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.

Archives

Design Challange

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?

The answer for this question is yes and no. I think it depends mostly of the challange itself. Since our main focus has been on Facebook and Youtube, I guess I could not go through the challange without encountering these two platforms.

            Would I use them directly as a tool for research,  marketing, communicating etc reasons? I guess Facebook can be already considered as „yesterday“, but it still is the most usable online community of all, so when in need for information or opinions, then today it surely is irreplacable. YouTube as a tool can be replaced only with Vimeo because they are the leading platforms for transmiting videos and personally don’t know why I should.

            About other platforms for communicating- it depends on the task given in the challange. If using them is more convinient and effective than not using (meeting in person etc), then most surely would.

Posted in All Students, Customer Communities, Group 5
This was originally published at Henrik Eeltee

Monitoring&Evaluating


Using variety of new platforms for facilitating our work is a sort of challange and each challange is learning throgh the experience. When monitoring and evaluating my learnings I guess the most concrete way is ticking the new things I have done- and there are many. 

In other hand there are things that can not be monitored and evaluated directly, like all the general and background information about using different technologies and purposes of facilitation etc.

I am sure that the same principal applies to everybody from our group.

As for our group in whole we have learned how to spread the work, facilitate the work, make some changes in order to reach our goal etc. The easiest way of evaluating and monitoring our groupwork in these circumstances is through the grades. Since we get graded once a week, it is good and easy to see our position and if we are on the right track with our work.

It is very hard to evaluate others and their learnings through reading their blog posts, because for me a lot of these posts reflect in general the same thing and in many cases it is hard to say whether there is a genuine will and interest to learn or just words to keep assessor „satisfactory“.

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Posted in All Students, Customer Communities, Group 5
This was originally published at Henrik Eeltee

Knowledge

In our Project Community group work we have now used many different online facilitation platforms. Some of them have been a great success and some have failed to meet our needs or failed because of technical reasons. Nevertheless it has been a pleasure and a good experience to facilitate our work in different ways. Researching the communities has also given me a good view into different online platforms.

Looking back I have to say that for me personally meeting people in person is still the most convenient way of communicating. In other perspective- the world is always developing, working global becomes more common and there is a possibility that meeting in person will not be an option. I think it is worth getting used to and maybe the complexity we are facing now is just a sign that we are not yet really ready for this. I would be happy to continue with different platforms and learn more about possible facilitation options- if there are any?

If I don’t know I don’t know- I think I know and If I don’t know I know- I think I don’t know. Laing R D (1970) Knots Harmondsworth; Penguin (p.55)

It is hard to know that I would like to know something if I don’t know it exists. J
One of the main problems in online facilitation for me is the fact that nothing really gets done during the meetings. Good ideas are forwarded and questions asked but often that is all.

In the very beginning we decided to keep the group tasks dynamic by approaching each week separately. This decision was made because it is not a linear process and a straight-forward task. Nevertheless, group members have in a way developed their position through the process. My contribution to our teamwork has been pretty much spot on to the Belbin test results- Monitor-evaluator. When things get messy and the target gets vague I pause the process, take a step back, find a solution, reset or refresh the target and help everybody to move on.

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Posted in All Students, Customer Communities, Group 5
This was originally published at Henrik Eeltee

Online tools


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? 

I consider myself to be rather a digital immigrant than a native. I am also not a heavy online communities or technologies user, so my web tools I am using are generally suggested by my friends and their good experience or they are just most popular programs to mach my needs.

I made a small research in most popular apps/tools/platforms used online. According to the variety of stuff available I believe I have very little knowledge about online tools.

Top 25 most popular online tools for Freelancers:
DropBox, Google Analytics, Gmail, Evernote, Google Apps/docs, Google calendar, Mailchimp, Gootsuite, iCloud, BaseCamp, Mint, Google Voice, Quickbooks, FreshBooks, Prezi, Pivotal Tracker, Balsamiq Mockups, Google Alerts, GoToMeeting, BatchBook, Joomla, Posterous, Skitch, Django, Google AdWords.

Some of the tools are not much about communities but since they are the most popular ones I should have heard about them. I have heard about 8 of them and used only 3.

Everything has a reason. There is a reason why am using these certain tools that I am using on daily basis. For example, Google Docs - (now the Google Drive) I needed a place where I can have my excel files modified by different people interactively. A friend of mine suggested me to try this out. It was very easy to use and very easy for other people to start using it.
I downloaded Drop Box to get some files my friend wanted to share. I found that easy and useful so I am still using this, though there are not many people to share my stuff.

Although I am a digital immigrant, I am very open for using new programs and tools. This of course applies only when the tools in question are easy (or easier than analogues) to use or their level of functionality exceeds the point that it is worth taking some time to get used to the tool.

If I would confront the situation where we have to find a common tool in between our group members, i would most definitely first listen what others have to say and then give my opinion. I would do that just because that would expand my horizon in online tools.

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Posted in All Students, Customer Communities, Group 5
This was originally published at Henrik Eeltee

Less is more

If we are talking about communities and their sizes, we can easily correlate this question with the group we are working on the target to investigate customer communities.
Our six-member  group is working quite optimal from the perspective of group size. The tasks can be divided with ease, the meetings are going with not too much noise, everybody can have enough attention and their own input to the teamwork.

But there are also sometimes complications in understanding eachother. This seems to be caused by the diversity of cultures or the slight language barrier that we have around our whole class. In a way it is complicated to explane some things many timnes and not understanding others but in other hand this diversity enriches our group with good spirit and different viewpoints. In the end, despite the complications it is well worth the good we gain through the diversity.

From my point of view it wold be worth trying to split the group in to smaller groups of three (or two, if it seems to be more convenient . In my experience, quick and concrete questions/problems can be answered more efficiently by smaller groups of people, but the questions that need some deeper investigation, different perspectives or need more creative answers are more efficiently served by a larger group of people.

I also studied about group size from the perspective of social psychology and it goes very deep into how and why people are (re)acting in different situations. It cannot be directly applied to online communities, because the people feel more anonymous but I think there are some good points which correlate with offline communities. Also find this interesting conclusive article:


Productivity in Groups

Research shows that productivity tends to decline when a group of people are working on a task together. This happens for two reasons: insufficient coordination and social loafing.

Insufficient Coordination

When many people work on a task, their efforts may not be sufficiently coordinated. Several people may end up doing the same portion of the task, and some portions of the task may be neglected.

Social Loafing

Social loafing, which contributes to declines in the productivity of a group, is the reduced effort people invest in a task when they are working with other people. Diffusion of responsibility contributes to social loafing. A person does not feel as responsible for working on a task if several others are also present, since responsibility is distributed among all those present.

Social loafing is particularly likely to happen in the following circumstances:

  • When the group is large
  • When it is difficult to evaluate individual contributions to a task
  • When people expect their coworkers to pick up the slack

Social Facilitation

In some circumstances, individuals perform better when other people are present. This phenomenon is called social facilitation. Social facilitation is more likely to occur on easy tasks. On difficult tasks, people are likely to perform worse in the presence of others.

Group Decision-Making

Members of a group are often required to make decisions together. Three concepts related to group decision-making are groupthink, group polarization, and minority influence.

Groupthink

Groupthink is the tendency for a close-knit group to emphasize consensus at the expense of critical thinking and rational decision-making. In a groupthink situation, group members squash dissent, exert pressure to conform, suppress information from outside the group, and focus selectively on information that agrees with the group’s point of view.

Groupthink is more likely to occur when groups have certain characteristics:

  • High cohesiveness. Group cohesiveness is the strength of the liking and commitment group members have toward each other and to the group.
  • Isolation from outside influences
  • A strong leader
  • The intent to reach a major decision

Group Polarization

The dominant point of view in a group often tends to be strengthened to a more extreme position after a group discussion, a phenomenon called group polarization. When a group starts out with a dominant view that is relatively risky, the group is likely to come to a consensus that is even riskier. This phenomenon is called risky shift .

Minority Influence

A committed minority viewpoint can change the majority opinion in a group. Group members are more likely to be influenced by a minority opinion when the minority holds the opinion firmly.

Deindividuation

When people are in a large group that makes them feel aroused and anonymous, they may experience deindividuation. When people become deindividuated, they lose their inhibitions and their sense of responsibility and are not self-conscious about their behavior. Deindividuation is a major reason for the violence that sometimes happens in mobs.

*SparkNotes

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Posted in All Students, Customer Communities, Group 5
This was originally published at Henrik Eeltee

Me & My Communities

Because the involvement of online communities is growing any given moment, it has a place in everybodys’ life. Since joining the university my participation in online networking has grown drastically. I have never used the online platforms as I am doing now. Until now I have been using online communities and networks for harvesting, communication and some of them are also combined with my own input for the community. On the one side are the resource communities  and on the other side are the communication communities and networks.

Generally the resource communities are not used on daily basis, because they are found when in facing a question or a problem. The communication communities from my point of view are more used daily but the concentration of information I get out of this is relatively small. The thing what connects these two communities is passion for the topic. For example I am passionate about racing I am often visiting few racing related communities and I can answer some question with ease. For me it is more like a communication community, where I can discuss different racing related topics but for the ones who are looking for answers it is more as a resource commmunity. This is how the networks that i am connected in intersect each other. 

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Posted in All Students, Customer Communities, Group 5
This was originally published at Henrik Eeltee

Getting everybody involved?

I have never been looking into the Customer Communities so deeply. So it has already been an interesting experience to look at such obvious phenomenon with a different perspective. Until now I have  only used them when confronting problems.


I found that there are some aspects that might not look obvious about Customer Communities that make them extremely valuable:
The Range of people connected to Customer Networks is broad. There are people from all around the world to share their experience, knowlage, problems and questions about certain product/service/idea.
People involved in the communities are very often Passionate about the subject of community or the topic in question, which makes the content honest and quite trustworthy.
The ideas/thoughts are coming directly from Consumers and they are visible for everybody, which helps to improve the product/service or supplement others ideas to come out with something that is useful for everybody.

There is alot to learn about online communities but the biggest question that was left in my mind was-  What is the future of online networking?

Posted in All Students, Customer Communities, Group 5
This was originally published at Henrik Eeltee