[hackerspaces] New Member Vetting

Michael Zeltner m at niij.org
Tue Sep 18 14:02:44 CEST 2012

Excerpts from Ben Brown's message of 2012-09-18 00:12:56 +0200:
> We've got an interesting topic going on our own discuss list about
> strengthening membership vetting, spawning from a member's experience in
> another organization that's now considering police checks for applicants.

Huh, that sounds very bureaucratic to me. Whatever works for you though.

Metalab in Vienna is open as in when a key member is at the space, they would
usually open the door for everyone that wants to come in. There's no background
checks, there's hardly a distinction between member and non-member - our rather
informal meetings to decide stuff is often attended by people who aren't even
members but who help regardless.

We usually tell people who show interest in becoming members to use the
dead-tree form only if they are really sure after two months of showing up
semi-regularly to make sure our bureaucratic overhead is kept to a minimum.

To become a key member you have to gain trust by just being around a lot -
eventually if the people who already have gained trust/reputation in the
community trust you too, you just ask for a key - it's a very organic process

For a space this open, it's been remarkable how well it works, how little is
broken (although broken stuff is inevitable in a group environment) and how
well everyone works with each other. There's lots of room for improvement but I
don't think anyone believes a stricter entry policy would make our space better
in any way.

Best, Michael
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