Introducing the Open Makers Community

Date
Dec 10, 2021

New year, new plans. The rapidly approaching end of year is often a catalyst for people setting out plans for how next year will be different, and we - Tom Watson and Tom French - are certainly one of those cliches! We have a plan to set out to you here, as well as explain where it came from and how you can be part of it...

The plan

And so, here we are, launching...

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Open Makers Community: Collectively exploring no-code tools to build and openly share things for social purpose

Starting in January, we are going to be hosting some events which we hope are being created in response to what people told us they wanted.

We will be hosting:

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Monthly 1 hr How To Showcases - where we, and guests, will talk through a specific tool or application that has been created, exploring how it was built, what it is for, and sharing some templates or guides.

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Quarterly Community Builds - where we come together around a specific need or use case, and collaboratively build a solution in a set time, and share it openly. We plan to do some of these online, and some in person with real people (so if you have an idea for a venue please let us know!)

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Monthly 'AMA' sessions - 45 minute sessions in the evening where you can ask questions and we and others try to answer them.

We will be hosting a whole range of templates and things that have been built on a platform for anyone to take and use, and will be putting some recorded content and guides up as well.

But how do we know this is something worth pursuing?

The early days

We've been dabbling in this area for probably the last 12 months, making things, openly sharing them and giving them away. We did a few #Doitmakeitshareit days on Twitter and, although people quite liked the concept, it was hard for people to commit to it unless there is some definitive time or feeling of accountability. So we decided to do something a little more formal...

Crystallising an idea

We had the idea for a no-code community build, where interested people could come together to address some potential need(s), make something in a set time and share it. We started by asking what needs people thought a no-code solution might help with, and took in contributions via an online form. We gathered around a dozen. Then we set a date, asked if anyone wanted to join, and made a rough plan.

We held the event on 24th November and a bunch of people game together to explore no-code tools and hopefully make something which could be shared. It was messy, as all good experiments should be, but things happened and it gave us a platform to learn from. You can see what we came up with here on a Notion page, with some templates and guides.

Deciding whether to do more and what it might look like

Following the event we asked people for some feedback and we found that:

  • People felt this was a good idea and wanted more of something similar;
  • People felt they wanted something on a regular basis;
  • People wanted a bit more structure and specific focus;
  • There was also an overwhelming desire for some way of learning the basics about no-code tools or seeing things that had been built before.

Back to the plan

So, here we are, back to our launch of Open Makers Community*! Feedback received, ideas fleshed out and ready for the next phase in 2022.

And we'd love you to join in:

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You can sign up to the lu.ma community here to hear about events as we announce them

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Or if you want to just find us on Twitter, go here and here

*Names are hard. Did I ever tell you why The Good Ship is called what it is despite having nothing to do with nautical based anything?