[hackerspaces] Looking for some insight from other S.O.O.H.

Ross Smith rsmith at i3detroit.com
Wed Feb 9 16:05:53 CET 2011

> Hey,
> I need some advice.  I'm having some concerns about the activity level
> in my space.  I feel our space's activity level is too low,  and
> (along with doing things myself) I've been bugging people to do more.
> And maybe not in not the most productive ways..  At this point, it's
> turned into some contentious but polite discussion on the mailing
> list.   It would be great to get a sanity check on my opinion and
> approach from another of the Secret Organizers Of Hackerdom (SOOH).
> Also, it would be nice to blow off some steam, and be told if I'm
> right, or just crazy.

You aren't crazy; I know how you feel.  Trust me when I say that
polite bugging never works except for the tasks that the person has
already committed to doing.  You can never bug someone into being

What you can do, though, is put an event out there and invite
everybody.  It sounds like you and your members need a fun reprieve
from the idea that you aren't living up to your standards.  An event
is really just the thing.  Have a movie party and pot-luck - ask each
member to bring a dish.  Have a game night.  Get in touch with how
everyone is and what they've been doing lately.  Look at that - you
stirred up activity almost on accident!  Then schedule another event
with a different focus.  Know the interests of your members and jump
in to suggest an event that they will want to be part of (soldering
night?  stitch-witchery?).

Once the value of these get-togethers makes itself obvious, find a
self-starter in your group who is willing to take up the standard.
This person may be interested in being the event coordinator role I
mentioned in my last email.

Most of all, though, remember that you can't draw flies with vinegar.
Honey works best.

Ross Smith
i3Detroit President

"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually
right." -- Henry Ford

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