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Final Week

This Week’s class

It finally week 8, final week to prepared and complete our presentations. We were given a presentation on ways to present our work but group 6 is one step of the game. Our presentation and script is near completion but we came across one issue. We recently discovered that the length of the presentation has to be maximum of 5 minutes but we preparing to present a 10 minute presentation. We had to restructure and reduce our content to fit into a 5 minute time period. We also assessed out current presentation and realized it was not very original as we just used a popular template, so we came up with a more original theme that will fit nicely with the reduced content we now have. Because our presentation has to be a developing story, our new idea is to have a train ride and each section of our presentation will be divided into train stations until we get to our final destination. We are also working on using animations to make it more interactive and enhance the experience of our viewers.

Class was very productive, as we all seemed to be more motivated to finally complete this project. We all had our certain task to complete. We had some reducing the current script, others finalizing the proposed advice and myself with Gregory were generating ideas and creating our new presentation format. Final task is to record the narrator’s voice and put it over it and fit our reduced content onto our new presentation platform.

Through your research, what is the one most important thing you have learned about using online communities and networks in innovative design?

From the 8 weeks, the most important theme or idea that I have meant is to take advantage of online communities and network. I believe to be successful you have to start to develop your online community before advancing with your project.

It is apparent that your online community is just as or even more important than your offline community. The new world and society are rapidly advancing and moving into the cloud within the digital age. It has become mandatory to seek your customers, stakeholders and other community members over the World Wide Web. It allows for another method to hear from more customers and stakeholders. You always have the ability to communicate and share with your online community where and when ever. Because of the shear size of the Internet, your audience is greater and has the capability to always grow at an unprecedented rate with the aid social media (communicating and sharing). With this greater audience, the chances of success are higher as your ideas become for accessible and help is always there. It is almost like a free marketing fool. You are provided with a rich, vibrant and versatile society giving you a greater option of choice. It doesn’t matter what method (crowdsourcing, crowd funding online marketing) is used to aid your project, the main message is to use them to their full potential with the aid of online communities and networks. It is a faster, simpler and more accessible method of connecting with your community. I believe that this is the future of successful innovative design and development.

Considering all you have learned and experienced through our classroom time and your work for your clients, what are your design principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks? Don’t know what design principles are?

Even though the community is over the Internet, it is important to understand that technology does not develop communities but helps create a framework that shapes the community toward the specific goal. My design principles that I would implement include: Maintainability, Accessibility and Simplicity.

All product and services require updated and improving, as the design process is a cyclical procedure. Too keep your current customer base and grow your community at the same time, advances have to be applied at a regular bases to enhance your product. This will develop your online community and will request your community to keep on asking for more.

Accessibility is an important principle as this determines how easy it will be for your community to get their hands on your product. The more accessible your product is, the larger your community will be.

Simplicity is a major factor that must be taken into consideration when trying to develop your online community. Customers are not willing to in effort to learn how to use your product, so the simpler your product is, the rate in which your community with grow will increase.

Advice for next year students

The beginning might be confusing and unclear, Try to get a grip on what the task as soon as possible. Ask your tutor as any question as you can as they will guide you though most of the course. Since there will be a great number of members in each team, set yourselfs roles and targets. The key is to be vocal and communicate with your group member and tutor and much as possible. Learn to work as a collective team.

As this is the last blog for this module, I like to say thanks to my fellow group members for putting in their effort and working collectively together. Also thank you Maarten for helping us with your advice and guiding us through is project.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Untitled

Week 7 – Marketing

Today’s class reflection

Due date of this project is quietly sneaking up on us but your group made the most of our time in class and is moving at just the right rate to get all the boxes ticked and complete. I gave an insight and a heads up with what tasks are still remaining and our priorities. Even though your client is not cooperating to his potential, plenty can still be covered.

This week’s theme was interesting and beneficial towards our project at the same time. We were introduced to the ideas and concepts of marketing our client’s product to his fellow customers. We were also presented with how to create a storyboard, as our final presentation will be multimedia presentation telling our client a story of themes we have learned and how he could take advantage of them though our advice.
Our group spilt into three smaller groups to work on specific tasks, which increased our productivity. One group was responsible for researching marketing strategies, which would specifically aid our client, another group was in charge of creating our storyboard and the last was developing our presentation and the script that goes will it.
During our Google hangout, our group got some stimulating insight on how different marketing strategies work better and take advantage of alternate products or situations. We also noted from feedback of our storyboard take we are communicating too much content instead of telling a story. Slight alterations will have to be made to the way in which we inform our findings of the themes and research we explored to turn our presentation into more of a story.

Which of the themes we’ve been looking into so far will be of the most use towards your goal of solving the unmet need of your NGO?

Give at least 3 reasons why and tell who/what you think will play a key role towards success during the process.

When it comes to solving the unmet need for our NGO, I believe that the theme that will benefit our NGO in the best possible manner would be Crowdsourcing. This is because crowdsourcing allows for inexpensive assistance as you are able to obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community. As long as our client has a vast online community, it will be able to receive new ideas and plenty of feedback to constantly develop and improve their Drupal site. This will speed up the design process, which will consequently increase the rate of the site’s development. This theme is also an accidental advertising opportunity as a greater number of people for the other communities will get the word out and experience our client’s site and customer base. Crowdsourcing is also a great way to communicate with your current and potential customers; because you consider their opinion and feedback, your community and other communities feel more involve with our client, building a healthier relationship between them.

I do have a different take on the relevant theme when it comes to the success of our NGO’s product. I have come to the realization that we could advice our clients with the best and innovative specifications for his social networking platform and his design/development team can create the best communication and community-building site for his customers; but without a proper marketing scheme or strategy, no one will use it and take advantage of this platform. This point makes marketing a vital area to consider and invest in, to ensure the use, traffic and popularity of our client’s Drupal site.

What do you think the solution should be and why? (This does not have to be exactly the same as your group solution, but it will defend your group solution if it does match).

This question is very challenging to answer because of the difficulty we are having with communicating with your client. He promised us a full demo and his Drupal site where we could test it by discovering its strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, we were are able to do this as the demo was never given to us; because we are not sure what the current state of our client’s product is, I cannot mention in detail what I think the solution should be and why. My group and I can only advice some specifications that we believe are relevant to his product.

Our client has also failed to provide us with a design brief and or PDS so still unable to superficially see and understand what is really wanted and needed. We only have a really basic idea from the Project Communities website which is not enough.

Our group is only in the situation to provide certain advice related to the themes explored in class. 

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Untitled

Week 6: Crowdsourcing & Crowdfunding

Reflection on today’s class

This week’s class was more productive than usual. We had a brief team meeting before class to discuss on the misunderstandings and problems each individual face in the group. It let off plenty of steam for some and allowed certain individuals to get some things off their chest. Improvements on the way our team our team functions were introduced and have been working to a positive affect at the moment but its too early to come to conclusions. We implemented a new way of communicating through the Internet as well as sharing files, as one issue was that some team members were not updated with the project with the latest files. Facebook was not an optimal option.

During the sixth week class, our theme was croundfunding where we had to research on how it might be beneficial to our project. We looked into different types of crowdfunding as well as successful cowdfunding website.

Group was also updated on the final presentation and feedback was finally received. Progress was made with the presentation and the script as the whole group finally to view it. Another helpful term we came across though Maarten’s presentation was “killing your darling” which is basically means throwing away the cool/exciting but unhelpful items from the project. This is great, as we don’t have to mentions all the themes and extra ideas that were taught in the course making our final presentation shorter, more precise and importantly, added benefit to the client.

I believe that our group members now have a better understand of the task in hand and our teamwork will be more effective and efficient.

Now that you have explored crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, reflect on your sense of the usefulness of these options.

Both of methods of gaining assistance from the community are beneficial is aiding your project but it depends on the specific task and what is needed.

Crowdsourcing is where work, ideas and needs can be done and found through a crowd, usually online community. This method and can people loads of time and money and they don’t have to employ a dedicated professional. There are also a high number of people willing to do your task at any time. The main disadvantage to this is that the task may not be completed to a high standard. It also takes a lot of time manage to direct your crowd members. For t Solidaridid, I believe that is can be useful is some area but not others. I am have seem that Solidaridid have already been using crowdsourcing with their “Thunderclap campaign” as they trying to get the message across on how sugarcane can change the world. They have nearly reached their goal with the number of supporting them message, which can be called a success. In our specific project of how Solidaridad can connect with its community better though online social networks, I believe that crowdsourcing can be useful and have a positive affect. There is a possibility thats it can increase Solidaridad community base, which can increase their acceptance which leads to growing their business. Crowdsouring can also increase the rate and effectiveness of the development of its own social networking platform. More people can give their inside/opinions on improvements and multiple individuals can implement these new/enhanced ideas.

Crowdfunding one the other hand is where a project or a plan can be summited to the crowd though the Internet and for the interest of the community, they can aid your project. There are websites like such as Crowdfunder where aids are investment based where consistent amount of aid comes in and are great for small business to get a kick-start into their work. Websites like Kickstarter are donation based where anyone can bring something to the table. The advantages to both methods of crowdfunding are that it can give capital without loans, they is also not much risk involved as it is free to let up and finally it acts as a free marketing fool with is very helpful. To Solidaridad, I believe that crowdfunding may not be so useful. This is because is a well-established firm and doesn’t need aid from the community but aids its community. Even if did, it would be an unbeneficial amount. In our specific project, crowdfunding would not help as Solidaridad already has a development team for its Drupal site.

What do you see as the pros and cons of crowdsourcing in design? Give your reasons for your responses.

In the area of design, crowdsourcing has the ability of enhancing the design process. Even from the very start, and idea can go out to the crowd and suddenly an unmet is found. With such a large audience, the rate in needing a unmet need can increase. Also with the diversity of the crowd, research can be a much easier and cost efficient process as your sourcing for secondary data is endless. Also with primary data, multiple tasks can be given to large amounts of collect data. When it come to the actual designing, evaluating a design is enhanced as a multitude of feedback is given which also help designer with the development of the chosen design. Evaluating the finish product to a given crowd can be a better idea compared to putting out into regular consumers as it give the design another chase to improve on their designs.

Ultimately, it has a positive impact on the design process if used correctly with the appropriate crowd.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Untitled

Week 5 team work

You are in week four of your group work (after the introduction week). What is working well for you in your group?
After four weeks of this project, things that have work particularly well for me has been our weekly meetings as it gives me and the group an opportunity to get updated with each other and ask about our concerns or any advice from our Tutor. Another things that has been working well of me was this little timetable I have created for the group. This just gives me a heads up of what needs to be done at the current moment and helps me with time management. It also gives the group a better understand on how the project should be approached and executed.  Our Facebook group was working well before as most of us were communicating constantly but it has not been used to its full potential yet.

What is challenging you and the group?
This is also the first time I am working is such a large group which is a new experience but challenging at the same time. We are definitely not a perfect team so there has been plenty of bumps and obstacles that we have to manage and overcome.
Firstly, not many group members were familiar with the general model of the design process (In this course, it is referred to as the 4 Is), which I was very surprised about. This makes it very challenging to understand what actually needs to be done and achieved because this project is modeled and structured around this deign process. Every little step has to be explained and structure in a way that my group members can understand. Even after four weeks for this project, I still doubt some of my group member’s understanding of the processes that we go though to end up with a final PDS and advisory for our client. Because this lack of understanding, the rate and quality of our work is not as good as I think it could be.
Time management is becoming an issue as we only have four weeks left to complete this project. Communications with our client are very limited do to the fact that our client is a very busy person and has priorities and some group members are not participating. This has decreased the rate of which our project advancing and being achieved.
We do have a very big group (9 members), which makes it challenging to manage to be more productive and take advantage of each member’s strengths. Because some members contribute more than others, some believe that do not have provide as much and not give their full potential which is disappointing.
Even though our group contacts each other through Facebook, there is not enough interaction between us. One uploads something or gives some information but rarely is there any feedback Quality of our project could be better if there was more interaction and contribution.

What is the impact of size? Culture?
In my opinion, the size of our group plays a huge role into the outcome of our project as I mentions in my challenges. I did spilt up the group to have certain roles but because some members do more work than others, some end up not doing nothing and pull the group backwards.
Culture is not really impacting the outcome of the group but “native English speakers” (if you can all that part of culture) is. Because some of us speak English natively, some seem to think that the native English speakers are correct. They feel intimidated and don’t question the native English speaker, which is very wrong. Because of this, we don’t get everyone’s opinion and thoughts into the equation and the group starts to become divided. Only a few members become part of a team and the group’s work becomes very individual.

Task? What is one thing you might do differently in the coming weeks to improve your experience and the group’s work?
Things that will improve the productiveness and efficiency of our group’s work would include more feedback and communicating through the Facebook group. Some members have take added responsibility and contribute more to the group. Also taking the project more seriously which is a concern. Also meetings and class time are very valuable so other members being more punctual would improve my experience and theirs too.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Untitled

Week 5 Group 6 Blog Post

When working on a project, it is very important to think about specific roles for each member of the group. The group members can be divided into big and small groups. This way, every group member will not be dumping heads and will be concentrating on their task providing a better outcome.

Big groups consist of more than 6 people. The group with one edge is one option.
Therefore, bigger groups with more edges allow for greater diversity or more ideas, once you split the bigger group into smaller groups, allowing more edges.
The people are divided into smaller groups, depending on the skills and gifts they have. Each person gets to do research and work on a certain problem. At the end of this process, every group member shares their findings, picks the best conclusion and come up with a specification, which will become the proposed advice for our client. It is a good environment for propagating work and also an ability to co-create.

The small groups usually consist of 3 or 4 people. It is a great environment for people to reflect their ideas. There are not too many ideas flying all over the place coming from multiple people. This smaller group size allows for a better developed and more concentrated outcome. They are also more motivated since the members have a greater bond with each other. The process of generating and extracting ideas occurs in small groups.

There is something interesting about the total amount of people in one group. Their efficiency often depends on the amount of members. A group with an even number of members (for example 2 or 4) tend to be much more stable. On the other hand, groups with odd numbers tend to collaborate and motivate each other.

As a conclusion, we would advice our customer to have one big group, who has the same goal – developing a social platform. It should be a big group, consisting of 8 people. It will have two odd number groups consisting of 3 people. The web developers will be in charge of creating the site. The other big groups consist of 3 testers, who are in charge of finding any kind of issues with the site and then evaluate it. The small group will consist of only 2 people who are the graphic designers.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Untitled

Online Spaces

Do you use online spaces primarily as an individual?

I do not use online spaces as an individual. I might write this blog in my individual online space on Tumblr but sites like Tumblr are a community where these blogs can be followed and shared with others.

The main reason why I am using online spaces is to stare, interact and communicate with others. As mentioned from previous blog about digital identify, online recourses are used in a community to help and enhance each other’s experience in anyway or case. YouTube for example is an online space and resource used to view videos on almost any subject where people can comment and rate these on the content posted.

I am finding it very hard to think of a way of using online spaces in an individual manner. I find it pointless, useless and overall not productive & constructive.

Are you a member of defined and bounded groups?

Or do you interact along the way as you intersect with others in the wider network?

I am part of both. There are certain situations where I am part of a defined and bounded group. A good example of this is our Project Community Facebook group. This is a closed online group where group members are able to share their thoughts, ideas and work with one another. It is a great and efficient way of communicating and sharing with group members

I also interact in a wider network, examples of this can include YouTube as I am frequently commenting and rating videos created and uploaded up community members.

Which online space is most valuable to you and why?

At this very moment, I would have to say that my most valuable online spaces are those I have created content for. For example, my Tumblr page has considerable value to me as I put in a great amount of effort into creating these blog posts. It also contains personal thoughts, feelings and discovers throughout my life in this class. Another site that is valuable to me is a site I created and developed myself as part of my Computer Science course in high school. The site was about my father’s sausage making business as my father makes sausages as a hobby. The times spent coding and creating the content made this site valuable to me.

 

Which online space is most comfortable?

I am very comfortable with familiar with two well known online spaces. These two online spaces are Facebook and YouTube. Both of these online spaces allow you have very specific privacy settings which being great control and truth to the user. Users are able to control what comes in and what comes out of their online space. This gives the user a sense of comfort. Another reason that makes these online spaces comfortable is the attitude of the community. People are mostly sympathetic with their comments and messages. The user interface of both online spaces also makes the user experience a comfortable and long lasting one.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Untitled

Week 3: Developing your technology knowledge & your digital identity

It can be very useful to let others know what you know can share.

In high school, I did learn to use an application used to produce and publish professional websites. I was mainly trained in my ITGS classes in school to use a piece of software called Adobe Dreamweaver, which is part of Adobe Suite. When using this software, I was mainly trained by the teachers to use HTML language (used for created content) and CSS Code (used for formatting content). I believe my insight in this area will  be very useful in the development of the NGO’s social’s network/platform as most companies wanting to put their content on the web or just want to improve their online material use this type of software to develop their online communities.

From past years, I have also developed skills to create flash animation. The application use to produce these animations is called is called Adobe Flash. This was mainly a side project as the animations created were just extra content for the website I was creating.

Before the year I graduated from high school, I had an ITGS (Information technology in a Global Society) project where I had to create a website for a customer with just basic HTMP and CSS coding.

If I would finish my work at school or somewhere without my personal computer, I would upload it to a file-sharing network where I can retrieve my work from home and continue working on it. This developed my skills of connecting to foreign networks/servers. It was monitory in my previous school to be able to connect to its network as most of the teachers used it to post their learning material.

It can be very useful to let others know what you can learn from them.

Particular skills that I have learnt from my previous classmates include the basic skills of the ins and outs of computers. With the help of them, I build my own computer which including assembling each and every component together. It have me a better understanding out how the specifics of online networking works.

Also very recently, I have learnt new methods of communicating with a large group over the Internet. Joining and being part of Google’s social platform allows for multiple people to join a videoconference. 

What online tools are you good at? For supporting what kinds of activities?

A little confused by what the syllabus means by “online tools” as most online tools are what I assume to be websites that take no further understanding or knowledge to use and understand.

Even though Facebook was primarily created as a social networking platform, my group takes full advantage of its sharing capabilities. I am able to share documents and important file across the group that we created. There are also privacy settings that allow our group to be isolated from others. Facebook is a really good online tool as everyone these days has an account and is always online. This allows and supports my ability to share and communicate (verbally) from whenever and wherever. Facebook also allows for one to one video chats, which gives me an opportunity and supports the ability to get updated with one’s work or situation is a much faster and direct manner. I am always keeping my group up to date with latest happenings and work through Facebook.

I frequently use YouTube as an online tool that I use ever frequently on an educational level. Reading a big block of text is not very consequential to me. Fallowing a video demonstration is a lot more interactive and can be more effective in the learning process. YouTube can support anyone stuck at a particular point of the most situation and answer their current misunderstanding or question in the form of a informative video response.

What would you be willing to teach others?  

Software wise:

In terms of creating a website as our goal is produce a social networking platform, I can teach some basic HTML and CSS coding as they both are universal languages in the computer industry. I have never used Drupal Commons but I am very sure that they use these two coding languages in the development of a basic social networking platform.

Online Tools wise:

From my understanding of what an online tool is, I do not believe that anyone from our group will need any assistance or guidance on how to use these websites (Facebook/YouTube). There may be a few hidden features that are stopping a user from using the online tools to its fullest potential.

What can you do or what do you know about the other groups “unmet needs” they have defined for their NGO?

In group 8, I can see that they are working on the same organization but in a different area. I believe their goal is to have every employee develop his or her personal brand through a social platform. This will maximize the knowledge exchange between individual in the organization

Can your expertise be of use to them?

With Drupal Commons as a resource, I believe I can develop this social platform. Once the design team has come up with something for the employees to develop their personal brand (enhanced Sweet spot model) that would fit on its social website, I could use my experience with coding to turn their ideas into reality. 

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Untitled

Group 6 Spider Diagram

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Untitled

Week 2: Your NGO & You Blog

#projcomm #openinnovator

How do you understand our class goals?

A major element of understanding the goals is to class is to understand the 4 majors theme that will be taught during the course, which I am excited to learn and explore!

As the goals were not very clear during the first week, I can only assume that the goals that our class needs to understand are:

  • Teamwork
  • Online systems/communities
  • Sustainable Solutions
  • NGOs and MDG

At this moment, I recognize the idea of how to work as an open innovator in a group/team environment by using a simple but structured processed methodology, which can seed to a successful solution.

What do you need and want to learn as you/we explore the different themes from application of online communities and networks to open innovation design?

An area that I need and very interested in learning is the “4 Hats of Design” approach to how we tackle the current online communities needs and issues. It seems like a very structural and well-organized technique of progressing the design process. It is also very important in the understanding of who and what an open innovator is and whom they can create a groundbreaking solution.

Another area where I am deeply interested in and need to know about is the theme of being environmentally sustainable and more specifically: Sustainable Agricultural Development. This is the business of which our current customer is into. This area looks like a market that is looking into the future for the people and planet’s concerns. I believe this is a positive and the right direction to turn.

The resource (Drupal Comments) is also need to be understood in more detail, as it is a very new/recent technology that enables users to manage websites without the use of complicated HTML or code writing. The base of our product will be constructed with this new open source technology so this is very important area to recognize.

What would you like the outcome of your team’s project to look like?

I do not have a particular vision of the outcome of our team’s project at this moment because we are still researching into what ideas and concepts that are favored by the customer. What the customer envisions in their mind with our team’s enhancements to improve the platform’s user experience and usability is what I want our team’s project to look like. 

What “specialty quality” will you bring and contribute?

I believe my personal strengths will enhance the outcome of this project for our group is a positive manner.

I am confident with using computer software and have a decent understand into this type of technology (open source web system). This area of my knowledge will give our group a great inside into the processes and actions that have to be taken into creating a favored product and or service to our customer.

I am very particular about fine details, which leads me to have very high standards to the processes our group goes though and finally the end product. These high standards force myself to ensure that my work and our group’s work are done to the best of our abilities.

Motivation of your group members is necessary for the success of your project. I take into consideration every group member’s idea and opinion on our issues and always look at positives. My ability in giving critical feedback to the ideas in a positive manner and look and ways in improving weaker ideas which will create a more motivating & inspiring environment for our group to work in.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Untitled