[hackerspaces] Hackerspaces Re:Foundation (Was Re: Abuse Of Power)

Matt Joyce matt at nycresistor.com
Sat Apr 13 21:36:03 CEST 2013

Great input and similar opinion to my own.

On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 12:32 PM, Randall G. Arnold <
randall.arnold at texrat.net> wrote:

> **
>  >
> > I'm not sure though, that incorporating a foundation would help bring
> > attention back. I'm not sure either it wouldn't. Thought?
> >
> > ==
> > hk
>  I'm new to this list but not new to making and open source endeavors.
>  Several years ago as a Nokia employee I helped get a once-popular open
> source community going: http://maemo.org.  The original model was clearly
> split between commercial (Nokia) and community interests; Nokia owned the
> product but to its credit made as much of Maemo open sourced as it could
> (while coveting the portions that made that opening financially feasible).
> Nokia maintained a mostly hands-off position on governance... that was left
> to the community.  All Nokia asked for was clear input from the community,
> which was often difficult to obtain in a leadership vacuum.
>  As we grew it became obvious that we needed *some* form of organization
> and leadership.  I think most of us on this list understand and agree that
> the majority of any community looks for leadership but won't step up to
> provide it.  The leaders in such cases tend to be easily-identifiable
> though-- they are the ones constantly Doing Stuff even as names and agendas
> and resources come and go.
>  In the case of maemo.org, I proposed the need for a council and the de
> facto leaders agreed.  The Doers hammered out a framework and we held
> elections.  No surprise: the rank and file nominated the obvious leaders
> time and time again and that's who served.  I did so three times.
>  The only real drama to emerge in all of this was when Nokia pulled the
> plug on Maemo (and later, MeeGo) and left a funding vacuum.  I reluctantly
> left the community as its purpose evaporated.
>  Sorry for rambling... I have a point somewhere and trying to get to it.
>  In the case of Makerspaces there is no real product, which actually
> benefits us.  There is no corporate entity, really, to which we are
> beholden.  On the surface, though, that means  the absence of a single
> guiding force that identifies purpose.  Some can say that in our world
> O'Reilly is or means to be that force... but as noted, they have a
> financial agenda of their own that may often get in the way of maker/hacker
> goals.
>  All this longwinded stuff said, I think we can borrow from maemo.org and
> similar models and allow O'Reilly to be the "Nokia" of the venture IF they
> are willing to play the same sort of role: support, but hands-off for
> governance.  Nokia benefited significantly by enabling the Maemo community
> to just do our thing, in useful feedback, PR, best practice development,
> etc.
>  I have taken what I learned from the Maemo experience to help create a
> local umbrella foundation for Make activity.  We're still young but so far
> our approach seems to be working.  We are growing in a VERY conservative
> region that seems allergic to collaborative development models.
>  Ultimately this sort of endeavor is meritocratic and the leaders easy to
> identify.  Again, they are Doing Stuff-- even contributing to discussion
> here counts.   I say we support them in developing a governance solution,
> be it a council, foundation or what have you.  No one should have to beg
> permission IMO-- I am sure there are enough Doers in this community to Just
> Do It.  And Matt seems like an awesome resource but if he bore the burden
> alone IMO that's an epic community fail.
>  Randall Arnold
>  co-founder/director, Tarrant County Maker Community Foundation (dba Fort
> Worth Makerspace)
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