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 principles of online communities

From what I’ve learnt during this course the most popular online communities are the ones that prove to have the most functionality and ease of access. I will mainly be relating this post to Facebook a it is at the moment the most popular online community on the web.

Why do other online communities not have the innovation that Facebook managed to grasp? This is a question that I don’t think people think about. Before Facebook there were multiple social networks such as Skype, Bebo, Messenger, Myspace and more. The difference is that however good these social networks were, they didn’t have much ease of access. Certain aspects were blocked if you weren’t a “premium member” or finding people you knew was difficult. This is a main principle that online communities should think about.

After Facebook, Google tried to come out with their own social network as well, they called it Google+ (G+). I joined this social network because their promotional video really emphasized the functionality of the community. It also had a great function that other networks lacked: the option to host group video calls without having to “go premium” (paying extra money for more functionality). I was quite sad when i joined G+ because nobody else seemed to want to join it. This was mainly because people couldn’t join it. G+ was given to the public as a beta to see if people would like it or not. The only problem is that the only way to get the beta was through an invite. Not enough people could test it and the result was that nobody bothered  to change from Facebook to G+ when it as released.

To conclude, the main principles to follow to have a good online community is to make it fully available to the public, make it easy to use, easy to share and easy to find people without the need to leech money of the public to make “premium” services available.

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Posted in All Students, Group 6, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Industrial Design Engineering 2012

Design Challenge Participation

When given a challenge I always try to find out how to solve it myself first. I think the best way to have a go at something is to try it on your own because it shows your true beliefs and what you think looks good. It shows how you work on your own and how efficient and effective you can be. If I really get stuck I would research potential solutions on the web.

With a finalized design I would to ask an online community as a form of research to see how I could further improve my work. When I know I have a good design and the public enjoys the product, I can then move towards publishing the design on another online community such as Kickstarter to develop my product and get it out into the public.

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Posted in All Students, Group 6, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Industrial Design Engineering 2012

Reflection

I would say I’ve done a lot of work for the team, as I remember it was only me and one other team member who were taking notes while we were having discussions and going through the teamwork activities. I have set up multiple meetings with my group and have now also formed a collaboration between my group (group 6) and group 3.

I have learnt quite a lot from my group experience throughout this project and have also backed up previous thoughts on group work.

I cannot speak on behalf of my group about how much they have learnt from this course so far. I can say that we have worked hard to get this far, we started off missing 2 team members and it was a bit difficult but now that we are all here we have been working hard and getting along well with each other. I believe I have taught valuable skills to my peers and I have also learnt valuable skills from them as well.

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Posted in All Students, Group 6, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Industrial Design Engineering 2012

Student Facilitation

As you think about the learning you are embarking upon here at the university, reflect on the role that your instructors and fellow students play in facilitating yours and their learning. What are they doing? How is it facilitating learning and teamwork based on what you have experienced so far? What has been useful? What would you like to see and experience that you haven’t yet in the facilitation of this course from yourself, peers and faculty? What can you contribute as a peer facilitator? For your commenting on others’ blogs this week, maybe you notice where another colleague has contributed to your learning through their facilitation and let them know when/where it happened and how it was of value to you. Are you game for that?

Learning in a group is always a great experience. The more groups you work with the more you start to understand how groups work. You understand what the most efficient form of collaboration is and how to achieve it. I have found that every group is different. Different people work best in their own conditions and their condition may be different to other people. All groups also need guidance, otherwise everyone in the group is lost and no work gets done.

what I have enjoyed within my group is seeing the enthusiasm and contribution they all have to show towards the completion of this project. At first things were a bit slow within the group, but now that the project is much clearer and that we have a full group, we can really build momentum to finishing this project.

Based on my previous group experience in my high school projects I have tried to facilitate the project with the old techniques. Personally I don’t think I have enough group experience to be able to facilitate peers efficiently so that’s why the more groups I get involved with the more I realize what does and doesn’t work.

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Posted in All Students, Group 6, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Industrial Design Engineering 2012

Preferred tools

The tools I use are definitely derived from my personal preferences. For example there is a big reason why I choose to use a Windows PC instead of a MAC and to avoid arguments and discussions I will not give the reasons why I prefer to use a PC. This is the same concept as me preferring to use programs such as PowerPoint over Prezi. Everyone has different preferences and therefore they use different programs and this could potentially have larger problems when it comes to group work. However most programs are developed so that they could be opened by other programs and this usually overcomes any issues with preferences. 

Other peoples preferences don’t bother me that much. I tend to not care what other people use, it’s their choice and they have their own reasons for using the tools they use.

Working in a group I have realized that everyone has different preferences. Therefore we had to come to the conclusion that sooner or later we will need to share all our information with each other online somehow. We decided to use Facebook as the sharing platform because everyone in the group uses it. Facebook is also a very good sharing platform because it allows us to upload any kind of file and anyone in the group can see it.


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Posted in All Students, Group 6, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Industrial Design Engineering 2012

The Group 6 Spidergram of Facebook



The Group 6 Spidergram of Facebook

Posted in All Students, Group 6, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Industrial Design Engineering 2012

My Team Experience

I personally love working in groups, I find it so much more fun to be able to talk to someone else about the same project. I always feel that a group project can be much more powerful than a one-man project mainly because of the reason that if someone is stuck, anyone in the team can help them. This gives much more integrity to a project because everyone can secure the amount of work done.

However working in a group can sometimes be very challenging. Team work requires a lot of communication and trust. When working in a team you have to make sure you can count on all your team mates to pull through. This can be frustrating at times when you come together at a meeting and someone has nothing to bring to the table.

In my group I haven’t really had any team work problems, everyone knows as much as the other and they know what to do to pull their weight. The only major problem was that we started off with only 4 group members (including me) at the beginning of the project. This was a problem because we had to fill all the roles of a full group with just 4 of us (these were the roles assigned from the Belbin test). Later (within this week) we gained 2 additional members! We were thrilled. I immediately told them to do the Belbin test, and to our luck, we got 2 people who were good at completely different things to us. I was quite happy about this because we having troubles filling the roles they were good at.

Now that we have a full group we have all been coming together multiple times for meetings concerning the project we need to continue with. Everyone is very happy and enthusiastic to contribute towards the notes that we take. However the only problem I find is that I am usually the one that always has to record all the notes while everyone is talking. In the future I would prefer other members of the group (preferably ones with laptops) to start helping me take notes during team discussions.

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Posted in All Students, Group 6, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Industrial Design Engineering 2012

A Personal Research Experiment

I see myself as a social being and therefore I thrive off the attention of others. I would be bored and unhappy if I couldn’t talk to the outside world, It’s just who I am. Throughout this course I have stayed out of my house and have stayed with friends for as long as possible during the day mainly because I don’t have internet at home. That short definition of me should show that I do in fact, interact with others. A lot. I take advantage of online spaces such as Facebook and Skype (and now Tumblr) to be able to join and communicate with other communities on the social networks. I am part of multiple groups on Facebook ranging from old high-school friend discussion groups to current discussion groups. These groups allow me to easily keep in contact with all my peers and harvest the relevant information needed. 

Between the two main online networks I use (Facebook and Skype), I find Facebook much more valuable because I have a larger community on it. I can categorize all my friends into groups and share certain, relevant information to each of them. However I do find Skype much more comfortable to use because it is much easier to talk to people through video/ voice chat. The use of that feature helps a lot because its like a massive conference and (in my opinion) conferences are the best way of sharing and comparing ideas easily and quickly.

That is the extent that I use Facebook and Skype for, I feel like that is all I will ever use it for. It doesn’t need to be any better, nor should it be worse.

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Posted in All Students, Group 6, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Industrial Design Engineering 2012

What do we want to learn as we explore the application of online communities and networks?

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

I originally posted the question on Facebook to see if I could get replies on one of the communication platform itself. However, no one seemed to understand the question.

I decided to be more direct and ask certain people a different question. Since people were mainly confused about the structure of the original question, I asked a paraphrased version of the original question to the public: What is your view about online communities such as Facebook?

“It’s good for keeping in touch with old friends when you don’t have their email addresses”

A popular statement about Facebook

When asked friends what their view with online communities was, such as Facebook, These were some replies: 

When asked friends through Skype:

Ben Nagy

“People posting their breakfasts… they’re just not interesting. To be honest, the way some people use it (i.e. being on it 24/7 posting crappy statuses) doesn’t make it very appealing”

A friend who preferred to not be mentioned said:

“It’s nice to be able to have large groups of people all talking/discussing things on the net. It’s the same as (and reduces the hassle of) getting into contact with them and having a meeting in person about it. It ends up being rather time consuming If you don’t have a communication platform”

I asked other people but they gave very vague answers and therefore they will not be mentioned. Instead I will give a brief summary of their thoughts. They all enjoy using networks like Facebook and Skype to get ideas, problems and solutions across to their friends, family or co-workers. The idea of the platform itself is the great thing, it doesn’t really matter which platform it is as long as you can get the point across and get relevant information back.

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Posted in All Students, Group 6, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Industrial Design Engineering 2012