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: Justin's Lil' Box Of Thoughts

It’s The Final Countdown

Yes, it has arrived. The fated time has come.
We are nearing the end of our course.
Buckle up for the final countdown, this will be the last ride.

Over the course of this course, I have learned much more than initially predicted. I could write you an essay regarding every dirty little detail, but let’s keep this relevant to the task.
Foremost: What is the most important thing I have learned regarding utilizing online communities ?

Online communities and networks are double edged blades.
There can be no doubt about the amount of incredible information, ideas an aspiring open-innovator such as I will gain from using these modern opportunities.
However, therein lies the problem as well. An excess of information leaves much to doubt about the authenticity of given information. Or relevancy of information, where the gems are hidden beneath the dirt.
Therefore, one should always choose carefully. “Where to ask it”, “When to ask it”, “Whom to ask”, and “How to ask.”

And in this process, I have also set myself some design principles to be noted when designing and fostering a online community, or network:

A thoroughly well structured website, to be easily loaded, accessed. It shall not have to be burdened by unnecessary gimmicks, yet shall not prevent:

The website has be greatly forthcoming towards the individual needs and liking of each individual user.

A clear structure to clearly allow groups of  their own interests to meet, share discuss etc.

A website which intrudes with the life of the user is a website to be destroyed. The one community to strive, is the one to integrate subtly with the lives of the users.

A online community that closes it’s borders shall one day run out of ideas. Opening borders, welcoming new users into the network allows people to feel home, to feel appreciated. To stay.

Lastly, an online community must also want to stay, and build up as one The very design of the website must feel all of above, it must make everyone feel home, to want to log in and see what other family members have said. Only so can it withstand the test of time.

We are nearing take off. This is the last check before the take-off. Looking back, what can I share with the next generation ?
This course is going to be confusing. Many obstacles will be laid upon your way. Not every task will make sense, and even when they did, some were useless for the big picture: the customer’s needs ( task ).

I will lay it upon the next generation to focus on the biog picture. Should one try to include everything or every detail into the answer, it will entangle.
Clarity first, thoroughly bend every nook and canny of the task given upon you. Make sure everyone understood the task.
Communication and preparation is key. Speak to your peers, your tutors. Prepare in advance, be ahead. It allows mistakes or unnecessary details to be fostered out earlier.

Yet as negatively I might have made it sound, certain details of this course will stick to me, as they are important to me.
Copyright, experience with a customer and problems thrown into array. Working together as groups. This will help me grow, for a better future. 

And for now, this is the final countdown. The last show on the road before we move on our path towards a future we design ourselves.
This. Is. “The Final Countdown”

See you along the road chaps.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Justin's Lil' Box Of Thoughts

Running Olympic: Preparation is key

Let us set some things straight. I’m never going to be an Olympian. Never will I be able to run the 100 meters with a speed of Usain Bolt. Or close to that. But boy, with my group’s last run, we’re going to blast through the run with more grace and coolness than Usain Bolt could do. ( Note: No way, but let me bask in this light )

Why did I compare the blog’s question of the chosen theme to running a hundred meters ?
Well that is fairly simple. Preparation for the one final decisive run takes time. It confuses you, it makes you wonder what to do. The time draws closer, you might panic. “What do you think, how do I prepare, what can I do ?! “

In my most humble opinion ( I’ve been called very bossy ), the afore mentioned stages is what Group 6 went through.
Every week we got thrown a new bone to play with. A new track to run on, new shoes to put on to help us.

It took us a while, but we each have found and agreed on most shoes and which track to run on. I personally take this pair of shoes :
Crowd-sourcing - Limited Edition.

Why ? Oh wait, aside from not remembering the first few shoes ( methods ) crowd-sourcing struck me as my shoes for the following reasons.

Our most respected NGO plans to create a social intranet platform, with social integrity, and the potential to keep changing.

Reason number one: The sole:
The people. How would you create a social intranet platform ? If it were up to me, I’d put some color here and there, functions built according to my preference and be done with it. But that is not the point.
Crowd-sourcing enables the admins ( track layers ) to listen to opinions of others, filter out the most important notions of must-haves and then build a social intranet website according to opinions of what a social website must have. Isn’t that what it is all about ?

Reason number two: The material:
The product has to be sound, it has to be good. The tools have to be right.
A social intranet platform by itself is useless. The functions of what it has to offer makes it what it can be. Again crowd-sourcing will help. Put up the question of what makes “facebook” so great, or what tools a social website for businesses should have.
Five bucks says people will mention tools, or details of the tools in degrees of manners you have never thought about.

Reason number three: The laces for the future:
What would a shoe be without the hold, without the promise that this shoe will survive long and hold on your feet, while you put it up to the final run ?
How can you guarantee the longevity of our NGO’s social intranet platform ?
Thanks to the aspect of evolution and a brain, humans change their opinions and needs. The social intranet platform has to evolve with it. What better way is there to predict, or see what changes have to be done now, or in the coming future, if not with crowd-sourcing ? it allows you to tap vastly into the minds of many and see how opinions will change, needs will change. It allows the admins to prepare the site for further changes along the way and hey.

Preperation is key.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Justin's Lil' Box Of Thoughts

Step Three To Project Domination: Using People ( Optional )

Good day lads and lasses.
Welcome to another round of my thoughts. Today’s blog will deal with the topic of: ”Crowd-sourcing”. Or in other words, using people and how is it useful, if at all ? ( see: Optional )

Crowd-sourcing is the label of the action that one creates something with other people, usually strangers, by allowing them to co-operate on the project.

By allowing others outside of the norm ( group, or partners ) to chip in. The results may surprise you.
It is said that children are more creative than adults, and thus are able of a more abstract solution to problems, or able to solve problems effortlessly.
Different situation, same principle.
While experts are called experts with a reason, they do not always have all answers. Sometimes hidden gems are scattered across the world.
Crowd-sourcing allows you to get in touch with people who have abstract ideas, who may have the answers you seek.

The same holds true for designing. While you design, you are not always going to be able to do everything alone. Ideas are stolen, ideas and creations, innovation and re-imagining are all out of a person’s mind, who has had impressions and formed thoughts out of peoples’s creations.
Which also means that if one wants to make something completely new, or radical, one person might not succeed.
That is why the saying ” Two minds are better than one” exists. In certain situations, crowd-sourcing might be what is needed to finish a project.

These are the greatest advantages crowd-sourcing offers. And in designing, once the design has made a client happy, crowd-sourcing might have allowed you to discover individuals to work again with in the future, or if you are really lucky : an entire network of new colleagues.

The Downside
There are, however, two sides to every coin.


"You die."

Harvey Dent perfectly represents both sides of crowd-sourcing and it’s abstract relativity to helpfulness. Chance.

Above are the advantages mentioned, explained and elaborated. However, this applies that the coin flipped was on the good side up.
Get the coin shown on the upper picture, and you have more problems than before.

The first question is: Will people care ?
Not always.
Not even with a reward will people have sufficient motivation to actually help you beyond that. ( Look, everyone has their price, but I doubt the normal designer like you and me has millions lying around )

If you cannot motivate people, you have no crowd sourcing and you can stop right there, and still stay stuck.

When helping with a design, people might be biased and have unreliable information. 
Choose the wrong place and you get both which are actually more useless than nothing, as they might sway and annoy others who might have had something to actually support you.

And lastly, the worst part of crowd-sourcing: Theft.
Why is crowd-sourcing particularly dangerous and scary for the designing world ? Because some people are - censored - . Simple as that.


Thanks for your idea, I will totally name you.

If you allow an idea to be distributed, you can bet that suddenly someone else on the market has your idea as well. SURPRISE !

For a more relevant example, look at at your phone. Chances are you have a Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson, whatever.


This was not even crowd-sourcing, but isn’t it kind of interesting how Samsung’s’ phones suddenly have Apple’s rough design outline?
And that is for a finished product. Imagine what happens if you have an open contract, have a great idea, get stuck.
Then you go to your designer friends, ask for advice, they have none and suddenly your client has their product.

"Et tu Brutus ?!"

This may the reason why designers don’t like other designers. The one who hands in the design first may call himself the owner.
Look at history has taught us: Thomas Edison pretty much stole all the ideas, and stepped on other inventors.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Justin's Lil' Box Of Thoughts

Groups: The Greatest Asset ? Or The Worst Foe ?

The definition of groups is broad. Yet the concept can be summed on a basic principle: “Two are better than one”, “Together we stand”, “We are not alone”. Also: The more the merrier.

imageThe more would definitely be merrier.

Applying groups in situations to be overcome is comparable to strings and paper. One by itself is easy to break and tear. But put more of them together, it suddenly becomes quite hard to break them.
This is applicable to humans as well.
While we tend to think ourselves strong and invincible. The truth is that there are many a moment where one person does not suffice, and more are needed.

However working in a group does not only have the rose, the thorns on the steam have to be accounted for.
Such is the case with my group.
The roses in us are our diversity, having a group of nine definitely presents it’s edges, perks and difficulties.

Does it work well ? Well ”working well” is a definition that others might use, I prefer the simple term of “works”.
What works ? Structure is done. Planning is done, results are underway, so that works.

Challenging to me, to us as a group, is getting all nine members to be present, or work together. Well let’s be honest, with this size and confusion to arise, we are at times in trouble with giving workload equally. Though yesterday was a pleasant exception; we were done so quickly, we had time to spare.
And that proves yet another great contrast to our size, a positive side of this is that thanks to our group being so fast, we can divide larger tasks more efficiently, each of us can attend our attention according to our strengths and preferations ( see: sweet spot ).

Where size hurts and benefits as well is the cultural diversity Group 6 posses. We have people from corners of the world, or mixtures of them. Viewpoints differ due to different upbringings and social standpoints. It has lead, and will lead us towards more clashes, or it may give us a result so great, we might need to build a monument to carry our pride.

Where Group 6 has failed, but we yearn to correct is the communication. The lack of communication has led us to our early group life crisis, the lack of communication has borne frustrations and dissatisfaction, the lack of communication has been pointed out as our greatest weakness, crippling us like two chain balls.
But with communication, with the strength and will to rise, to climb to see across all and look forward, we might be able to cut of the thorns of our rose, and present it: Our result in the future.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Justin's Lil' Box Of Thoughts

Online Spaces: A Hallucinatory Helper

Wake up Sunshine !


You, as a hallucination. You watched too much Breaking Bad and fell asleep procrastinating remember ?


Doesn’t matter, I am your subconscious mind helping you !

Oh boy, I’m going crazy.

Hard-working, remember this blog you have to write ?

I- ..Damn. Okay fine, if I’m going crazy, might as well reflect on myself crazy.

Wonderful, we can begin! What is an online space to you, as an individual ?

HA ! Wonderful, that’s easy ! Nothing.

Define Nothing.

Why ?

Because I am your hallucination and I command you to.

Fine, I do not use online spaces as an individual, for the only online spaces which you might consider individually present to be used as an individual, is Tumblr.
Disregarding that however, Tumblr was designed to be a platform sharing the content you create with the world. As you might remember from my previous answer last week, this is part of a digital identity. Sharing content and ideas about oneself allows others to know about one.

To me, an individual utilizing an online space for him-/herself only is completely pointless. It does not help me or a person using it for himself, it would be a virtual waste of space.

What about when finding information for an assignment ?

I guess I would use Google for that, then find out by utilizing secondary research methods to find what I need. That might be the only known instance to me where I utilize online spaces as an individual.

Wonderful. See, was that so hard ?

Be quiet. Thanks, now go away. Wait, why aren’t you gone yet ?

Because we still got lots to answer boy !

I hate you.

Oh you flatter me, nonetheless -*clears throat*- Are you a member of a defined and bounded group or do you interact along the way as you intersect with others in the wider network ?

What ?

Oh boy, my other me is stupid. I asked: “Are you a part of a defined group on the internet” ?

No, wait, yes. I think. Wait, yeah I am !
The “New Open Innovators” on Facebook counts as me being part of a defined group on the internet. I think because it is a closed group of individuals massed together to share thoughts, questions and so on. It’s also an efficient way one might communicate with each other.

Good, and how do you interact with others in the wider network?

I don’t.

Facebook counts, idiot. 

I do, by commenting on other postings made by friends, pressing the like button, and so on. Among many other interactions within different means, such as event plannings on different site sections and groups.

Continuing on then ! Which online space holds the most value to you and tell me why.

None.. just kidding! No need to look at me like that !
I’d have to honestly say that Facebook would hold the most value to me. It allows me to keep in touch with my friends around the world. The time I spend on Facebook, words I’ve typed with my friends, things I’ve shared and learned, it makes Facebook the current most important online space in my life.
And sites where I can find out the best all-you can eat sushi in town.

What about Tumblr ?


Yeah, I already know the answer to that. Then tell me your most comfortable online space.

The place where you aren’t. Ouch, okay, stop hitting me.
Wait, how can you even hurt me? You’re my hallucination! Oh whatever.

I guess that would be Facebook again, for I do not use many other online spaces on the internet, other than places I can watch my shows, and find out Sushi places.

Why Facebook ?

Seriously, I, what- Oh whatever I give up. 
I find Facebook the most comfortable online space to be in, due to my friends, the easy planning it allows me, even though Zukerberg ruined it some time ago by changing it’s design to “Timeline”.
The tools facebook has allowed us, it’s users, to use are great.
Specifically the calendar, event, and group option.

The first allows me to see a rough outlining of events coming up.
It gives me the overview I need to track and plan with my friends, who create events, or when I create events, it helps us plan when to have events by sharing the online space together and allowing us to communicate while we plan ! The event option also has a group kind of function, which I have already mentioned abone, is a closed group for us. Much like our Open Innovators group on Facebook.

The people on Facebook you meet, or can get to know. You practically can meet everyone there, might it be the last party, or a new friend, who knows a friend, and has a friend, that knows a friend who knows you. Or situational get-to knows, when you need to get somewhere and you contact a stranger to save money, or sell your old mattress.
This, and the fact I need it for my friends and plannings, makes it my most comfortable online space in the internet.

Congratulations, you’ve done it ! We have written a blog-

*Justin Lim grabbing coat and leaving house*

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Justin's Lil' Box Of Thoughts

Second Step: The Wall

Have you ever read Game of Thrones ? Of course you have. But let’s go by the rare chance you have not. If that is the case, then I strongly, yet lovingly suggest you to turn off this blog, and start catching up. You got 3 television seasons and 5 books of catching up to do.

But that is not relevant now, the question is the reference to my title: “The Wall”.  See The Wall is a enormous construction of ice dividing the fictitious Seven Kingdoms from the North. In our case, The Wall represents the accumulative amount of impossibilities and tasks towering our group, wherein every step is equal to every climb up. Every tool is crucial, which is technology. And the internet, which is our rope. Our Imagination, our will.


Climb this.

We have been introduced to the concept of digital identity, an interesting concept.
Well, we know the NSA is reading this, and whatever we post, write, say or speak on the internet is going to be saved on some server far away.
But that is also what digital identity is. Nothing more than you on the internet.
You can be you, or someone else. Because whatever you ever do, Facebook, Google and everyone else utilizing the rope ( the internet ) is going to find knots of you.
But you know, if you want a visual idea of what more sophisticated folks at the National Media Museum in UK think about your digital identity:
Create your digital you ! For best results, use the Facebook Connect option.


"It’s not who you are underneath, but what you do ( say ) that defines you. " - Batman

As you might remember, our job for Solidaridad Network ( From hereon called SN. because honestly, I won’t be typing that all the time ) is to basically create an intranet website for them to integrate and successfully use in their goal to change the world.
Well, great. We’ve arrived at the bottom of The Wall and my first step is to consider:
"What tools do we have, what is my experience with them, and what can I do with them ?"

Our tools to start the climb is the usage of online tools dedicated to creating websites. My experience ? Well, if you want a crack on The Wall, I guess I can climb and send you early Christmas snowfall.

Which means my experience and expertise in this field is virtually none. Creating a website has never been an interest of mine, though playing around with German hosted services has proved quite amusing.
However this is just a website creation tool. What we need is a platform tool. Okay fine, we have Drupal Commons 3.0. But we are not able to download the software to test it out.
Therefore, I cannot be a mentor to others, as I lack the, or in actuality any., skills to create a social platform.

This is however a different story when it comes to references. Holding our rope ( The internet ) tightly and checking every knot ( Websites ) on it with our keen eyes ( Google ), we are able to find out places to improve ourselves on. One such social platform creation tool, is this lil’ helper here
A tool most intriguing. Should it deliver what it promises, we might be able to gain insight as to how one creates a social platform. This might allow us a more accurate design. We might even be able to beat Facebook, Xing and Google !


Okay, maybe not Google. Their crown is too pretty.

This tool promises alot. It may be the key to understanding how and what a social platform requires to work by.
By possibly trying this program out, I may be able to give more insights on what may or may not be possible when designing a concept for our NGO.

Perhaps some others may be of help. Heck, if I knew how to create a social networking site, I’d probably be joining Zuckerberg on his yacht.
But therein lies the beauty of a group work, we might be able to combine thoughts and discoveries, and together grow as one.
That way, climbing The Wall is not going to be impossible, just tedious, we have 7 weeks.

In worst case scenario, I might pull the rope for a while, somewhere along the rope Group 6 might find an expert knot in with us.

Justin Lim, taking the second step and staring hard at The Wall.

Tagged with:
Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Justin's Lil' Box Of Thoughts

First Step: The Ripples Of Change

Good Morning, Afternoon, Evening. Wherever you happen to be.

This blog is going to record each of my steps towards the future as on open innovator. As such it is going to give you some insight to my mind, my thoughts and my goals. It will allow you to follow me on this journey to become something. And so, with no further ado I present you my first step, taken on Monday, the 9th of September 2013.

Prior to tackling the new challenges presented in life, or actually just this course, one should always ask themselves;
What am I doing here, what do I have to achieve, and lastly: Do I even know what is to be achieved ?
Simple answer: No. But there is always the method of trying to understand.

Presented with the class’ ideals and the lecturer’s thoughts on our growth, what I as an aspiring open innovator perceive, and understand, is that the class goal is that we should grow, share, create and expand ideas as a team, not in isolation. From anywhere in the world, accessible anytime, anywhere, to incorporate the notion of using an online community as one base to work together with.

Individual ideas are great and the start of something big, but an individual alone has not much power.
Say you have an idea. You put it on paper. Voilá, you’re stuck, because you cannot figure out how and where to place that tiny little screw without changing everything.
Or say you’re a genius and finished a design. Wow, that would be incredible. However, you can’t build it because the funding needed isn’t usually just lying around in your bank account.
Usually. Stick to the idea with me you lucky rich lad.

For the first problem you have crowd-sourcing, A community of designers you have found, created or joined who help you.
You can also say that because you may not know it all, but together many minds can create something.
The idea of incorporating online communities, partners, contacts as one or the base as the future of our work is an interesting notion. That as itself is something I wish to learn and explore about. Every step I take from hereon is basically laying the foundations of my, your, our future to innovate and change our workflow. From crowd-sourcing to teamwork, crowd-funding to marketing. In each and every step of visualization to creation, I wish to learn how to use online communities as the key to finding and inspiring changes for the world.

From the first day on, we, Group 6, all met our client and his company:  Maarten N. from the company Solidaridad Network.(Well in a sense, do short online videos count?) Someone who is like us, aspiring to change the world. Someone who wants us to help him change and create his own personal community to help, and communicate on how to change the world.
His company is a ecumenical company working hard on changing the world on economical, political and global level. With the latter focusing on globalization.
Based on his, and his company wishes, we will have to design, create a platform, and it’s interface to suit the company and it’s partners.
A great challenge that we have to face, seeing as how this company is working to change current situation on many layers. This isn’t something one can easily design and present. Seeing it’s multi-layered activity on a global scale, this is a challenge to be thought thoroughly and carefully.

What I would like to see as the optimal outcome for our team’s project is the implementation and success of the design our team creates for the interface of his platform. I wish to see that having a platform designed by us, which helps Solidaridad Network connect and effectively and efficiently communicate with employees and partners, successfully playing a part in the path of their goal. That would be the outcome I would wish to unfold itself upon me.

To achieve that speck of light I have set upon myself, I bring in motivation to walk the talk. Tenacity to see this through harder times.
No matter what shall happen, the special quality I bring in is going to put me and Group 6 through good and especially hard times, days and moments, so we shall all share my vision, and pat ourselves on the back saying:

"Yeah, that was something we created together, this is the thing we share for the world."

..with a smile.

Justin Lim taking the first step.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Justin's Lil' Box Of Thoughts