Hey there! I’ve recently been appointed a trustee of the Build Brighton makerspace, and would like to go about improving our ways of communicating with and between our members.
Currently we pretty much exclusively use Slack (on their free tier) – which works, and mostly gets the job done, but isn’t ideal for various reasons.
Ideally I’d quite like to get our own Discourse forum set up, and then some open source IM solution (possibly Matrix, but would settle for Rocket Chat or one of those similar options). This in itself won’t be that hard to do, but I’m worried about a few things:
- It’s yet another login for our members (we already have Slack logins, and our separate management system BBMS)
- Until a good number of users start using it, it will be very quiet and hence won’t be inviting to new users
- It’s another thing that someone has to run and take care of
All this lead me to think: “what do other makerspaces do? Could we share?” In a similar vein to this comment about a shared Slack account managed by the Hackspace Foundation, I was wondering if any consideration had been given previously to some kind of pooled set of resources for UK hacker/maker spaces?
I’d assume that we all have at least some kind of IM solution, and/or maybe a forum as well. For both services there’s obviously going to be communications and discussions specific to a certain space, but there’s also likely to be quite a lot of overlap and potential for sharing (like I know our Slack channels are often busy with general project discussions or help requests). I think it would be really cool if instead of just discussing general topics within our own space, if we could also discuss with other makers! It would also help ease the burden on each individual space, since we can share the hosting costs and maintenance effort.
Anyway, tl;dr I guess my dream goal would be some kind of shared services that cover:
- Shared Discourse forum, with subsections for each space (visible only to those members) as well as common shared subsections (visible publicly)
- Shared IM/chat, with some sort of integration that automatically adds all members of each space into their own specific private channel just for that space (i.e. so Build Brighton can have a broadcast chat that includes only BB members)
- Single sign-on (for shared forum, shared chat, per-space management systems)
Has anyone tried something like this before? What do people think, would it work?