[hackerspaces] Establishing hackerspace and getting people actively involved

Paul Bohm paul at boehm.org
Sun May 9 23:08:03 CEST 2010

Hey Jarkko,

When we started Metalab, there already was a group who'd been trying
to start a CCC clubhouse for 2 years unsuccessfully. They had projects
and regular social meetings.

We instead opted for explicitly doing no projects and no social events
- everything was goal oriented, and we tried to get people excited
enough to sign up on our announce list (low traffic, so unsubscribing
would be harder than just dealing with the trafifc), and then just
regularly sent photos from spaces we looked at, mockups of space
layouts, drafts of our financing plans, meeting reports, ... to show
people we are serious.

This meant our bi-weekly meeting were only attended by 4-12 people (at
most), but that everyone there was really the getting-shit-done type.
I think this really helped in defining our initial core group. Based
on that experience I'd personally avoid social gathering before the
space is there at all costs - it attracts what I consider to be the
wrong crowd.


On Sun, May 9, 2010 at 8:06 AM, Jarkko Moilanen <Jarkko.Moilanen at uta.fi> wrote:
> Hi,
> We have problems getting things started here with our hackerspace. We have
> punch of people hanging around this still virtual hackerspace. In our
> meetings, there is only about 5-6 participants. People seem to be reluctant
> to start any projetcs. The reason for this reluctancy seems to be that we
> are still missing our IRL space. I disagree partly. Not every project needs
> a separate space. To get some activity (projects) we need active
> participants. When we have activities we become more attractive and gain
> more members. Of course the space is in the top 2 wanted list.
> But again, no members -> no funds and no funds -> no space. We (well this
> means at least me) are now willing to lower our expectations for the first
> space and just get one.
> People seem to wait that 'someone else' does all the work. I have seen
> enough that type of people in my life. I was not expecting to see that type
> of people in this hackerspace 'project'. Have I gathered (lured) wrong type
> of people from the start. Where are the doers and makers? We dontä need
> people who just talk and talk. How do we get people more involved? We are
> still in the beginning and kind of stuck. We started (well I did) gathering
> people for this hackerspace about 10 months ago. The hangarounds (about 10)
> seem also reluctant to participate to community related issues, in other
> words building virtual tools and environments for the community. Community
> which is starting does not happen itself, it needs people to DO stuff.
> Moreover it needs things to be done that are not so important to single
> person but for the whole community. I am loosing my faith in establishing a
> hackerspace in Tampere. Any thoughts?
> cheers,
> Jarkko, mode 5w hackerspace
> ****************************
>  Jarkko Moilanen
>  M.Soc.Sc. (Political Science)
>  PhD Student, Information studies, University of Tampere
>  Blog: Extreme activities in cyberspace - http://extreme.ajatukseni.net/
>  -------------------------
>  Founder of Hackerspace 5w, Finland, Tampere - 5w.fi
> ****************************
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