PAXMiner – The Friendly Attendance App


  • We have a new beatdown attendance app on Slack – PAXMiner
  • Why? It could help provide knowledge, insight and even maybe some fun
  • Let’s give this a good go to see if this is a useful tool – use format provided
  • This is not a substitute for backblasts on the site – this is for attendance numbers

With the dawn of December comes the official arrival of a Slack-based app, PAXMiner, with the intention of fairly easily gathering basic attendance data for our MeCa beatdowns.  Until now, we basically have not had much information to speak of.  Qs/AOs would tweet out with #f3counts, which would pull the tweet into our Slack Counts channel, but that is about it…and that is if a tweet was even sent at all.  Tweets are great to let the outside world your AO is active, but not so great for gathering information.  YHC has looked at, and consulted with, a decent number of F3Nation IT folks about using Backblasts as a way to collect some basic information, but never found a good solution…while most pax in MeCa write BBs on the site, some don’t, which obviously not helpful getting quality info.  As a group, we have definitely embraced Slack as a way of communicating and when I recently heard of the Slack app PAXMiner, created by Beaker out of STL, who was already successful using it there to gather basic attendance information, this seemed like an interesting option.  After working things through with Beaker, we got things rolling yesterday afternoon, 12/1/20, on our Slack workplace.  Big thanks to Beaker for graciously helping out with this.

What is the point?  Why?  First off, to gain knowledge and insight.  I have been Nantan of this region for nearly two years, and if you asked me how many pax post here in a week or month, the answer is, I truly don’t really know.  Not knowing is not the end of the world for sure, but having a handle on some basic information about ourselves doesn’t seem like a bad thing to me.  Knowledge of how many pax post in the region on a weekly or monthly basis is of interest to me, as well as, how many different pax post.  How many are actively Q’ing beatdowns?  Our mission is to plant, grow and serve small workout groups for men for the invigoration of male community leadership.  Measuring growth is a bit difficult if you don’t have any kind of numbers to look at.  There are nearly 900 pax on our Slack workplace, obviously, not all of them are truly active.  This app could give us some clarity on who all is actually active in our region.

Regional numbers are one thing, but drop down to the AO level, and this information is probably even of more interest.  Since AOs act sort of like closer knit mini regions, you can really use the numbers to have more of a direct impact.  You can apply everything said above about the region to AOs, and then you can really take a look things like who is Q’ing and who is not.  Are pax getting rotated in regularly to lead workouts, or is it just the same pax?  How many unique pax attend workouts each month?  This would be effectively be your core group to draw upon to lead workouts, is everybody contributing?  This is just naming a few of what could be many of uses to have for some basic information about an AO.

Another reason: for fun!  This is a competitive group to be sure.  Having Q’ing or posting contests whether at a regional or AO level could be a lot of fun.  Having a general year long leaderboard for number of Qs sounds pretty cool too.  AO vs AO competitions of all different kinds.  Might even mix in some prizes or charitable donations on behalf of winners.  If we have some numbers, these things are much easier to make happen.

So, the idea is to roll this out and evaluate.  Is the juice worth the squeeze?  I think the answer will end up being, yes, but we will see.  If you post on your AO channels each day you have a workout with the below format, PAXMiner can recognize and grab it:

Slackblast! <Give your workout a creative name>
Date: <Day>, M/DD/YY
PAX : <Tag every PAX in attendance with @NAME and include the Q in this list. Make sure
they’re tagged. If not on Slack, just list their F3 name.>
FNGs: <List new FNG names here separated by commas. They mostly won’t have Slack
accounts set up yet. Even if they do, list them here.>
Q:<tag Q and any co-Q’s with@NAME>
Count:: <total number including Q,PAX, and FNGs. Number only, no text.>
We had a discussion among all the MQs and Region Qs about backblasts in general, and the consensus was very much to continue what we are doing with posting them on the site.  The feeling is the BB posted on the site can deliver more information (announcements, prayer requests, etc.) that never disappears (like it does on Slack), be a resource for pax workouts, be something for potential FNGS out there to see, and generally give more ownership, purpose and accomplishment to a given beatdown.
I posted on AO channels with the above “format” for PAXMiner, and will continue to do it through this week…although some pax have already jumped in and started doing it before I could – thank you!  I am learning this thing myself and am working with Beaker on anything that comes up.  After this week, the idea is to hand down to the AOs to handle.
Ideally, the Q for the day’s workout would post the above information on the day of his workout. That said, it doesn’t necessarily matter who posts the workout information, just that it gets there.  I understand that it is an extra step, albeit a fairly small one, but I believe it is worth it.  The app is currently set up so that the day’s workout info should be posted on that day, not a later date (this could change in the future where this info could be posted on a later day.)  Highlands and Harrisburg currently have a couple of days a week where they have multiple beatdowns per day.  In this case, please post only once on Slack about the cumulative attendance for the day.  All Skynet jokes aside, the only way PAXMiner is pulling information is through posting something in this format.  It knows nothing else.  If you happen to have any tin foil on your end, I feel confident saying you can remove it:)  Feel free to take a look at the PAXMiner full breakdown right HERE.
With 100% participation, we obviously will get great information across the board.  That’s the goal, but obviously it won’t always be met.  The key will be individual AOs adopting it and making it part of their routine concerning their beatdowns.  At the very least then, AOs that fully participate will have quality information at their disposal.
I know this came out of left field for most, but I wanted to see if we could get a full month of use in before 2021 began, and starting on the 1st of the month seemed like a good idea.  I appreciate everybody’s help on giving this a real go and seeing where it takes us.  Aye!