[hackerspaces] Introduction from Birmingham, England

Antonio Roberts antonio at hellocatfood.com
Thu Oct 1 18:48:50 CEST 2009

Hey all.

I'm the founder of a group/space in Birmingham, England
(http://www.fizzpop.org.uk). We're based at someone else's building
(which I know is risky) and we've been going for just over 7 months.
Whilst I'd love it if we had our own space I currently don't think
that'll happen as I feel we're having a bit of trouble getting people
motivated in the first place.

When we first started we toyed with the idea of having theme based
sessions e.g. arduino hack day, circuit bending session etc, but some
of the attendees felt that this could be restrictive and might
alienate those who don't want to take part, thereby reducing the
attendance numbers and possible members. So, every fortnight when we
meet we have just a random hacking day. Some long-term projects have
emerged from this but overall I've noticed that newcomers and even
some current members just don't know what to do or expect when they
turn up. So now I'm toying again with the idea of having theme-based
sessions. If anything it'll just give a bit more focus to the group
and its activities and possibly spawn bigger projects.

I know that meeting once every fortnight is a bit counterproductive in
itself, but out of the five tech groups nearby we're one of two that
meet this frequently. All of the others meet monthly. So, I'm thinking
of more projects that could take place outside of the space and
possibly even on the Internet.

This is where I ask you guys for help. Not necessarily for ideas for
activities (though they're always useful) but just your experiences of
what type of session works best. Is it better to have sessions be
free-for-alls or set a task?

Cheers for your input

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