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Posts Tagged OpenInnovator

Week 7

Since the first week of Project Communities, we have brought up multiple topics, all of which play their role in the work of both NGOs and our future projects. By looking for ways to apply them to improve our project NGO’s performance, we get an experience of searching for solutions in fields that may be of use for our future design/innovation works.

Our group’s challenge is to provide an efficient personal branding strategy for the NGO Solidaridad using Drupal Commons as a social platform. We are close to this goal, however there is definitely some more work to do.

In my opinion, the most useful theme of the ones we’ve learned about in class would be technology stewardship as we are currently a little stuck with all of our ideas, since we don’t know if it is possible to apply them to Drupal Commons or not. I had a brief conversation with one of Acquia’s (Drupal) workers, but received no feedback regarding the applicability of our solutions. So, at this point, we are hoping all of the suggestions we have are possible to implement inside Drupal. Tech-stewardship is obviously important since we are re-designing or adding new features to an online social platform.

Another useful thing to know about was working in groups, since we had problems with focusing on our work and making it sufficient/productive. From the point of not knowing where and how to start we thus went on to structurized and efficient group work and I hope it will remain that way.

I think that I cannot decide who or what will be the key to success without my group, but I think the one thing that might be called crucial in our challenge should be motivation. And I’m not concerning motivation in our group’s work (it is as important, but let’s stay on the topic), I mean motivation for the Solidaridad employees to actually use this platform with the best outcomes - exposing their experiences and interests, collaboration, sharing information and insights. Taking this into consideration, our goal is to motivate Solidaridad’s users of Drupal to use it and take the most out of it. Because if they don’t - all of our other suggestions become useless.

We have a couple of ideas regarding how to have the employees use Drupal for personal branding, for instance, providing incentives for the active use of the platform (yes, it is an NGO, and no, not financial bonuses). We also have some ideas on how to make the ones that remain unmotivated spend less time on building up their personal brand.

Hope you liked it.

Nikita.

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Posted in Community, Group 8
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Communities need us

is it finale ?

Hello everyone !

Only 2 weeks left till the end of our project. We’ve learned a lot of things during these 2 months. But the main thing about this project was teamwork. We understood how to work in a group and how to share out thoughts with each other. We became friends with each other.In my opinion the most important topic, related to our project was crowdsourcing. We asked our tutor , we asked Maarten, we asked people around what do they think about our ideas. They gave us feedback and we improved our work. 

In my point of view , everyone/everything is important during the project. If someone is missing, we can not work in full force. I don’t think that the “Leader” role in a team in that important. At first, we decided that Martin will be the Leader, but then Ihsan shifted all the responsibility. And then Nikita started being superproductive and responsible for the team. Anyway I think that everyone is important and significant.

We have to work hard for the next 2 weeks. We have to work on our presentation. I think that everyone had already imagined in mind how it will look. But then there is a very important next step : materialisation and performing. Here marketing can help a lot. We have to introduce our final idea to Solidaridad and we have to show all at its best, to present all the values of our precious project.

Anyway, teamwork plays the key role in achieving success. 

Rays of Love,

Anastasia

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Posted in Community, Group 8
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Top of the World, Project Community stuff

Successful Personal Branding

The unmet need of Solidaridad that we have been tasked to solve is the implementation of a solid personal branding strategy, to be used on the organization’s intranet, that will result in maximally efficient knowledge exchange between individuals working in the organization.

I explained in my first post that personal branding is, in a nutshell, marketing persons and their careers as brands. The clear implication herewith is that good personal branding is, in essence, good marketing. The bases of a personal branding strategy that will help Solidaidad are the impartment of marketing prowess on its workers, and a good system - intranet, in particular - that will facilitate the effective use of personal brands in service of exchanging knowledge and aiding cooperation between workers.

Any intranet that incorporates the sort of personalization seen in popular social networks, such as Facebook, into a work environment, is likely to suffice in bringing personal branding into the center of the workspace. I believe that the bulk of the task lies in making sure your employees know how to market themselves.

There are many facets to a good brand, personal or not, but transparency and authenticity are at its heart. Personal branding does not stop at showcasing the individual’s credentials and function within the company, or even at finding a professional niche. The underlying passions, visions, and goals of the individual are what sets apart a truly attractive brand. I believe that some of the best insight into marketing oneself succesfully and earnestly comes from Simon Sinek. In his TED Talks speech titled “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” he explains that the most inspiring marketing has the “why” at its core, or, as he puts it, “People don’t buy what you do - they buy why you do it.” What he says is extremely relevant to successful personal branding, but it must be noted that he stresses the point that most marketing is not of this “why-centric” nature - that it to say, it does not appeal to passions and beliefs shared with the audience, but, rather, merely informs the audience of the features of the marketed product and the credentials of its producer. This is where teaching employees to market themselves comes in. The bottom line is that having employees who know how to market themselves is a prerequisite for using personal branding to its fullest, and successful marketing does not come easy.

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Posted in Community, Group 9
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Ruben's Blog

Final round

In today’s blog I would like to come back in time and remind our beginning.

Time fled as water and we already have a seventh week .

Wow ! Frankly, it’s a pleasant feeling. I look back and I see the tracks that we have left behind .

What to say ?

 The Feeling of confusion and despair was replaced by enthusiasm and 100 % concentricity, the word individual  was replaced by the words cooperation and team and finally,  I am glad that I can say that the word Group also changed to word Friends .

Seven weeks really gave us a lot but now it’s time for another question. Do we have, what to give and offer to our clients ?

I hope this will go to the task this week and write Which of the themes we’ve been looking into so far will be of the most use towards our goal of solving the unmet need of NGOs .

From all the themes That we have been looking at : technology stewardship - crowdsourcing - work teams - crowd funding and this weeks ’ - marketing , I would like to point out crowdsourcing , as the most useful towards our goal in solving Solidaridad ‘s unmet need .

Why ?

The most what we can do for Solidaridad , is to do a thorough and sophisticated research, thanks to we are able to pass some helpful hints in order to improve their internal social platform .

Why is crowdsourcing to my mind so special ?

  • Firstly because, it provides a very inexpensive and in some cases very high quality assistance / the client will receive new ideas and plenty of feedback or advices, which will definitely (( in Solidaridad )) -  speed up the design process 

  • Secondly because, crowsoursing offering something as perfect as - Cultural Diversity - in other words, in my opinion, very useful just for our client, which is a company Solidaridad with international realm .

              Diversity of opinions and attitudes to the problems and needs.

               There are some specific needs, which may not have been considered by those of another culture , so it can helps to promote the company internationally , since the product will be able to reach out and meet international requirements and not just a small group of people 

  • Thirdly because, crowdsourcing is also a great way to communicate with your current and potential customers ; ( You Consider Their opinions and feedbacks , which allows to build a better relationship between )

However, there is just one more thing.

I’m not the only one who feels that our NGO does not use our services to the maximum. From the first day we have a communication problem, which quite changed the process in designing the solutions and the whole projekt became more difficult.

They promised us a full demo of Drupal site which we could test it and gain insight into what our client really want and expect so at the end we will able only to advice some specifications that we believe are relevant to this product.

I hope that the situation will change soon which could remarkably accelerate our work and I believe that IN THE END,  we will be able to offer the client what he really calls for.

After all, it is our aim!

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Michal"S Harbor

Time Flies….

In my opinion the most effective theme for our NGO would be crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. Because the thing our NGO needs is money in order to be able to solve problems. But to find people that support him in his projects he needs to reach out to a big audience. To reach out to big audience he needs to have good ideas which evolve through good crowdsourcing. So this is kind of a neverending circle that can even improve itself, because good crowdsourcing leads to good crowdfunding which leads to alot of support. All of this support adds alot of experience,motivation and financial security. All this leads to better crowdsourcing and so on.

In my opinion crowdsourcing and crowdfunding are not only important but also a lot of fun and exciting. We had many great themes so far. Especially this weeks theme, marketing, is also very important but marketing can be a one-mans job. But l believe that crowdsourcing is more about working together in a team with people that have the same ambitions and same goal. This is an environment l would enjoy and thats why its more important for me.

And last but not least is the atmosphere in a company/organisation very important. Studies of the University of Southern California showed that it is more likely to succeed if you work in a group that you have worked with and achieved something before.

I am sure that the key to success will be crowdsourcing and crowdfunding because everything is possible with a group of well motivated and organized people.

PS: There was no such study.

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Posted in Community, Group 7
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Mario Levon Mirzahanyan

Approaching the end…

Another week has come and getting very close to the end of this project. Our team work is improving in my opinion as everyone is more aware now that tasks need to be done and that there isn’t a whole lot of time left for this. Also the more there’s been done, the more there is to show which has a motivating effect on the team. This week’s theme was marketing, and it was very helpful to get more information about this area. Marketing is a very important aspect in the world of businesses as it’s a way to sell what your organization stands for and really to get people’s attention.

When looking at the themes we have covered up to now such as technology stewardship, crowd-sourcing, crowd-funding, work teams and marketing it is quite clear that some are more of use to reach our goal of solving the unmet need of out NGO. If I would have to pick some of these themes as the most helpful ones, I would pick crowd-sourcing and crowd-funding. The reason for this is that the more brains thinking and the more people helping, the more ideas, solutions there will be. As this might be difficult to manage sometimes, it’s important that there is much attention paid to organizing this in a productive manner. This will lower the chaos and the overflow of ideas and opinions, funneling good and helpful information straight to the organization.

Crowd-sourcing is such a good tool as it allows a large diverse group of people interact with the company and share all sorts of valuable information and advice. As the main focus is to improve the platforms user experience and usability it is essential that these average users are addressed and are taken into account. Not to mention the amount of money that can be saved using crowd-sourcing as the organization doesn’t have to hire as many professionals to give their opinion.

Crowd-funding is important as there will be more financial support in order to get these new and helpful ideas into action. It will help the company expand and make it possible for them to reach out to more and more people. This will really boost the momentum and make sure the organization will not land in any kind of slump.

In my opinion the solution should be a very straight forward platform which can be managed by all types of people. It should of course be esthetically pleasing and really catch the attention of the users. As well as this, it should show all the vital and important information that the public needs to see in a clear and neat manner. And lastly it should be easy for users to communicate easily with one another and really engage on each other’s ideas through the help of visual aid.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Paul's Design Elements

WEEK 7

During those 7 interesting weeks we’ve been going through different themes and topic which can help us with  solving our NGO’s unmet needs. Personally for me I find three of the topics most useful for our aim and they are Teamwork, Crowdsouring and marketing.

I know i have to choose only one and that’s why I’m going to choose Teamwork. This is not only important for our group insides but for Solidaridad and by our platform we are working also towards improving their teamwork too, because it is really communicative orientated. 

The first reason I think that teamwork is helpful is really simple: two heads think better then one. A team can come up with more ideas, write them down, evaluate them and then can choose the best one, so this pretty much acts as a motivation and effectiveness. 

The second reason is that i think that when time passes everyone in the team is getting more comfortable with the environment and with his teammates and this creates a bond between them making the work and communication easy. Also that variety of personalities and cultures makes everything really creative and productive which is always a positive. 

Third reason is as important as the last two. Just as a productive chain a team can me a lot more productive then from separate people. The work can be done fast and efficient if the team is well synchronized and everybody knows that being fast and productive wins not only money but time and saves effort. A team can really make the work towards a goal better. 

As a solution to the problem me and my group decided to make a platform which stimulates communication and information sharing. This is of great importance because everybody knows that who has the information has the world. This platform will really help our NGO information sharing, communication and inside awareness which will benefit their work a lot. 

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Posted in Community, Group 7
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Nikolay Yorgov's guide to the galaxy

So obvious… SROUDSOURCING!

Hello my dear readers (if you exist),

New week, new blog topic and hopefully new writing of mine at the end of this evening, this is what I repeat every Tuesday for seventh week now. It kind of gets a nice tradition to spend these evenings expressing my thoughts on this online journal… Anyway, this time I have to pick one blog theme and explain why it and not others would be most useful for our client and I have a great deal to chose from: Technology stewardship, Crowdsourcing, Work teams, Crowdfunding and Marketing. The first thought that comes to my head is CROWDSOURCING! This is what I would advice Solidaridad to use in order to improve the platform. And these are the reasons why:

Firstly, by using croudsorcing they would get a number of great suggestions and advice how to enhance user’s experience & usability, maybe even from people who may have or already solved an issue like this. Croudsourcers as employees and even clients may look at the problem from more creative and convenient perspective. Secondly, it would spread the news about this organization, what would attract more investors, workers or even volunteers. To be honest I haven’t heard of this Solidaridad before project communities (has someone?!), but now when we have been working on its task for 7 weeks, whether you want this or not you have to know something about it. That goes as well with a croudsorcers, before taking this project they would have to make a research about this NGO which will bring interest and increase popularity. And last but not least, it would be economically more convenient to use crowdsourcers than hire professionals, with a diploma, that allows them to do so. I don’t know the financial situation of Solidaridad, but I assume that in these hard times, they wouldn’t mind to save some extra money.

To sum the crowdsorcing topic I think that if Solidaridad uses crowdsourcing it would be win win for both the NGO and crowd of bright minds from all over the world who are just waiting for opportunity to show their abilities.

Talking about interaction with our client, I understand that he has some better things to do than answering boring questions of ours. I strongly believe that he knows that we must get the answers from him sooner or later. But the main mistake was made by us at the beginning of project communities, when despite of cooperating with group 7 we saw them as competitors. This would have saved some time for Maarten van Leeuwen by answering questions of both groups only once and it would have given us the opportunity to think of more decent and accurate things to ask TOGETHER.

That’s it for this time, take care!

Xx Elena

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Elena's community ideas

Oh my God!!! We are almost done!  I believe that each week’s theme was assistance to us to…

Oh my God!!! We are almost done! 

I believe that each week’s theme was assistance to us to reach our goal. The main topics, which we were focusing on this work were:

     Me-We-Network, Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding, Marketing

 Our task was to introduse a platform to Solidaridad our NGO. We ve been working on different subjects, exploring new webs. And now we understand how NGOs actually works and what are their needs. So, we recommend to Solidatidad a personal profile on new platform of internal communications because they can exchange their documents by using Dropbox, also they have a personal inbox you could send emails everytime, everybody will have their own profile with own blog, which they can change. Moreover, Solidaridad should use a group space based on this platform, because it could help team memmbers to organize their work or faster communicating with each other.

Also crowdfunding is a very usefull for Solidaridad. As I wrote in a privious post, there are 4 types of crowfunding: Equity (people gives money, so in reward they becom a part of company), Donation (charities),Lending (crowdfunded lending facilitates projects, individuals or businesses to seek loans from the crowd, with members of the crowd taking small chunks of the overall loan) and Reward (contribute to projects and receive non-financial rewards). So, I think, that 2 types, which Solidaridad can use are Donation and Lending. In Equity and Reward Solidaridad nor interested because they cant give anything back.

We are almost finished

We need to work really hard now

xoxo

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Posted in Community, Group 1
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Antonina Khariton Design Project

WEEK 7

Looking into themes which we were discovering, getting to know and discussing, I think that the one, which could help us (our NGO) the most, would be crowdsourcing.

As the challenge is to improve the platform which they are using to exchange information, experiences and knowledge, between those ten centres all over the world, I think that crowdsourcing could be very helpful to us.

First reason, why I chose crowdsourcing is that it allows to collect information, ideas from others and may be used via internet. If we want our project to target some specific group, or if we have to solve some of problems that community has, crowdsourcing can be used. It gives us opportunity to get to know what the problem is, how it should be solved and what are people’s expectations and actual needs.

Second one, is that, by crowdsourcing we can get needed services. In our case, the platform which NGO is using, has been already stated and created. But if we had to decide on our own and actually create one, I think that we could always turn to (for example) some online community, which would like to helps us in creating one.In that way, we could get a service done by people who care about the project and have needen knowledge and experience.

Third one, may be fact that crowdsourcing also helps to ‘start’ companies or charities, in that case NGO. You can get information about what is needed, what and how  should be done. Let’s say that somewhere in the world, there is a problem with (again, for example) supply chains, people do not have money, knowledge and resources to produce those in the sustainable way, but have good conditions to do so. By crowdsourcing, you can get to know, that the problem exists, find people who the problem concerns and also those, who want to change the situation. In that way a large community can be established and even  an organization willing to ‘fight’ with the problem.

Starting the project, the most important thing for us was to get answers to our questions, which we had to the NGO itself. We wanted to know, how the system of communication works now, what are their main problems, what works well, what should be improved etc. We needed information to know exactly how the result of the project should look like, what we are expected to do. We did not have enough time to ‘crowdsource’ all the information on our own, so we decided to ask Maarten, but we still have not recived the answers, so we simply based our work on assumptions that we have done.

Our solution to the problems they have will be a project of the platform, proposition of how it should look like, what options it should have, what type of information would it give, how could people find what they need or want to find, also how, where they can add things that they have done (experiences and knowledge). We decided that this is the best way to have the assignment done. As we had to face with problems like lack of communication, user’s friendliness and user’s experience, we think that giving them a design of platform which is esay to use, simple but professional will be the best option. We will also do a report (essay) giving the information why and how we decided to do things in that particular way, and what influenced our decisions.

There is some time left. so we are still working on it and improving, to make it the best :).

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Posted in Community, Group 7
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Karolina's Project Community Thoughts