Creating Hackerspaces

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Creating Hackerspaces

Postby n0lkk » December 22nd, 2011, 8:55 pm

I popped over here to the forums after reading some of the latest on the hackaday post Chinese hackerspaces thinking, surely there would be a forum topic on the subject of creating a hackerspace. However using the search function to look for hackerspace or hackerspaces didn't turn up the discussion I was looking for. In the event I overlooked anything, and am bringing up something cover elsewhere, please accept my apologies, and direct me to the appropriate area. In the meantime I'll be continuing on here assuming the topic doesn't exist.


In my own life there are many factors that could soon lead to me loosing forever, my ability to maintain my own personal workspace that I own outright. I have to believe that there are who have been disable, are already retired, or will soon retire who have already lost their own private work spaces, and are facing the prospect. Not to mention who never had, nor never will had the luxury of a private workspace. I see I'm limited to 6K characters, but I don't see a character counter, so I use this as my initial post, and post other thoughts in additional posts.
Last edited by n0lkk on December 22nd, 2011, 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Creating Hackerspaces

Postby n0lkk » December 22nd, 2011, 9:20 pm

Not working as I expected so I hope this works well. I used hackerspaces in the subject, in consideration of whose forums I'm using. Considering the baggage that comes with hacker it's probably best not to to use it when trying form a "hackerspace" in our communities, even makerspace will require a bit of explaining to those unfamiliar with the concept. Builderspace may be the less threatening term I have seen used to date, again even that doesn't really explain it. I suppose the concept will always require a bit of explaining regardless of the term used, but choosing the less threatening term hopefully would mean the doors to peoples minds aren't slammed shut before one has a chance to discus it further.
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Re: Creating Hackerspaces

Postby Osgeld » December 22nd, 2011, 11:11 pm

I dunno, I have been kicking around the idea for a little while, in my area there is a LOT of technical people and there is in fact a couple hacker spaces near by in relative terms. But when your looking at at least an hour for one, or a couple for the other, and the only real electronics store is in the middle ... it brings up a question

Is this an underserved area looking for more, or an overserved area that really could not care less?

Then you get into rent spaces, serious equipment, legal terms and insurance (so when johnny thinks that wood blade on the band saw is good enough for metal and it snaps slashing his face wide open, your not living in a cardboard box for the rest of your life under a million dollar ambulance chaser lawsuit) it starts to become a bit more daunting unless you and some buddies are already doing it in bills basement and wish to expand more

and though I am only 32, I have been dealing with your issue for a while, I grew up in a fully functional workshop, and though it technically still exist its kind of buried under "dad's new found love of not messing with crap", and a decent amount of distance away (yea I am not driving over an hour to use a bandsaw for 15 seconds), there has been a few million times over the last decade I have sat there and wished I could just run out to the garage

Though it does make you a bit more creative on how you look at projects
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Re: Creating Hackerspaces

Postby GaspingSpark » December 23rd, 2011, 11:08 am

I think "Community Workshop" is probably the least threatening term I can think of to describe these places. But it doesn't do justice to the actual Hackerspace concept. But when pitching the idea to people unfamiliar with the concept it will work.

For information on Hackerspaces, this website is the "official" place to get information:

http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/Hackerspaces

I think the people who who have already started a Hackerspace are the best people to ask about starting a new one. The website above contains links to existing spaces. You can get in touch with a couple of the founders in other spaces in your geographic area and ask them.

The Hackerspace community as a whole also has various communications methods setup so that you can discuss them: http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/Communication

Beyond that, you can try writing letters to your local government, chambers of commerce, nonprofits, and clubs to pitch the idea of a "Community Workshop" and that you're looking for space to set one up and other people to help you get one started.
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Re: Creating Hackerspaces

Postby n0lkk » December 27th, 2011, 1:46 pm

Yes; while the Hackaday post that prompted me to start this forum topic was, about the government of China funding hackerspaces, I do believe it will be at the local government level where the most support, and help would or could be found. Most cities or towns that really try have a recreation commission. and often the recreation supported goes beyond physical competitive sports. Personally that's where I hope to begin in my community. I'm not going to be searching for any physical space in the beginning other a meeting room that could be used for educational purposes, or small projects where the builders can bring their own small tool kit to work with, like how some amateur radio clubs build small electronic project or antennas that their members could use in their stations. Anything that will build interest, and create a cadre of persons willing to work together to create a larger more elaborate space, how that comes about for any location will depend on a million plus unique circumstances. The hackersoaces.org wiki look to be great resource. I have yet to create a webpage on the topic that I can ask the movers, and shakers to review, so I can see if it would have any support at all, I also will be posting the web page address on the free to use resources to peak to interest of possible users of such a space. Thanks for the input.
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Re: Creating Hackerspaces Responding to points made by Osgel

Postby n0lkk » December 27th, 2011, 7:35 pm

I'm living in a rural area in the Western half of Kansas, USA to best of my knowledge there is no service of this kind at all, and the closest I have found are 5 hours away, those who have bothered to make their existence known anyway. Perhaps in general this area could care less on way or another. I tend to try to determine that, and created this subject partly as a fishing expedition for the real world (USA) experience of others, also to have something her in the event others come looking for the same information later on.

I have no illusions as creating such a space is easy, but nothing is served by overstating the difficulties. Any group creating, and operating such a space will definitely needs to become a non-profit corporation at some point if they expect to attract donations, and members that are knowledgeable in one or many fields, and are willing to teach. Being a non-profit corporation means that the group's business needs to be done in a business like manner. There is no protection at all for willful negligence, so there will have to be rules, and rules enforced. I guess I'm sending the "hackers" scurrying with that. Back to "Bill's" basement, hoping Bill has his home owners insurance paid, assuming they think that far ahead. Oh well.
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Re: Creating Hackerspaces

Postby tom61 » December 30th, 2011, 1:28 am

Try at fairs of various sorts, I know there's a fair number that pop up here in rural Missouri. Vintage tractor shows have people that can can and do make their own parts, it's pretty much the only way to keep the old machines going. It's a different tech level than you're probably thinking of for a hacker space, but maybe there's flexibility both ways. If you're willing to reach out to the more Craft crowd, there's quilting and knitting clubs all over. Different skill sets, but they still think that hand's on is important. For both, you'd have a pass-along possibility to spouses that might be more into what you have in mind (I'm guessing electronics).
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Re: Creating Hackerspaces

Postby WhiteCrane » December 31st, 2011, 3:23 pm

NPR did a little show on this same subject.
http://www.npr.org/2011/12/10/143401182/libraries-make-room-for-high-tech-hackerspaces

Basically, they push public library's as the best option. I tend to agree too. Who doesn't feel comfortable going to library? They also don't have a problem calling them hackerspaces.
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Re: Creating Hackerspaces

Postby n0lkk » January 13th, 2012, 11:59 am

tom61 wrote:Try at fairs of various sorts, I know there's a fair number that pop up here in rural Missouri. Vintage tractor shows have people that can can and do make their own parts, it's pretty much the only way to keep the old machines going. It's a different tech level than you're probably thinking of for a hacker space, but maybe there's flexibility both ways. If you're willing to reach out to the more Craft crowd, there's quilting and knitting clubs all over. Different skill sets, but they still think that hand's on is important. For both, you'd have a pass-along possibility to spouses that might be more into what you have in mind (I'm guessing electronics).

There is an antique tractor, and engine club in my county, I never thought about running the hackerspace concept by them. Quilting groups exist here as well. As indicated in my initial post I'm thinking along the lines of a builder space,and using the term hackerspace because it's the term being used by most creating public builder spaces. I'm of the mind of, if a public space is created, it should be open to all craft-persons to use as they need. thank for the input.
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Re: Creating Hackerspaces

Postby n0lkk » January 13th, 2012, 12:20 pm

WhiteCrane wrote:NPR did a little show on this same subject.
http://www.npr.org/2011/12/10/143401182/libraries-make-room-for-high-tech-hackerspaces

Basically, they push public library's as the best option. I tend to agree too. Who doesn't feel comfortable going to library? They also don't have a problem calling them hackerspaces.


Thank you for the link to the NPR article, I will use it while trying to create or judge an interest here. Who would have or don't have a problem with the term hackerspace is very relative to the person hearing it. I really doubt if those who would use a hackerspace would feel uncomfortable using it after they non-threatening nature of the term. Even builder space will require a level of explaining, and hackerspace adds an additional level of explaining The libraries around here don't have the room to have a hackerspace. The 2 larger small cities in my county, couldn't accommodate a 50' trailer, and still have parking at their libraries.
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