[hackerspaces] Who currently has the best, most functional hackerspace model?

Joshua Pritt ramgarden at gmail.com
Tue Jul 5 04:17:56 CEST 2016

Our setup at Melbourne Makerspace seems to be working ok:
We have new members fill out the google form for contact info and emergency
contact info as well as digital signature for understanding the dangerous
tools, etc.
Then they use the WooCommerce wordpress plugin for their dues/donations:
We also make sure they visit our open house, show n tell, or classes at
least 3 times (so we get to know them and they get to know us).

Finally we put their info into Seltzer and assign them an RFID key card via
our ACON (Access Control) system.

Then our treasurer just runs the monthly billing in Seltzer and imports all
the payments from Paypal to keep everyone's balance updated in the DB.
Our treasurer will also manually enter cash, check, etc. payments each

Our ACON system will automatically deny someone's RFID key if they miss 3
months of payments.

We also ask how people find out about us and a little over 50% seem to find
us through our Meetup.com page:
A good chunk of the rest find us with a google search for local makerspaces.

Most of our classes have been taught by just 3 or 4 of our core members
that are also board members.

We advertise our classes on our Meetup.com page and our website.  We also
have our graphic artist member make flyers and we post them in coffee
shops, restaurants, libraries, etc.
We are about to try asking the local pizza places if they will put one of
our mini flyers on every pizza they deliver to help advertise our events.

We are thinking about doing another retro gaming night since that seemed to
attract a lot of attention!

On Mon, Jul 4, 2016 at 9:03 PM, Shirley Hicks <shirley at velochicdesign.com>

> On Jul 4, 2016, at 5:32 PM, Christopher Agocs <chris at agocs.org> wrote:
> The South Side Hackerspace: Chicago is clearly the best.
> Chris Agocs
> SSH:Chicago
> For real, though, what are some problem areas RMM is seein
> Implementing next version of membership management system has been slower
> than I would like - currently stuck on the PayPal IPN integration (have
> waved at our local WP devs, but haven’t yet sat down with the one I’ll be
> working with to get past this one thing. This is the biggy - the people
> with the skills haven’t had the time, and while I’ve been learning as fast
> as I can go, I’ve gotten stuck on a couple of things). And as a result, our
> onboarding of new members is not completely smooth, and we’ve had a lot
> more member churn than we would like.
> Finding instructors for classes. (we pay them). Getting word out about
> events in a fractured media environment. We’re building email lists, but
> it’s taking time.
> Getting good safety practices documented and in place.
> Because we didn’t move into an industrial space, we had about an 18 month
> delay in getting a higher level of activity going. We had to do significant
> work to the space to get it adapted. That took more time, money and energy
> than anticipated.
> None of our current crew has grant-writing experience. We’re working
> through that, but it seems like a big task.
> Also, working with a local social entrepreneur to work a makerspace into a
> local city studio/workshop proposal - so being able to compare what we’re
> doing now to what management tools other spaces are choosing would be
> useful. Our city arts and tech leaders aren’t strong in this area - we are
> the subject matter experts.
> Shirley HIcks
> Red Mountain Makers
> Birmingham, AL
> On Jul 4, 2016 5:26 PM, "Dominic Canare" <dom at makeict.org> wrote:
>>    1. You'll need to define "best"
>>    2. Every single market is different, so even with a well-defined
>>    metric for what you're seeking to achieve or demonstrate, it probably won't
>>    be that generalizable
>> *Dominic Canare*
>> Immediate Past President, MakeICT
>> On Mon, Jul 4, 2016 at 5:11 PM, Shirley Hicks <shirley at velochicdesign.com
>> > wrote:
>>> Hey everyone,
>>> For those of you who visit other hackerspaces, who has the best
>>> financial and operational model? What organizational models have you looked
>>> at/borrowed from in order to improve your space? Looking for a couple to
>>> study in an effort to improve how the Red Mountain Makers is operating.
>>> Shirley Hicks
>>> Red Mountain Makers
>>> Birmingham, AL
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