[hackspacebristol] project night/general

Tom Gardner tggzzz+hs at gmail.com
Mon Apr 29 09:56:53 UTC 2013


To provoke discussion about what is useful, I'll offer these observations

   - don't unnecessarily re-invent wheels due to ignorance - it wastes time
   and the new wheels are usually elliptical, not round!
   - reasons for communication can be divided into two categories.
   - different communication mechanisms are appropriate for each category
   - several different mechanisms could each reap the benefits in each
   category, *but in practice it is better to settle on just one mechanism
   in each category* - less confusing for the audience, less development
   and maintenance etc

So, what might the two categories be? I suggest:

   - *transient, short term*: examples are "when's X happening", "is Y a
   good idea", "who is going to Z" - *very well served by email*,
   definitely don't want to preserve these for posterity (Alternatives are
   SMS, walled-garden websites like Faceplant^H^H^H^H^Hbook, each with its own
   significant disadvantages)
   - *persistent, long term*: examples are "how do I use tool X safely",
   "how and why do people do Y", "what's the policy for Z" - *very well
   served by web site or a wiki*. Definitely do want to preserve the
   answer, so as to avoid endlessly repeating the answers and providing
   partial answers. Structure and searchability are key - if you can't find
   the info you're looking for, it effectively doesn't exist. (Alternatives
   are bulletin boards or pdf manuals, each with no real advantages)

So, before implementing yet another communication mechanism, work out what
killer advantages it has over email+web/wiki -- and if there aren't any,
then use your time more inventively!


On 29 April 2013 10:29, Patrick Neave <patrick at neavey.net> wrote:

> The members only list is a google group, if you have a google account it
> works like a forum, if you don't then it looks pretty much like the current
> mailing list. It has been discussed in the past about moving to a more
> 'user friendly' mailing list. And as we already use google for the members
> list I think we should stick with that.
>
> I will put together a simple poll so we can see what the consensus is, if
> the majority want a google group then we go with that if not we stay with
> what we have.
>
> --
> Patrick
>
> On 29 Apr 2013, at 09:26, adam armfield <adamairmailed at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> the google group can function like a message board - you can choose
> whether or not mail is delivered and just browse threads of interest - if
> there were enough threads on there to make this worthwhile
>
> some mail clients have a threaded facility which makes more sense for a
> list like this with a fair amount of traffic on - you could have a message
> board with no change needed at the backend then
>
> also worth mentioning is http://www.nabble.com/ this allows lists to be
> turned into forums - people can use nabble like a forum and others can
> still communicate via the list - it's a good compromise in my view
>
> All the best
>
> Adam
>   ------------------------------
>  *From:* Tom Gardner <tggzzz+hs at gmail.com>
> *To:* Bristol UK Hackspace <hackspacebristol at lists.aktivix.org>
> *Sent:* Monday, 29 April 2013, 0:23
> *Subject:* Re: [hackspacebristol] project night/general
>
> Occam's Razor Rules!
>
> David Stewart wrote:
>
> I like the idea of a message board - does anyone smarter than me want to
> set one up ?
>
> It is always worth considering the advantages *and disadvantages* of
> having multiple communication mechanisms. More mechanisms means *even more
> * places to have to look to *possibly* find information, more chances to *
> miss* information, and new search mechanisms to be implemented or learned.
>
> IMHO it is worth setting up a new comms mechanism (e.g. a bulletin board)
> *only* if it has advantages that *can't* be obtained via existing
> mechanisms (e.g. email in a non-digest format).
>
> For example, I've only recently been informed there is a "google group" --
> which is of course entirely separate from usenet groups on
> groups.google.com.
>
> So, for a bulletin board  in the context of hackspace Bristol, what would
> be the *killer* advantage or, to lapse into marketing-speak, the *unique*selling point.
>
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