The World Wide Web… What we’ve been up to on week 4!

For this week we have been furthering our research and branching to looking at technical stewardship and how technology and social network trends could aid the Tiny House Community. We also collected together our NGO’s community activities and representing this information through a spider graph.

12037886_945051538874375_1620709450_o

So in our spider graph we have 8 points, each one represents an activity which we use in our work. Our scale works from 1 to 6, with 1 being the least important to 6 being the most.

Open ended conversation gives us information about what our NGO wants from us, and gives us advices on our future move, also such conversations can help us with making a right decision on our way to a successful project, that’s why we rated it 3 out of 6.

Group meetings as well as projects are the key and most productive points of our activities, because they help the team to reach a common decision, we discuss and brainstorm on different topics. We rated group meetings 5 out of 6 and projects 6 out of 6.

Social platform is one of the most important activities, because it is the cheapest and fastest way to gather loads of information and present to the majority of network users. It gives us a great opportunity to compare our NGO to others that are similar and is also a great source of ideas! We rated social platform 5 out of 6.

Relationship is a factor which helps team members to understand each other better, it is important to understand the dynamics of a relationship in order to strengthen your bond with one another, but it isn’t the most important factor that may affect the project, and that is why we rated it 2 out of 6.

Context is everything. Without context you can’t communicate effectively. When your message is delivered in one context, but received in another, it is likely leads to miscommunication. We rated it 2 out of 6.

Clients give us a lot of information about the NGO needs and what their ideas are to reach a better result, however in our opinion the most useful source of information is still the internet, that’s why we rated client information 4 out of 6.

Expertise gives us a deeper look on what we have done and what we need to get done, it actually doesn’t improve teamwork at all but is a really helpful activity if we want to have a better result which will suit our NGO`s needs.

Of course there are a lot of other important activities, but we have chosen the ones that we use most of all and that we believe are the most important, and with this our strategy of work will probably and hopefully lead to productive results!!

From this we concluded that the Tiny House Community should initially start by creating a website. We were told last week by our point of contact that they do not yet have a website.  We believe that this is the first way to begin being present on the internet and becoming known by others through a virtual presence. In addition to this, a website would create a page where the public could access the community on another platform.

Furthermore, we believe that any solutions created for assuring the community is financially sustainable would benefit massively from a website. In regards to tourism whether it be property rental, a ‘campsite’ or a workshop, a website would be almost a necessity with the ever increasing use of the internet. Additionally, our social entrepreneurship (we’ll explain what this is later on) idea of using renewable energy would also benefit from a website creating a page to express what the community is about and what it has done (if it goes down the renewable energy path.

Further down the line after we have the website up and running we would then advise the tiny house community to expand further on to Facebook, Instagram, potentially Twitter and to create a blog page. We would primarily focus on Facebook due to it being the widest used social media platform. Using these different networks would enable updates on what the community is doing, using pictures, text and videos which would help to get the community known by others and collectively aid in becoming financially sustainable.

After presenting this information to Shorty we gained some extremely useful feedback. Even though she agreed with our ideas about social network trends and a website, she informed us that the community was not yet ready for an expansion over social platform due to not yet being able to properly manage it. Along with having a website would be better considered when they have a market and have a better understanding of what the community is going to do. After discussing this with Shorty we have decided to change our focus on to how to help the community with finding sponsorship and investors.

Finally, we mentioned earlier about social entrepreneurship and how it related to a few of the solutions we had created as the idea of social entrepreneurship is clearly relevant to us as this kind of system would fit our NGO´s needs.

“Social entrepreneur: /noun/- A person who establishes an enterprise with the aim of solving social problems or effecting social change” [1]

Social enterprise is a relatively new term in the field of entrepreneurship.  Social entrepreneurship is not only practiced by nonprofit companies but also by entrepreneurs who want to take social responsibility. The success of a social enterprise is not valued by the profit it generates, but by the social effect it provokes. [2]

We have gained a lot new information this week and had a few set backs with our ideas and thoughts. However, now we are aware what we need to elaborate on and will show you this over the coming weeks! Keep updated and check our comments below as we’ll be adding bits of information every now and then when we come across it!!

Tiny Innovators

[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com

[2] wirtschaftslexikon.gabler.de

Advertisements

Reflection of Week 3

This week we have been progressing on addressing the Tiny House Community’s (NGO’s) needs. As we clarified earlier last week we will be looking how to make the community financially sustainable. We have transformed this need into what we think is a relevant visual interpretation, we are very pleased with the outcome: 

12029669_945052118874317_1401811130476640540_o

We firstly brainstormed within our team to look at what solutions we could create, after we had formed some basis of ideas we briefly expanded on them and added anything that was relevant throughout the week.

Here is an image to show our generalised ideas from our first brainstorm:

12049405_945052095540986_5409270195704472632_n

To expand on these ideas a little further with renewable energy we thought the community could use this to firstly generate energy for themselves and then with whatever energy they don’t use they could see back to ‘the grid’. With the tourism, we believe there a few angles from this which we could create a solution by having a larger plot of land the community could have a separate area where they could either have tiny houses to rent out or have open land to allow overnight stays for others with tiny houses, working like a campsite. In regards to a website we first believe it would be an advantage to the community to have a website and try and expand through networking. And with this there could be the potential to create money through advertisements. This would also help with the tourism idea along with our fourth initial solution of having a workshop where they could demonstrate to the public how they built their homes, what materials they used and the process they follow.

We forwarded this information to Shorty and asked what she thought to our initial ideas, which we further discussed through our Skype call this week. With the feedback she provided us with we contacted Nancy (who didn’t actually talk that quickly) and gave her an overview of what we had accomplished along with what we were planning to do in the future. She provided us with some very useful points to explore accompanied with websites to visit in aid of this.

The two online groups we chose to analyse this week were Small House Society and Tiny-houses.de. We decided to use these groups as they closely relate our project and NGO of the Tiny House Community.

The Small House Society: It was founded in 2002 by Jay Shafer, Shay Salomon, Nigel Valdez, and Gregory Paul Johnson. These four individuals were able to draw from their collective experience in housing design, home building, urban planning, and organizational management.

Nowadays Gregory Paul Jonson is facilitator of society the core board of advisers currently consists of Jay, Shay, Nigel, and Gregory. However, as a cooperatively run organization, all members have significant influence and serve as our larger advisory board.

To improve financial stability, the company asks for donation. You can find the list of donors and supporters here – http://smallhousesociety.net/membership/paying-members/

Also company has a website where you can become a paid member; basically it means that you donate 10$ every year (as I understood).

Society uses other designers and builders to improve their houses some of the homes are designed to offer basic economical shelter, others provide additional amenities and an aesthetic appeal that makes them more valuable.

You can see the list of designers and builders here – http://smallhousesociety.net/designers-builders/

Tiny-houses.de: It is an online website which gathered information about tiny house living in the United States and Germany. They do not only provide Information about tiny houses, but as well about circus-wagons and treehouses.

 Its creators thought about it as a platform to provide both individuals, as well as hotels and resort operators an overview of possible forms of residential, holiday and guest houses.

They do not only have very interesting, informative and (for our purpose) relevant articles from former tiny house builders, but also have a very active-up-to-date blog on their website.

But not only do they offer information, they create also contact to companies that are offering tiny houses for sell.  This side is not only interesting and informative for us, but to everyone who is interested not only in tiny houses, but in alternative ways of living.

In conclusion to this week we feel we have made a lot of progress, however still loads more to go, yet we are pleased with the initial ideas we have explored. With this and the feedback from Shorty and Nancy, we have a good idea of what we want to do next, with firstly investigating a little further into each of our ideas along with still expanding into new areas of solutions and make sure we have a good REASON for wanting to use these solutions. Additionally, we are going to look into Social Entrepreneurship (we will explain further soon what this is!) as it will aid us hugely in the progression of our assignment.

So we think we have written enough now, we are really looking forward to the coming weeks to explore further into our research and ideas. Thanks for reading!

Tiny Innovators.