[hackerspaces] Inter-Hackerspace Cooperation and Membership

Koen Martens gmc at sonologic.nl
Mon Jan 11 15:49:42 CET 2010

On Fri, Jan 08, 2010 at 04:32:10PM +0100, quemener.yves at free.fr wrote:
> ----- "Koen Martens" <gmc at sonologic.nl> a écrit :
> > Indeed.. The potential for drama is limited by the fact that this is
> > largely a social thing.. An understanding between hackerspaces. .nl
> > is small enough that we all have close ties with one-another. And in the
> > end, the proposal only is that: an understanding between
> > hackerspaces.
> I understand that and it will probably work at the beginning but it would work about the same without this structure existing, as as you tell these hackerspaces more or less know each others.
> But fast-forward in 5 years. Some guy at hackerspace A decided that real life was getting in the way so he gave the reign to another guy, another hackerspace slowly changed to focus primarily on political activism and keeps bugging others to join a militant movement of some sort and another hackerspace appeared that embarrass a lot of people because they surely have enthusiasm, a place and are very nice, but they aren't doing anything at all. The interest of making a structure that could last in the long term is to make one that could resist such conditions (which I exaggerate but not beyond plausibility)

A valid observation, and I see i haven't been careful enough in wording
that paragraph. The idea was that the _participating_ hackerspaces would
need to agree, not just _any_ hackerspace. That would perhaps address
your concern, at least partly. In addition, perhaps participation should
be up for scrutiny whenever there is a change in the governing body.
This would work with spaces that have a board, but not with purely
membership governed spaces where basically each new or leaving member
constitutes a change in the governing body....

> > Anyway, i'm curious as to how to rework that part so as to avoid
> > drama,
> > without instating complicated schemes and conditions and all (ie.
> > over-formalizing). One option would be to put the spending at the
> > discretion of the Hxx foundation itself for example.. Nice and
> > simple.
> I think that a sort of federation that manages money is doomed into attracting people with a taste for politics. I think that a way in which the Hxx foundation would not be managing anything else than information and trust networks has far more chances of staying out of dissensions. Couldn't there be some sort of exchange program that tracks how much visitors have been greeted, or a sort of recommendation/reputation system where one person could say "this is a valuable member of our lab" ? 

I'm a bit hesistant with basing spending of the money on number of
visitors/members or stuff like that (which I think you are proposing
here). Simply because for eg a space with a lot of members already has
significant financial income. 

I also don't think the money will be just given away to the
participating hackerspaces (although in the proposal, if all
hackerspaces decide to do this, that's ok). I think of it more as a fund
for common resources. Maybe collective insurance for example, or bulk
buying of components or tools to get discounts.



K.F.J. Martens, Sonologic, http://www.sonologic.nl/
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