NOTE: This is a full archive for the Project Community: You & The World (2012) please see the main site for the most up to date information.
In the last weeks I explored many different online communities and discovered their advantages and disadvantages. Most communities are similar but they focus on different aspects as for example some are basically for sharing pictures or videos and others focus on reports and daily life news.
However most communities are the same there is something that distinguishes them from each other.
Is it the way the community is created ? the design? the layout? the tools?
Even though there are heaps of online communities I am wondering why facebook is still the most famous one.
I would say the reason why facebook is the most common online community is on the one hand because it is simple but still useful designed and on the other hand it is the fame.
…the more people have it, the more people want it and the more people need it!
Due to the fact that almost everyone has a facebook profile and it even became a necessary part of work and studies, people can’t live without it.
Why putting effort on exploring new communities and creating new profiles when facebook gives you all basic needs to communicate and all your friends are there?
I realised that people are sometimes lazy in this case. They want it simple and they don’t like changes as I recognized how many people started complaining when facebook once changed their lay out or messagimg tools.
Anyway if I would advice communities how to create and design their platforms I would say the most important things are:
- make it easy and simple so that everybody will be able to use and understand the platform without to much effort
- but also have a big diversity of tools and opportunities to share your life such as chats, pictures, interests etc.
- find your right target group, people of the same age, same interest or society etc.
- be distinctive and special. If people like the community they will automatically share it with their friends and the fame will rapidly increase
All in all I would say there are still some possibilities to create a good and famous online community as I know that there are already a few people who doesn’t like facebook anymore and deleted their accounts for a reason. If you would analyse those reasons and create an online community that also focuses on other things than daily private life crisis, I think there might be a way to succeed. But as I can say from myself I sometimes belong to the simple people who feel forced to go with the flow and profit from the bunch of contacts on facebook. I found it really interesting to discover other online communities in the last weeks and I really appreciate the great advantages of communities like google plus which it now my favourite way of online video chatting but I am still a person who needs other peoples advices to make use of other communities than facebook because I have never been a person that had much patience to explore new online systems.
Thinking about a design and making it happen is something that takes place in your mind and arises from your imagination.
You may have the greatest ideas and awesome plans that you want to make come true.
But before you realize and finalize your design idea you want to be completely sure about what you do. You want to now what other people might think of this idea or if they would buy and use it in the end.
So I think it might be really useful to include other peoples opinions on your design idea.
Improving by sharing!
The best way to do that is getting in contact with people who are actually interested in what you do. So you should find a place, an online community or a similar place to collaborate with others.
The more feedbacks you get the more you can work on your idea and also the more certainty you get which I actually find really helpful because I’m a person who avoids uncertainty and likes to get feedbacks from friends before presenting my ideas to the whole world.
Another good way might be finding people who might want what you do and ask this target group directly.
There are millions of platforms and communities where you can share ideas and discuss about them but I think everybody has to find his own one.
I can say for myself that I wouldn’t feel comfortable to publish and share ideas on an online community like facebook because I would be afraid that people wouldn’t take me serious in this case. They wouldn’t understand why I am sharing those design ideas because they are probably not interested in it and they see facebook only as a social network to share daily life occurrences. Of course it can work out completely different and I might get another reaction as I am expecting right now.
But anyway I would prefer to collaborate with people who really share the interest of design and innovation, who are really open minded and honest. But of course as I mentioned before I’m a person who need feedbacks from people and I also like collaborating online with friends and work out things together.
What did I learn?
First of all I can say that I personally learned a lot during the last month.
In the beginning I wasn’t sure about the goal of this course and to be honest it took me quite a while to understand what we were actually working on but now I realised that we are getting there.
Right now our group is working on a problem which is about wells inNigeria. Due to the fact that this is a real and existing problem it encourages us to achieve real results out of our research work. All of us are contributing to the team achievements because we divide the work and share our opinions on each of it before we sum them up as our group result.
And maybe in the end we will make a real impact?!
I did not only learn about the course contents in general but I also learned a lot about online communities and different networks. I explored new things such as creating and posting on a blog and the use of google plus.
I experienced a completely new way of collaborating with others and a new kind of group work. Since the beginning of the class I collected many diefferent insights which can help me to make up my mind and be open to many more new things. But I can already say that I achieved more than I expected before. And as long as I’m open for new insights I’m still learning.
Since the beginning of our studies I realised how important the continuous contact to other students or instructors is.
It is the group that helps me to learn!
I really appreciate their help and advices either in class, offline or from home, online. It is definitely facilitating to face problems together as a group and work on solutions side by side. I really enjoy the active collaboration in our whole group. Especially because its not only the students who support each other by sharing their opinions and knowledge but also the teachers who are involved in the whole process. It gives us a feeling of a big community or maybe even a family who explores together. We all learn from each other along the work process. It is nice to see that we, the students can also help to improve the system of the process we are going through. We facilitate the work process by collaborating with our community. And a nice side aspect is that we also learn more about each others personalities and cultures which is quite interesting for me. Everybody differs from each other but there is a great respect in the group and it is a big advantage that everybody is open to work together.
Different cultures, different opinions, different knowledge – many insights!
This helps me to get my way through the studies. The group makes me feel home, away from home. And especially now that most of us are facing a completely new part of our lives, it is important to get help from others.
We work in groups but we also collaborate with other groups and even private. I’m glad that we also support each other from home by staying in contact online. The only problems that I recognized the last weeks were the technical problems that we sometimes had with the technical devices or the missing internet connection at home. Another thing is that I’m still a bit struggling with the usage of some online networks because I really don’t know much about that but I see that I am getting it slowly…and it is facilitating…for sure.
There are many online networks and communities but like most of the people I use Facebook. I didn’t explore many online networks so far but I know that each platform works different and offers different opportunities and they use different devices and tools to collaborate with each other.
I use facebook and skype to stay in contact with my family and friends and to share pictures and collaborate with others.
The tools that I mostly use there are the private ones. I prefer to write private messages just like e-mails and I prefer to work in private online groups while interacting with a team.
Only sometimes I make use of the public devices such as sharing pictures and writing public blogs and post.
The reason for that might be that I don’t feel comfortable to share my live with everyone. I don’t feel save in the World Wide Web and I always try to stay private and anonymous.
Even though I know that everything I write online even private mails are stored in the web and there will always be someone who could get access to them.
Anyway if I have the opportunity to stay at least a bit more private and get the chance to share my life only with those who I want to share it with I would definitely prefer it that way.
But I also see that especially regarding innovative work and online collaboration it might be better to discuss things public.
It’s the best way to get insights from people who don’t know much about your private life but who still share the same interest or just want to share and comment on my opinion and ideas.
There must be a way of sharing ideas world wide but also staying a bit anonymous and safe the privacy.
That’s why I’m not quite sure if facebook is the right place to work on so I’m curious about other online networks and great devices. For that reason I actually don’t have a real preference and I would always be open to the preferences and perspectives of others.
Regarding our team work I’m keen to learn and adapt from their network experiences.
First of all I can say that working with a group of six people from different countries, is working out unexpectedly well. And as you can tell by the name of the group’ Group Horizon ’ – working beyond the horizon, we are really enthusiastic and optimistic to reach our goals on our own way.
In the first week we tried to get some structure into the group and we created a facebook group to collaborate and share the information. I really appreciate the help of my group not only online but also offline. We started to meet with the group regulary during our free time, to discuss on our works and results. I realise that the group is really organised and open to collaborate with each other. Nobody has to feel left behind because there will always be someone who understands the tasks and who can help you. We started to divide the tasks to make the work on our week assignments easier. So we work on them either alone or with another person and in the end we share and discuss about the results and put them together into our final group results. We always try to divide the task equally so everybody gets the chance to collaborate on the final results.
Therefore I see many advantages on our project community group work.
The only thing that I find challenging is the fact that in this course most of the things are developing online. Our group is also communicating a lot online, which means you have to get an overview on how all the online platforms work.
Even worse is the fact that the whole class is currently working in two different groups in two different courses and due to the fact that we still don’t know each other well, it is often hard to separate the groups that you work with. It is always confusing especially because there are some group members who work with me in both groups. That leads to the result that I sometimes mix up the contents of the courses and the assignments.
So I think it might be helpful to take separate notes and focus on them. It is also important to learn how the online platforms works to keep track of everything.
What we could probably do to improve the group’s work is, to start working on the week assignments at the beginning of each week so that we have more time to finalise the results and to hand in the assignments on time. Furthermore it could be helpful to clean up and organise the files on the facebook group every now and then and to summarize the results clear and properly.
Isn’t it great how many opportunities online spaces give us?
Can you imagine a live without online networks and communities?
It is so great to meet new people every day and from all over the world and there is no limit.
So where did it start….
The first online space that I experienced was ICQ, which is a simple chat where you can write messages to your friends and send pictures and files to each other. Then I started to use a german social network SCHÜLERVZ which is an online platform which is similar to Facebook but only used by german students. That’s where I started to share my private life with my friends. It was all about keeping up to date on each others lives and chatting with friends.
But after a year I replaced my schülervz account with a FACEBOOK account because now I had the chance to make friends from any place on the world and any age. I especially liked that I could now stay in contact with my cousins on the other side of the world though I haven’t seen them for many years. And the best part of it: Its for free!!! For that reason I also started to use SKYPE because I liked the fact that you can see and hear your family and friends even though you are far away from each other. I use these online spaces in my free time for private use and I’m also a member of some intern groups where I discuss, plan and share information with friends of the same interest like sports and hobbies.
All in all I was mostly using these online spaces to stay in touch with my family and friends.
But now it is the first time that I use facebook to work or to study. It completely new for to share information about courses and assignments in an social network group. Before that I used to spend time on FB just for fun which actually wasted a lot of my time because many people there tend to publish every useless thing that comes to their mind. Due to that fact I find it really hard to use facebook an online community for my team work. I get easily distracted by other things while I’m using facebook, so it a challenge for me to stay focused and to separate my free time from my work time.
The online network that I feel most comfortable with is Facebook but only because I’m used to it. Anyway I would not say that I feel comfortable at all. On the one hand I’m curious about other people’s lives and I also like to share a bit of my live with my close friends but on the other hand I want to be anonymous. I’m afraid of publishing to much about my privacy and I also don’t post or comment much in public because it might be annoying to someone. Probably it is because I don’t want someone who is not a close friend of mine, to judge me for that. I don’t share many of my ideas or plans in public because I also think I won’t get the answer or the help that I need on Facebook. But maybe I should try to be more self-confident and be more open to others. It could be a useful experiment to contribute more online and to ask people about their opinion on my ideas online. Maybe it will change my usual use of facebook and help me to create a work area.
I really want to learn how working in online networks can help me to succeed instead of slowing me down. I am sure that there are many other great online spaces that probably focus more on my needs than FB does.
But unfortunately I’m not really experienced in using other online spaces but it was already interesting for me to explore new networks like tumblr and meetingwords. Even though it is quite complicated to get used to new online spaces it might be really useful regarding the teamwork aspect. I think of a place where you can share ideas and gather information with only people from the same interest worldwide. A space where you can help and inspire each other without being judged on your private life or outward appearance and where you won’t get distracted by unnecessary posts.
So what I try to learn during the next weeks:
Now its about exploring, exploring, exploring!
Of course I appreciate the advantages of online network communities and I spend a lot of my free time on it because it is great to share opinions and ideas with others and get feedbacks on it. I believe that this kind of media and sharing is our future and I realize how it increases rapidly.
But somehow I’m afraid that working with online communities will gain upper hand.
Especially during the last week I found myself overwhelmed with all these new network areas and I found it hard and confusing to keep an overview on the ongoing things.
I’m afraid that in the future social network communities will not only control my free time but also my work time.
And what happens if it gains such value?
Am I going to miss private conversations in workgroups because I’m used to the fast online communication? Do I have to feel forced to spend most of my time on the computer and become a network addict just to keep up to date and to be connected to the rest?
I have the impression that I can’t really follow everything that is going on but I’m looking forward to learn more about other communities and to get more insights although it will be confusing for me especially because I’m not so experienced in different network communities. Furthermore I hope to learn how to separate or connect my free time from my work time while using network communities.