Throughout my research, the most important thing I have learned about using online communities and networks in innovative design is crowdfunding. With crowdfunding, you are collecting money to start up any project imaginable. I found some really surprising causes since I first discovered crowdfunding. There are people even making crowdfunding hoaxes. Since anyone can sign up, you can put up anything on there (unless they’re removed for being inappropriate). The point is, literally anyone can start a project if people are willing to back it up.
There are some examples of those hoaxes in this link:
My main design principle would be simplicity. Everything these days should be direct and plain. A visual example is how logos are slowly switching back to 2D designs. Microsoft changed their logo into four simple colored squares. Apple has always been going for the simple look but even their logo went down to a 2D image from their previous, simple, 3D version. A break from routine is also great. Thinking outside the box and being simple is what attracts people these days. With just these two, you could already gather a broad community or network. And last but not least of these principles is efficiency. With everything running like a well-oiled machine, people are more likely to be a part of a community or network.
One thing I would tell next year’s class about this course is you need to get used to being outside of your comfort zone in terms of doing research and marketing. There are definitely more efficient ways to execute a marketing strategy than you would think. I was surprised at how fast things are going with technology because of this course. I would say to get most out of it, you need to be open to new ideas. Thinking outside the box and being open to new ideas is very valuable since there are always new surprises throughout the course.