[hackerspaces] Starting a hackerspace ( Winchester Va)

ITechGeek itg at itechgeek.com
Thu Sep 29 09:17:28 CEST 2011

In terms of laws, check w/ Reverse Space and 757 Labs (Hampton Roads
area-http://757labs.org/), they can help you out w/ the Virginia laws
that might apply to a Hackerspace.

If no one from 757 Labs is on this list, I should have the email
address for someone down there (or can get it easily enough) for you.

On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 2:57 AM, Nathaniel Bezanson <myself at telcodata.us> wrote:
> To add slightly to what others have said:
> "Find the others" is the most important bit. Attracting them is easier
> than hunting them, so get in social mode and advertise your brains out...
> Come up with a name, register a domain name, and start a bloggity thing.
> If you're not struck immediately with an awesome "gotta have it" name,
> just register something generic like "winchester hackerspace". If
> something perfect comes along, you can switch, but you might already have
> good name recognition under the generic. And it's good for SEO.
> Kill some trees -- paper flyers can work, especially if you have a local
> DIY fair or something where you can get a table. They reach people that
> might not think to search for you online, and that diversity of interests
> is important. You mentioned that the local 2600 is defunct, but those
> people still hang out somewhere. Find them.
> Realize that the point of having a space is to provide resources and
> opportunities for people. To some extent, you can do that without a
> dedicated space, just by meeting and talking in whatever locations are
> available. Reap the rewards of collaborative projects and publish writeups
> of their outcomes, to show people what your group is about. The fact that
> the physical space is forthcoming, well, that's just a detail.
> Find someone who knows about things like insurance, certificates of
> occupancy, fire code, all that jazz. Learning it yourself often involves
> expensive mistakes.
> Find someone who knows about incorporation, state business paperwork,
> taxes, and stuff like that. If you need bylaws, start with a generic set
> and tweak to your needs, rather than starting fresh. (Blending in isn't a
> bad thing, in terms of government rubberstamps.)
> Find someone who knows about PR and social media. If you shudder and
> squirm at the very terms (like I do), it may be very difficult to cozy up
> to such an individual. It's a bullet that must be bitten.
> If you know people with these skills, who you think might have the time
> and energy to devote to such an endeavor, but they don't have the bug yet,
> it's roadtrip time. And not a whirlwind tour -- the more time your
> fledgling core group can spend at other spaces getting a feel for how they
> operate, the better.
> Start collecting dues as soon as you have a treasurer to keep them. If
> people will chip in a few bucks each time they attend a function, you'll
> be surprised how fast the money grows.
> In real-estate terms, aim low. "Plan to throw the first one away", as the
> software people say. We (i3 Detroit) moved after about a year, into a
> space that we couldn't possibly have started in. But we operated spaceless
> for several months before even looking at real estate.
> Good luck!
> And do keep us posted on your progress...
> -Nate-
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