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.

Archives For Idea Networks

About Idea Networks

Our first theme (of five – learn more here) is the place where we first scratch the “itch” of design, where initial ideas are hatched.   Idea networks. Open Innovation marketplaces. Crowdsourcing. Design competitions. They have many names and come in different “flavors.” What matters is they are wide and open enough to hold the diversity needed to really crack open an idea.

The #1 groups on Idea Networks get to explore what make these communities and networks useful — and where they are problematic. You will take a critical eye, ok? Here are a few questions to get you started.

What online architecture, tools and processes create successful innovation marketplaces? What differentiates these from other types of open innovation online groups and environments? I.e. http://africannewschallenge.tumblr.com/

What examples might you share of other idea and innovation networks? Add the links in the comments below.

 

Posted in Group 1, Group 6, Idea Networks, Themes

WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER WHEN YOU ARE IN A BAD MOOD?

Music
Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Untitled

design of online networks

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. 

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Posted in All Students, Group 6, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Vasilis Bagkoutsa

Design principles for online Communities

Throughout this course I’ve seen many different online communities, in all forms and sizes, with many different goals and subjects.

All of these communities have something in common: in one way or another they facilitate a gathering of people with a similar goal or idea. Whatever the community your looking at, the core thing a community means to the people in it is the specialized facilitation to perfectly nurture their needs in order to reach their goal.

The more successful a community is at facilitating those specialized needs the more popularity it will gain. Therefor a good community, to me, is a place where not only one idea or goal is the basis for that community but multiple goals or idea’s get a place.

That’s why social networks are so powerful they give everyone the possibility to create their own space and share their own ideas and goals, but still every one is at a social network to “socialize” (a common goal) but Facebook for instance now offers several other services such as group pages file sharing event pages etc.

These services attract people with a different goal to the site as well, for instance they might want to keep track of the latest party’s or maybe they want to collaborate with a group in a informal way.

In conclusion, by the end of this course I feel i have gained a greater insight online communities their troubles and solutions, big networks are mostly powerful because of numbers and small communities might be very powerful as well because of the focus on 1 idea or goal. 

Posted in All Students, Group 6, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Nout Hogesteeger

Personal Blog Reflection Prompt #8

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.


When I had to design or foster a online community or network one of my first principles would be that ‘it is all about the user’ just like a product is all about its consumers. Because in the end a online community or network is nothing else than a product.

So you have to think about your target group and try to see things from their point of view. What would they expect from the platform? What kind of tools would they like to use? Because from what I have seen people do not hesitate to look up a different community or network which fits their needs or expectations better.

Therefore I would have one principle: ‘The user is always right.’ , because without users there is no community or network.

Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Project Community

My design principles for online communities or networks

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.

I am sure that if I start thinking deeply about my design principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks, I can end up with a very — very — long list of principles. Because I don’t want to end up doing that, and I simply don’t have the time for that, I decided to highlight the 4 that I think are the most important:

1. Provide less, get more.

In my experience this is what applies to most of the platforms that I have used in my life — and enjoyed the most. It’s usually the networks that offer the least in terms of functionality that users feel the biggest amount of ownership during use. Think of Twitter for example. Its creators didn’t invent the @-reply and neither did they invent the Retweet. They were both inventions by the community, which had to come up with solutions to problems the very minimal system initially provided. The users feel a great sense of ownership (which is very much apparent now that Twitter is slowly killing parts of its ecosystem). Now, what would happen if Twitter already had all those features built-in from the start? Would it be an equal success? It’s guessing, but I think it wouldn’t be such a success.

I think that if you provide less, you are also fuelling creativity in the community of users. That’s a good thing as well, right? Especially if you want to put them in the mood of coming up with creative ideas for innovation.

2. Go mobile.

Slowly we’re moving to a world where mobile comes first. People mostly consume information through mobile devices (phones, tablets, whatever else there is to come in the future). Thinking of the incredible growth mobile phone usage is making in the developing world, this is the only way to go forward if we want to connect everybody and everything with everybody and everything in this world.

When was the last time you joined an online community that doesn’t have a dedicated app or (damn good) mobile interface? I don’t remember. Has to be a long time ago.

3. Don’t replicate functionality.

There is so much stuff online already, that there really is no reason to try to reinvent the wheel. Make use of what’s out there already. A couple of years ago the web was very segregated, but we’re going to a situation where more and more is connected with everything. The most-powerful platforms we’re using right now are the ones with an extensive ecosystem of apps and other ‘things’ that are connected to it through APIs. That’s what’s going to keep increasing. Eventually the password-input when logging in will be (nearly) entirely replaced by a ‘Log in with Facebook’ button. Those services are going to be so ubiquitous there is no reason not to take advantage of them.

And of course: there are too obvious design principles as well, like the need to focus on user interaction, but as I said I decided to leave them out.

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Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Bart Hoekstra's Tumbleblog

Designing online communities

After these weeks working with the online communities, I can say the design and the structure on the online communities are really importante. Now a days is really easy to find a lot of online communities and platforms, but from my point of view they are never completely useful, because most of the cases they focus just in one thing ( for example twitter is just for sharing ideas and pictures, or skype is just for video chats) so I learnt that it is better if you design an online community that includes everything that a online person could want.

On the first place, to design an online community, you need to ask your target group what they want and what they need. A really good community would be a place that reaches several target groups with different interests, like Facebook, that reaches any topic that you can imagine. The only problem with facebook is that you can get lost with all the extra information. That is why my online community would be reaching a lot of topics, but it would be well divided.

For me another important part that you need to think about when you design an online community, is to decide how the users are going to communicate with each other. This is an important point, because you need to pay attention on how the users are going to get feedback and information about the pictures, articles, videos or documents that they are posting

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Posted in All Students, Group 6, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Michelle Franken

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

Personal Blog Reflection Prompt #7

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?

If I had a design challenge I am surely going to use (and have so in the past) at least some of the platforms we’ve been researching. Depending on the kind of activities that I want to undertake I will choose an online community to use.

The easiest thing to do is something that I nearly always do and that is asking for input to my Twitter followers. They’re an amazing group of people from very diverse backgrounds, and usually I end up with useful information. Sometimes that’s a completely new insight, sometimes it’s only something that reassures whether I am on the right or wrong path, but it’s always useful.

More difficult things to do is the usage of real idea networks. This requires a lot more planning and time to put into facilitation and thus is something that I would only do if both of those things are within the projects’ constraints.

Other platforms, like Basecamp (for workteams), are already such a standard in my workflow that I am not even thinking of excluding them in my design processes.

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Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Bart Hoekstra's Tumbleblog