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.

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Design processing

Upon getting a design brief, I would always start working on it on my own and not consult online communities on what or how to design the desired the product. I would start experimenting with the design, start developing from there. This is because I firmly believe that one man’s vision of a product is always going to be better than an input of a lot of board members. By working on something alone, you can put your passion into it, shape it the way you think it should be. This instead of having a lot of people wanting the change it a little bit at the time, making it worse with every move.

Only after I’m happy with the design, I would start to look at the options to push my design. Making sure that I wouldn’t post my design on a public online space, where it could be stolen. I would definitely consider a site such as kickstarter to push the product. Not the full product, just a preview. 

I’d choose kickstarter, because of the connection it gives between designers, engineers and entrepreneurs. And not the greater public, which gives it a professional environment. In such an environment, it’s easier to find the right partners to start developing my product. 

In conlusion, I am convinced that online communities such as kickstarter are a break through in the business world. It is now much easier to find ways to develop a design into an actual product and bringing to that product to the market.

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My brain is filling up nicely!

During my high school career, I got into the mentality that hard work is useless. Working hard is just uninspired, everyone could do it. Don’t work hard, just don’t.

And I don’t mean cutting corners, or being lazy. I mean work in a creative way, in a smarter-then-the-rest way. 

And that is what I try to contribute to my group as well  The work I do with my group, is usually not hours long, but crisp and deviceful. This way is not only less time consuming, but way easier as well. 

Start by thinking of what and how you want to do your set task, make a mind-map if needed. Think of something creative, think of something that would be a different approach to the set task.

Since I started my university career, I really improved on how to work in a group. I really feel that in a group, you are way more efficient with the time, but still coming up with a more creative result. The multiple streams of input forged together, usually make for an incredible result, because you look for the solutions from different angles.

I also got better at sharing my ideas, and publishing them on paper. Or actually on screen. I’m publishing my thoughts on a regular basis now, and feel like it’s getting easier.

The same goes for my fellow students. The blogs we keep get better every week, where for some, it was a bit awkward to publish their own thoughts in the first week. For some, you can even see their English improve week by week!

Let’s keep it up!

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Facilitating eachother

The influence of my peers and instructors in university is huge. It is far greater than it was in high school. First of all, my peers in university have the same interests  Therefore it is easier to share ideas on the same subjects, thus getting new insights.

Second of all, the course in university are revolutionary. The way they teach is completely different than in high school. The other they we had a class discussion on Google Hang Out.

The lectures we have in university are quite the opposite of what I expected. People warned me that the lectures would be distant, and that contact with lecturers would we non existent  The contrary is true: We work in small groups, each with their own coach, lectures are held by multiple lecturers and the contact/ support with/from instructors is superb.

In other words, the influence instructors have on me, is very big, because of their method of teaching. It such a refreshing way of teaching, such a contrast to the rather old fashioned teaching me and many of my peers have experienced sofar.

In the same way that I am influenced by my peers, I hope to influence them. With this great way of interaction, our class really becomes a ‘think-tank’. We have had some good discussions on subjects like sustainability, car design, smart cities etc. Because of these shared interests, people are interested in hearing the ideas of others, and building on them. This sort of facilitation is in my eyes, the biggest revelation of coming to study IDE , and I’m looking forward to the rest of the 3 years!

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Tool choosing

Choosing the tools I use online are about 90% my own choise. I choose the tools which are comfortable to use, which offer excellent user friendliness, and user privacy.

Also it is important to choose a tool that other people use, since it makes no sence to be part of an online community that exists of you and few others instead of you and the world. You want to able to reach you entire network, not just a small part.

Choosing a tool because of its comfort is the biggest decision maker, it is why and the rest of the world use Google to search something, instead of Bing. It makes Google the biggest search engine in the world, and they keep getting bigger. That is because they keep improving their use-ability. Take Google Translate, Maps, Youtube and Documents. They are all the best of their kind to be found online.

User friendliness is a big deal when using a tool. A tool might offer the most capabilities, but not being able to handle/reach them renders them completely useless. It should not be hassle to use a certain tool

Privacy is by far the most important part for me, I dont want my information swerving around on the internet. Of course, you should set up your browser to protect you details, but the provider of the chosen tool should not be taking any details either. 

The last ten percent of my choise are from an outside source. Usually I ask what my family and friends use. I may do some internet research about the tool just to see what the general public thinks of the tool. But I must conclude that my own prefenrences are by far the most important for any kind of decision in my life.

In case of a groupwork where everyone has a different preference: The Greek came up with a system many years ago, they’re called elections.

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Team Leading

Being a team leader has its advantages and disadventages.

Its a great feeling getting your team to get to work, to motify them and actually get the work done. The feeling of being the leader of a project is very fulfilling. I believe this is the result of having to bear the responibilty, and you see it transformed in result.

However, it can also be just a load, and nothing more. For example if you have a team member unwilling to work, and you feel he/she is just there to take a part in the final results. Not only do the other members have more work, but it demotivates the other team members aswell.

In my case, being the leam leader of Group 4 is quite rewarding. We have a good team dynamic. It is a little disapointing that the workload is unevenly balanced, but we are trying to get that solved.

The thing that should change the coming weeks is a real sense of being a group, which is not appreciated by everyone right now. Each of us in the group has the capabilities to make it the best group of them all, it just needs to come out.

All in all I’m happy with my role in the group and the group overall. It will be challenge for the next week to get the best out of the group, and I’m quite looking forward to it.

Challenge accepted.

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My online world

The online space, is a space where you can hide from the outside world or choose to use it as a space to enhance your contact with others. Someone can lock theirselves in their room, browsing the net for hours, watching videos, reading blogs and yet never be in contact with others. Others use the internet to keep in contact with their network. They use sites like FaceBook, Twitter and even youtube for visual representations.

Me, i’m probably somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. I don’t document my life online. Mostly because I think it is rather dumb to do so. The things that appear online once, can never be taken back. You don’t want that. It’s going to hunt you for the rest of your life. You can already see that your online identity is more important that who you actually are. People are not going to be succesful because of their talents any more, but because of the picture that is sketched online.

I suspect that next presidents are not going to be chosen because of their ability to improve a countries well being, but because nothing harmfull about them could be found online, leaving the people with real talent behind.

Ofcourse, I use some forms of social media to keep in contact with friends and family. Its free, and mostly very easy to use. I use FaceBook and WhatsApp, these are in my oppinion the platforms most suited for social contact. These are platforms where others don’t have to see what you write to your contacts, because you can write private messages. The things you write can always be documented, but it gives you a thin layer of privacy at first.

To conclude, I use the internet for for finding information and for entertainment, but I keep the open social aspect of it at a minimum, and advise others to do so aswell.

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What do we learn from social networks?

Social networks have become equally important as real life networks in the past three to five years. Today, not being part of a social network, on one of the big social media communities like FaceBook, Twitter or Google+ means being an outsider. Wether professional or social, you need to be part of the online community.

I asked around in my own social networks, what people think is best use of social media communities. Almost everyone told me they use it to keep in contact and updated on other peoples lifes when they are not around. For example, one of my friends was in Australia for 8 months, but was able to keep in contact with his friends in Germany through Facebook. The other advantage is that it was all free.

The same effect, being an ‘outsider’ counts for companies that want to market their new products, but don’t market on social media communities. Your product can be as innovative as you like, without the proper marketing no one will no your product exists.

The proper marketing these days being, being active on social media communities. Not only with marketing once your product is finished, but also in the developing stage. Find out what people want, what people need, and design your product around that. Use these social media commuties to make products even more innovative. You can reach such a vast amount of people, with all their networks that you can really design your product to the taste of the customer and  the appropriate target audience.

A great example of this are the Huet Brothers, who are currently designing a new sportscar coupe, and involving their customer in the progress.

Have a look:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.297001703659349.90826.100000485662755&type=3#!/photo.php?fbid=455063174526439&set=a.143404782358948.21146.142833449082748&type=1&theater

 

 

Rolf Moes

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Enclosed bike- green personal mobility



Enclosed bike- green personal mobility

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Designing principles

Before I started the course, Project Community, I had no experience in working on online communities/ networks. Of course I used them, but only for personal application. During this course, I learned on how online communities can be used for online marketing, facilitation, team work, networking, funding etc. 

I explored different sites, some of which concentrating on only one of the above mentioned areas, others being much more open. Upon exploring the different platforms, one thing really stands out: The platforms which are easy and straightforward to use, are the most visited/used platforms. These sites offer the best user friendliness, which makes it clear to understand why they attract such a big audience.

The second thing that struck me was that easiness not the only crucial point of an online community/ network site is. Your website can be as pretty as you want, the service your site provides, is equally important. The service you provide should be relative. It should be the answer to a users need. Take YouTube: before YouTube there wasn’t any online service to share and watch video’s. The developers of YouTube jumped right into that gap in the market and their site is now one of the most visited out there.

The user need should also be a global need, if you want your online community/ network to become an international success. The diversity of the users is going to be the biggest challenge in designing an online community/ network. The site must be acceptable to different cultures and customs of it’s global users.  

The last point which in my eyes can not be overlooked is privacy. The privacy of the user-base is crucial! Personal information must be protected, and any details about someones life can not be shared unless accepted by the individual users. This goes for every kind of online communty/ network, and I think one of the most important principles in designing an fostering these sites. In fact any site.

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