MHV Community

Continuing the discussion from October working bee - Saturday 11 October:

I’m moving this to the committee area. I think we need to work out what to do moving forward. I’m not keen to see such a small group keep doing the cleaning for the much larger community that turns up for meetups, workshops and general use of the space.

It’s not like our plans are particularly ambitious at this stage - have a look at and see what can be removed. (One thing I think we can probably archive the strengthening the doors item? All the strikers go into solid material now and their are extra padlocks on the two doors that need them.)

We now have the space setup nicely, with all the rooms clean and reasonably organised. We have working 3D printers, Roland CNC mill, 3D scanner, and nice lounge and kitchen area upstairs. Lots of wood and metal work tools in the small garage downstairs and a good electronics bench, large workshop table an workbench in the large garage.

But we are not getting many people using all these wonderful resources. Is this a problem? Or should we just be content to use it ourselves and stop worrying about it being underutilized?

What do people think? (all members are welcome to join this discussion, not just committee)

I have a few comments:

But there seems to be a lack of people to know how to use this equipment effectively. I know some peole may just say “RTFM”, but a tutorial or workshop demonstarting their use would be more engaging and effective.

As long as we get enough people coming to MHV and contributing to the community, I think we will be fine :smile:

I think community engagement is the issue. We’ve had people leave the community over the last 8 months, but we’ve not really had a similar number of new members coming in, in that time. We’ve had groups come in and take a look, but they tend not to come back on a permanent basis.

What we need to figure out is what the current community and potential members want from MHV. Then we, as the committee, need to make the appropriate changes to make the space more welcoming for these people.

A first step would be an online survey to get an idea of what the community wants from MHV and what would make them come and contribute to the space more often.

I’m happy to create and run a survey using Google Forms :slight_smile:

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To facilitate social interaction, I suggest that members reveal who they
are. For me, members who have anonymous and faceless identities suggests
that they don’t want to participate in an open and friendly manner. It is
not possible to connect anonymous avatars which post on this forum with the
faces that appear in the space, and those faces don’t have names (or,
confusingly, many seem to have the same name!). This can lead to a feeling
of isolation.

If this reticence relates to online privacy (is that a real issue here??),
could there be mug-shots on the noticeboard to provide a translation-table
between posters and people?

As a new/potential member I reckon that sounds great. I’d love to learn about how to work with printers/mills/scanners.

I have a $35 red rooster voucher that I got as part of some stupid marketing campaign. I wouldn’t use it myself, but am more than happy to donate it towards buying a shared lunch to encourage people to come to a tutorial/workshop. Alternatively I’m happy to donate it to the next working bee to encourage attendence. However it’s only valid until the 22nd of Oct.

We have people signing up through the membership form and a slow increase in the number of people regularly making payments. I’m not sure we’ve had many leaving the community?

People do seem to be coming in less regularly and being busier with other things. Even the current committee members seem to have less time to contribute to these discussions. The difficulty in finding someone with time to be Treasurer is another example.

What sorts of questions are you thinking of?

Here’s a first draft:

Comments appreciated :slight_smile:

MHV seems to have several mechanisms for interactions. If I see only this
discourse/forum (are they synonymous??), am I missing anything?? Do I need
to join all 4 of FB, twitter, google+, forum?

Anything important should appear on here (and yes, the forum software is called ‘discourse’ so they are synonymous), it is our main place for discussion.

We haven’t been using Google+ as yet. Twitter is used mostly as broadcast, not listening, for automated announcements about the space opening and closing from the spaceprobe and sometime ones added by us. The spaceprobe also sends messages to the announce mailing list (which is the only one that is still active).

Facebook has our biggest reach to people who are interested in MHV but not necessarily involved yet. The problem with the diversity of social media is that it means you need to go where your audience is if you want to promote things.

The IRC channel is often fairly active during the day (#makehackvoid on Freenode).

The wiki is for projects/workshops and other documentation that suits a wiki format (multiple people editing the same page).

We also communicate about software projects on

Brenda, thanks for info. And, as usual for you, very well written. My
keyboard skills are poor, so I am often cryptic (lazy?) and hardly