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.