What is Abacus?

Abacus is a live skills marketplace where learners can connect, individually or in groups, with makers, teachers, artists and craftspeople to practice and learn practical skills; everything from DIY kits to Photoshop tutorials. We’ve got a familiar listing structure similar to Etsy and Airbnb with a twist; the listings are for live streaming learning and skill-building sessions hosted by real folks who practice these skills regularly.  You DO NOT have to be an expert.  If you’ve got practical experience you have something to offer on Abacus…after all most people don’t learn their pastimes and passions from an expert.  We learn through family, friends, neighbors and trial and trial and error. How many people have actually finished a 40 hour video-based module anyway?  Learners get the benefit of live interactions with hosts in short sessions; asking questions and practicing in parallel rather than just watching videos.  Abacus exists to cut the wasted time, materials and expense out of learning something new.

Why use Abacus?

First of all, Abacus is not Facebook live, YouTube live (Google).  Abacus is being built from scratch by taking direct feedback from our hosts and our learners specifically in the creative space.  Need to speak to a REAL PERSON for support?  You’ll talk to a real Human Being on Abacus.  Also, listings on Abacus won’t get lost in a sea of competing niches and organizations.  Supporting Abacus either as a host or as a learner means supporting the individual and gaining greater independence from the giants. 

LEARNERS

Do I need to subscribe if I just want to take a class or participate in Abacus sessions?

Nope.  The subscription service is only for makers, artists, teachers and craftspeople who want to host the creative sessions on Abacus.  You, as a learner or participant, pay the host of the session.  Abacus takes a minimum fee when you pay to participate in a session but you don’t need a subscription unless you want to become a Maker on Abacus.

Why is creativity important to human health?

creative pastime like crafting, making and art can help focus the mind, and has even been compared to meditation due to its calming effects on the brain and body. Even just gardening or sewing releases dopamine, a natural anti-depressant. Hobbies allow people to connect with FLOW, Psychological Flow captures the positive mental state of being completely absorbed, focused, and involved in your activities at a certain point in time, as well as deriving enjoyment from being engaged in that activity.

Will virtual learning continue in the Fall?

From K-12 to college campuses, chances are virtual learning will continue in the fall and well into the future whether or not in-person classes are available.  Students and learners will eventually go back to in-person but virtual learning will persist and be part of the fabric of society.  

MAKERS

What happens if I hit my monthly hour limit?

The Hobbyist package comes with 66 hours of usage, the Maker package comes with 120 hours of usage and the Business package comes with 250 hours of usage. Additional hours are only 35 cents each so going over your monthly data usage for the Virtual Makerspace is just a drop in the bucket!

Can Abacus view or change my banking information?

No.  Our payment processors PayPal and Stripe handle your information.  Abacus does not have access to any of your sensitive payment information.

Are all sessions On-Demand or can I, as a Maker, set my schedule?

There is a selection for On-Demand, or “Open-Calendar” sessions.  However, to best use your time as a Maker, an availability calendar will pop up when you complete a listing and have clicked “Post Listing”.  This calendar allows you to limit your session (for only that listing) to  particular days of the week and times. See our 1st Listing video for a more descriptive look!

Can my learners or participants just Venmo me?

Our payment processors are PayPal and Stripe and they process payments on behalf of Abacus.  Please encourage your learners and participants to conduct all communications and transactions through the Abacus system.  This ensures that an in-system record is available in the case of disputes or misconduct.  In other words, you’re covered and protected from jerks and troublemakers if you keep the conversations and the transactions inside the Abacus system.

What happens when I subscribe?

Once you’ve purchased a subscription package you’ll be authorized to post listings and you’ll receive your personal makerspace link via email.  All you have to do is enter the email with which you created your account, enter the temporary password and change your password.