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: Mondayly by Fer

Monday #7: Nostalgic x Useful

So this is Project Community’s end. How nostalgic I could get by going back to that first Monday which was all about confusiasm. But lets not to that. I’d rather talk about how this course has affected my life so far.

Back at home I’ve always been the kid who’s “always on the computer” and for that I grew up believing I just fit this archetype. Sometimes when that happens is hard to judge yourself on how much you know and how much you think you know. Everyone around is there to reinforce how connected you are to the digittal environment and how helpful you are with this topic. The Project Community course showed me not only how far from being a “technology expert” I am but also how rewarding it can be to be around people who know about it more than you.

What will definitely always stay with me is obviously the crowdsourcing and funding concepts but mainly the different kinds of approach to it and the power that asking the right question has as well. One of my principles from now on is that innovation combines old ideas and concepts to new necessities and issues, and that is what the networks and communities stand for. People can always add little details and reminders you may ignore once your focus is to bring their attention to what you are producing. This happens because you are the one seeking the enhancement of a product or tool and people are the ones who in fact need your process to be actually creative and useful at the same time. One thing differs from the other, making of this understandment what brings the right questions and answers to the process.

In addition to this, Project Community’s team work was a special one for me. Obviously I have worked with other groups before and learned from it, but this time, besides all the cultural differences and other trending topics for the group, I have worked and reflected a lot to understand how groups work and how I fit them or not, but mainly the reasons for it. It was nice that we had great help from the lecturers (I’ll never forget Maarthen’s class on team work) but the very best of it was dealing with the colleague’s expectations and limitations. I’ve come to realize that sometimes I need to insist a little bit more on explaining my point of view and find other ways to better express myself so people can understand my interest and effort are genuine and useful, and not fake.

As I’m someone living in a new place and therefore everyday facing different situations from what I’m used to, I’m always reflecting on what I’m doing and how. It sounds good but actually is a bit tiring most of time, at least good news is that I constantly think of “tips and advices” I’d give anyone who were in my position. 

For the next year’s students

  • Don’t leave it to monday!Anything. If the next year’s week schedule is the same, Monday is going to be a good day to test your student skills. This is such a busy day that you need to bring all your patience, concentration and practicality to the class with you. Resist the temptation of getting all your stuff done since it is Monday and another magical week has started. Make this a zen day when you won’t need to do your laundry or any other housechores, even grocery shopping or anything. Really just try your best to get everything done by the weekend or the rest of the week and leave your monday schedule free to process and enjoy all the information you WILL be exposed to. If you’re not so good with time management like me, try to not even have to go out of school for lunch. That guarantees you will not be late to Project Community. Being late to this class means losing the most important part of it, which is the first 10-20 min.
  • Tumblering sounds like a scary, difficult task to some. It is not. All you have to do is play around with the blog prompt and set a maximum time to it. Once that is done, you’ve understood what it is asking you. Then maybe you are a fast, practical person and can start blogging. If that is not the case, you can jump to some other task or even relax a bit and only then start composing your answer or famous blog post. Please do not freak out, seriously. It’s hard not to want to do your best, and of course you’ll end up trying to, but the most important is to just do it. It’s only a tumblr blog. One in 143 millions of it. You are not writing to The New York Times, you’re writing to lecturers and students who can completely cope with the development of your brand new skill: blogging. Believe me, it’s gonna be useful. If you still haven’t got how important it is to blog about what you do, you seriously need to take a better look around you. Here are some more tips to the ones who still don’t get this Tumblr thing:
  • You can Schedule posts: Select TEXT, write a draft or paste the blog prompt there, and then click the little arrow in the blue “Post” button. You’ll be able to choose “Schedule” post and then choose the time and date for it. You can even schedule all the week posts to organize yourself, and they’ll be on the right menu “Queued posts”. If you leave them there and not edit it, it will be posted by the time you’ve set. But you can always edit and post at anytime. This helped me a lot to start every blog post, because it gives a sense that you were already prepared to it.
  • Bad, bad tumblr. Tumblr does not automatically save your work like, for example, Google Drive does. If you spend one hour writing your blog post on it and then your computer or browser crashes, this heartless bitch that Tumblr is will not help you. So if you’d like to feel a little more relaxed while writing it, don’t do it on Tumblr like I am now =) you could lose everything.

So far I think these are the tips I have thought of. I can’t wait for the closing event of this course and all the tips that are going to pop up on my mind! 

Posted in Community, Group 3
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Mondayly by Fer

Monday #6 – Theme #4: Marketing/User/Customer Support Communities

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Wow! I can’t believe this is almost the last post before we officially present the suggestions. Each week the teams can experience the development of its relationship by coping with the activities and specifical tasks. In my team, I sense a good relationship being developed as we manage to have friendly conversations and make decisions together. I wouldn’t say we are working perfectly as we still don’t cover all features of a productive, active team but we have worked hard enough to approach the required end results. 

From last week’s class & meeting everyone managed to cope with proposed schedule & tasks. Today we were working based on it and it seems as if our final presentation will come up as we wish. We have a storyboard for the online suggestions video, extra material suggesting offline solutions and also an example for one of the solutions being prepared - so the organization may see how it will look like. I interprete this as a satisfactory result which will probably end up being good and stand out when the client sees it. 

Up to last week, we worked on a consistent research which made it easy to priorize and decide on the final video content. This is important as the video is our main goal and today we were supposed to make a storyboard for it. We just made a “script” by summing up our research topics and detailed each topic aspect on the storyboard. Can’t wait to see it as a video!

Today’s theme was Marketing. Marketing and who it is made for: the user and what it is made for: customer support. As one of the many things that came up to the world as a concept after the world war, Marketing was already a well known practice. Well known, but still to be developed in numerous ways. Appropriate and unappropriate ways. But that is not the point of this post.

The point of this post is that, in my opinion, all the themes we’ve worked on so far: Crowdsourcing, Team work, Crowdfunding, none of them will really work if the message isn’t incorporated after a “marketing thinking”. Gogorobí’s main need is networking. The organization needs to connect itself with individuals and groups. To spread their idea of preservation, conservation and promotion, they need people. If an idea needs to be clear and attractive to people, yes, it can, and should, work on its marketing. It is not the only, but a real important strategy, because:

1 - User & Customer: Or not. Marketing is for ALL.

It was a question of today’s hangout: how can a NGO possibly use “marketing”? I see the point of the question, my first thought was also that Gogorobí does not work with such concepts as “user” or “customer”. However, marketing basically means “the action of positioning a brand on the market” and Gogorobí may not directly sell products or services, but to position the stories and traditions they want to promote on a crowdsourcing environment requires some of marketing basic principles. The people who are to “like & share” an idea, are the same “customers” and “users” of other products and services. In the end, the idea is the same.

Marketing represents what checks if all the aspects of a message being spread is compatible of being “sold” or “bought”. Designers, for example, have specific ways to caught user’s attention and make them satisfied customers. Strategics such as UI, UX, responsive websites and apps.

Coming back to the origins of marketing, it may not have popped up in such a nice context. However, the development of such concept enables it to be used within any context. Therefore anyone who thinks of promoting an idea should look after marketing and take what best fits their own purpose. 

Marketing is therefore an essencial tool as it brings the appeal of making content EXPLORABLE. To Gogorobí, when people EXPLORE it, it should bring not satisfaction but recognition of a community that wants to spread a tradition.

2 - Marketing does not mean “Advertising”: Meet Content Marketingimage

Published by http://blog.attachmedia.com/ Designed by Savely Adrianzen

Content marketing is a technique that develops and distributes valuable content, destined to attract, acquire, and retain an objective public.

This technique is perfect for organization’s such as Gogorobí who won’t and can’t ignore or change its context and field of action. It is based on the target group’s capacities and interests. It also includes being prepared for people’s doubts, needs and other kinds of personal reactions. Making use of this tool, Gogorobí is able to wisely position their organization, ideas & accomplishments. It would be something close to promoting the “donation” need within environments such as the website or Facebook and leave the storytelling tradition to platforms designed for telling stories, like instagram or tumblr.

Here is one example I stumbled upon this week. The content is structured  to promote an idea that is not a “promise” or “lifechanging”, as usual publicity would do. It is real, useful, and a “feature” that not all their … have.

http://econsultancy.com/nl/blog/63496-asos-s-new-homepage-puts-emphasis-on-content-marketing

3 - There are several Marketing Solutions based on Storytelling 

A good idea for when an organization decides to use marketing principles is to, before anything, check how marketing itself is .already connected to their context.

As it refers to presenting a company / organization / mere idea and making it attractive for people, marketing will probably consist of telling a story. Well structured, displayed, stories. Nothing is so persuasive as a narrative because that is the way people identify interesting little facts that might be just like them or just like what they want to accomplish or explore.

Here is a link that shows some websites who combine HTML 5 features and the so-effective-storytelling-strategy:

http://econsultancy.com/nl/blog/9582-14-fantastic-scrolling-websites-that-tell-a-story

To end this post, I’d like to share another link I have found this week. It is about how similar the world wide web dynamics is to a ant’s nest. Biomimetics, I love it. The example compares data transmition to how ants approach the search for food. But I’m guessing the way files travel are exactly as the way content travels - people are always using the internet to tell the others where it is better and faster to go and find quality. 

http://engineering.stanford.edu/news/stanford-biologist-computer-scientist-discover-anternet

Gogorobí could crowdsource a marketing team, now that they are going to learn a lot of information about this practice, and let the internet play the main role as it is just appropriated to the cause. Its structure, how it works, what can be explored…this is all we have described so far. And I strongly believe the right tools and platforms will take Gogorobí where it wants to be.

Posted in Community, Group 3
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Mondayly by Fer

Monday #6 – Group Blog: Marketing Trends & Advice for our NGO

In this week’s class we have learned about Marketing strategies. We saw some examples of successful cases in which marketing did work out and tryied to imagine how the key features which helped them could be applied to our NGO. As we’re mainly working on crowdsourcing online options for Gogorobí, we find it important not only that marketing has numerous ways of being applied but also that it has been revolutioned and empowered by the structured online platforms available today. Given this facts, this is what we think Gogorobí should look out for:

1 - HTML5 (infinite) Scrolling Storytelling

A powerful webdesign trend that is not complex and has a stunning result. This also engages the public by making it easy to navigate through the story. It would be really interesting to have pages specifically designed to follow a traditional african story. 

2 - Content Marketing

Having an organization’s marketing based on content means being able to work with:

- Web & Story creation
- Engagement of audiences
- Platforms such as Vine, IG

The more Gogorobí gets to share their stories and traditions, the better people will be able to see them. Stories engage people for they can recognize similar values and conflicts. It means Gogorobí already has a lot of what it takes to build a content marketing strategy. It just need to explore and settle down to the best platforms. Micro-blogging is a favorable tool as it’s fast, dynamic and just trendy at the moment.

We also think an important aspect of positioning an organization inside a context or market is to contextualize what you create by knowing how companies / organizations / individuals with similar goals are reaching audience. Taking in account the others inside an environment doesn’t imply on copying them or competition only but to know what aspects of them are useful, which are not, what you could do more like them, what would not work for you. It is necessary to interact inside a context if you wanna be promoted inside it, and that is how you do it. Not only “analysing” them but also sharing how it was made and what could be useful for the others.

- fdcchildren.org

To give an example, there is this website. It is also a caribbean NGO about storytelling. Differences are they have their content focused on donating / selling products and have a clear explanation of what it is in a language more popular than dutch. A lot of aspects which Gogorobí’s missing.

Posted in Community, Group 3
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Mondayly by Fer

Evolve’s Approach to the Briefing

Since we received the briefing to come up with suggestions for Gogorobí’s fundraising and network expansion, this is what Evolve team worked on:

1. Storytelling tradition of Curaçao & Caribe
We did a research on Gogorobí’s context which helped us to find out more about their purpose, limitations and story. This was a priority for us to make sure we understand the traditions that led us to take the next steps in order to suggest relevant strategies.

2. Preservation, conservation and promotion
We also learned about Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding which are very important to Gogorobí’s since it aims not only Preservation, conservation and promotion of the Storytelling tradition but also Fundraising and Network Expansion. We came to the conclusion that maybe Gogorobí’s concern about Preservation, Conservation and Promotion is limiting their activities to a local environment. If the organization wants step out of their local interaction certainly it should focus on Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding benefits to spread it widely.

3. Gogorobí’s expansion research
We analyzed Gogorobí’s current situation (reputation, popularity, expressions) and discussed the possible solutions. The first suggestion would be to improve their online platforms. This can be done by using a bigger variety of social networks and keep its informations constantly up to date. Then people can find Gogorobí on different contexts and choose the best way to connect with them. Also it is important to connect with other organizations that share the same or similar goals.

4. Crowdsourcing Suggestions
We did some research on how a story can be presented to a community and also how we can involve the people to…Taking into account the main goals and activities of the foundation, we have selected the storytelling part to work on. After this our job was to understand how networks work and can be helpful, then find out which one fits Gogorobí best. One of our suggestions is the website ‘Storify’, which can be used as a platform to spread stories about the traditional caribbean traditions Gogorobí works after.

Today, when we’re close to the deadline, it is nice that we had the opportunity to reflect on our work and speed up to the end result. This consisted in summing up all the information we have in one document and start working on it as a presentation so we easily visualize a storyboard for our end result, which is going to be a video. We’ve decided on the video idea since the beggining. Our goal is to present our development and final ideas in an easy, attractive way to the client. We’re also very worried about suggesting effective ideas which fit Gogorobí’s environment, and the video is a good way for representing it to them.

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Posted in Community, Group 3
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Mondayly by Fer

Monday #5 – We do not worry because crowdfunding does work

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This Monday was about speeding up. For both Personal Branding and Project Community we were asked to start working directly on the end results. At first, thinking about how it should look like, made me feel surprised, almost nervous. After having a second thought I realized the right way is to think of how it is probably going to look like with what you have done so far. Then I felt prepared. I was probably feeling nervous for a second because I’m a little overwhelmed with the idea of designing my personal brand and also having a real client. But the speeding up feel enables you to let go of “so many ideas” or “so much work to do” and just start to deal with the facts. Today when Maarthen talked about “killing your darlings” this is exactly what I did. I gave up on almost every “little plans/ideas” and started facing that this is it. This could only happen, of course, because I’ve been “doing the homework” and am partially prepared. Speeding up can cause a negative impact on your mind, but only when it’s not prepared. When you have what you need “in hand” or almost all of it, it can become surprisingly good and motivating.

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Otherwise the only fact to deal with is that you need to rush from the beggining, which puts you in a disavantage position.

So today’s rushing gave me a good energy. Good for me. It means I’m opened to it and giving my best. Still, in the beggining of Project Community’s class I was worried about how would the team’s energy be.

As a large group we have to exchange energy in order to sync our tasks. Turns out today we were faster because we knew we had to split in our subteams and it should work. We were all a little nervous individually, but sharing the “overwhelm” and “rush” feeling, made the load not so heavy after all. We agree that we just need to stop, focus and move on without what we got up to this moment. Which I personally see as a research of good quality. Not a finished one, but we’ll manage to do so. From today to the weekend it is our homework to justify it better and come to specific conclusions. I’m expecting and believing we’ll have a good result.

Crowdsourcing, Design and our NGO’s case

Designers can find in crowdfunding a very familiar and favorable process. The creativity we need will hardly come up if  we’re thinking  ”alone”. But is necessary to learn how to balance individual and collective contribution.

Today I stumbled upon this article relating that film & Video projects raised almost $60 million in pledged support over the last year. It also said that documentaries were the highest pledged film subcategory, raising over $42 million in 2012. Some films even became featured at festivals across the world and got shortlisted for Academy Awards. Here is the link to the article: http://tinyurl.com/npt9ycl

Emma Dessau, who wrote this article, spoke to teams from three documentaries that exceeded their fundraising goals on Kickstarter in 2012. They are “Money for Nothing”, “The Waiting Room” and “I’m a Big Bird”. She wanted to learn moreabout their experiences running campaigns. Here I will explain what I’ve learned about Crowdsourcing so far by using their quotes and some of my own thoughts on it. In the end, I’ll link all of it to our NGO, Gogorobí, and its relation to networks.

Jim Bruce, Money For Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve: Prepare extensively for your campaign before launching it – especially by identifying and developing relationships with 3rd parties who already have a connection to your core audience. The main reason our campaign was successful was that we had some really fantastic allies – people like John Mauldin and Doug Kass, for example, who write about investing for large online audiences who are very interested in the story of the Federal Reserve. So when John and Doug spread the word about our film we were able to connect with a huge number of potential donors and introduce our project to the future audience for our film.

Kickstarter can be an incredibly effective way to forge a relationship with your core audience and create a lot of awareness about your film, but it can also be a very stressful and time-consuming process. So the most important thing is to do as much work as possible in advance of launching your campaign so that you aren’t overwhelmed by the process of the campaign itself.

What can be inferred from that as a lesson is that not seeking the input of other designers or end users isolates your creation, which can be awesome, but will often aquire no value.

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The human brain will often ignore aspects that other minds, which don’t have the same worries or distractions, can see.

Dave LaMattino, I Am Big Bird: We were amazed by the feedback we got… It was like having mini test screenings every time we released a clip. We learned what people connected with, which actually has informed and shaped the rest of the filmmaking process. A lot of times when you’re working on a film like this, you’re trapped in a dark room without the ability to get important critical feedback. Having people comment on these clips throughout the campaign was one of many unexpected benefits of Kickstarter.

When a project is crowdsourced, the first important aspect for who is launching the project is to stablish a PURPOSE and properly set the roles. If people are going to join your idea, you don’t want them to bring bad influences. They’re very likely to negatively influence a situation in which they don’t know what / how they’re supposed to contribute with.

The second is to find ways to explain it in a transparent way. Cultivation for a project is exactly like the “candle effect”: one person gets excited and tell the other, who also gets excited and tell others, so on and so on. If there is no noise in the communication of an idea, it will light the right people. It means the idea will be supported and also spread.

Pete Nicks, The Waiting Room: Kickstarter is much more than a funding platform. It is a way to gather true believers – fans & backers – around the project. Because in the world of social media it is not how many fans you have. It is the quality of them. And at the beginning of the project it is incredibly valuable to have a critical mass of supporters around you who can help not just by giving you $50, but by being evangelists, connecters and emotional supporters.

The best way to approach Kickstarter campaign is to think beyond money. Think of it more like the creation of a super-board-of-directors for your project. Be prepared to dive into that group and solicit ideas, follow their wisdom, draw from their inspiration. The money should always be secondary.

The idea has been spread, recognized and well interpreted. Here’s when all the crowd magic starts to take place. This is when people’s contribution will consist of insights and other forms of constructive feedback. For this moment again it is very important that the person/company is prepared to all the information to come and direct it in the right way. The results should performed in the best way and the process communicated as well.

Clay Frost, I Am Big Bird: Be flexible with your rewards and be willing to shape them during the campaign to meet the demand of your backers. Find a way to give them what they want, which might not always be what you thought they’d want when you started your campaign.  If you can do this, you can capitalize on the interest.

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Seeing the crowdsourcing alternative from Gogorobí’s point of view is interesting. They have a consistent purpose, awesome ideas and projects, but a narrow field of action. Widening it doesn’t mean you need to lose focus or identity, but that you need to communicate not just the way you usually do but specifically seeking for people simpathy/empathy.

I believe Gogorobí’s only on the first step of communication. It knows its goal and expresses in a unique, authentic way. However it does not imply that their communication stands out or is effective.

As its about storytelling and traditions, I see an opportunity for Gogorobí with crowdsourcing if they find ways to tell this stories in a variety of platforms. The african tradition attracts the simpathy of people all around the world and it is just a matter of telling a story the right way. It means the stories should be on the right timing, in the right place.

Finding out these answers is not that hard once you have a close, transparent communication. Gogorobí’s website is still only available in the dutch language and their social networks aren’t always up to date. Once they realize how easy and natural it is, starting to play with the crowdsourcing magic will also come naturally. I hope that is the fire we’re setting in their ideas. Can’t wait to see it happen :)

Posted in Community, Group 3
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Mondayly by Fer

Tuesday (extra) post – Passion

Today I was reading my team posts and I just enjoyed it. I can see we are getting along and, despite our so called “cultural differences” we are determined to do it in the same way. Our team counts on hard working people that are really good with research and know to ask the right questions. We also don’t have one member that sees himself as the “boss” and this is one of my favourite things about the group. 

But coming back to the fact that I was reading Evolve’s posts, I only decided to write this extra post because I identified a pattern there. Everyone agrees we’re organized, we have now understood the task and found a way to work effectively on it. But mainly we all agree the team is on a lack of commitment, interest, or as I think it’s better described: PASSION. I saw this word came up in my post and in Viktorija’s post, and this was an insight.

Yesterday we were thinking of organization, agreements, punishments…but what we urgently need to enforce in our team is passion. If a team is well organized and passionate about the work is doing, then nothing will be too much to deal with for us. Maybe not everyone can fall for the main task in general, but it is necessary that all of our members identify in our work some aspect that envolves them as only passion does. 

We talked a little bit about it yesterday and agreed that we’re not such a big team to give a try on group dynamics or strategies like talking something about your personal life in the beggining of meetings so everyone’s confortable and transparent. This would take sometime we don’t have and is not so necessary. But maybe we can take this intention to smaller proportions and aquire some daily / weekly habits that bring some positivity and niceness to the team. This could be done by:

  • Exchanging more information: little curious facts, images, insights and ideas. We should talk / post more so that we have an opportunity to express our personalities and gather collective knowledge. I’m sure this little facts and discoveries, when combined, will become a powerful research to work after.
  • Celebrating and Communicating our team work: even when we reach an “easy” goal, we need to celebrate this in a very personal, distinctive way. Our team already chose a name, but we do need to work on our relationship, and see if we come up with our own “identity” and friendly communication. To post information and express our team as a friendly, hard working group, can only bring us benefits. That could improve our inner relationships as well as the ones with the other teams. It’s important to follow how they are working and what they have conquered already, and even problems they are facing so maybe we can help or just learn from that.

I’m really willing to see this team well organized and curious, passionate about the project. And now I have a lot of reasons to believe we’re doing it right.

We can do it :)

Posted in Community, Group 3
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Mondayly by Fer

Monday #4 Work Teams – Confusiasm gone? Let’s work!

Today I am really happy about the Project Community class. Team work has been a though thing to deal with. In the weekend, I’ve talked to people from other groups and realized it has been hard for all the class. This is the obvious thing to happen because many of us are people who have never worked in a project with a team. And this is not the only reason. Even when you’re working with people from your own country, you have to face cultural differences. People always have their own values and objectives. Working with students from other countries means dealing with a big variety of values. This, plus our lack of experience, requires patience and hard work. I’m grateful that the teachers are aware of our situation. And I’m so, so glad that we had Chris Corrigan’s video in today’s class. Finally we had some light on how to organize our work and now it’s the time to not worry at all and just get able to WORK IT ALL. 

Our job today was to think of how we need to divide the work so everyone can contribute effectively. We haven’t been productive and the most challenging aspect for us is that we still don’t know how to, at the same time, be nice and get everyone involved in the work. Being divided in teams, our portential is amplified and I finally feel we’re gonna get there. I believe we have found the solution today and people will be able to express all of their ideas, first to one or two integrants, then develop it and finally take it to the group meeting. 

This again reminds me of when I was part of “R Curitiba” organization committee. This was my first experience working on a huge-group project from beggining to end and I just learned so much. I learned about setting up topics for meetings, how to communicate with the team, taking notes while the meetings happen, how to interact with other cells…and in the end we managed to do a great job! But when we started, we were about 70 young people, from different parts of Brazil, sitting in a room where everyone was really excited. There were so many ideas, so much passion for what we wanted to do.  It was really hard to make the work flow in the meetings. But after one or two meetings, a guy was able to come up with a plan for dividing the committee in cells and explain how it would work. He explained it in a clear way because it wasn’t his first time inside a team like that, and he already knew what we would possibly struggle with. Everyone agreed and we moved on. The cells we had were:

  • Communication
  • Content
  • Administration
  • Resources

There were also some other small cells as human resources and a kind of “administrative office”, but mainly we would work inside those 4 cells.
The team also had a lot of agreements and each cell leader was responsible for keeping track of who was working and who was not.  We would have two weekly meetings: one for the cell, and one “general meeting” where all the cells would inform the whole group what was going on. This “general meetings” usually happened on weekends and again they were a true lesson on how you have to let go of your own egotistical wishes to make space for a beautiful team work. I was really impressed on how our “leaders” managed to structure the meetings and make them effectively happen. The person who was supposed to take notes of this “general meetings” always had a though job doing so and I sometimes would be that person.

But this was only to revise and inform decisions, problems, etc. The real work would happen in the cell meetings. My cell had about 8 people and the leader managed to really take care of its development. We would often work in couples, then explain the conclusions to the cell, adjust what wasn’t good and only then telling it to the general group. The hardest part was when the work of a cell would depend on the work of another cell and it happened frequently. There were a considerable amount of “noise” between what one cell needed from the other and what the other could do about it. We used to be very disappointed about this, but it was nice to see how each cell worked in different ways and how contrasting it could be. For example, the communication cell was always working on Facebook, and they were really objective, fast. They had practical work in the meetings and sometimes would have short meetings just to make some decisions. My cell, the content one, would always have long meetings, where we would have deep discussions, usually a lot of food too and often we were just too tired in the end of a meeting (or should I say, end of a day?). 

From that experience, I see a lot of solutions our Evolve Team could try. I feel how influenced I am from the R Curitiba experience. This may be the reason my team relates myself to the “organization” of the work. I really feel the need to have things well structured so we can make  a good use of our time and can work better with challenges, changes, etc. Today, when we were supposed to reflect on group size and how it should work for us, I came up with a suggestion of a list. This list had all the actions we’ve been working on so far and others that we know are in our future. We had 6 items on this list, then attributed every two actions to a group of 2 or 3 people. It looks like a nice work path to follow. Apart from the tasks division, we also came up with:

- An Agreement: Everyone must attend to all the meetings. On Monday AND on Friday. If a person misses 2 meetings, the group can (and will) talk to teacher. Then it’s the person job to do something about it and try to cope with the team work. Meetings are just too important for anyone to miss. This is the time where all the work is shared with others so that everyone is on the same page.

- STARR: We analyzed some situations we had to deal with. It was useful to see how we’ve actually managed to solve problems and also how our work looks like so far.

- Group Blog: An important post for an important moment. This decisions we made today need to be highlighted and visible for the teachers and the people from the team that weren’t at today’s class.

I believe today’s work will finally be something for our team to have a support. Another thing we’ve realized today while organizing our work and revising it is that we have actually already came up with a good amount of advices. However we’re not even close to be finished, we still need more 

- Organization: Management of the project / Schedule / Indexed information

- Research: Context / Questions / Crowdfunding, sourcing and networks / Instructions

An ideas I’m working on and will try to propose to the team on Friday is using Trello. This tool does not replace GDrive but has the management features we’re still missing. Hope it helps us and we don’t end up getting lost in a “digital paraphernalia”.

Posted in Community, Group 3
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Mondayly by Fer

Monday #3 (Theme #1 – Crowdsourcing and Online Social Structures)

First of all, I would like to start with the weekly reflection about Team Work. We have been working together for 3 weeks and I’m enjoying it. Even though I’m not 100% sure about the tools we’ve chosen to work with, the team is getting along and everybody is “on the same page”. That’s good. I say I’m not 100% sure about the tools, because Google Drive only stores documents but doesn’t work as a project management tool. Maybe we should try something in this direction because, after all, we don’t seem so prepared for organizing our work. Everybody is trying to be responsible for all the tasks and this is not how it should be. But as it’s the first time we’re working with this team, I’m willing to see a real evolution in the future only. Hope that can be a near future :)

Going on to the 1st theme, this week is about Crowdsourcing, the famous power of “liking” and sharing. It’s interesting to notice how one piece of information can become knowledge if it evolves in certain levels. But more interesting than this, is learning how this works for each person/organization. It is so because gathering “knowledge”, or pieces of it, happens in a personal, intimate way. When people are in a class and the teacher is explaining the content, everyone has different ways of taking notes and saving the information. The same happens online. In the current online network environment, some people will use the “like” for literally all the things they like. Just spreading some “love”, giving the person who posted it a positive feedback. But some people may use the “Like” only for relevant information they want to remember/save. There is so much to explore about the way people get along with all the available information online, I would love to work on a research about this.

 I, as a person who spends a lot of time online, just like many people I know, need to be careful with how this time actually add to my “knowledge” or is just a waste. I’m used to consuming information mainly online. The amount of it is definitely a problem as I always have just too many tabs opened in my browser. But usually, I manage to process the really necessary information. Therefore I wouldn’t say my browsing activity is a “waste of time”. I would love to develop my own and effective online research method and I guess I’ll get there. Therefore I could say I use online spaces primarily as an individual - and maybe this is why I haven’t achieved the desired productivity with my online activity yet.
To me, the “network power” works like this:

  • I’m usually exchanging online information with a lot of friends. To avoid noisiness, or lack of privacy/context, we have developed particular ways to communicate inside each group. We usually interact inside facebook / whatsapp closed groups.
  • My individual online activities guarantee me a wide range of resources and collected information, as I alread mentioned I’m gathering references in private fb posts and password protected blogs. It works fine for me, but I’d love to join and interact inside networks related to the topics I usually “share with myself”. To learn some people think the same way as you do, and even can show you their own preferred references, would be a great way to learn/teach more.

One good example of situation in which I have noticed the power of collective learning is the organization of a design event back in Brazil. I was part of the organizing committee and all of our work was stored on Google Drive, Dropbox and Gmail. We also had an effective, warm online communication on Facebook & Twitter, Vimeo, Flickr, Instagram plus a website structured by a incredibly hardworking IT guy (trust me, developing http://rcuritiba.com.br/ was not an easy job at all, I admire him).

The result of our organized and collective work was an event with a consistent proposal, plenty of content and infinite fun & interaction. Brazilian design students are usually excited about this meetings, so when it happens, everything is a reason to celebrate and enjoy what is going on. The knowledge built there wasn’t only after the Workshops or Speakings, but the whole interaction - from the online pre-event communication, to nowadays discussion groups that still exist - allowed each student to learn a lot. Not only about design, not only about careers, but about their environment in general. How people behave together, what people do in the other parts of Brazil, how different people interact with and react to what is going on around them. I love the example of this event because we had great both offline and online information exchange, and the greatest part is that this was the theme of it.

Every committee to organize an design event like this in Brazil, needs to have a theme. We were proposing a discussion on the digital environment - how much it affects you, how does it affect others? What is “oo much”, what is not? We had a “Content” cell and I was part of it. It was a group of people in which some were worried about how the online world is taking over our lives and some were fascinated about what the online world can do for us. Every discussion was incredible and when we had people from outside our cell discussing and sharing with us, it would just become greater. This experience opened my eyes to how being curious on your own can be a waste of potential. It is great to sit alone and browse information, read it, study it; but if you want to understand better your conclusions and keep developing knowledge, you have to share. The human mind does not have limits and requires connections to work to the fullest.

Posted in Community, Group 3
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Mondayly by Fer

Monday, 9th September @Utrecht: This Happened

It’s amazing to see that Utrecht’s last edition of This Happened was already the 17th one, given that this event that was founded in 2007. Organised by different people in a few cities around the world, it has its own format: a maximum of 5 speakers, talking for 10 minutes followed by Q&A discussion. Each city has its own curators, which means people don’t usually request to be a speaker, but instead they are “chosen”. You don’t have to pay to join it and if you feel like having one in your city, you could contact the founders and start one. Sounds great and works great!

TH Utrecht #17 was my first time joining it. Definitely, it won’t be the last. Everything was very well organized, the speaker’s timing was perfect and there were very nice Q&A sessions. People of various ages were there, and it seemed like a good environment for the creative type. The speakers were relaxed, happy about their jobs and hard working people. The quality and variety of topics was very good. These are the speakers who were there:

- Manuel Kerssemakers
His project was Reus, a game by Abbey Games. It was released this year on Steam, GOG.com, GamersGate and Desura. In this game you are God and can control the whole world, but man kind.

The main contribution of his presentation was to see how an idea can be developed by people who believe it. In the beggining artists and other professionals had to work for no money and still they did a great job. You always hear about this kind of situation, but to hear from someone who actually lived and overcame it, is totally different. Now everyone who believed it has a job that appreciates and is making money out of it. Great!

There was also this part when Manuel was talking about how to work with feedback/bugs and what they did after it. That is interesting because it would be frustrating to launch a game or even product, having people who buy your idea, but not knowing how to learn after their reaction or deal with new situations.

http://www.reusgame.com/

- Marrije Schaake
Marrije’s project was about Joy. She literally used the word “joy” in all of her slides. It is so because the website she and her coworkers created was not a “real job”, they just thought that would be nice doing it. I think it’s important to have in mind that being passionate about something is sometimes enough to develop a sense of and optimize work and organization. 

By the way, she was talking about Onzelootjes, a website that manages christmas or sinterklaas present exchanging. It helps a lot of families and she also talked about working with feedback. It was incredible to see a real example of how many situations you can forget to predict when creating a tool for people of all ages. For example, she received feedback about not all family members having an e-mail account. She then showed us how they might solve even situations like this. Inspiring!

http://onzelootjes.nl/

- Mieke Meijer 
Mieke presented her work in collaboration with Peugeot. Together they created a concept car interior design. The highlight of it is the material used for some of the interior’s parts. This material was produced after recycled newspapers. The methodology includes glue and a super secret engine developed by her team. It is an expensive, yet simple, process and definitely inspiring for who enjoys learning about crafts and new materials.

http://miekemeijer.nl/nieuws/kranthout-in-peugeot-conceptcar.html

- Rick Companje
Doodle3D project! What a nice enterprise. Interested in art, science and technology, Rick and his team developed a super fun app PLUS a hub which connects one tablet to a 3Dprinter. In the app, you can come up with any simple 2D drawing, then it will make all the work to deliver a 3D object after it. The goal here was to hide all the complexity when printing your own drawing, which estimulates creativity. But still you can watch and learn about the 3D printing methodology. For example, people will realize how everything starts with a simple, unpretentious, 2D sketch. Apart from all the enchaiment with the 3D process, Rick also gave us some insightful tips about Kickstarter, which allowed all this project to really happen. There were other nice details like the project’s pop up store located in NY and the wonderful Amersfoort FabLab, where it all started.

http://www.doodle3d.com/

Other related links:

Founders

Posted in Community, Group 3
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Mondayly by Fer

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Posted in Community, Group 3
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Mondayly by Fer