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Polivox

Patricia Bandeira de Mello

Polivox.org is an online community designed to empower the people of Rio de Janeiro to create an environment for collaboration and change by encouraging three basic ideas: "imagine", "transform" and "celebrate."

http://www.polivox.org



Polivox is an online community designed to empower the people of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to envision a better future and to create an environment for collaboration and change by encouraging a cycle based on three concepts: “imagine”, “transform”, and “celebrate”. The inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro face various deeply rooted issues that range from runaway violence and corruption to vast economic disparities. When such big problems are taken for granted in everyday life, what is necessary to break through the inertia and cause a reaction? Polivox seeks the answer to this question by flipping the problem upside down and proposes to focus on the good side of things in order to trigger a cycle of transformation. Imagining a better future, changing reality, and celebrating all accomplishments, big or small, are the philosophy on its base. Polivox is a social network with collaborative publishing tools that respects users’ comfort zones and fields of interest in order to create and sustain a positive loop of reinforcement.

Background
Inspiration: the people that I know that could and are willing to do something to improve people's lives in Rio but feel afraid and don't know where to start / NY2NO (ny2no.net) - ITP and Xavier University in New Orleans collaboration project over the last Spring Break which I was part of / Book: How to Change the World by David Bornstein

Example: www.midiaindependente.org (Independent Media Center in Brazil) / idealist.org / www.portaldovoluntario.com.br / overmundo.com.br / thepoint.com / thedayoflight.org / alldaybuffet.org

Audience
Internet users in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Implementation
A lot nights without sleeping learning Drupal, a lot of reading on the online forums, and weeks of developing on Drupal.

Conclusion
I learned Drupal, some CSS, learned a lot about online communities, and most of all, learned that when designing something like Polivox, there is a point where I, as a designer, have to wait to hear from the users what they want before going ahead and implementing advanced features. A prototype should start simple and be tested before becoming more complex. And when it's a website for a community, they are the ones that should say how the website should be.