Ace Monster Toys will occasionally get asked how we operate and why are we successful. Quite frankly it really comes down to awesome people who care about the community. But folks often want to know how our systems work. In this post I am going to attempt to describe how our communications work. The caveat is that this system, like all the others we use, works because of those awesome people who care.
Tools and Platforms
- AMT Website
- We use our website to blog, post about projects to the public. We also have a members only section with newsletter archives, a directory, a membership add-on shop. Members can also manage their accounts including things like laser bills.
- AMT has a slack team with, as of this post, 133 members and 25 topic specific channels. We use slack as our main chat platform. It has a fairly good phone app and makes sharing images and files easy. It also makes for easy private message conversations between individuals and small groups. This is the quickest way to get crowd sourced responses from the group.
- We use Asana.com to manage projects for the org that keep us operating. It is the main tool for task assignment used in monster corps. It is also used to manage large events and initiatives, like build outs and maker faire. We have one master account that folks share to access our asana instance.
- Meetup.com is used to list our classes and manage RSVPs and RSVP money.
- Google Calendar
- Google calendar is used to manage operational meetings and visits and tours from other hackerspaces and organizations.
- Discuss List Serv
- This email list used to be our chief method of facilitating group discussion online. We have seen slack pretty much take over that function though some folks still post to this list.
- We use our face book page to talk about upcoming classes and promote blog posts and member projects.
- We tweet about cool stuff we do or like.
- We use this to share pictures. We have a camera in the space that has an eye-fi card in it that will load any picture taken to this stream.
- We use mail chimp to… you guessed it … send emails. We send regular newsletters to the membership with updates about how things work or what is new. We send another newsletter to a public list of folks who signed up.
How the tools and platforms work together
AMT Website integrates with the doors and the laser as well as the standard complement of e-commerce functions. This website emails new members instructions when they pay membership dues for the first time. Once they follow those instructions the site also emails out vital information like the access codes. The list of members is sent to Mail Chimp to be added to the member list for the newsletter and other mailings.
Slack integrates with asana. When things happen in an asana project it posts a notification to whatever slack channel it is mapped to. For example, if a new task is created in the woodshop project a notification is posted to the woodshop channel in Slack.
Meetup.com is integrated with the AMT website and upcoming classes appear in the sidebar of many pages. It is also integrated to the google calendar and upcoming events appear on our google calendar.
Google Calendar is integrated with the AMT website by being embedded on its own page. Upcoming meetup.com events also appear on this embedded calendar.
Flickr stream is integrated with the AMT website via a widget that shows a random image stream in the sidebar of the blog and many other pages.