Communication channels

From Nottinghack Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Communications methods

These are many communication tools available to members / users and others to discuss matters related to the Hackspace. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each seems to be used by a slightly different subset of the membership.

Prioritised by appropriateness for different tasks -

  • Longevity
  • Security (moderation, etc.)
  • Speed of response
  • etc...


Long term, Hackspace 'documentation'. Seen as not easy to contribute to by some (but an 'expert' can always be found lurking who can assist). Used for monitoring pledge drives (although this function will migrate to HMS in the future).

Wiki is the knowledge base, Information about the physical space we have, the teams scopes, network setup, tools we have, project pages (either space wide or just a members personal projects), any member can go update a page or start a new one.


As well as member-personal emails, there are also a number of addresses set up for formal communication with and by the Hackspace. Ought to be the preferred way of pushing messages (e.g. trustees@...) but like all email, blighted by spam.

Nottinghack Website

The Website front page mainly functions as an advertisement to draw potential members in and blog post to advertise events or announcements. Most existing members use it to access HMS for tool bookings and admin tasks.

Google Group

The public channel. Permanent, searchable, message storage. Moderated.

A very large chunk of the membership is subscribed to this channel.

Anyone joining the google group is initially put under moderation. This is simply to prevent the group from being invaded by 'bots, but moderation has been (and can be) re-instated on occasions when inappropriate postings have become contrary to the best interests of the Hackspace.


Slack can be thought of as Super-IRC, with the ability to handle media, files and other larger message types. Not permanent, and with a limited mailbox size across all channels, banter and irrelevant comment eats into the lifetime of messages.

No effective moderation (though admins can have messages deleted)

Slack is good for talk with or around teams, a place teams can have quick real time conversions to make discussions. It is also a place members can ask questions of teams or get involved in them. Its NOT a place for long term information; for that there is the wiki. Slack is a publicly accessible tool, so, if private conversations need to take place teams have or google drive folders.


Originally set up for communication within and between teams. Has been taken over as the go-to communication channel for too many unrelated purposes where the Google Group would be better. May yet be recovered to perform this function.


A Slack account is used by the trustees, whose accounts are paid-for, and so a permanent record is kept.


Long-established geek channel of choice. Transient (unless via a caching proxy)

(Links to the LED message display boards in the hackspace)


Trello is a TODO board, on which teams or any member can add and complete jobs.


There is no active telephone number for the Hackspace. The line is used only for broadband delivery. Unfortunately Google has found the number and it has become known - don't try and use it!


Some things just have to be delivered as hard-copy to the Hackspace. Letters are pretty reliable, but packets and parcels should not be expected to be delivered promptly, as it depends on someone regularly checking with the site management to discover if something is awaiting pickup in the management office.

Types of message

  • Banter
  • Showing Off
  • Answers to Questions
  • Asking Questions
  • Progress reporting

Cross links between channels

Some email addresses are automatically cross-posted to Slack channels, for example automatically gets delivered to the Trustee slack channel. This allows Slack to be used as a unified inbox, though it is spammed horribly.

Teams Slack - usefulness diluted by banter and other inappropriate postings eating into clarity of discussion and message longevity. Also, please do not post the same message to multiple channels, e.g. Laser + Tools when reporting broken or missing tools as this also eats into the message base.