How to Start Something On The Internet

How do you start a project on the internet? It is a question that is often asked, or at least thought, before being filed away as too expensive or too hard. The fact of the matter though, is that it is not. It really isn’t difficult to start something on the internet, and it costs nothing 99% of the time.

So how do you do it?

Well the first thing you have to do is have an idea, that part can be difficult. You have to find a problem, or a place where something is lacking, find the solution or what is lacking, and work out a way to fix it. This can be difficult to do, but the trick is to keep your eyes open, and look for the problem. One of my classes at the moment involves doing exactly that, and the key thing my lecturer advises is to talk to people. Problems don’t jump out at you and drag the solution across the screen, if they did then someone would have done it already

So what do you do after that? You need a plan a direction, step by step, of how to do it. I started a news blog for a particular group on the internet. They were all followers of a group of YouTubers. So my plan was to first integrate the way we presented this news with the way I knew the target audience used the internet. So I chose to do it through Tumblr, because it was big in the group. This meant that people didn’t have to look for me we can to them. The hardest thing to do on the internet is to get someone to click on your link.

So I had my idea and my plan, what was I going to do with it. Well in this case I didn’t need a website, but I wanted to make sure we catered to everyone, so I had to have one anyway. Now there are loads of good website builders on the internet that are perfectly free. Because my site was text based, I used wordpress.com. This is a brilliant thing that handles all the coding for you, leaving you with a very simple but elegant website.

Now you have you thing, it is ready for people to go on to. How do you get them to do that? You have to try and find people who would be interested in it and market it to them. Word of mouth is going to be by far your biggest friend. You have to find the type of people who would be interested in it and get them to look at it, and hopefully they will like it and continue to return. Try to find ways to appeal to these people and to spread the word of your thing.

Finally, and probably most importantly, adapt. I am going to be honest; whatever you just made was rubbish. It doesn’t work as it should, and is not as great as it needs to be. How do I know? Because the first draft of anything is bad. What you have to do is listen to the people using it, get your friends to try it, and get honest feedback. This allows you to fix those annoying problems and turn the entire thing into something that actually is awesome. It can be hard to hear people tell you that the part of your creation that you thought was the best is actually really flawed, but you have to trust the user and adapt it, turning it into something that the user likes. Once you have this continue to do it. Facebook is constantly changing, and there is a reason for that, it works.

These are the main steps that you need to take with creating anything, whether it is a website, or even a physical thing. The only difference is what you go about using. The fact of the matter is though, you should try to create something, because even if you think something you want to do would suck, it only ever truly sucks if you never try it.

 

SIF 2012 – Thursday and Friday

Day 3

We started with very tasty breakfast and then we had to move to The Square, the conference venue. It took us few minutes of walking. At 9 o’clock the whole event was just about to start. The first panel was introduced by two videos – video with kind opening words of Comissioner Neelie Kroes. The second video was filmed during first two days that we spent in Brussels and was called The voice of youth. There were some short parts from our session and also youth panellists’ opinions about various topics, for example reporting, filtering. They also showed us how we can use IML connectors which were on every table. We could vote for prepared questions, text to the organisers and use the device as a microphone during the whole conference. After a short discussion we moved to catering area for a coffee break.

After the coffee break there was a very interesting session going on. It was called World Café discussions. Participants had to discus three questions on their tables.

  1. What online issues are not currently being given sufficient attention e.g. rating systems for online games?
  2. How can online safety be promoted in a way that appeals to younger users to establish appropriate behaviour at an early age rather than later on when habits have been formed?
  3. What is a ‘better internet’ to you?

There was always one of the organisers who wrote down all interesting ideas at every table. After finishing one question we changed the table and discussion partners. All young participants had great chance to discuss the topics with different experts and adults.

Our programme was quite busy. I would highlight afternoon sessions and discussions about Stimulating positive online experiences and behaviour and Content classification and parental control tools in action. Our panellists had again opportunity to express their opinions. Then we went back to the hotel and had dinner on the top floor.

Day 4

The last day of your staying in Brussels was also very interesting. In the morning we had bus transfer to The Square, because some people had to leave right after the programme at SIF and needed to have the luggage with them.

The first morning session was devoted to busting the myths. As I wrote in my previous blog, during the first day in Brussels we had a session about busting the myths with the panellists. It was a preparation for Friday session at SIF. Five young panellists were “on the stage” and spoke about three myths that were chosen bythe group of panellists.

  1. There is no privacy online.
  2. Social networks have only negative aspects.
  3. Playing aggressive games and listening to some kinds of music can make people aggressive.

Matthew from Ireland spoke about the first one. Ioanna from Greece and Sarah from Austria spoke about negative and positive aspects of social networks. Jeroen from Belgium and Andreas from Cyprus spoke about video games and music. We also heard some interesting comments from other participants who sat in the public. The session was very fascinating thanks to delegate from Facebook. She replied all our questions and also told us some new information about privacy settings for minors and advertising on Facebook. At the end of the session everyone was upset that it had finished. It was very interesting and we could have spoken about myths longer time.

After a coffee break panellists moved to the entrance and took some pictures together. At the end of SIF they received certificates about participating at SIF.

SIF 2012 was again a super meeting of young people from different European countries and I think that it made us think about really interesting topics. The most important fact for me is that I had the possibility to listen to various opinions experienced by different cultures.

Benefits of working with Young People- Youth Ambassadors’s view on SIF2012

Last year in October, I was chosen by our national awareness centre in Slovakia, to take part at Safer Internet Forum 2011. I tried to do my very best during the sessions and participated very actively and in the end was elected as a Youth Ambassador, together with other 5 people. When I think about it now, it was one of biggest opportunities given to me in my life.

This year I participated at the Safer Internet Forum as well, with the difference that I participated as a Youth Ambassador. There were three of us, Ambassadors at the forum, Iva from Bulgaria, Tereza from Czech Republic and me. Our job was to help by the preparation sessions, to help panelists on the forum, to explain them the project more. I had the possibility to look at the forum from different perspective.

And I must say I loved that kind of perspective. I was so passionate about working with Panelists during the forum preparation. I enjoyed deep group discussions about myths, giving my presentation about online content, helping them by creating their own advertisement campaigns and finally by explaining to our new youth ambassadors with the cooperation of Vivendi how it works and what are we going to do.

Youth Panel T-shirt signing session

These things actually mean a strong new experience in my life. It’s unforgettable experience, which will follow me in every aspect of my life.

I hope that I helped our great session and workshop leaders, Pippa and Jeff, and the whole event, maybe just little bit, but I’d be happy with every small thing, which was helpful from my site.

Young people

I would like to write something about role of young people in all of projects like this, not just safer internet project, so

Safer Internet Forum is only one of few events inviting young people to participate. I will explain why I think Young people are not taken serious, although in some stuff they are really better. My personal opinion is that young people are taken as not enough experienced and professional to bring a value for the event. But this is wrong, completely.

This year’s SIF target group was KIDS. And Young people are closer to them. They know what works, what doesn’t make sense, they know how trust can suffer if parent uses filter and all the things about industry, parents, awareness centers are talking all the time. Young people know how an action will impact kids, how a campaign will influence kids and that’s only because they are the target group.

To be honest, I don’t think young people are really professional or super-experienced to work like adults. But this shouldn’t be even expected from them. Young people should talk about feelings, opinions, situation and own experience from their environment. We need to adapt the conditions, so they can only focus on things they know the best. Our panelists are these great people. If you ask them on bullying in their environment, they’ll tell you only truth, which can help the organization by education, to see the real situation, to know if they need to prepare involving presentation or rather to prepare one with language of young people. Young people can even tell you if they would click on advertisement promoting Safer Internet and tell you why yes or why not. Young people bring feedback and target group benefits, key aspects for every project, which has anything to do with kids, young people or something they know better.

Youth Panelists on stage

I think this is the real WHY, why should Young people be involved in every project, in which they have anything to say, which can help the project.

Developing internet

Technology and especially internet is a fast progress medium. Progress sounds like really positive word.

Five years ago it wasn’t recommended to put your name online. At least I had the feeling. The environment, where I moved was feeling so. Now? People are proud to put their names online. They want to speak loud, be visible.

This is called global trend. There is a good question about this. Why? Is it because, internet users suddenly changed their opinion about visible name online? I don’t think so. Internet is kind of copying the world market situation. People put their names visible; build LinkedIn profiles, because they want to be recognized. And this is the same think happening in real world. Today degree is nothing, you need skill and experience. You need to be recognized. Internet is copying this trend. And this will grow.

And it’s growing so fast that we can’t stay always informed about the newest issues online. It’s hard to care about online safety nowadays, because the trend is too fast. And I think Insafe is doing great think when extending the program to not just care about online safety, but generally to care about world online. It’s a strategy, where you can stay updated about whole internet issue, not just online safety.

I’m really interested in hearing your views and opinions on this.

SIF 2012 – Tuesday and Wednesday

Last few days Safer Internet Forum was taking place in Brussels and I took part! What were we doing? Why should you come next year? What do we do during SIF? Read more here!:)

Day 1

Tuesday, 16th October, I got up very early in the morning to go to the airport. Few hours later I showed up in Brussels’ airport. I moved to the NH Atlanta Hotel, which is situated in the city centre a met some of the other participants. Around 12 o’clock we moved to the top floor of the hotel to have lunch. Then we started ice breaking session which is all about introducing and challenging the others to play games.

In late afternoon, we started our discussions about busting the myths! I’ve heard many interesting ideas which I will introduce in a different blog. After the session we walked to Grand Café to have wonderful tasty dinner and a dessert. After the dinner we took a short walk around the city centre, went back to the hotel and went to sleep!

Day 2

On Wednesday we started with very good breakfast on the top floor of the hotel. Then we took subway to get to EUN offices. First, we had a session about creating online content. We were trying to define the problems, why young people don’t create the content and solutions how to encourage them to create it. The second session was about parental control. We were discussing if it is an effective way how to control children. Then we had something to eat and continue in the programme in interactive lab. We could use many different tools to create movies, cartoons, posters and other staff. The topic was busting the myths and we used our ideas from Tuesday’s session.

Later we had outdoor activities. We walked little bit further to a park to do some team building. Everyone was very competitive. After 2 hours spent on a fresh air, we moved back to EUN offices to finish our projects in the lab. Around 6 pm we took subway back to the city centre and went for the dinner Chez Léon, which is a traditional belgian restaurant. Our food was very tasty and delicious.

If you are curious about more details about our programme you can find on Twitter #sif2012. We kept that updated!

Videogames and Facebook Groups

Playing videogames

According to information from school portals (Teach Thought and School20) and other specialists, videogames help learning the knowledge and competencies associated to twenty-first century, especially in five different abilities.

When you play you develop the capability of making decisions and strategic thinking because managing resources and functions, as well as action planning are necessary to play games. These skills also match everyday life needs.

Many games, such as Minecraft or World of Warcraft, are built to stimulate problem solving models. Practicing a way of thinking that tries to find solutions for certain issues has direct application in real life, too.

Moreover, several games require team work and contribute to promote cooperation.

Any game, even the most popular Call of Duty, teaches you that in order to live in community you have to establish rules and standards and ensure that all its members follow them.

Finally, and according to researchers, practicing the digital citizenship could be a key factor to succeed in real society, once that the digital experience is connected to processes of selection of information, development of critical thinking, digital skills and autonomy.

How to create a Facebook group

                If you have things you only would like to share with a small group of people in Facebook, it is possible. You just have to create a group, add friends and start sharing. Once you have your group, you can post updates, poll the group, chat with everyone at once, etc.

                Groups let you share things with the people who will care about them most. By creating a group for each of the important parts of your life — family, teammates, coworkers — you decide who sees what you share.

                In any group you can control who sees your group, so it can be:

-       Secret: only members see the group, who’s in it and what members post.

-       Closed: anyone can see the group and who’s in it; only members see posts.

-       Open (public): anyone can see the group, who’s in it and what members post.

To create a Facebook Group follow these three basic steps:

1. Go to your home page and click Create Group in the left hand column. If you have existing groups, you may need to click More before you see this link.

2. A pop-up box will appear, where you will be able to add a group name, add members and select the privacy setting for your group. Click the Create Group button when you’re finished.

3. Once the group is created, you will be taken to the group’s page. To get started click on Definition Button at the top right of the page and select Edit Group. From here you can add a group description, set a group email address, add a group picture and manage members.

                (This section contains information from www.facebook.com)