Better late, very late, than never.
Here are the last three week blog posts, sorry for the delay I have been extremely busy creating the final presentation.
My contribution to East Field? To begin with my contribution in the team was the pretty much the same as everyone, discussions, blogs. I suppose one of my biggest contributions was to encourage the creation team name; I have always found it hard to unite a team if you are just a group, by having a name you create a group identity, something greater than yourselves to work for.
My role soon evolved I believe to become the technology steward; I would set up the Google hang out, meeting words for our group. Over the last few weeks my role had become the visualizer I have been in charge of creating the final presentation using the content provided to me by the rest of the team. The biggest learning challenge for me was self-teaching adobe after effects and has been a massive indirect learning experience for me as without the project I wouldn’t have needed to explore after effects. I have gone from a novice to intermediate I hope to continue my progress and hopefully add it to my skill list. The main insight I gained from the course was the rate online communities are evolving and how they are becoming more and more useful for designers, especially the ones who have a great idea but have no way of funding it, I have learn about crowed funding in an extreme depth and would comfortably use it to fund my future projects, however when it comes to asking advice in online communities I am not completely sold, now it’s true to say I would be lost without the hundreds of tutorial videos about Photoshop, After Effects etcetera. I’m not sure I would trust the online community for real specific advice, I feel far more comfortable discussing a project face to face, however I do use Facebook to informally brainstorm with team mates, and also to hold meetings over Google hangouts with clients who are base far away; although I would like to meet them at the start of the process.
When it comes to learning as a team I believe we could have learned more, if we had been able to focus at an earlier date, I feel like the first half of the course was wasted as we stumbled around clueless, however I am certain the learning we achieved in the second part of the course have made up for the stumbling in the first part. Even if it did cause a few sleepless nights. For the whole class the final presentations were a great way to share what each group learned and in turn teach us as well as their NGO.
Would I use an online community to help solve my own design challenge or design competition? To help solve my design challenge directly no I wouldn’t, however I would use it to solve indirect problems by using things like video tutorials reading threads or reading information on Wikipedia etcetera on the web, but I would be unlikely to seek help directly by posting a question on forms or social sites, the reason for this is more likely to do with me rather than the online community, I’m not really that interested in trying to answer other people questions on the internet mainly because I know there will be a lot more people willing and able to answer the question far better than I could. Perhaps when I am older and have degree level knowledge and more life experiences, I will be able to give something back to the online community. But at the moment I don’t feel confident enough to share my knowledge with the world, and hence feel guilty asking for other peoples so I simply leach off other people’s threads and discussions.
One part of online communities I would happy use and have already explored not only as part of the course but then even in further depth for a potential option for a personal project was crowd funding. In a time of recession it is hard to get funding from investors and loans from banks, crowd funding provides a solid alternative, although it is hard work to maintain a high level of interest in order to make sure you are fully funded and even then it is not a certainty. However I remain unsure to the future of crowd funding has it become popular solely as a result of the recession and hence die down again once the economy picks back up, or is it here to stay and will it continue to grow? The answer to these questions will dictate whether I use crowd funding in the future for my design challenges.
Almost any modern day process has the option to get involved in some form of on online networking, whether you use it or not: Personal I feel there should be a limit I don’t need social updates about coffee! However as a modern day communication tool it is irreplaceable, and begin to replace texting which costs money and a lot of money if you plan to send it aboard compared, chatting on a face book app, Skype app, whatsapp or bbm is almost free as they use a minute amount of internet. This is mainly down to the new smart phones which are becoming more powerful than a standard PC. If you combined this new computing power with the new 4G network which boats speeds of 25mb, the general public will very soon be able to access anything from their mobile phone, I believe this will dramatically increase the growth of online communities especially the ones which don’t have current mobiles apps as you won’t need them as you can just access the real webpage.
The reason I believe this to be important is because I believe this change will change how I will use social networks for my work, I will be able to constantly contact other members of my group the second I come up with an idea, I will be able to save a document to my computer at my home containing my idea so I don’t forget it. I will also be able to solve the little questions that pop up and you always forget to research when you get home there and then, making me a far more efficient designer as it will become fully integrated with my life. Which is good as I believe being a designer is a life style, you might not always be a work, but you are always finding inspiration, mobile communication though social networks will let us easy act on this inspiration.
Apart from using social networks as communication tools on the go and crowd funding. I am not a not hundred percent sure if I will use it to ask for advice in forms.