What are your design principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks based on your experience in this course and your project? Please describe them and a little bit about how you have developed them.
When I had to design or foster a online community or network one of my first principles would be that ‘it is all about the user’ just like a product is all about its consumers. Because in the end a online community or network is nothing else than a product.
So you have to think about your target group and try to see things from their point of view. What would they expect from the platform? What kind of tools would they like to use? Because from what I have seen people do not hesitate to look up a different community or network which fits their needs or expectations better.
Therefore I would have one principle: ‘The user is always right.’ , because without users there is no community or network.
One day you get a great idea… You start researching, you start experimenting and in most of the times problems will occur. In history the biggest scientists and inventors also got to this point eventually and I can only imagine what they did to inspire themselves with new ideas, views or knowledge.
Nowadays we have this thing called ‘World Wide Web’ where most of the world has access to and I (we) would be plain stupid not to use it for situations where I find myself stuck. It would be like not using the perfect tool when it lies right in front of you.
So to get this entirely clear: If I had a design challenge I most certainly would join and participate in online communities because what I have seen from platforms such as OpenIdeo and Kickstarter is that they have truly good concepting. I mean even if they hadn’t you would still have the chance to connect to people all over the world (on the same grounds) but they actually assist you and can help you with your project in whole new ways.
Additionally (a little bit off the topic) I think that it should be obligatory for every human being to take part once during his/her lifetime in an open innovation/design project online because I think that even the most unqualified person can mix things up and bring new ideas to the table.
When I look at our team work I see a lot of confusion. At first no one really knew what we were doing/learning. After a while we all understood the bigger picture but everyone seemed to have a different approach or understanding on what, when and how to do it. Communication is still a bit of a problem in our group but still we managed to put up a plan where everyone knows what he or she is doing.
The mentioned confusion obviously affected my personal contribution to the team which means that I constantly was asking questions because it did not seem that we all were on the same page. Struggling with this issue I tried to do my best in contributing Ideas regarding our final project/product. Still I’m not satisfied with my personal contribution so far (which I’m working on) but there also are some discrepancies regarding our group dynamics which makes me feel uncomfortable and not taken seriously.
The monitoring and evaluation of my learnings I’m quiet pleased because the course is really hands-on which I really like because I’m a ‘learning by doing’ person. But still I wish that we might look more inside those communities - how to work on an actual project - just to get a better insight and more experience. Don’t understand me wrong.. We have learned a lot about online communities and networks in theoretical but we haven’t actually worked inside a project (on those communities and networks) which would give us all more practical experience and knowledge.
(P.S.: Sorry that I’m running late with this post but I totally forgot about it due to my illness. Hope you guys understand.)
I think facilitation in this course is handled very well. Everyone treats themselves with mutual respect and is being open to suggestions and building on it.
Especially the instructors are giving their students enough space (to speak/express themselves) so that you get a whole lot of different approaches to one project/problem and everyone gets involved.
Encouraging people might be the most important issue regarding facilitating, teamwork and learning because besides including everyone, you might get some new insights about a certain topic.
So generally for facilitating ones learnings everyone involved has to agree to some ground rules but most importantly has to keep an eye on group-dynamics and group-process.
So far our instructors have done a great job on facilitating our learnings because it obviously was a hard task for us students to overcome in the first weeks without knowing each other. Basically they have set the ground-rules and helped our group-dynamics evolve and now it is one us (since we don’t have ‘a facilitator’) to make our ‘work’ as efficient and progressive as possible while including/respecting everyone and discussing every possibility.
How much does your personal preference drive your tool choices? What if everyone else in your group had different preferences? How would you proceed as you steward the technology? Does looking at others’ preferences and perspectives change your view as a tech steward? Challenge you?
When I am working on my own I obviously choose tools according to my personal preferences while when I have to choose tools to work with in a group I try to stay as objective as possible to choose the right set of tools.
I mean what I or anyone prefers might not be most suitable to the community.
I as a technology steward would have many different prepared sets of tools for different approaches to different kinds of communities which all could be changed according to preferences of others.
Since I would have a group to work with and I am not the only one affected by my decision I would collect all the preferences of each group member and compare them to the prepared sets to combine it to a concept covers every need of every group member as good and effectively as possible.
In the end everyone has to work with the same tools so it is best to cover as many preferences as you can.
I would be open to any recommendation by anyone about maybe some better/more effective tools and always judge by user-friendliness, capability and in favor of the majority.
Simply a democratic approach because I wouldn’t want to oppress people with my way of thinking and it would disturb the working atmosphere.
Nobody’s perfect.. that’s why we work in teams!
What works well for me is that you actually divide up the work you are doing which makes the whole process faster and more simple. Everyone has a part that they are responsible for.
Just putting the different parts back together can get a little bit confusing because everyone works on their own and adds his/her ‘flavour’ to the work which might not collaborate with the other members. It’s best to stay objective and focused.
So it is quite challenging to get everyone motivated and effectively working on the same idea.
I think i (we) really need to improve my (the) communication within the group because it’s not only clarifying but also gives each team member more security on what they are supposed to do.
I think I am exactly that kind of individual as described in the assignment… because I don’t really interact much online without a reason. I mean either I am researching some kind of topic or I am contacting someone.
Sometimes I post some article or interesting website onto a friend’s ‘timeline’ but that’s about it.
For instance I do not get why people have to post every little thing they have on their minds right now!? Most of it is meaningless and basically a scream for attention! (in terms of facebook)
The only reason I created a facebook account was, so I could stay in touch with my family and friends for free.
The only groups I’m in right now are the ones regarding this programm. So actually this programm is the only real source I have to interact with.
But I really wish there were more and bigger networks for ‘professionals’.
Through my research I’ve discovered that most of people already use two or more online communities or networks for interaction. By that I mean the interaction in between friends but also the interaction with our day by day changing world.
Constantly something new happens and people don’t go to a newsstand for that but they go ‘online’ to find out about new products, innovations and gossip.
The majority of those I questioned don’t even have to look their interests up, they just get it ‘thrown in their faces’ via posts, advertising, etc.(always fitting their browsing-habits).
I think the first thing we need to learn about online communities and networks regarding open innovation design, is how they can make our work more easy.
For example: You can gather information or get yourself inspired through online communities. Or further you can ‘spread the word’ fairly easy through those communities and you get a pretty quick response as well which makes it practically the perfect market-research and marketing tool.
So we should learn how online communities or networks can assist you in your individual work and to take full advantage of them.
Design and Work Teams (one of five themes – learn more here)
So you have your idea, your support and now it is time to get down to work to actually finalize your design. Do you need a team? Where do you find them? Where do you work online? How? That’s the center of this theme. For example, you might work in http://www.basecamp.com or use a variety of Google applications. You might want to post other ideas in the comments of this post.
As you explore examples of work teams, look for both the technology AND the practice of working together. Be critical.
What online architecture, tools and processes support successful design teams? What differentiates these from other types of open innovation online groups and environments? I.e.
cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo by demandaj: http://flickr.com/photos/demandaj/6789626120/
This will be an announcement for the class, we use the (big surprise) Announcements category.
And we might link to the work for this week