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: J's Blog

The most important thing I have learnt about using online communities and networks in innovative…

The most important thing I have learnt about using online communities and networks in innovative design is how useful they are. We can all communicate and express what we believe and think. Then we compare any analyze and come up with the best possible solutions originating from the combined ideas of all of us.

My personal design principles for designing and fostering online communities. I would say they are the following.

  • Good design makes a product useful
  • Good design makes a product understandable
  • Good design is unobtrusive

I think that for the specific task we were set the three design principles above fit best. The product had to be useful, understandable and not frustrating to use, hence unobtrusive. 

However may I say I don’t really now how much designing and fostering of online communities I have really done. As a group we think we came up with a good way to introduce the network but we haven’t designed anything I believe. 

To the next year students:

This is certainly a fun project to take part in. You work closely together with others where you will create friendships for the rest of the course. Try working together as best as possible, try not to always work as a big group but split up into two or three smaller groups from the start so several small tasks can be finished. This is much more efficient. 

How to work well in a group is something I will certainly take with me for the rest of the program.

Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: J's Blog

Meeting the unmet needs

Im certain that crowdsourcing will be the most use to meet the needs of our NGO. 

Reason for this being that the more people can come up with more ideas, find more information and share the resources. Our NGO has all the professionals and other members to shape a very informative platform. Every single person has a lot of knowledge and once they all understand why its beneficial to share their knowledge over Drupal then it will expand and expand to a point where the people will constantly update and improve on the information available. That way when one person needs to have the newest information regarding a certain topic then he wont have to call some co-worker and ask him to send it to him because the information will all ready be available on drupal. 

If a Forum part can be added to drupal then there is chance that the people from different areas can easily help each other. Something that might have been cumbersome before can become an easy process as they are all communicating over the same platform. You can help here and there and dont actually have to write emails or make calls. You can post a question and get replies from some people you would never have guessed knew the answer. 

Crowdsourcing will also prove to be a time saving process. Why start searching on countless websites for something that the guy next to you might all ready know and have faster access too.

Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: J's Blog

The last two weeks I found very interesting. Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding had always appealed to…

The last two weeks I found very interesting. Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding had always appealed to me and in my opinion crowdsourcing is probably the best way of getting information. Crowdfunding is excellent in itself and their are a lot of products out there that were only able to exist due to crowdfunding. I regularly look at the projects on kickstarter and some are absolute genius. Great products that I can only hope will make it into the stores. Crowdfunding gives people with great ideas the opportunity to make their product. Products that wouldn’t be created by large companies because they might not speak to the mass market of millions and result in billions worth of profits. These small companies often only target thousands or tens of thousands consumers and its a combined effort to make this product come alive. If I had the funds myself then I would help lots of these projects especially the ones that make your life easier. The real innovative and life changing products are now designed and created by a small group of people and funded by a large group.

I understand why some designers might not want to seek assistance from others as they want it to be their own product, their own achievement and their own thing to be proud of. 

When it comes to crowdsourcing in design I think it can be beneficial for many things. Design is what makes the product appealing to the consumer. If it looks horrible then the functionality of it must be unbelievable for it sell as good as if it looks great and the function is good. What would you rather buy, a super fast car very expensive car that is ugly or a fast very expensive car that is beautiful? The majority will choose the better looking car. 

When you target crowdsourcing for your design then you get ideas from thousand of people and you can ultimately choose the best parts and combine them. This makes the product appealing to more people. However to be able to ask the public for their design inputs or feedback you need to reveal pretty much everything about your idea. This gives larger companies with funding of their own the possibility to copy your product and release it to the market a lot earlier then you can. Its a risk you need to be able to take but its certainly a large disadvantage for crowdsourcing in design. 

When it comes to crowdfunding for our project with the NGO I honestly do not know why someone would help us fund the project. The incentive for people to help fund a project is that they will get the product first, cheaper and receive other things aswell. But how would the individual benefit from helping fund our project. Thats something I am struggling with. 

I certainly see the benefit of crowdsourcing for our project. 

Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: J's Blog

When we started mondays session we watched a by Chris Corrigan who talked about the size of groups…

When we started mondays session we watched a by Chris Corrigan who talked about the size of groups influencing creativity and efficiency. The way he explained it was a first for me and I never thought about it in that way. After watching the video I reflected on group work I did in the past and found out that it really was true. When it was a big group project it took a very long time to get to a result and the result wasnt exactly staggering. When I worked in smaller groups we were all much more enthusiastic, everyone just threw in their ideas, getting to work until the final outcome was much faster and the result more thought out. 

I hope I will see this in our group that we have split into two groups of 3 aswell. 

What I find great about our group is that we all like and respect each other. We dont have any disputes and its fun working together. I think we all feel comfortable with the other group members and that really helps to have an efficient working environment. Its absolutely great that we are all form different cultures and grew up in different surroundings as the insight each of us can bring into discussions are much broader. We have more to choose from to come to the best in the end.

The smaller google hangout we had felt more productive then the one in recent weeks. As we are understanding the job at hand more and more we were able to ask specific questions and have then answered. It was very helpful that Maarten joined us as he answered important questions we had.

Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: J's Blog

Crowdsourcing and Online Social Structures

I use a lot of online spaces to find information and give information to others. I am signed up to several online forums, with thousand of other members. These forums are based around cars, aircrafts, ships and consumer electronics. I ask questions there frequently, lots of different users answer and the amount of information I receive in a short period of time and especially the wide variety of opinions is astonishing. When im not asking questions then I often help others who have asked questions. With time you become a trusted member and the community knows your online profile and you can exchange information with far more knowledgable people then myself. 

I don’t stick to only certain groups, if I have the chance to help someone or I find a new place where I can get my questions answered then I will try it out. Even if its only for one time. I find it very valuable to be able to exchange information with so many people around the world, from different cultures and age groups because its very intriguing to find out what opinion others have on a certain topic. You can get a better all round picture of whats going on or being asked. 

Youtube is great, and most likely one of my most valuable sources as such. I can usually find lots of videos about the same topic but all of them share information from a different angle. Sometimes you can engage in interesting discussions with other users in the comments section too. I subscribe to several other peoples channels or channels from organizations like National geographic, discovery channel, BBC and similar ones. I like being able to stay up to date with whats going on in the world and youtube is very helpful in doing so.

Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: J's Blog

Technology Stewardship and use during the course

I am very knowledgeable when it comes to technology as a whole. I can build, repair and disassemble computers and other devices with ease and I am always the one that gets called or asked for help by my family and friends when something breaks or someone needs help. I am familiar with a vast span of programs, the underlying code, and how they operate. I can use creative programs offered by adobe, CAD programs like FormZ, organizational programs like Adobe Bridge and many many other useful programs, I also know a lot about services available on the internet, if that is file sharing websites or social media website. I stay up to date with whats new and whats available. I use Facebook, drop box, many many other handy websites, and since recently store data in the cloud. However I am very careful when it comes to having thoughts, data or pictures of myself on the internet. I don’t have a digital identity as such. I have facebook, but for the sole purpose of being able to reach out to people I know, and getting useful information. I pretty much never post photos of myself on facebook, or update my status with what I think or am doing. I don’t feel the need to share all those things with hundreds of people. When I sign up for a service online, its because it might simplify something I am doing or help me to do it. And when I do sign up, then never with my real name or primary email address. I don’t think the company offering the service needs to know my name, phone number, address and what ever else they ask sometimes. 

Taking the above into consideration, I will help people with their technology, I am glad to teach people about computers, programs and so forth aswell as and being taught by more knowledgeable people. BUT, I will not in any foreseeable future build a proper digital identity where people can find out what I am doing and what my opinions are on certain topics. If someone want to know something about me, they can ask me and I will tell them, but I do not want to have it out there for anyone to see. 

Back to our project

We are now starting to use the file sharing website Trello. It seems like a great tool and I am pleased that my fellow group member introduced us too it. It will certainly be useful for our group. 

We had a very long chat with Marteen van Leeuwen. We were able to ask him a load of questions and he answered them very well. At the end I dont think anything was left unanswered. An interesting thing we found out was that quite a lot of the people working for solidaridad are not very young and this will give us a challenge when trying to introduce the platform. My group, and I, can now effectively start planning and thinking about what to do and how to do it. 

The spidergram was a fun and helpful task to have done. Its good to be able to see what our group thinks are priorities and what the NGOs priorities are most likely going to be. 

I am eager to carry on with this project as I am genuinely interested in it and what the outcome is going to be like.

Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: J's Blog

Overall I liked the start of the course. It was relaxed and mostly fun. My group seems like a good…

Overall I liked the start of the course. It was relaxed and mostly fun. My group seems like a good mix, we can all contribute on certain way and im sure we will get the task done effectively. It took a while to find out what we are supposed to know and sadly we spend a significant chunk of time doing something we weren’t supposed to. Instructions could have been clearer and there should’ve been more support from tutors especially because it was the first class and we had no idea what the plan was. It got clearer to the end but after our meeting on Friday im sure everything will be cleared up and all possible confusion will be erased.  The google hangout with Nancy and Alan was a fun and I learnt a lot from it. They certainly know what they are doing and im sure I will ask a lot of questions to them over the next weeks. 

I have never done such a thing before and I am all ready thinking about what an effective way would be to introduce a intranet system to 10 different cultures. I don’t think it will be easy but challenges are a part of life and im always eager to tackle the unknown. Its great that we have this opportunity to work with an NGO and present our ideas to them at a later stage.

I am very good at taking something and making it better, expand on the ideas and then implement them to perfect the final product. I would say that is my “special quality” that I can contribute to my team. Besides that I am good at coming up with new ideas, new solutions and I find myself to have a different way of tackling challenges. In the end all our specials qualities will have combined and we will have found a great solution to the problem at hand. 

Well I would love to know what our outcome in several weeks is going to look like. However im struggling to imagine that. Only thing I can think of is that the solution we come up with for our NGO will be the simplest way. All the people from the different cultures need to be able to start using the intranet communication without it being a hassle to the user. It needs to be self explanatory and not require effort to understand how it works. 


Posted in Community
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: J's Blog