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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#Prompt8

  • What are your design principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks based on your experience in this course and your project? Please describe them and a little bit about how you have developed them
   
          This course and this project have been interesting. I have found a couple of things about online communities and networks that surprised me and some facts that i already knew about. The structure of an online community is usually really simple so that users can figure out where to look for information and other things without having to consult a manual or anything else. The categories that are part of this structure are usually self explanatory.

          Nowadays, the internet let’s you find online communities that basically serve any interest you might have or help you get feedback, sell, buy and many more facilities. It is impossible for an online community to serve all these functions but Facebook tries to do so, which is a reason why it is so well spread. It has also helped our group communicate, share information and documents.

          Our research has helped us understand a bit more how users tend to use these online communities and a couple of things that they would be interested in. I personally found out that to better understand how a online community works you should research the interaction between large groups of people using the community and not between groups of 2 people, regardless of the number of groups. Some design principles that should define an online community are: ease of use, access to the whole community, simple design, third party applications, ease of sharing files and information and small original functions that attract users in the community (such as location sharing).

         It has been an interesting journey and looking forward for more!
Posted in All Students, Customer Communities, Group 5
This was originally published at THE Blog

#Prompt7 – Design Challenge

  • This week’s reflection question is simple. 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?


Our group has researched mostly Facebook and YouTube up till now and the possibility to connect them with Tumblr, Yahoo and Google+.

There are many factors that could influence my decision in joining and participating in a design challenge in one of these communities. A couple of them would be: the size of the project, the quality of it, the benefits etc. Also it depends on the community: size, type and so forth, i would like to join in. For example it would interest me to enter a design challenge on Google+ more than one on YouTube; just by first sight. 

Of course there is the other factor, lack of experience. By joining as many design challenges in the beginning of your carrier as you can, you gain experience, you establish a reputation for yourself and many more. 

Also, joining a design challenge is influenced by the product you are required to create/modify. My personal opinion is that if the project in which you are willing to engage should raise your interest more than average, otherwise you can not focus all your imagination and skills to maximise your result.

Who knows, i might just set up my own trend.

Posted in All Students, Customer Communities, Group 5
This was originally published at THE Blog

Week 6

It’s week 6 since we started the Industrial Design (open innovator) program at The Hague University. 

I am part of 2 groups, Personal Branding and Customer communities. I have different roles in each group and we have different ways of dealing with the assignments. In one group we work more online than face to face and in the other there are assignments that have have to work together on.

In the Personal Branding group, i am just starting to show my true creativity by being one of the designers and working on the final product for our customer. In the other group we are dividing tasks and put everything together at the end. Both groups are working great together and coming up with ideas on the spot for any assignment/question. Everybody gets to be week leader and manage how everything is done the specific week as well as everybody’s input is used and valued.

I don’t really know how to evaluate my own work, so i will conduct a small questionnaire for my team mates to conclude. (to be continued)

I missed a couple of classes so i didn’t manage to give 100% of my input. I’m really sorry for that and i’m trying to get back on course.

Concerning the whole class, i think there are groups that communicate great with each other and groups and/or individuals that don’t. I think changing the groups at a certain amount of time will help diverse ideas and opinions and also help the entire class know each other better and motivate each other to become awesome innovators.

Posted in All Students, Customer Communities, Group 5
This was originally published at THE Blog

Online Facilitation

Let’s talk a bit about teachers, students, study groups and how is it affecting and facilitating everybody.

What actually is this “facilitation” ?

Exhibit 1: Roger Schwarz on group facilitation

Group facilitation is a process in which a person whose selection is acceptable to all members of the group, who is substantively neutral, and who has no substantive decision-making authority diagnoses and intervenes to help a group improve how it identifies and solves problems and makes decisions, to increase the group’s effectiveness.

The facilitator’s main task is to help the group increase effectiveness by improving its process and structure. (Schwarz 2002: 5)

An important point i would like to raise here is that for a group to be effective it must allow it’s facilitators to facilitate. Until now, the groups in which i have helped facilitate have been “neutral” as Roger Schwarz suggests, so everything went smoothly and efficiently. At the same time there should be some emotional implications, otherwise we could just run a computer simulation to get a solution for a problem. My point is that every person has his own personality and ideas that help facilitate the group. Also teachers have played an important part. Their feedback and facilitation helped our groups take some hard decisions and basically keep going. Special thanks to Nancy that has helped us a lot! 

Posted in All Students, Customer Communities, Group 5
This was originally published at THE Blog

What about technology stewardship?

What is technology stewardship? 

“Technology stewards are people with enough experience of the workings of a community to understand its technology needs, and enough experience with technology to take leadership in addressing those needs” 

(Wenger, E., White, N., Smith, J.D., 2009, Digital Habitats: stewarding technology for communities” CPSquare)


In a few words, technology stewardship refers to those people that have that sense of getting things done, by using all the resources available out there. These people can, for example, shape how the actions of a group proceed  (how information is spread, assuring everybody gets the information, sharing files and documents etc.).

So how do your preferences influence the tool that you are using?

Each of us is unique, meaning each of us has his/her own personality, likes, dislikes, needs and wants. The possibility that the Internet gives us today, is that each individual can choose an online tool to use, by the criteria above (more or others). They come in a wide range from websites that mostly host text and pictures (as a blog) to huge social communities such as Facebook.

What happens to these preferences while an individual is a part of a group?

Well, we all know that people influence one other in certain amounts. So what if every member has his own preference? From my point of view, there are only 2 possible outcomes. Either the group of people that work together adopt one single tool to use, if they’re all happy about it or they use multiple platforms, which usually gets kinda tricky to control (it may happen that not everybody gets access to that information).

What would i do?

Tricky question. Most likely i would share one or more tools that i use and ask the group what they think about it, listen to other propositions and start asking questions to find the one that best suits our needs. Or do some research about other tools that i haven’t used by now.

Coming back to how people influence one another. If someone comes up with an interesting idea, usually my opinion would be “Let’s give it a try.”. You could say that i like to challenge myself and test out some other peoples ideas or do some research before jumping to conclusions.

In one of my school groups, from the very beginning we started brainstorming about online tools and jumped right on some that we all use and have in common. Even though we are using multiple platforms to reach our goals, we manage to keep everything organised and in it’s place for a better result.

Cheers to our groups!


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Posted in All Students, Customer Communities, Group 5
This was originally published at THE Blog

Groups

Well, here we are in week 3 of school group work.

It’s going fine, from my opinion. That said on a few words. I like our groups, people are fun to work with and just fun to hang around with. We’ve found some things that we have in common and spent some time together. The atmosphere in which we work is great, we could be a bit more enthusiastic about it, but anyway.

We did not find any challenges up till now that we couldn’t pass and i hope it will stay that way.

If i would do one thing to try and make everything better, i would try to schedule a couple of extra-school meetings, where we can work but also enjoy ourselves, so people can become more comfortable with each other. Which in my opinion, increases productivity and efficiency.

It’s been great working with you guys so far, hope it will stay the same!

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Posted in All Students, Customer Communities, Group 5
This was originally published at THE Blog

What about Facebook?

Facebook seems to be a common discussion subject nowadays. Well, then let’s talk about it for a bit. I am a usual Facebook user, which means i browse around, share pictures, locations etc. I interact with people along the way that share some of my interests. I actually made a couple of good friends thanks to Facebook. Let’s not forget all the private groups! Jeez! I’ll have enough pretty soon. I think there are groups for absolutely everything on Facebook.

For me the most comfortable way to use Facebook is to add only people you know to not make it crowded and become the victim of the infernal abyss that is “notifications”. It can get ugly (1mil+ notifications).

I’m thinking let’s try something new with Facebook. I wonder if  a new search engine to find people would work. You know, just by ticking some characteristics. Meaning: hair colour, hight, gender, sports, hobbies, education etc.

From what i have researched, it apparently would be an “in trend thing”.

What do you guys think?

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Posted in All Students, Customer Communities, Group 5
This was originally published at THE Blog

Online communities and networks

  • What are online communities and networks?

We can put a definition on it, or philosophise about it till the end of time.

Communities and networks are groups of people that share experiences, ideas, photos, music and more.

Nowadays, they have become a way, primarily for people who know each other priorly in real life, to interact with one another.

  • How do people react when somebody is asking for help on a blog, chat community, etc. ?
From my personal experience, only people that have a direct link to the context of the question actually bother to answer it. It’s sad to see people just randomly looking over posts and not bother to answer a simple question.
At the same time, there are people who do actually take the time to share an idea and/or solution for the question at hand.
  • How does innovation design fit in there?

Innovation Design focuses on what people want to change in a product or create a new one to offer a solution to a problem.

Well, designers have to find inspiration. Which they can find in a good book, a magazine, the world around them, or just by asking friends or random people on the internet.

Posting questions on the internet may help you get ideas but at the same time it can help you get feedback on a certain project/idea.

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Posted in All Students, Customer Communities, Group 5
This was originally published at THE Blog