[hackerspaces] A New Hacker Has Joined Your Party!

Matt Joyce matt at nycresistor.com
Fri Jan 14 04:23:13 CET 2011

Ron, I'd say that while NYCResistor seems largely "maker" space.  They house
a pretty close to equal distribution of hackers ( maybe not infosec but soft
engineers ) makers and crafters.  In that regard... they are a single org.
And while balancing concerns between the three is hard, the point is not the
capabilities of the space, but the community it fosters.  Cross pollination
is a good thing.

I think most spaces figure that out eventually.


On Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 6:31 PM, Ron Bean <bucketworks at rbean.users.panix.com
> wrote:

> Far McKon <farmckon at gmail.com> writes:
> >Just to play devils advocate, I worry about some of the themes coming
> >out in this thread.
> I do too, but for different reasons (and I'll note that some of our
> local members will disagree with me about this)
> It's nice to think that we could inspire more people to become Makers,
> but as a practical matter I don't think it's going to happen very
> often. In order to pay the rent, we need to attract the type of people
> who are 80% convinced the moment they walk in the door. Since targeted
> publicity is hard, we need general publicity as well, but the purpose
> of that should be to encourage people to pass the word to others who
> are already predisposed to join us. If that doesn't happen, we won't be
> around very long, because people who need a lot of convincing are going
> to balk at the cost, and we won't have enough members to be
> self-sustaining.
> This brings up an important difference between a "hackerspace" and a
> "makerspace"-- a "hackerspace" just needs enough room for people to
> hack on their laptops, so it can rent less space and therefore charge
> less for membership. A "makerspace" requires more square footage for
> shop space, and therefore has to charge more for membership. It has to
> find a large number of members who are willing to pay that higher cost
> for years at a time, and we need to focus on locating people like that.
> It's OK to also have members who join for a few months and then drop
> out, but you'll never attract enough of those to keep the doors open
> over the long run.
> Alternatively, if you want to be an educational institution, you will
> have to focus on that, at the expense of less time hacking on your own
> projects. You'll have to put some serious effort into getting grants to
> pay the costs of all that outreach. That will result in a very
> different organization. In theory you might be able to do both under
> one roof, but it would have to be two organizations sharing space,
> rather than one organization that can't decide what its real goal is.
> _______________________________________________
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