Successful online communities need to be easy to use. No one is going to use a really complicated online community when there are other easy ones to use out there, they also need to be accessible easily. While using an online community someone needs to be able to do whatever he wants, socialize, find interesting things etc. easily and efficiently a point older communities did not really grasp so people stopped using them when something easier to use came out, that being Facebook.
Right now all of the communities that are actually being used are easy to access, use and share so people will chose them over the older ones and possibly new ones coming out without the efficiency the already existing ones provide.
The point I’m trying to make is that an online network needs to allow a user to be able to do whatever (s)he wants with ease and without much hassle if it’s going to be successful.
There are a lot of online communities you can go on if you have a design challenge, depending on the type of thing you want to design you can choose a number of different communities depending on the people using those communities. Of course the project would start off on facebook as it has the biggest community, after that I would narrow down to the ideas i think would be the best and find forums that specialize on those kind of things and some more relevant forums from which I would be able to find some ways to make the ideas even better, after going through those forums and facebook though I wouldn’t stop, from the forums I would get the specialized advice I needed but after that getting the idea down and putting it again on facebook and other online platform communities would be the best idea as it would make it more open and more people would be able to see it and give their thoughts on it making the whole run even better.
I don’t know what kind of contribution, if any I have had to my team up to now, I believe that it would be more correct if my teammates would say that for me since when we get together and have the meetings for our project we are all just having a conversation and voice our opinions meaning that I can’t say I have contributed anything more than my thoughts and my opinions, on the other hand, how helpful those were to my teammates I do not know.
As for what I’ve learned up to now, I’m not really sure about that. Don’t know if I have learned anything or not and there isn’t exactly a test that will help me understand if I really did learn anything. What I know is that I’m definitely improving myself but don’t really know how, I guess everything in the classroom has an influence on what we learn, things such as the diversity of everyone in the class, their experiences and their knowledge, when that gets shared we definitely learn something from each other but I just cannot describe it since I don’t really know if it has anything to do with the course or not. the things we do also do not seem really helpful with learning new things, such as the blog post, I can’t see myself learning anything from it by posting every week except for maybe being able to express myself better, but that’s about it, reading what others have to say with your reflection might be interesting and having a discussion about a person’s reflection might be interesting but in the end that’s mostly voiced opinions.
The people in my class, both my fellow students and the instructors play a major role in my learning as we always have talks with each other and always learn new things from each other, that’s not only from the instructors but also from the rest of the students since different people always have knowledge of different kinds of things relevant or not to what you are doing. Speaking of relevance though, I don’t think you can call something completely irrelevant to what we are learning since in open innovation everything is linked and understanding those different kinds of things can help you down the road of learning even if they do seem kind of irrelevant at the moment. The whole learning in this course is (I believe) a give and take between students themselves or students and instructors, so what I believe I can give to help would be information sources so people can get that extra information they might need.
The tools I use are not only based on my own preference but also on other reasons, those reasons being trying the rest of the tools too and checking out which one works best for me and internet research, for example I prefer windows devices over Apple ones and if the rest of my group have different devices I am just going to work with them and cooperate to my best but I’m not going to change over to another device because other people use it, and in all honesty changing tools to have the same as the rest of the group is not really necessary as all of those tools can be connected in a way or another.
We might be on week 3 of our group work but I haven’t been here since the start, I only joined the team a week ago and I am trying to catch up with them so I guess that’s what I find challenging.
I’m actually catching up though and at a fast pace (I think?) and one thing I would change in the near future about the way I work would be that I will know what I’m doing and can actually help the group in ways I can help with.
I remember the first online community I ever joined was called Hi5 which was about 9 years ago and shortly after I joined MySpace. I was using Hi5 primarily for chatting with friends and getting to know new people while MySpace was only a place I would go on for listening to music or finding some new bands that I might like. After a while I totally lost interest on both of those online community sites, lost interest on Hi5 because it became a place where only attention seeking people (extreme ones at that) gathered and I also stopped using MySpace as I found out it was way more efficient to find what I wanted to find on other websites.
Then Facebook came out but I was (for some reason) entirely sure that it would end up like Hi5 so I refrained from creating an account there till 31st May of 2010. After I created an account I only went online just to chat with some of my friends and that was about it (anyone can tell how much I really used Facebook if he/she check out my photo albums with the profile photo being 4-5 years old and all the other photos I’m in where just uploaded from other people and I was just tagged in them).
I started really using Facebook when I got in the army as it was the only way to be able to keep contact with my friends and family without spending a fortune on cell phone bills. When I was dismissed I found out that I could use Facebook as a medium to check out most of the websites I wanted to, so it’s only then that I started getting on Facebook and I found out that it had a lot of positives like being able to find even more new and interesting things through it and that you were able to join groups with the same interests as you. Through those groups you could find out about websites that are more into the interests of those groups. All in all through online communities you can get connected to people with the same interests as you and also get redirected to even more specialized ones through it, so I can see myself using online communities for quite some time into the future.
Online communities can be really helpful in the search of innovation or ideas as you can ask people for ideas but you could also give them the idea itself and ask them what they would incorporate into it to make it even better. After you have decided on an idea or a number of ideas you could always create a group with the people that gave those ideas to see if you can make them even better and another course of action could be to find a forum specialized on the kind of thing the idea involves so you can get more specialized opinions on how the ideas could end up. In the end with the use of online communities you can get what you need to innovate freely.