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 Post subject: Communications
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:35 pm 
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I'm pretty sure this has come up before and I've been talking to several people about it. We absolutely NEED a single, official line of communications between the members and board.

I perceive there is way too much bickering about miscommunication and at some point, we're potentially going to have a catastrophe. If there is something being done about this, what's the plan? If there isn't, what are y'alls suggestions?

I've heard that a mailing list idea was shot down due to privacy concerns. I would like to put that on the table and start anew. If the concern exists, please speak up and what do you propose we do about it?

Does anyone here have the time and wherewithall, or desire to learn, to implement a mailing list? I propose that the mailing list does not list everyone's email address and members are automatically added to the list with the option to opt out.


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 Post subject: Re: Communications
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:50 pm 
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Communications between The Membership and The Board
Between The Membership and The Board there already exists fairly clear lines of communication. Members are required(?) to give an email address and consent to electronic notice or opt out and rely on snail mail notices. If The Board needs to contact the membership they can BCC everyone on that list to get ahold of people.

If the membership needs to contact The Board, a number of emails are listed on the contact page including, "twincitiesmaker at tcmaker dot org", [email protected] , [email protected] , [email protected]

I know many of them are active on the forum, but the board is NOT liable for picking up every discussion here. If they need to be made aware of something, i.e. for an agenda item, they need to be emailed directly.

Communications within The Membership
Some people just do not want to be mandated to enter into any form of electronic communication. And as far as I know, that is currently OK. I'm sure there are a few members who love having access to the shop at $50 that just don't care about what goes on here, or the little used mailing list. This is why it's important to post things of importance physically, at the Hack Factory (see parking tags) so that the offline folks have a heads up.

tl;dr
  • Afaik, if The Board wants to issue some notice of authority, they already can.
  • The Membership at large will never conform to a standard of communication.

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 Post subject: Re: Communications
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:40 pm 
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How about an "e-News" bulletin board at the H.F.? An LCD screen with important news and/or scroller?

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 Post subject: Re: Communications
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:00 am 
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Case in point, the discussion of the audio equipment downstairs and in the classroom. Someone "talked to a few people" and was given the go-ahead to setup in the classroom. He diligently posted on the forum asking for feedback. From there, it was noted that not everyone reads the forum and getting consent from "just a few people" was not indicative of the whole membership.

How then does everyone propose we put items such as consent to modify structure at the HF? Simply saying that not everyone wants to be notified is not an option in my book. If you think about it pyrodog, if we post a physical notice at the space, not everyone will see it since someone may not be around on a regular basis. We need something that will stop these kind of battles, even if it's just a quick email telling people that a "vote concerning space for a hobby" is available.

I know we're not going to get everyone's vote, but we need a way instead of just shooting down ideas. People want to get stuff done and make the HF their own. Currently there's too much hindrance.


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 Post subject: Re: Communications
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:29 am 
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This is a couple issues. One is from the board to everyone, with this there is a new email broadcast system that is going in place that is broken into a couple levels. Level one is official notice and things of that nature, with the new membership forms we have changed to opt-out for this level so we do not have to mail that many things for votes. Level 2 is opt-in for the newsletter, calander updates, and other big happenings about the space.

two communication within the membership is tricky as everyone has there own idea of what is important communication types, email, im, facebook, twitter, skype.....

three approval for modifying the space. For temporary things we are getting better at having clean work surfaces to do things and as long as it can be undone in 5-10 minutes, and is not messing with someone activlely doing something i dont think that needs approval. For more permanant changes there are now the shop manager and the department heads that are responsible for those kinds of decisions going forward so this will become less of an issue.

Now on a personal note i would like an evoting system but have not found one i like that is reasonably secure and private and cheap/free and wide access. But that is a problem for later.


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 Post subject: Re: Communications
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:36 am 
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I realize that the current solution is not ideal, but I think trying to further define a single 'official' form of communication isn't going to be any different than herding the cats we already have.

I think part of why the department heads were created was to make decisions as to how their space is managed after they feel they've received sufficient input. If nobody "Owns" the space it's all design by committee anyway, which was causing even larger problems previously.

Sure, having an ideal single form allows you to say, "oops you missed the memo, we decided on doing x." But it still doesn't guarantee that people are going to use it or act on it.

I'd say it's up to whomever has an idea to do due diligence and get input from as many interested parties as possible, which seemed to be happening in regards to the audio corner. That's being excellent to the other members.

I know it would help to have a single point of comms defined for that purpose, but then it starts to sound very legal, and afaik all the legal bases are already covered.

I'd say keep it to a case-by-case basis. If you feel anything is too serious, bring it up to the relevant department head and/or board.

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 Post subject: Communications
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:08 am 
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I will call out the point from Orion's post that seem most relevant from my point of view:

The board doesn't regularly determine whether we add an audio processing station, a bow-maker's bench, or a new torch cart. They obviously can, but Department Management should be involved when a permanent fixture is to be added. The board obviously has authority to say yes or no to any proposal that affects the membership as a whole, but they have officially delegated the operations of the shop to some designated individuals who are supposed to facilitate the communication smittex is talking about, as best they can.

Department management, John (overall), McSteve (electronics), Tony (metals), Jude (facility and infrastructure), and me (wood and CNC), are almost always available somehow. Our phone and email contact info is on the wiki and elsewhere, we in various combinations are on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, the TCMaker blog and these forums. We have a responsibility to be in the space for Open Hack, and two other occasions (at least) each week, when life permits. And we regular look in on our respective spaces for notes or other indications of activity that might require input from the membership at large.

Each proposal will have specific considerations, and members should invite input from shop management for anything semi-permanent and the management personnel will facilitate additional communication as seems necessary. Or we might just say "yeah, sounds cool" depending on the proposal.




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Last edited by Odegard on Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Communications
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:23 pm 
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I had to cut off my earlier post.

I guess what I'm saying Bryan/smittex is, those avenues of communication have been implemented but this only was officially done 15 days ago. All members are still working out how it will work in practice instead of sound theory.

As to the specific example that may have prompted the thoughts leading to your post, there seems to be strong support for an audio processing station, but there have been some practical questions and implementation issues that have not yet played themselves out.

Ultimately, the decision falls on McSteve and/or John to say yea or nay about where and how much permanent space an audio station should have dedicated to it. If you feel that more conversation needs to take place, or if some other action needs to be taken to move it forward, then please encourage the advocates to re-engage Steve on the issue, and possibly address the stated concerns on the forums in a thorough and patient manner.


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Last edited by Odegard on Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Communications
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:27 pm 
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i think about everything has been covered other than the official emails of [email protected] and the like are monitored by ork, the official board communications minion and he'll pass stuff along as appropriate (e.g. if you don't know someone's info, or aren't sure who to contact)


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 Post subject: Re: Communications
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:10 pm 
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I do think that we've got all the "official" channels covered, as stated above, between what's in place and what's in progress and imminent.

I also think that having the department heads in place is going to simplify a LOT about talking about what can / should / must happen in each area, or the space overall.

I also agree that a lot of this can and should be handled by the person or people who are interested in doing something. The more ways you reach out to more people to build consensus, the more likely it's going to effectively happen.

On a personal, non board level, I'm a big fan of coming up with a system that exists online and in real space, and can synch between the two.

I have some ideas about implementing some of this, as does wammie, and I"m expecting others do too.

Me posting my sketches on all my stuff on the wall is part of this for me, as is posting sketches made for the pedal powered fire breathing dragon project that others drew.

the more the better, in my opinion, for the non-official stuff.

Riley

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