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Posts Tagged projcomm openinnovator

Eeeek week 7 already!

Hey Guys!

It’s hard to believe it was 7 weeks ago that we were first introduced to our NGO and given our task, time has flown. Over those 7 weeks we have been introduced to a number of new (for some of us) themes/concepts which our guides thought would help us in developing a solution to our and our NGO’s Challenge. Last week Maarten discussed with us “killing the darlings”, as cruel as this sounds, this weeks blog post is going to carry on that theme. We have been asked which of the themes up till now, we personally believe, will be the most useful in terms of finding a solution for our NGO.  As soon as I read this question I had an answer in mind, Crowd sourcing.

Our challenge originally stated, “How do we improve the platform’s user experience & usability? How to set up a user group & create a development cycling of continuous improvement & experience?”  The key focus in this task was improving usability for users and also developing a “development cycling of continuous improvement & experience”. This is where Crowd Sourcing steps in.

Just as a reminder crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing to a “crowd” of people via an open call for assistance. Through Solidaridad harnessing crowdsourcing in terms of development feed back on their new platform, they will discover (in a timely manner) where their weak spots lye in their new platform. If they give users an opportunity to review and give feed back, progressively they will be able to update these weak spots bettering the platform continuously,  until it is entirely user friendly. Further more Crowdsourcing also allows global experts, who may have experienced platform development to enlighten Solidaridad on wear any weak spots lie in their platform. Crowdsourcing also gives a voice to those who may not have specific expertise in the field and this is invaluable as way of creating a true sense of community, diminishing any sense of hierarchy.

Cultural diversity is also dealt with through crowdsourcing as people belonging to different cultures are able to communicate their unique needs which may not have been considered by those of another culture.

As for what I believe the solution is going to be, to be frank, I still don’t know. Due to some difficulties communicating with our client (he was out of the country and unable to return our mails) we are still waiting on some vital information. Until we get this it is hard to say. However the finish line is approaching us even more each and every day, so decisions are going to have to be made and soon. I have set up a Skype meeting with our client tomorrow and if all goes to plan we should have all the information we need. If, for some reason, we are unable to get what we need, I think my group should go off assumptions as I would rather us end with a few inapplicable solutions than none what so ever.

Is anyone else having problems contacting clients? If so please enlighten me with any possible solutions you have found.

Until next time,


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

On Monday, during week 6, me and my groupmates met 15 minutes before class, to discuss the issues of…

On Monday, during week 6, me and my groupmates met 15 minutes before class, to discuss the issues of our group. I found it very useful, because everyone shared their opinion on how to improve our team work and all misunderstandings were cleared. We also discussed about the new visual outlook of the presentation. I think that we did a good job, since we completed our tasks and took some new decisions about the project.

Now that you have explored crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, reflect on your sense of the usefulness of these options. What do you see as the pros and cons of crowdsourcing in design? Give your reasons for your responses.

The idea of crowdsourcing is to get work done by a ‘crowd’ of workers. Since it is usually made online, the results might be very interesting, because a great group of people will have some kind of impact for further development. When using crowdsourcing for design, a task is given to a crowd of designers and they have a set deadline. They must create a finished design especially for their customer and he gets to choose from a huge variety. It is an advantage for the customer, since he has the opportunity to find exactly what he is looking for. It is especially convenient for small businesses, because it is far cheaper.

I think that another great advantage is that it saves a lot of time and extra expenses. The customer just needs to type in a crowdsourcing website the criteria for their product and then they will start receiving a lot of diverse offers. It is motivating many artists to generate ideas and create great designs. However, there is one huge disadvantage for them – after spending hours on creating the perfect design, a lot of people will not receive any money for their work, since they do not get hired.

A very useful thing for artists, who do not have enough funds and wish to develop their ideas, is Crowdfunding. By raising small amount of money from a large number of people, designers, musicians, filmmakers, etc. can make their idea come true. The creator has complete control over his project and is fully responsible for its development.

A great crowdfuning website is Kickstarter. It is created to support any kinds of projects related to Arts, Fashion, Design, Photography, Publishing and many more. Anyone can launch a project on Kickstarter as long as he/she meets their guidelines.

The ‘Love shack’ of Dana Jo Cooley really impressed me. It is bus stop, created by the influence of b’25 song. The idea of the artist is for it to be "a little ole’ place to get together," and wait for the bus.


My personal opinion about crowdsourcing and crowdfunding websites are definitely very useful, since they not only motivate people to create, but also inspire others. After reading about the Love shack, I started to think of ideas on how to do something similar in my own country and when if I come up with a good idea, I would definitely consider using crowdfunding.  

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Chocolate brownies and cookies


Once again we run into the theme of harnessing the “shrinking world” through the use of crowdsourcing and crowd funding.

Although these terms are new to me there meaning is rather self-explanatory. Crowdsourcing is the deed of outsourcing to a “crowd” of persons via an open call for assistances and crowd funding has the same concept however they are looking for specifically financial assistance.

Crowd funding is obviously and understandably a popular option for all, from NGO’s to start up businesses to large developed businesses also.  However when trying to apply crowd funding to Solidaridad’s platform project, we discovered its not always applicable. This is because people are not interested in funding a company’s internal system development. It does not affect them, hence they are uninterested. However for other teams such as group 3 who are working with the Gogorobi foundation, crowd funding is applicable as it is working on developing people’s life’s and culture, which is emotionally provoking for most people – this team may choose to suggest some form of donation based crowd funding as being the most efficient for the Gogorobi foundation. However Solidaridad focus more on investment based funding as they feel for their projects (focused on developing agriculture) sustainable development will only come from market investment, not aid.

Crowd Sourcing in design on the other hand can be and is perceived in many in different lights.  David C. Baker, owner of the design firm consultancy Recourses, believes crowdsourcing is “An Irreversible Movement” which people need to embrace in order to move forward in the sustainable design industry. Debbie Millman, president of Sterling Brands, has an opposing view believing crowd sourcing is an “Unfair Practice” which is leaving studied designer in the lurches. We will now look at arguments supporting both sides before drawing a final conclusion.


  • Crowd sourcing in a competitive form allows clients to skip the middleman and choose a final product they like. This increases the importance of deadlines to designers, where they may have been more lenient if the had been hired exclusively. The competitive nature also encourages designers to always perform at their best.
  • Crowdsourcing offers a stage for designers who wouldn’t otherwise be given an opportunity to display their abilities. It breaks down barriers in education, geography and socioeconomic rank.
  • Crowdsourcing also allows diverse cultures to pull knowledge and insight into a project.
  • Crowdsourcing also is a great way for exposing and broadcasting emerging talent in the design industry.
  • Crowdsourcing builds a flexible, on demand time zone, allowing people to work globally around the clock on the same project.


  • Designers a lot of the times have to work with out pay. This leads to them feeling used and un-appreciated. Some believe this is an un-sustainable path for design as it is going to diminish the desire to work in this industry.
  • There may be legal risks in some cases, regarding trademark infringements etc. If not managed this could even lead to the downfall of crowdsourcing.

As you can see I have struggled to find an equal amount of “cons” to crowdsourcing. Is this because crowdsourcing is the way forward? Or is there more to the argument? Please add any points you believe to be “cons” in a comment below.

Once again it’s been a pleasure.

Until next week, Siras. 

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

My own week 3: Developing your technology knowledge & your digital identity

Do you remember Dangerous Dave? If this picture brings up memories, you most probably also spent hours on playing one of the first ‘adventure’ games. The mission was to collect trophies trough ten levels. I was playing this game on the first computer that I had at home and at school. I could say that this was my first interaction with computers. I remember, that I was very young when we first had internet at home. It was connected via the phone (dial-up) and you couldn’t, talk and surf on the internet at the same time. Ever since I was little, my father showed me how to do different things on the computer. I found it very amusing to write letters to myself on Word and later print them.

Later on, I started having IT classes at school and gained wider knowledge of Microsoft Office. We spent a lot of time on making Power Point presentations, and I might say that I now I am quite good at it. We also paid a lot of attention to Microsoft Excel.

I use my computer mainly for social networking, internet and for different programs, like Picasa, Microsoft Office Picture Manager and Corel Draw to edit my pictures. I can do interesting effects on photographs, but I wouldn’t say that I am professional. There is a lot more to learn. I have always found Photoshop very interesting, but if I have to be honest, it is very hard for me to use it. This is one of the programs that I want to learn how to use, because it is very useful for creating photos with amazing effects and also for designing an impressive visual outlook.

I could say that I am good at using computers, i.e. an advanced user, however there is still a lot of room of improvement. I like that in group 6 – a lot of the members use programs I have never even heard of. This this way I will be able to learn how to use new programs, thus improve my skills. Later on, whenever I want to do – I will know which program it is best to do it with. I really appreciate the fact that I can learn from my group mates. As I already said, I am not a computer genius, but I am willing to learn, and I know that I will, since computers have virtually become part of my life.

An ‘online tool’ which I often use is Facebook. I find it convenient, since everyone from group 6 has an account there and we often share files and information related to the Solidaridad project. I think that the posts support our group work, because everyone can refer to them at any time. Another advantage are the privacy settings which allow everything to be shared only with the members of the group.

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

I read on the Project Community website that group 9 has to develop a ‘Personal Branding’ strategy using social networks, which I believe means that every employee will need to represent himself (present his Personal Brand) via social networks.

Can your expertise be of use to them?

The only thing that I believe I can do for the members of group 9 is torecommend them to use the knowledge gained during the Personal Branding classes. I think they should first advise the employees to define their skills (gifts, passions, and purposes), their target audience and how they differ from others.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Chocolate brownies and cookies

My introduction week?

The activities done in week 2

On 9 September 2013 while I was in a completely different part of the university, my classmates were being introduced to the purpose of Project Communities and to the Non-Governmental Organization - Solidaridad. They discussed the different websites that we were going to use, like Facebook, Tumblr, Blackboard, etc. I regret, that I missed this day, because I felt lost when I had to deal on my own with them, especially the blogging part. Thanks God my classmates were patient enough to answer all my questions.

Another important thing that they talked about were the four major themes which were going to be taught during the course – Teamwork, NGOs and Millennium Development Goals, Online communities/systems, and Sustainable Solutions.

I transferred from International Communication Management to Industrial Design Engineering one week ago. On Monday, which was actually my first day as a student of this study program, I attended Project Communities classes. I met my classmates from Group 6 and they introduced me to the Solidaridad project. If I have to be honest, at first I felt a bit confused, because everything was absolutely new for me and I didn’t know anything about Solidaridad. Now, however, since I am already involved in the working process, I can say that I feel a bit more confident. I try to keep up with the other group members, because I don’t want them to treat me like ‘the new girl, who can’t do anything’.

How do I understand our class goals? I think that our major goal is to become open innovators, who will easily co-work with others in a group and thanks to modern technology and different networks – we will be able to provide our potential customer with a successful solution.  Our main task is to become a really bond group in which ideas and opinions are shared and discussed. I think that if we are all dedicated to our tasks and give our best – we will come up with a worthy 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?

I should definitely gain more knowledge in the area in which our customers’ business is – Sustainable Agricultural Development. I find it very interesting since this is an issue concerning the whole world basically. Feeding the constantly growing world population is an issue I have often thought about and this is why I like that I am part of this project.

Another thing which I would like to know more about are the Drupal Commons, because honestly speaking, this is the first time that I hear about something like this and it seems as a useful thing, since it can facilitate the complicated use of code writing (HTML).

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

As I already mentioned, I started this study program a bit later than the others, so I have a clear picture of the outcome of our project. In my opinion, the design of the presentation looks impressive, since the design is simple, yet interesting, and the information is very well structured. However, there are some things that still need to be added and I would like to be as much useful, as I can. I am grateful for the work that my classmates have done so far.

I do my best to keep up with the working process and to also have an impact on the final result of the project. And I won’t lie – I will really feel good if we win, but as I already mentioned, we have to do our best.

What “specialty quality” will you bring and contribute?

I don’t know whether this is a ‘specialty quality’, but I noticed that not all of the members are really dedicated to this project, so I will try to motivate them one way or another. I think that if we try to encourage one another to work harder, the effects in the end will be better.

Another thing that I might have a positive effect on is the design of our presentation. I really enjoy making Power Point presentations (despite the fact that our presentation is on Prezi), and I think that the visual look has a significant effect on the audience.

In conclusion, I started an interesting adventure, by suddenly transferring to IDE, and I think that I finally ended at the right boat. I like our working atmosphere, and I think that it is a great place for generating ideas.


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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Chocolate brownies and cookies

Teamwork and reflection!

In todays blog post I will reflect on how we are working together as a team.What works well is that we communicate regularly who is doing what, people do their tasks and inform the others if they cannot come to a meeting. Everybody has a chance to say what he or she thinks and their opinion is respected.

The challenge of working in a team is that we have to make sure that everybody is doing a similar amout of work, and everybody is satisfied with the decisions we make. But I think this is already working out quite good, though we would maybe sometimes need more input of ideas to discuss. Because the more ideas the bigger the chance that we can pick a great one. Sometimes we have problems to communicate in a group of eight people, because everybody wants to contribute something, so it would be better to divide the group into subgroups. If we come to an agreement in these small groups it will be easier to make a decision in our small community.

That already refers to the size of the group. Our group is quite large for a project, it is not that easy to make a decision that eight people agree with than a decision in which only three people have to agree in one point. Small groups may be leaderless, but the larger a group is the more organization is needed that is the reason why large groups have to have a leader and small groups can be leaderless and the result of the work may be satisfying for every member.Large groups have the advantage of a greater pool of ideas and samller groups can make decisions faster. I found a quite interesting article on this from Oxford Brookes University (

As we are a group of international students one might think that there might occur problems because we think in a different way. We have indeed different cultural backgrounds, but I do not really recognize that when we are working together. There are the different types of people that usually always appear in groups, we have people that take a more leading role, than others that prefer to wait until someone tells them what to do. But that would be the same in a group with students of just ne nationality. Sometimes communication is difficult, but that is rather a language than a cultural problem. We are all open minded and can thus work well together. Maybe the different ways of thinking make us even more creative.

Sometimes we get off track with fulfilling our tasks, we have difficulties with connecting the main goal with our concept and the goal of the class, this showed up in the “spidergramm-confusiasm”. But we try to manage that, we divide tasks, so that everybody may do something he or she is good at or is interested in. This keeps us being motivated. The different class goals make us change our concept often, but taking a step back must not be a bad thing, as we already learned this often just improves our approach. Today we had a meeting and talked a lot about the introduction of our video, but then realized suddenly that we maybe first should think more about our suggestions how to raise the funds.

In order to improve our work we should maybe first make a statement in every meeting where we are now, then think about what has to be the next step, and at the end of each meeting think about what when well and what did not. We might as well divide tasks in a way that we can work together in pairs. We already tested that today, so did Warisra and me work on the introduction of the video, made a storyboard and chose some photos.
I think it is really important to keep on reflecting our group work further on so that we can constantly improve it !

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Posted in Community, Group 5
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Freddy and the Preservation of Caribbean Tradition

The mystery of writing your first blog

In today’s modern world we have the great advantage of using the Internet. People do it for different purposes – for ones it is a convenient source of information, other’s use it to get in touch with their friends and families. It is interesting how social networks become the ‘meeting point’ for a lot of people, who share different ideas or purposes. It also gathers diverse people, who don’t know each other, but share the same interests.

A few days ago I become a member of a bounded group in one of the most popular social networks – Facebook. It is called New Open Innovators (IDE) and also serves as a place for students to meet, share stories and events, ask questions, etc. Recently I changed my study program and transferred from International Communication Management to Industrial Design Engineering and since I started a few weeks later than my classmates, this was the place where I first introduced myself and talked to some of them. I think that this group was very useful for me, because I was a bit scared at first and after talking to some people, who have already been through this, I gained confidence.

Facebook is the social network, which I use most often. In my opinion, it is the most comfortable one, since almost everybody uses it and it is the easiest way to keep in touch with everyone no matter where in the world they are. We live in an intercultural society and meet with people from different countries. The only way to stay somehow connected is through social networks. By sharing photos, videos, stories and comments people present themselves and what is going on in their lives. One way to see how your friends are doing and what have they been up to is by looking at the photos they uploaded or by reading the statuses they posted.

 Facebook and the other social networks like My Space, Google+, etc. have fundamentally changed what it means “to be together”. In my case, for example, the communication with my boyfriend is done mainly by Facebook and Skype. Since he lives 2000 km away, this is our only way for fast and very cheap communication.  I think that as a social network Facebook is valuable for me, because I have met a lot of people from all over the world and this is one way to keep our connection.

Another reason why it is quite valuable for me now is because it is going to be one of the main ways that I’m going to catch up with the things I have to prepare for the university. I recently joined Group 6 : Solidaridad Network Project, which is created only for the members of a specific group who already know each other and have the same goals. Particularly in this case it is for sharing information regarding a certain project. It is a very useful group, since everyone can give ideas for further development here and the information will reach to all the members. It is also a convenient place for discussing and giving feedback on one’s work.

Honestly speaking, I prefer bounded groups, because I am not really keen on communicating with strangers through the Internet, unless we are discussing a certain topic, which I find interesting. My networks consist of people, who I have met in person, but when it comes to searching general information it expands and becomes a boundaryless worldwide network. 

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Chocolate brownies and cookies

Me and my network

I will be quick this time, I guess… :D

So, my network is nothing special. I created imperceptibly a network when I left home. It consists of my friends, my family and my closest relatives. I spend most of my free time to surfing on the internet mainly to reach my loved once. That’s what I call using internet for good, I like to make sure I’m up-to-date with everything that happens in the life of the people I care about the most. And I do need internet for school and studying, too as every other student, I believe. In the end it turns out, yet again, that it’s all about me. Sorry, if it sounds too selfish, but I like the facts to be clear. 

Even though I created my facebook profile way too late (according to most of my friends) I am a part of a defined group. My previous classmates created a group of our class in facebook. Too bad, though, I joined after graduation :D. Still, we all keep in touch. But sadly, as a whole we don’t interact with or participate in anything, so I guess I am ”me against the world”. I consider myself as a internet-friendly type of person. When I want to gain information I know where to look for it and if I have a problem I know who to ask to help me solve it. That is why I like internet and what I feel comforted with, (and even pampered, sometimes :D ), regarding its purposes .

OK, diving into the unknown again. As it comes to tools I’m open to learning how to use all kinds of tools. In the near future I will be expected to know and even master, some really useful and popular tools. I’m eager to get more familiar to Photoshop and everything related to it. That would be one very very VERY valuable skill.

And just to sum up, I regard myself more as trying to combine Me (individual) with Many (networks). Then, hopefully with the help of the many new people I got to meet the past few weeks, I could include some We (communities) in the picture. :)   

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Posted in Community, Group 5
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Bobby's Place for Struggling with the UPCOMING

Spidergram-confusion and social media

The second week working on the project communities project turned out to being very confusing. In the first week we had already figured out how to approach our project, what we needed to research and who would be responsible for which part. We talked over what we had found out shared our documents on our facebook group, already had some answered questions from our contact person in the Gogorobí Foundation. But then there was this assignment to make a spidergram about the needs of the Foundation.  This really confused me, because we had had our plans and now were asked again to make a new kind of diagram showing what would be important to know about the Foundation. It seemed like going one step backwards again to have a look whether we had done everything in the right way and really had thought about which aspects were important and which were not.
Looking at the work of the other groups group two seems t have figured out a quite similar spidergram for the Gogorobí Fundation as our group did, so I think we have done in the right way after discussing the meaning of the assignment for about one and a half hours.
As I have not seen the answers of the questions that the other group asked Sheila Payne (our contact person in the foundation) I cannot say how we could help them or how we can support them with our knowledge and/or skills.

As Mondays class was not only about the spidergram but as well about our digital identity and technological knowledge i would like to say that I am not really sure whether my computer skills my help our group with the preparation of the presentation, because I can work with drawing and photo editing programmes but never would call myself an expert. So if anybody has a question about that stuff you may ask me and I will try to teach you, but I cannot guarantee you that I will have an answer ;)

Furthermore I rejected all social media like facebook, twitter and a lot of others because I did not feel any need of it and I did not want to give all my data away. I have a Facebook account now since about two years and it changed me a lot. I am not sure if in an positive or negative way. I got that account because I wanted to stay in contact with friends who were abroad or living in other cities, and yes it worked, but staying in contact via facebook is completely different from spending time together. Just some month ago I bought my first smartphone. My peers did not understand how I had been able to survive until then but anyhow it worked. I agree that social media and the Internet have a lot of advantages, like groups in which you can share documents without using mail or e-mail. This makes many processes much faster. But as the Video of Fartkid shows you definitely have to use them in the right way because nobody wants his or her future employer to find embarrassing photos or videos or even just comments and that was another reason why I did not want to be on facebook. I did not want anybody to find my Name on Google. The class yesterday just made me think about that this could be at least not bad at all, but then the result of typing in my name into the bar of a searching engine should look somehow positive. The problem is that it is not only me who can influence that result but as well other people, who maybe just post some bad things about me. What I became aware of is that i can influence my digital identity. There are just some questions I am wondering about : Do I really need this digital identity? And if I need it for example for my future career should I build it up for that certain purpose?
I am not able to answer these questions right now, but I am still not really convinced that I am in need for that identity visible for the public right now as a student. Because I refused using these platforms I don’t have that much experience with them, but I am sure there are some social media experts in our group who can improve our teamwork!

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Posted in Community, Group 5
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Freddy and the Preservation of Caribbean Tradition



Technology who?

Today we have been prompted with a question about our technological knowledge. For anyone who read my previous post, it’s no secret that technology and I are yet to find common ground. Admittedly this is only because of a lack of effort on my part – however this is all about to change!

We discussed our “Digital identity” (which is basically how you are portrayed via the internet) and it got me thinking.. Digital identity in the last few years has become a controversial topic in my home, my parents have made my siblings and I well aware of permanence of whatever we post on the Internet. Their main concern was in preserving our reputation for any future career endeavours. One of my sisters even went to the extent of deleting her Facebook account, as she was scared that others posts would portray her in a negative light. What my family has overlooked is the potential benefits of using the internet to brand yourself which in my opinion out weighs any potential negative/embarrassing information which may find its way on to the internet!

Although my technological skills are limited I am equipped with a team, with at least 3 computer-savvy lads, who have experience with editing platforms etc. Thus I hope to make the most of the lads in a few ways; firstly to sit in on any work they do using these skills in a hope of acquiring and learning anything I can from them. Secondly I am hoping to barter their skills to group 7, who is also working with Solidaridad, in exchange for assistance in forming questions for our company contact Marteen. My group is currently having difficulties in accurately interpreting the task, as it is week 3 out of a 10-week project, any help we can get in fixing this problem is invaluable to us.

I want to end this post by expressing my excitement for developing this skill set which will allow me to take control of my digital identity. My Tumblr blogs will be my first step towards this, already I have started a personal blog, which displays all my passions and aspirations. I have also been playing around with Photoshop (with many difficulties) and I hope to create my own logo for this blog by the end of the day!

Good luck to all and catch you next week,


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