[hackerspaces] Member penalties

Bob Bownes bownes at gmail.com
Mon Feb 23 23:34:18 CET 2015

Yes, we have a volunteer coordinator who tracks the volunteer scheduling,
hours and credits.

I find it interesting that several of you mentioned that having volunteers
creates 'different classes'. We have not seen anything to indicate that
anyone feels that volunteers constitute a different class of members. They
don't have any additional privileges, just pitching in helps by getting
them a discount on membership.

On Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 12:49 PM, Edward L Platt <ed at elplatt.com> wrote:

> Some things that have helped at i3 Detroit:
> * Clear surface policy *stenciled onto all surfaces*
> * Parking ticket system for any large projects that are out of place.
> Works well because it's only used as needed. It gives the owner a
> reasonable amount of time to respond before anyone can move/toss the
> offending project.
> Things I've seen work elsewhere:
> * Having a volunteer coordinator to help track volunteer hours and confirm
> that they're getting done. Periodically, privileges like storage, machine
> time, etc. can be redistributed based on volunteer hours.
> Things that are really hard and I don't know how to fix:
> * When people leave clutter, garbage, and small stuff laying around.
> -Ed
> On Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 12:27 PM, Ben Hibben <the.blenster at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> 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
>> things.
>> 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.
>> Blenster
>> 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
>>>> > _______________________________________________
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> --
> Edward L. Platt
> http://elplatt.com
> http://civic.mit.edu/users/elplatt
> http://i3detroit.com
> @elplatt <http://twitter.com/elplatt>
> This electronic mail message was sent from my desktop personal computer.
> Please forgive any long-winded, overly-prosaic ramblings.
> _______________________________________________
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