[Lab] Hows the attendance?

Jason Cobill jason.cobill at gmail.com
Wed Dec 16 20:38:44 EST 2015

   The lab is currently going through a bit of a reno, so we temporarily
don't have physical access to the space. (Ryan sent a mail about this a few
weeks ago)

   Some observations about the community:

   - I've attended a couple of times "recently" (including the badge hack
night) and it surprised me that there are still interested looky-loos who
drop by to see what's going on - I met three interesting new
non-list-members at the last drop-in. Some of that is the timing around
Maker Faire, but I think it indicates that there's still a lot of curious
people on the periphery of the maker community who just need a little push
to fall into the expensive black hole of hobby electronics. ;)

   - There's a lot of lurkers on this list who are looking to do
interesting things but they're not sure if the community "fits", what
happens during Modlab, what kind of people attend, etc. etc. I propose once
the modlab is open and running again we shoot a short video for the website
so people have a sense of what to expect. (I suggest other makerspaces do
this too - I've had a lot of people ask me what happens at MakerSpaceNorth)

   - I think there's an appetite for organized events (workshops, thematic
meetups, etc) more than totally blank-slate working sessions. We don't have
Britta organizing events anymore, but I think we need to step up and put
some entry-level training sessions together to keep newbies feeling welcome
and getting them up to speed. (Centerpointe is doing an amazing job
training an army of laser cutters)
   I've been running littleBits workshops, and there's SO MUCH DEMAND for
kids programming.
   Tons of people are interested in 3d printing, but nobody knows how to
make anything that's not from Thingiverse. There's equipment and interest
everywhere but a need for the skills to connect them.

   - The physical location at Arts Court is a blessing and a curse - it's
convenient for many of us, but between the Wednesday schedule, parking and
construction and blasting there's a lot of factors turning people off.
(Particularly if they live out in Orleans or Barrhaven and are looking at
an hour and a half commute) I think Darcy had the right idea moving his
Arduino group around to different venues in the West End. I think it's
healthy for the ecosystem to try out different locations and spaces to see
how it affects the type of work getting done. I imagine the MSN space
encourages a more industrial, CNC wood-working process.

   - I've talked to a number of local makers about their take on the
community, and it seems like everyone agrees that the proliferation of
spaces is a good thing, and that the community is maturing, but nobody
seems to know where it's headed or what comes next. :) I think a lot of
people who started 4 or 5 years ago (the first "wave" of really accessible
maker tools) are now running little startups as amateurs-turned-pro.
There's money to be made in micro-manufacturing and small-run
productions... but I think we need to organize to make sure the door stays
open for people at the entry level so the community stays vibrant and full
of challenging ideas.

   -Jason Cobill

On Wed, Dec 16, 2015 at 6:20 PM, Richard Sloan <themindfactory at gmail.com>

> Have not been to modlab on Wednesdays for awhile now, how's the attendance
> been?
> _______________________________________________
> Lab mailing list
> 1. subscribe http://artengine.ca/mailman/listinfo/lab
> 2. then email Lab at artengine.ca to send your message to the list
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://artengine.ca/pipermail/lab/attachments/20151216/040292bb/attachment.html>

More information about the Lab mailing list