizes.

Since we have relatively large group, consisting of 8 members, in the beginning we had difficulties in distributing the work properly. We did not have an idea, considering the proper use of our group size. Having better understanding on how to divide tasks and how to preserve the diversity of a group, really improved our process.

For example, we are splitting in small groups of two people, if there is a demand for creative, new ideas. Knowing the efficiency of the small group, helped us and now we are able to come up with large number of ideas for little time. Another example is: when we are aiming in developing certain greater tasks, we are forming bigger groups of 3-4 people, as we know, that larger groups work better on further development of a task. I also learned, that there is no impracticable group member, there is incompetent or unrealistic task distribution. Every team unit could be useful, if one is able to find the most proper way of using each member.

I am really happy with the result of this specific topic on our team. I believe, that group size theme is the method that gave the most visible and significant repercussion on the functioning of our group. Therefore, this method will be the one, which has given the larger push towards our final goal. By functioning better, our group was able to come up with larger number, higher quality ideas and to make use of the diversity of its size. We are able to finish tasks quicker and monitor the process better.

I want to share the final solution, which our group has been working on, however I prefer to keep that for the end. I do not want to spoil our story, so to speak. In my point of view, our strategy is pretty accurate, aligns and involves all aspects of the course so far and in the same time is pretty simple and easy to understand. I hope that we succeeded to find a common line between everything: client’s needs and wants, workshop classes and coach sessions and our task. I am really looking forward to finalizing our video and presenting it to you guys.

See you soon. Cheers!

Iliya

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Posted in Community, Group 5
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Iliya Elenski

Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding nowadays

This week’s block will be focusing on crowdsourcing and crowdfunding and how these options reflect on designer’s career.

Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing are becoming more and more popular and accessible methods for increasing your network and raising money. With the developing of the technologies it is relatively easy for individuals and businesses to attract new people and new capital for little time. Many different platforms are offering diverse ways of doing so online.

So far in the design world I noticed that it is pretty important to be able to create and develop network and be cable of raising money for future projects. As a designer it is not enough to be just involved with the design of a certain product, it is valuable skill the ability to find the right people and get funded.

Croudfunding and crowdsourcing have definitely many positive aspects. To begin with, with the globalization more and more people have access to these methods and therefore it is more likely to achieve something using it. For very short period of time one is able to reach large number of people and that is one really big advantage we can enjoy thanks to the internet.  By researching and looking at different campaigns one is able to compare, to learn and to be inspired from colleges. Due to all crowdsourcing and crowdfunding platforms many dreams have come true and people have been able to help and support each other. So, to summarize all pros of using the above mentioned methods I will say that it is: fast, accessible, cheap, reaches large number of people in no time, easy, user-friendly, helps to support, popular, there is constantly increasing interest in it, brings dreams to life.

However, negative aspects could be found about almost everything that surrounds us. In my opinion, all these pros regarding crowdsourcing and crowdfunding cast shadow on the little number of cons, I am aware of. With the current developments and the large number of competitors it becomes tougher and tougher to succeed and reach your goals using the online space. It is way more difficult to raise money via IndieGoGo for example than it was before. Another negative aspect is the fact that, in order to achieve something, one should put a lot of information regarding his/hers idea online, so it becomes easier for people to duplicate or steal ideas.  I cannot think of more cons concerning crowdfunding and crowdsourcing, in my point of view the positive aspects are way more.

That was all for this week. See you soon. Take care.

Kind Regards,

Iliya

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Posted in Community, Group 5
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Iliya Elenski

TeamWork

Good day everyone,

This week I will be writing about teamwork and more specific about how things in class in our project communities group are going on.

To begin with, the ability to work in teams has always been one important and valuable skill. Wherever you go, to schools, to employers or to business owners, they are all interested to hear about your team working skills. From ages till now people have been successfully surviving and developing mainly because of their ability to team up and work in groups. People are able to reach and achieve higher and higher heights thanks to the capability of exchanging experience, ideas, thoughts and share common goals. I believe that people are much stronger in groups and therefore the society has been divided into different types of groups: countries, cities, business organization, non-profit organizations and so on.

Furthermore, I am really happy with the work of our group so far. I think that each of our members is motivated enough to work properly and is willing to participate in every given opportunity. I enjoy working with them, the atmosphere is pleasant and friendly, which is important and allows us to perform better. Everybody has been delivering his/her work on time and is been conscious about the tasks. There is mutual understanding and till that point everything is going smoothly.

Since we are first year students there are of course some challenges that our group has been through. There was confusion at the begging regarding who is supposed to do what. We were not certain what kind of roles should we assign to each other and how to equally distribute them. We had some misunderstanding regarding the attendance of our group meetings and the attendance of the classes involving our project. However, we created a group contract, which has been approved by all group members, so we made sure, that for the future everybody will be aware of the rules. Moreover, with the time we reached a point where we understood what is required form us, thus we were able to assign roles and start doing different tasks one by one.

This week we had very valuable class with lecturers and coaches shedding light on how to properly use the size of our groups. We learned that smaller groups work better on creative tasks and that if you divide one big group into several smaller once, each group would come up with number of different ideas or solutions. So in groups of more than six members we are going to start losing the opportunity that diversity is giving. This for example is one very useful lesson, since we were not sure how to suitably use the large size of our group and how to benefit from the variety of nationalities and cultures that we have. So far, I cannot recognize typical cultural stereotypes in our group and in my opinion everybody is giving his/hers best.

For the future we will be definitely trying to apply what we have learned this week about group sizes. We are going to work in smaller groups in order to generate more ideas and in larger groups if we want to develop certain concept. I believe that the new methods will improve our work and everyone is looking forward to see the results.

Thank you for your time :) See you next week!

Greetings

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Iliya Elenski

Different ways of using the internet space

Greetings fellows,

This week I will be focusing my thoughts on how I, as an individual, am using the online space. These days if you want to download a movie or song, to make a comment somewhere online or to buy something on internet, you would have to make an account. Accounts are required everywhere in order to verify yourself, so one should somehow represent his/her-self.

I am using the internet for variety of different purposes and I have been a member of many different online groups. I tend to make a distinction between the dissimilar websites and therefore I have been representing diverse personal information, depending on the target group of the website or my account there.

To begin with, as I have mentioned in my previous blog, I have been using facebook as a tool to reach my friends and family. I am careful with how much information I am sharing on the network and to whom I am giving access to my personal space.

One year ago I found one pretty interesting web community called Coursera (coursera.org). The web site has contracts with some of the most prestige universities in the World, on the list are names like Duke University, Brown University, Princeton University, Stanford University and many others. People are able to follow course online for free and gain access to professors from those universities, which in my eyes is priceless. I have been following a couple of courses there and I am pretty happy with what I have learned. I was able to get in contact with many different people, colleagues from these online courses, and share information via varies platforms. So, for example, in this particular online space, people are mainly interested of what you have been studying and what kind of information you could share. Person’s identity is shaped depending on what knowledge he or she has.

Furthermore, I have been deeply involved with online poker for the past 3-4 years, hence I am member of different online poker communities. In 2011 I was accepted to play for a poker company which purpose is to stake (invest money) young players and give them opportunity to develop. My job was to play certain number of hours every month and I get a monthly salary regardless my performance. Of course, in order to start playing for this company I have developed solid history and I was able to present all of my past statistics and winning. My point is that, here people are interested in so much different part of my live than the people I get in contact with via Facebook, Twitter or Coursera.

To conclude, I am cautious of what kind of account I am making, what the purpose of this account is and what the target group is. I share very dissimilar information with the divers groups I am member of. On some online spaces I exchange more thoughts and knowledge than on others depending of the context and the purpose of the account. I hope that most of the internet users are cautious about their online choices as well. That was all for this week, see you next time J

Regards,

Iliya 

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Posted in Community, Group 5
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Iliya Elenski

Technologies in our society

Hello everyone,

This week’s blog will be focusing on the online aspect of our lives. As we know, nowadays technologies are all around, so they become “necessity” rather than a luxury. In order to stay in touch with family and friends, to keep up with the current world situation, people have been using different technologies. Thanks to the internet we are able to be share information and communicate fast and easy. With the popularization of the social networks, today, it is a “must” to have a social profile and basically to represent your identity there. For example, in our university we have a selection of social network groups for the dissimilar tasks in class, so without having a profile on Facebook or other required social network, it becomes impossible to successfully graduate.

However, internet deserves to be at the place it is, occupying leading positions of society’s priority list, since it have been improving and facilitating that much our lives so far. I am happy, that I am capable of contacting all my close persons right away, for almost no money, and I can stay informed 24/7.

Different social networks must and are used for different activities and purposes. I personally have been using facebook in order to contact with family, friends and simplify my communication with school mates. On facebook people could expose latterly all their lives: relatives, close people, what their preferences regarding every aspect of the life are, where they are going, what they are currently working and so on and so on. I believe that the actual border between the privacy and the public has been blurred and many people have lost the track of it. On my facebook profile I am trying to share only basic information, which I think would be enough for my current and future facebook friends.

Furthermore, I have been using Twitter as an informational tool. I have been focusing on following people who I admire or I would like to learn something from. So far, I developed a network concentrated on a subject I am keen on, so I am able to be in touch with the latest news regarding it. Twitter could be used for many different marketing strategies. It can be useful in finding individuals from a certain target group, an activity that could turn to be very expensive for the businesses and personal projects. One can also use twitter in order to find out what people are currently speaking about. So for example: I have a shoe store and I want to know what people think of the latest shoe collections on the market. Twitter has this option that allows you to search posts and conversations by words, so you can just type “latest shoe collection” and see what has been said concerning it.

As mentioned above, I have been using the diverse social networks for different purposes. I believe I will have the chance to apply my knowledge on school projects in the future. So far, I was only involved with the communication aspect of our project, since I have some experience in this area. I would be more than happy to share what I know and what could be useful for somebody. Right now, I do not know what exactly would turn to be important and valuable, however I would be willing to share everything I know about social networks and their different roles as marketing tools.

Up to know, I have not noticed particular “unmet need” of the groups in our class. What I see is pretty much a confusion of what exactly is required from the project and groups looking for the right direction. However, uncertainty appears in our group as well, so it would be hard for me to identify specific problem of the other groups, especially a need that I could help with. In my opinion, it is a little bit too early to be that much involved with the work of others and team have not been worked long enough, so one would be able to recognize exact problems and present some support. 

Greetings,

Iliya

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Iliya Elenski

Project Communities

To begin with, I expect form project communities’ course to be all about the technology and how to use it purposely. Nowadays, technologies became integral part of our lives and we got used to using them daily. However, there are variety of different purposes one could use technologies. I believe, we are going to learn how to use them as a marketing and business communication tool.

Furthermore, knowing how to properly use today’s inventions could be really valuable lesson for everyone following IDE. We will be able to achieve easy communication with potential business partners, potential customers and other targeted groups. We could rapidly increase our network and develop our projects and brands.

I suppose, during project communities’ course, we are going to practice our team working skills as well. It may sound simple, but working in team could be pretty challenging job. Distributing appropriate roles to group members, achieving reasonable communication, motivating and following time schedule are all skills that have to be practiced and acquire with the time.

I see our project as the first step of our studying progress. It will help us to improve social and business skills, abilities that are required by IDE program. I expect the final outcome of our project to be one well-structured, reasoned, detailed and completed fundraising strategy plan. I expect our team to create a final paper that meets all the requirements and full-fills its purpose. I believe that we can come up with strategy and contribute in conserving and maintaining Caribbean and Curacao’s traditions. I am happy to see that our work in school could actually reflect positively on real life projects.

In order to achieve our goals, all team members should try to give their best for the project. I have been using social media for commercial purposes and I will try to apply my experience. Furthermore, I think I am a goal oriented person and a team-worker, I will do my best to implement all my skill in creating and developing our assignments. 

Greetings

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Posted in Community, Group 5
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Iliya Elenski

Project Communities

To begin with, I expect form project communities’ course to be all about the technology and how to use it purposely. Nowadays, technologies became integral part of our lives and we got used to using them daily. However, there are variety of different purposes one could use technologies. I believe, we are going to learn how to use them as a marketing and business communication tool.

Furthermore, knowing how to properly use today’s inventions could be really valuable lesson for everyone following IDE. We will be able to achieve easy communication will potential business partners, potential customers and other targeted groups. We could rapidly increase our network and develop our projects and brands.

I suppose, during project communities’ course, we are going to practice our team working skills as well. It may sound simple, but working in team could be pretty challenging job. Distributing appropriate roles to group members, achieving reasonable communication, motivating and following time schedule are all skills that have to be practiced and acquire with the time. I am looking forward to the next project and working with you guys.

Greetings

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Posted in Community, Group 5
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Iliya Elenski