Whatsapp group to facilitate space "hosting"?

Hi Amit.
I think that some of the solutions being proposed only address Open/Closed, and I am just (loudly) making the case that any solution must also preserve the ability to book spaces and machines.


Hi Brendon, I wonder if tool log would be possible to export on discourse as we already have a record if a tool is being used on southlondonmakerspace.org . Id like to have confirmed if it is only accessible to admins or all members. https://southlondonmakerspace.org/tool-log/

Hi Petra. I like automation, but that won’t work for this. Takes me 40 minutes to get to the space.
I look and see that the tool is free. By the time I get there, someone else is using it.
That happened to me a lot at another makerspace, and it drove me nuts.


I am not sure what is being solved here, I might have misunderstood!

Exactly @Brendon_Hatcher. I think the calendar solution is best too… Now we just have to stick to it


Sounds good in theory, and works fine with stuff like the lathe etc. where you can stop easily but with things like the 3d printer it’s potentially very awkward have to kick someone off halfway through a long print.

Something as simple as a raspberry pi readout showing future bookings next to certain tools could go a long way to avoiding things like this.

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The elephant in the room needs addressing:

As far as I understand, we have these three positions:

  • members being OK with the booking system and prefer being able to book a specific tool.
  • members having difficulties/aversions using Discourse, either for technical and/or personal reasons
  • members wanting to get rid of the booking system altogether / give shutter access to all paid up members ASAP.

Will we be able to accomodate all three positions and make SLMS even more awesome?

I’ve booked the 3D Printer in the past, got some nice bicycle workout done on that day but no 3D printing, because somebody forgot to check the calendar that I’d booked for that time… :angry:

I like your idea about the readout. How about a screen by the entry showing the bookings for the day - automatically waking up for a minute when DOOR USERS APPROVE happens?? (Keyfob door access)

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That is against the rules of acquiring shutter access and is potentially problematic.


That’s a great idea, 3d printer, cncs (and lasercutter) would benefit from that.

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My tuppence as a relatively new member who’s had to stumble through some of these things the last few weeks.

Firstly I agree the calendar is the way to go. But I do think there are things that can be improved for new members, as some of the relevant info is quite hidden. Might seem small-fry but I think could help visibility and funnel more people into booking.

  1. How To Book is not in the How To section of discourse, it’s in Discussion. And when you search for ‘space booking’ it’s been lost in other discussions and you have to scroll down to find it. Suggest it be moved to How To and pinned.

  2. How To Get Shutter Access is the same, in Admin not How To. If you search for ‘How to Get Shutter Access’, the official How To page literally doesn’t show in results. Again suggest it be moved to How To and pinned.

  3. Consider adding How to Book the Space directly to FAQs (there’s already a link to accessing the space generally, with the booking link further down that page, but again quite hidden)

Feel like quick wins that could help newbs like me.


Great ideas! I think having a single index page with different sections (and descriptive headers) for each category is easier to navigate than an list of pinned things sorted by pin date. It seems the most important ones don’t often live at the top of the pinned list. What does everyone else think?


I agree with Kyle. Change from pinned items to a single index per category.
The advantage is that the text in the index is freeform, rather than just the post title and the content order can be adjusted easily over time.

Perhaps the pages that are linked from the index should have “Back to index” links at the top, to really drive adoption of the “index first” resource use?

Hey @Geraetefreund… If you had a booking, then the machine is yours. Like you can give someone 5 mins to finish up or whatever but if they have 2 hours to go, then i think it is expected that they stop their print and let you in.

There is no reason to expect you can use a tool if you don’t book it, even if you “get there first”.


Agreed. It’s always been like that. What Mark might be suggesting is that sometimes people are too nice and miss out on their rightful spot to avoid potential confrontation then… It used to be an occasional topic with the lasercutter before the booking got extended to all tools… if someone could code in a calculator for people without booking that says "booking starts in 2hours, automatic cut off will occur, finish before xx:xx "


I have create a quick video guide how to make a space booking as a host. I hope this makes it for everyone to find their way around the booking system.


Thanks Ben,

  1. As you suggested, I moved the How to Book article to the How To - Infrastructure section, for now and added a link to the main How To Index Page. Since it was in the private category of discussion, it is only visible to members. If there are no complaints, happy to put it just in the How To Category.
    I also edited the text to accomodate for the link to @Julia’s short video.

  2. The How To Get Shutter Access is also now listed on the How To Index Page.

  3. I think this could/should be the How To Index Page, right?

Win, win, win Ben, thanks once more!

May I suggest turning the How To Index Page into a Wiki? Unpinning the other How-Tos and have one comprehensive How-To Index at the Top of the How To Section. This way, non-members could see the index page but if there are some sensitive How Tos (lol) they would only be accessible to members.



Exactly! This happened within the first two months of my membership and I really didn’t know how to handle the situation. To be fair, this never happened again and of course now I’d use my opera voice know how to ask kindly. :smiley:

There are new members who are reluctant hesitating to write a message on discourse asking, if somebody will host i.e. next Saturday. This makes me really sad. We can do better, no?


Nice one Mark,

And agree with your point re unpinning other How-Tos and having Index at the top, plus wiki-ing. I think @Kyle said in the meeting was intended to be?

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Just in terms of streamlining calendar use - one way might be to have members subscribed to the calendar on mobiles. Means you don’t even have to have the discourse app on phone, or have to log in via browser. Good for both reducing barrier to creating events in the calendar but also tracking when it is open. You can also set mobile or email notifications which would be another way to see if the space is open. Current issue however is that room booking events I think are not public so not being pulled across on the public calendar.

One drawback, not everyone uses mobiles so you are potentially excluding them by going down this route.

Yes I am including myself in this category, dinosaur that I am. I am not a member yet but when I do get to that stage I don’t want a barrier in the way just because I do not use the latest tech to run my life day in day out.