This article is part of Precious Plastic, a One Army project tackling the plastic waste problem. You can learn morehere
Hello online community!
We are releasing Precious Plastic V4 in about 2 months! As you might have seen in the Monthly news we have many projects going on. One of them is re-structuring our online community. Finding better ways to collaborate, chat and store useful data so we can learn from each other. At the moment the main place for people from Precious Plastic to connect is our forums. I’ve always been a big fan of this, not necessarily forums, but a place on the internet to come together. However, when we started thinking what the future of our community would look like forums didn’t seem like the most effective way forward. And the main reason for it is that everything happens here, chatting, researching, answering questions, documentation. It’s powerful but this also makes things very messy since everyone uses the forums for a different purpose. So we decided to split it up in 2, long term / short term information.
Short term 💬
This is where you can meet each other, ask quick questions. Chat about local struggles, different solutions. It’s messy, its temporary information, most of these conversations are obsolete and outdated after a few days. We don’t want this temporary information cluttering the long term information. For an easy conversation, you want a quick snappy responsive tool which you can preferably use on the go.
Building this tools is very complex and requires very advanced technologies. But the information produced here isn’t super valuable for us to store, so it’s not worth the resources for us to make a tool. And frankly its also something other organisations are way better at. So we decided to use Discord. A chat program used by millions around the world. Fun and easy to use.
Long term 💫
This is where it gets more interesting for us, how can we store all the things our worldwide community learns in a clear simple way. So far we have over 250 workspaces around the world, all making little hacks, improvements, new moulds, designing cool products etc. This knowledge gets lost on the internet. But this is the information that is still relevant 5-10 years from now. We want to create a useful knowledge database for everyone around the world. Properly documented. But also mapping out where the community is operating, making it easy for people to collaborate.
This is all part of the online platform we are working on, we will release a beta during Version 4. This project is a long term one, always improving and adding new features. (If you want to help visit our github or webpage.) Trying to create a platform that is useful for our projects to use, but also for any other open-source community out there… A bit like WordPress for communities 🙂
The future of the forums
We will keep the forums like they are, storing all the useless and valuable information online. But “hopefully” if we do good work it will organically fade out. A natural death. Because our new tools should be better and easier to use. So use whatever tool you want to use. it’s a good indicator for us to see if we are on the right track.
The first step towards this plan is introducing our Discord to you guys. There are many channels to explore, product design, machine building, costa rica, web development etc.
Sign up, meet each other and share feedback!
*Sidenote: we also have a few channels for Patreon supporters only. Here members of the core-team answer questions.