[hackerspaces] Establishing hackerspace and getting people actively involved

Adam D Bachman adam.bachman at gmail.com
Mon May 10 01:15:47 CEST 2010

> You don't need to simulate what a space would be (with projects and talks),
> you just need to be genuinely excited and show people you're going to do it
> - with them or without them. They'll come.

The "with them or without them" was huge for us at Baltimore Node. We set a
target for costs ($800 a month) and once we had enough people willing to
guarantee support for 6 months, we signed a lease. All the well wishing and
"that sounds like fun!" gets you exactly nowhere.

"We should..." should send up warning alarms when you're talking about
starting a space (or anything). If you say it a lot or you hear other people
say it a lot, then you're not a do-er, you're a wait-er, waiting for someone
to do something. If you see a clear vision for the space, then pursue it. If
you can communicate your vision, others will pick it up and run with it.
Encourage them. *Give people things to do. Specific tasks that must be
accomplished before moving on.*

"We should" style project dreaming is great fun, and good for when you have
a space with a well stocked beer fridge. Now is time for concrete goals and
requirements. "We must..." is the most important list you can make. Also,
complaining about what other people don't want to or aren't willing to do is
a downer. Drains energy and is counter to the goal of getting things done.
Don't worry about other people. You are responsible for you. If they suck,
that's their problem.

People will always do whatever the hell they want. If the way you're trying
to start the space won't work with that constraint in mind, then you need to
find a different way.

- Adam

On Sun, May 9, 2010 at 5:12 PM, Paul Bohm <paul at boehm.org> wrote:

> Oh - and with no social events i mean: we stood up and left after we
> had discussed the items for the week - no sitting around and being
> merry. We didn't want to bond over anything, we just wanted to build a
> space.
> You don't need to simulate what a space would be (with projects and
> talks), you just need to be genuinely excited and show people you're
> going to do it - with them or without them. They'll come.
> On Sun, May 9, 2010 at 2:08 PM, Paul Bohm <paul at boehm.org> wrote:
> > 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.
> >
> > Enki
> >
> > 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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> >> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> >> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
> >>
> >>
> >
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