[hackerspaces] Member penalties

Ben Hibben the.blenster at gmail.com
Mon Feb 23 18:27:10 CET 2015

One thing we have done at the LVL1 hackerspace is setup a dedicated email
called broken at lvl1.org and it goes to a list of volunteers (and current
officers) who have indicated they are willing to sometimes come in and fix

At our weekly meetings we remind people of our "culture of cleanliness" and
attempt to get them to clean up after themselves but in our open-access
plan (our space is open to the public anytime a member is present to open
the space) this presents challenges.  We also remind people that breaking
things is part of what we do and encourage them to report them to the email
address.  There are also posters with the email address on the walls.

We used to maintain a list of things a volunteer could clean if they were
interested but didn't know what needed to be done.  Sadly this has fallen
off lately, probably due to our move to a new space.


On Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 10:39 AM, Robert Davidson <
robert at dallasmakerspace.org> wrote:

> @ Dallas Makerspace
> This is what we are doing
> https://dallasmakerspace.org/wiki/Rules_and_Policies#Storage
> We are approaching 700 members
> A couple key components
>    1. Clear Table Policy (This means when you leave a table it should be
>    100% clear of anything)
>    2. We have Cameras in all committee rooms (The BOD gave the
>    committee's a choice if they want a camera in there room over the past
>    couple years and now all of the rooms have a camera,I am not hear to argue
>    privacy but I can say that for us we saw less destruction of equipment and
>    people tend to be cleaner finally the admins can get 20/20 vision without
>    having to rely on member accounts of what happen this makes for a safer
>    organization.
>    3. We pay a cleaning crew to come out every week on the day of open
>    house to tidy up the place before the open house
>    4. Strict project storage, it needs to be clear that it is not
>    excellent to leave projects and tool out. (Before getting strict on this
>    the biggest complaint was having to clean up after others before able to do
>    anything
> We have never tried a volunteer credit program because we wanted all
> members to be on the same level.
> the other concern we had is the time to manage the volunteer program would
> just increase overall workload.
> If anyone is able to come up with a scale-able gamification system for
> volunteerism I would be extremely interested though.
> Robert Davidson
> On Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 8:00 AM, Ben Brown <ben at generik.ca> wrote:
>> A hackerspace that isn't messy is probably not used much ;)
>> We're approaching 70 members and we have a rotating cleaning duty roster
>> in place where three members are assigned a week and an area of the
>> space to tidy up. Some members can't do it because they live far away,
>> but they try and help in other ways (seasonal cleaning, etc). It's not
>> perfect -- sometimes things go a little longer than they should but it
>> works alright. The most critical stuff (getting stanky garbage out on
>> the curb) happens almost every week.
>> As for abusing equipment, we haven't had experience in anything
>> malicious, but things do break -- drill bits, bandsaw blades, 3D printer
>> extruders. Our laser gets a huge amount of use and we're our 2nd tube in
>> four years. We're fortunate enough to have a budget for equipment
>> maintenance, though we don't always use it as often as we maybe should.
>> We've never instituted anything like a 'volunteer credit' system in
>> place. We only have one tier of membership, and we've been very
>> resistant to adding discounted memberships in any way, whether it's
>> other tiers or credits for work in the space. It's just makes it simple
>> to predict our income (? members x $50), plus it helps promote the
>> mindset that we're all on the same level, and no one has any perceived
>> power over anyone else.
>> We don't want to have an atmosphere of penalizing volunteers or members
>> for not doing things like cleaning up, though some occasional indirect
>> shaming on our mailing list has happened ;). When someone wants to join,
>> we try and stress that even though everyone pays to access the space,
>> there are additional 'duties' expected as part of membership, like
>> helping keep the place tidy, or reporting when things break. So far, we
>> haven't had a member flat out refuse to do this, perhaps partly because
>> of the emphasis on those expectations in the beginning. Not to say that
>> will never happen though.
>> Ben
>> On 2/22/2015 11:33 PM, Bob Bownes wrote:
>> >
>> > We are having a problem with a few members who are abusing their
>> privileges. These are either our top tier members who have 24/7 access or
>> some of our volunteers who are failing at their volunteer duties. In either
>> case, we have members who are leaving the space a mess, or generally are
>> abusing equipment.
>> >
>> > Like many places, our members pay a monthly membership fee. Our
>> volunteers can get credit towards that fee for hours worked. Penalizing
>> volunteers is easy (take away the credit or the ability to volunteer) but
>> leads to fewer volunteers. Penalizing paying members is also hard.
>> >
>> > How are other spaces addressing this? Peer pressure alone is not
>> solving the problem.
>> >
>> > Thanks,
>> > Bob
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Discuss mailing list
>> > Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
>> > http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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