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.


Week 8 – Design online communities

This is an interesting topic. If I had to create/coordinate a new platform, my key principles would be simplicity and looks. No one wants a tool that is difficult to use these days. People want to save their time and that’s why they choose the most user-friendly online platforms. My online community tool would be very intuitive and would probably concentrate in only a few main functions. I think that developing a program with just few functions would let me concentrate more on them, to make sure everything is simple and smooth. I would’t like to develop a very difficult multifunctional tool, because then is a risk that it becomes laggy, too difficult and not intuitive. Also there would be far more bugs to fix.

I am not saying i don’t like difficult platforms. I like facebook, because despite being very functional, it is quite simple to use as well. But I also like programs like skype, which functions are quite narrow in comparison, only chat, calls, and video calls. The point is, these functions are developed very well on Skype. That is because the company has to concentrate on less aspects, thus giving better and faster results.

Thanks for reading!

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Week 7

 If you had a design challenge, would you join and participate in one of the types of online communities we’ve been researching? Why or why not?

That depends a lot on how much free time would I have at that moment, and what kind of design is needed. If it is related to things that interest me, I think I would take the challenge, to see what can I create. And of course, I would improve myself not only by taking part to the challenge, but also seeing others’ design expressions.

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week 6

As this is week 6 of our project, I feel slightly improved in teamwork and communication. The project is going pretty well as we constantly gather new information and ideas on our subject. It’s hard to describe my learnings so far, but I can feel a slight overall improvement. The communication itself I think is very beneficial, as it helps to find other people, their cultures and opinions interesting. I also like that it helps to improve my English language skills, as before this program I didn’t have much real practice between English speaking people. As for my team learnings, I believe my teammates also appreciate teamwork practice, expressing ideas, thinking of the solutions.  I am not sure about the whole group, because it’s quite a bunch of people, but this whole practice I mentioned cannot be bad, right?

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The level of online facilitation we are using now, is becoming familiar to me more and more with each project community class. I knew the most of the tools we are using for quite some time, though during my school years back in Lithuania I never got to use them for learning purposes. Facilitation when a person from the other part of the world is using skype video calls, and during that, becomes nothing less than a lecturer which is standing in the class, is simply not common yet in my country schools. Back then I was really eager to try out such tools, just because they were “modern” and rather unusual.

However, when I got here to study IDE, I got even more than that, and sometimes I even feel slightly overloaded with this online stuff. Hoping to catch up soon. And even more important – to start enjoying it. To add to it, I am really looking forward to improve myself in multitasking, because when it occurs now, I sometimes get confused and distracted, and that is even worse than doing only one thing at a time.

Offline facilitation is still far more effective from my point of view. First of all, the people who are participated are in the same place, at the same time, which means a lot. Personally for me, looking at an actual person giving a lecture is a superior way of teaching, which counters videos, online chats, asynchronous chats and so on.

Online facilitation has its own advantages of course. The first one and probably the most important is the mobility. You can use online tools wherever you are, you just need an internet connection. The second, but not less important is the time flexibility, typical to asynchronous tools. And pretty often this becomes the only way to make/learn everything in time.

The coaches of the project communities are doing an essential job, and they do it pretty well. Encouraging teams, putting them to the right direction, or simply explaining a specific topic once again is what they do. They sometimes like to leave a shade of uncertainty though, and that’s probably a good thing. This is what makes us think. Coaches also manage to make a bond between themselves and the students, which makes communication easier and the line between a tutor and a student pretty much invisible. That helps both sides.

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My point of view

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 choosing what technology tools to use, I always refer to my personal preferences, rather than others‘ suggestions, advertisements, etc. For me, the tool‘s ability to do the functions I need and the user friendlyness are equally important. If a platform/tool doesn’t fully meet both of them, I keep looking. And now, when i have needs to use online tools like never before, they will keep popping-up. For example, I have never used Google Docs before, but now that our team felt the need to find one platform to make and edit documents collectively, we started to use this simple tool.

The tools, which help you to keep in touch with other people in one way or another, are useful as long as plenty of people use them. I mean, no matter how helpful and well adapted to it‘s primary function the tool is, it will not help me, if my friends or teams are using another tool instead. The diversity of different tools within team members is not as effective as it would be of using one or few common tools for the task.

When it comes to choosing the tools for goup work, I give the priority to others‘ opinion on what are the best tools for certain tasks from their point of view. Since I am not so much of a tech steward, I give my opinion about the tools we should use, but I don’t try to persuade the people i work with, because usually at least one of them has had the experience of using a certain tool for the task we need. Trying out new tools is always good though. But a team has to find a way to test them and to avoid the diversity at the same time. For example, for each week‘s assignment give a try to a new tool, and after some time, choose the one who suited your needs best.

Watching other people using different tools makes me think of them as an alternative to what i‘m using now, though usually doesn‘t change my current preference. Searching for new tools, exploring new internet platforms, trying out new features just for fun? That‘s not me. They are growing so fast, that you simply cannot keep up with all of them. Internet tools are just tools for me, not a hobby. 


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Week 3: Idea: Experimenting towards solutions

Three weeks have passed since I started doing Personal Branding and

 Project Communities and the kay point of those two is teamwork.

I never really liked group work, unless I work with people I know

very well. It helps to communicate freely and you can actually know

 what to expect from each member. Otherwise it doesn’t seem like a 

good idea to me, because I don’t want to be dependant on others.

The time passes though, and we are getting to know each other better,

 also improving our teamwork skills step by step, so I hope soon I

 will get used to this. Teamwork itself is now the most challenging

 thing to me. To improve the group’s and each member’s experience, in 

my opinion, the team has to find a way to become more organised. Also, 

when separating tasks, each member should know what exactly needs to 

be done. Finding solutions for this would save team a lot of time, and

 make teamwork much more fun and productive.

As for the subject itself, project communities is still confusing to 

me at times, and requires a lot of effort. This is another reason

 why a good teamwork is so important - to share ideas and make decisions

 that seem right to the whole group. 

All in all, I like our activity, although it’s a bit confusing, it looks promising, because

networks and communities are really important these days, so it is a good idea to

get more familiar with them.

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Week 2: Research frameworks

The only online network community i use now is facebook. I use it to communicate with other people online the most. There is also a lot of useful stuff to find information about, but facebook is not the platform i use for gathering information, i prefer search engines instead. However, you can always find some interesting posts of other people, who liked some kind of product or service. I only post something like that if I truly like the thing and I think others might. The good thing is that you don’t need to surf the internet to find some really interesting websites, videos or articles - they just pop up on facebook, from your friends for you to check it out.

I didn’t have specific groups of peole on facebook as I do now, after the studies started. Though now I convinced myself that it can be really useful. Chatting in small groups is convenient and fast. And this is only a small part of what you can do on Facebook.

It also sustains various kinds of apps, features, which come from different providers. Like the TouchGraph feature you suggested. It looks spectacular and I have no doubt that someone will make a good use of it.

I’d like to try the features i didn’t use before, but for that i need a reason. Like advertising on facebook, it might be really useful, and It’s free. So if I ever need to advertise something, which I’m sure I will, I will definitely consider using such platforms.

Using multiple platforms for different communities is very effective, and can save you a lot of time, because you might have communities that are good in discussing about specific topics.

In conclusion, I make use of all functions i need from Facebook, though I am always open to the new ones, as soon as i feel i can make use of it.

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Week 1 assignment

What do you/we need and want to learn as you/we explore the application of online communities and networks to open inovation design?

Nowadays there are vast amounts of people who use various network communities every day, without even a few days break.
To find out what is worth knowing about those networks, i had to talk to people who use them.
I`ve prepared some questions which are going to help making a better view of how useful network communities are for open inovators.

I chose an online interview method using skype and facebook, and I also asked few people in person.

1. How many different network community platforms do you use?

2. For what purposes do you use network communities?

3. Do you have teamwork experience using network communities? Is it effective?

4. Do you like to share the information about the solutions, products, services you like, with others through social networks?

1. All of the respondents don`t use more than 3 network community platforms. Most of them use a combination of Skype and Facebook, or Facebook only.
The platforms are quite different, but both very useful. Since these platforms are extremely popular, most people just dont`t need any others.

2. The first answer to this question was, obviously, to communicate to friends or family. To add to it, some of them told they look for
information/places they are interested in. So complex platforms like Facebook are convenient, everything is in one place.

3. The majority of people I asked didn`t have much experience in teamwork using network communities. However, the ones that have, confirmed that
 it is really effective. All of them are looking forward to improve their teamwork skills, using online platforms.

4. Sharing this kind of information is everyone`s personal business. One half doesnt do that, the other half said that they share things only
if they matter or are special.

The best way to apply our own solutions to network communities is to monitor and get to know better the people`s behaviuor on those networks.
Finding out what they tend to pay attetion to, what they are likely to share with each other, would likely make applications/marketing easier
 on such networks.

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