Notifying members that the space is open.

  • I had mentioned ideas about how to notify people that the space was open. After a week of mulling it over I have made a simple solution. I created a twitter bot called @makerspace_open . It is set to automatically retweet any message with #msopen .

    If you want to know whats going on just follow @makerspace_open . When you tweet a message like "I’ll be at the space from noon to 5. #msopen " the bot will retweet that message to all of its followers within 10 min. The hashtag is key. If you want to test this out please make sure you say its a test message.

  • Awesome! Should we integrate this with our @makerloops Twitter account?

  • I don’t think so. There are people who follow the main account from out of town who wouldn’t want to be pestered with a door chime. I’d rather that be an opt in feature.

  • How about a light switch that also tweets that someone is presently/ still there?

  • We could do that. I had originally thought about tying the heat control to Twitter. If someone wanted to set the heat on until 6 o’clock you would know someone was planning to be there that long. The downside to the switch idea is that you may know someone is in but not for how long. If you aren’t a keyholder that makes it hard to plan when to come in. You could race down to the space only to find it empty again.

  • And the heat control wouldn’t be very practical in the summer.

    Having a keypad to enter number of hours and a “go” button could tweet/turn on a light whatever.

    If there was a website, people could also enter tentative future times that they plan on being at the space as well.

  • We do have a Google calendar function for that. You could also enter the time you plan to be at the space in the calendar. It would work well for those who have better planning skills

  • single knob.png
    How about a single physical knob and a display that shows amount of time the space would remain open. With some limitations, that may work well.

    For example @Chainmaildave could open the space and set the time to 1 hour, but half an hour later @tinfoilknight comes along and can increase the open time to 3 hours since he plans to be at the space longer.

    Ideally, I would like to integrate a few different ways to set the open time into one widget that would be on the home page of the forum.

    What do you think about using a single knob?

  • Member

    Considering our neighbourhood I think a light indicating no one is in the building would not be a great idea. However if we had something on our forum might work better especially if we can put it behind a password.

  • I do like the single knob idea. I pictured a clock face on it. Will be here until… Either way would work.

    In the mean time we have what I set up. We could set one of those spare computers up in the foyer. You can tweet from the foyer if you don’t want to use your personal account.

  • That is probably a good plan… I have no intention of acquiring a twitter account for this purpose. I suspect that I am not the only person who has too many social media things in their life.

  • Metal

    I agree that having a way to easily communicate with members about who is there and when the space is open is a great idea, and given how common Twitter is already we could utilize it rather than reinventing the wheel. Tying a physical switch to a Twitter account seems like a quick and easy Arduino project. I think the big question is how many members already use Twitter or would be willing to add it for this purpose versus those who don’t or won’t use it?
    Can we post surveys on this forum?

  • It’s probably easier to use an RPi. Then it could send out emails, update a twitter account, update a web site, whatever, just by adding a few scripts.

  • ![1451370018593-1692754821.jpg] (
    Oh look. I found this internet ready computer sitting in the board room / parts area. I’ve opened a tab to Twitter and saved the password on that machine so anybody can tweet their availability. You can even be anonymous and say “A keyholder will be at the makerspace until (time)”

  • Linux


    Even without a twiter account, you can search hashtags and see posts. I figured this out so I could stalk snowplows on the coq :)

    Msopen is a weird hash tag choice though…

    Learning and working on learning more!


  • It might be a fun arduino project, i see a rotating switch that is a timer that sends 120 volts to a neon open sign in the window, a key holder shows up turns the timer to the on position estimating the time they will be there and any others showing up can add their own time line to the timer switch.
    Somehow have a sensor reading the timer value, if it says 2 hours and counting down can relay that info to an arduino converting the data through usb to the internet allowing a twitter feed and forum bot and potentially text .

    message saying “Makerspace open for another 2 hours” the message can be sent out periodically with the new updated timer position.
    Just a few thoughts.

  • We discussed a sign in the window a couple of months back. Decided not to, because Jim had seen maker-spaces that had breakins associated with a street-visible light to tell burglars when there is nobody in the building.

  • Would #k3open be better than #msopen ? I’m open to suggestions. It just has to be something unlikely to be tweeted for a different reason.

  • Member

    #k3open works better in my mid as ms tends to mean microsoft

  • Also, we are one of many, many makerspaces. Using the global handle “makerspace” to describe us is likely to lead to namespace collisions.

  • I suggest using KMopen instead or some variation using KM which is our abreviation. I don’t know where people got the k3 from, it is not in our brand files.

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