So last year, just a few days ago, our good idea to launch a non-profit venture to continue our makerspace activities took a turn down a different path.
Quite by accident.
A Great Idea is a good idea that keeps you awake late at night.
There I was, busy designing the core elements of our website when I deleted and recreated the header logo section and I mistyped “Makerspace” community as “Minecraft” community. Minecraft, as our friends can predict, will be one of our alter ego “MC” personalities. But more on that later.
After about a day, I noticed my “typo” and corrected it back to “Makerspace”. But as I was typing I realized that this was all wrong. Dead wrong. A community, of course, is composed of people. As vibrant and full of energy as a good makerspace can be, it is still just a place. A shell to host a gathering of the community.
We, of course, are designing and creating resources for Makers, for the Maker community. At that moment of correcting my typo, a great idea formed in my mind and I couldn’t sleep for the next several nights.
What is wrong with the idea of creating an online community that actually could be for all Makers, not just those we plan to meet in our local travels across the Northeast (and Southeast Canada, eh)? The first step to get back to a normal sleep pattern is to question the basic validity of the idea, find the weak points, scrutinize the details, and expose the logical fallacies.
That sounds like a lot of work to get away from a a bad great idea, and it truly is. I don’t have much time because I set a launch deadline of Jan 3, 2022. And. I. will. not. miss. that. deadline. Much of the website will certainly be in development long after we launch. But this great idea strikes at the heart of the entire structure. Well, at least it is a blow to the domain name. And you can’t have a great idea website without a great domain name.
I cut the analysis of my great idea down to three tests. First, what does Dr. Google know about it. Hmm, there is nothing much on the first page of results and you know it goes downhill fast from there. I appreciate Dale’s effort behind make.co; I’m a new member, since 2010 if you include all of my participation with Maker Media. I also found a video describing how to search for groups to join and extract “support”, as if that were not an all too often frustrating experience.
Second, what does my heart tell me? Well, my heart is fueled by knowledge, experience, and wisdom. My heart tells me to listen to the “if you build it” words of Ray Liotta. [No, Kevin Costner heard the whisper; I’m Kevin’s character in this fantasy drama.]
Finally, what is the risk / reward calculation? That seems simple to noodle out. I’m going to build the social network in any case, for use by the local folks we meet in our travels, and the students we sign up for our online courses. The only risks I see are a hit on the credibility of our venture, and a poor return on investment on the cost of purchasing a better domain name. Well, several domain names.
The company we formed is MC Tech Space Inc, because that was chosen with my “makerspace” hat on and, first and foremost, because the domain name was available. When we remove both “tech” and “space”, we easily arrive at a new and better name. We are simply TheMC™, and with hundreds of new (to me) top level domains we can now create:
This is the home of our social network, powered by WordPress+BuddyPress+MultiSite, with all the standard features you should expect to find. A few premium features are reserved for use by our upgraded members.
This site will host a directory of projects, workshops, courses and all of the supporting resources. We are developing our own lesson plans and materials to use both online and in our mobile makerspace.
This is the place to visit to pick up any of our cool non-profit supporting merchandise. And we’re happy to share floor space with any of our network Friends who update to Advocate.