3.2 License. You hereby grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to Company and its affiliates and partners, an irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free and fully paid, worldwide license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and perform, prepare derivative works of, incorporate into other works, and otherwise use your User Content, and to grant sublicenses of the foregoing, solely for the purposes of including your User Content in the Site and Services. You agree to irrevocably waive (and cause to be waived) any claims and assertions of moral rights or attribution with respect to your User Content.
However, by posting, uploading, inputting, providing or submitting your content to Thingiverse.com, you are granting Thingiverse.com, its affiliated companies and partners, a worldwide, revocable, royalty-free, non-exclusive, sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, create derivative works of, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, transfer, transmit, distribute and publish that content for the purposes of displaying that content on Thingiverse.com and on other Web sites, devices and/or platforms.
What is less-than-awesome is the way both changes have been enacted by MakerBot Industries. It is one thing to publicly announce that you’re having to compromise on openness because building an open hardware business model is still pretty much uncharted territory and that you’re moving back to some enclosure and also stating what your goals for future openness are. It is another thing to do kind of omit it in the fanfare surrounding the launch of a new generation of your products, a new generation whose polish was made possible to a significant extent by all the people willing to put up with all the quirks, bugs and sometimes outright braindead engineering decisions embodied in your earlier generations, just because an open 3D-printing future is awesome.
Traveling to other Hackerspaces = GOOD
Spending a lot of money on Hotel fees = BAD
Introducing a project brought to you by the The Brain Tank, DC401, and Hackers like you, called “HackerHostel.com”.
*NOTE: This is an excellent opportunity to use your new Hackerspace Passport.
Negate one of the larger expenses associated with travel, namely HOTEL FEES, in order to further promote idea cross-pollination through visitor, ambassador, and Hacker In Residency programs for Hackerspaces.
A website that will allow users to view Hackerspaces with available sleeping quarters and to submit visitor proposals to participating Hackerspaces for review. Tell us about yourself and what you wish to teach during your stay at your Hackerspace of choice.
The website will help Hackerspaces manage their proposals, discuss Best Practices, as well as help raise money for spaces to spruce up their sleeping quarters if necessary.
Also, each Hackerspace would have some kind of profile detailing the space available, the kinds of classes they might be looking for, what tools facilities would be available to the HIR.
What better way to spend a short vacation than to learn something and teach others something new?
We can further innovation and the exchange of ideas over the course of a few days by removing those pesky physical borders.
Whatever you consider a comfortable place to stay for a brief period of time in your Hackerspace. Could be a hammock, place to put a sleeping bag, a couch, or actual bunk bed. If you’ve got a space to crash, you’ve got a Hacker Hostel. The amount of time you allow a Hacker in Residence to stay is entirely up to you.
We’ve begun setting up The Brain Tank in Providence RI as a testing ground already. We should be able to comfortably sleep 2 HIR’s (Hacker in Residence) on proper bunk beds. A volunteer will be living and innovating 24/7 at The Brain Tank helping us work out the bugs and blogging about their experience. It’s a really convenient and safe area to live in.
Things we have:
-The website domain name www.HackerHostel.com was graciously donated to us. Thank you very much, we couldn’t have done this without your generosity.
*If anyone at all wants to be part of this website build please contact me email@example.com , we could really use the help.
-Kayak (The Brain Tank is right next to a river through the city)
-E-bike (great for short distances)
-Servers and Terminals
-Tools & Scrap Electronics (lots of em)
-Hidden urban garden (great for relaxing or grilling outside)
-Tshirts (being designed as we speak. shirt slogan = “Sleep. Hack. Repeat.”)
Things we may need:
-Website (A very simple booking website would be necessary to make this work. I’ve never built one before and could def use a hand if anyone want’s to chip in.)
-Shower (wouldn’t cost more than $150 total to buy & install at The Brain Tank. Once we figure out the cheapest way to build a shower we’ll release the cost and build info to all)
-Kickstarter (we can generate funding and offer cash to other Hackerspaces to improve their sleeping quarters. This will also fund the website maintenance.)
What do you think should be added? Changed? etc…
Note: This project is soooo simple to put together and would have a significant benefit to Hacker Culture. Right now all I think it really needs is a VIDEO, a WEBSITE, and a properly formed statement/description. We’d be helping to break down the barriers associated with the inconvenience and expense of travel. Making it easier for great minds and talents to move around freely teaching each other what they know.
Yes, there’s quite a bit to figure out. Each Hackerspace is different and TRUST is a huge part of the success of this project. Having guests stay at your place is a very personal thing. But if complete strangers on CouchSurfing.com can do it, I think the Hackerspace Community will have even better success as we are in fact a strong Community.
If you have any ideas, questions, or would like to help in any way, please contact me and we’ll get the ball rolling.
To all the people on the good planet Earth, the crew of Tokyo HackerSpace has a message that we would like to send to you:
By now, everyone knows of the crisis in northern Japan. It will still be a few weeks before life is under control here. We are looking forward to the day that the power plants are safe and the tremors have subsided.
Many of our members have been cooped up in our homes waiting out the storm, but not laying idle.
The Japanese government is doing the best that they can to manage the crisis and help people who have lost loved ones, homes, utilities and possessions.
Tokyo HackerSpace has already begun to lay plans for projects which we feel can help the people of Japan, utilizing the best of our abilities and resources.
Our first course of action has been to order up the required parts for 150 solar powered LED lanterns. We will be assembling them here and shipping them up (or delivering by hand) to aid organizations. These lanterns provide just enough light so that people can feel safe at night without power, find their way in the dark, and maintain the sense of community. They charge during the day via the sun, and will help to light the way for 8 hours each night.
We also have on the way several geiger counters and geiger tubes, from which we will be making community sensors, in order to help to keep the public in harms way informed on a minute by minute and hour by hour basis. While the initial exposure has been low, our concern is the long term effects, food and water supply, and ground soil conditions over the next several months.
Or longer term projects include solar cell phone charging stations, low energy cooking equipment, internet, wifi, and laptop loans, and other technical concerns.
We are calling upon Hacker Spaces all over the world, and friends of Hacker Spaces, and friends of friends of Hacker Spaces, to help out.
Soon we will release a list of critical equipment and supplies which we may have difficulty sourcing locally. If you have access to anything on the list, please contact us to make shipping arrangements. If not, please DO NOT ship us anything not on the list (In some cases, it may be VERY specific). Items not on our list will only crowd our space and waste your shipping money and time. If you have something specific or unique you think we could use, feel free to send us an email and inquire.
In the meantime, we ask that anyone who can, please donate to only reputable charities. Or, if you prefer, you may donate directly to us, and we will utilize it for the above mentioned projects, or give the money directly to Japanese aid organizations known to be doing good work in the area.
You can donate via Paypal to theTHSstore@gmail.com
Yes, we know software developers are not necessarily hackers, and visa versa. Yes, we know they’re appropriating a word that’s been knocked about for the last forever, one that most of us stand up for and love. But, this event merits your attention because of the limited overlap between devs and hackers – they don’t think like we do, and that puts their potential good works in danger. We’re hoping you’ll attend this event, even for a bit, to help these do-gooders remember security risks and to push them in more interesting and elegant directions.
Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) is all about using technology to make the world a better place by building a community of innovation. RHoK brings software engineers together with disaster risk management experts to identify critical global challenges, and develop software to respond to them. A RHoK Hackathon event brings together the best and the brightest hackers from around the world, who volunteer their time to solve real-world problems.
When and Where for the Hackathon?
The second global #RHoK hackathon event takes place around the world on December 4- 5, 2010. There are multiple organizations in multiple cities hosting the event, so please check here to register and find out where to go! The event starts at 9:00am GMT on December 4th and ends December 5th at 8:00pm GMT.
Who Else is Hacking for Humanity?
Aarhus, Nairobi, Sao Paulo, Chicago, Bangalore, New York, Lusaka, Berlin, Toronto, Bogota, Atlanta, Jakarta, Birmingham and Open Data camps will be connected over the weekend through live video streaming channels, chat servers, Skype, Twitter, blogs, photo and video sharing as we collaborate across time zones, international borders and languages to “hack for humanity” – developing software solutions that will save lives and alleviate suffering.
We Need You
This event all comes down to you – we need your participation and support: sign up, and become part of something truly globally awesome!
The OpenDoor Hackathon is a hackathon to benefit the members of hacker/maker/artist/co-working spaces by creating a standardized, Open Source access and membership management system that can be used by everyone. At the end of the hackathon, the systems (or subsystems) created by each space will be voted upon, and the best system (or combination of systems) will be chosen. Implementing the system afterward is, of course, optional.
Why are we doing this?
I know, the word “standardized” sends chills down my spine too, but I assure you that this is a good thing! Deciding upon a common system would enable the following things:
The ability to share membership between spaces
Crowd-sourced security enhancements and feature additions
Easier membership management
A warm fuzzy feeling of being connected with other spaces
What we’re envisioning (and what many of you already have) is a sort of Reciprocikey or Space Passport system. We believe that the only way to create such an awesome system is to work together on it!
More Focus for your brain meats:
Prize of an Ice Tube Clock from Adafruit for the space who best implements the standardization of interface specification between custom softwares and access control. Each space will review submissions at x time on Sunday and rank the systems they would most like to use (you cannot vote for your own). The runner up will receive a Minty Boost pack.
You can also vote on best hardware system, most elegant code, best independent member management software – the top three of each will receive Minty Boost packs, also via Adafruit.
Software for access control (reads from memory stored users and network user databases)
Create a functional specification for how authentication can be done securely.
Software that manages membership rights (grants rights/features to users based on conditions specified by managers
Standardize an interface specification for how custom software can talk to the access control software interface.
example: 3rd party space has a member visiting, presents auth token.
example: someone wants to create a custom trusted UI (web, phone, etc.) for talking to the auth daemon
Web, phone, etc UI for membership management and access control software
Involve user interface management. See what tools people are using today to manage membership and build hooks in the software to manage access control, or build your own.
Hardware for reading identity (RFID reader, USB stick, etc.)
Build plug-ins to support common hardware (don’t get stuck on any given vendor).
When is the OpenDoor Hackathon?
The OpenDoor Hackathon will begin on Saturday, December 11th at 2pm PST, ending 24 hours later at 2pm PST on Sunday, December 12th.
How do I sign up?
You can register your space’s team at the Eventbrite here!
Yeah, it’s that time of the year again – Vienna has been turning from the sinister city covered in grey light and fog to the blooming summer oasis it’s designed to be, and people overflow with glee (or so do we, at least)! Time to be looking forward to PlumberCon 10, probably one of the snugliest and neighborliest hacker conferences ever heard of.
So what exactly should you be looking forward to, you might ask?
In fact, it’s hard to tell. In one paragraph of lifeless and almost anti-emotional text, that is. What could be mentioned, for instance, is that there’s not only gonna be a ton of interesting talks by speakers from all around the globe (which I’m really really excited about btw), but also multiple hands-on workshops and trainings. Presenters you’ll meet at PlumberCon 10 include neighbors like Mitch Altman, Jimmie P. Rodgers, Jeff Gough, Barry van Kampen, Kugg, Allessio Pennasilico, or Mike Kemp. Topics range from Information Warfare to fun with microcontrollers.
Basically, one could call it a schnuffeliges meeting of a very large family… I happen to call it a hacker con (but that’s just me )
Now, as of the bare basics I haven’t mentioned yet:
PlumberCon 10 will be held at WerkzeugH in Vienna, Austria from Friday, July 09th – Sunday, July 11th in the year of the hacker 2010. You can still register for the 3rd round of early bird tickets at the registration site until the end of the month, and I’d advise every hackerspace member to use the promo code ‘neighborliness flows’ to get a reduction on the ticket price – that, already as it is, will not lead us to profit but only cover a part of our expenses ^.^
Don’t forget to sign up for trainings beforehand wherever you find this requirement mentioned.
In any way, if you’re in town, make sure not to miss the epoque kick-off party on Friday night, where Phonoelit aka Mumpi and joernchen will provide us with their superior tunez that shall guide us safely through the night!
Back in 2008 at The Last HOPE, we said that Hackerspaces were possible everywhere and your excuses are invalid. We had an awesome Hackerspace Village and Hardware Hacking Area, and provided inspiration to hundreds of folks who would go on to build their own Hackerspaces all over the world.
It’s now 2010. Hackerspaces are everywhere and our rallying cry from 2008 has been heard all over the world. Spaces that kicked off the movement like NYCResistor and HacDC have matured and moved into larger quarters and spawned very successful startups from Open Source ideas. Spaces like Hive76 and AlphaOne Labs have proven that big cities need more than one Hackerspace. Now that we’re well on our way to “Hackerspaces Everywhere!”, we think it’s time to change the cry to “Hackerspaces Forever!”
“Hackerspaces Forever!” is the theme of The Hackerspace Village at The NEXT Hope and the panel discussion taking place at the next hope. In addition to a Hardware Hacking Area that’s in a prime position in the Mezzanine level, we have an awesome group of speakers lined up to tell you how their Hackerspaces are working on growing, expanding and being around for a very long time:
Mitch Altman (Noisebridge, San Francisco, USA)
Mitch likes to trick people into doing what they love to do
Sean Bonner (Crashspace, Los Angeles, USA / HackspaceSG, Singapore)
We’re not really sure what Sean Bonner does, but it’s awesome.
Johannes Grenzfurthner (hackbus.at, Vienna, Austria)
Writer, artist, director, DIY researcher
Markus “fin” Hametner (Metalab, Vienna, Austria)
Less serious than Nick Farr
Alexander Heid (HackMiami, Miami, FL, USA)
President, HackMiami and Co-Chair of South Florida OWASP
Nathan “JimShoe” Warner (Makers Local 256, Huntsville, AL, USA)
Former Chairman, Charter Member of Makers Local 256
Matt Joyce (NYC Resistor, Brooklyn, NY, USA)
Once Banned from HOPE, twice spoken at HOPE
Carlyn Maw (Crashspace, Los Angeles, CA, USA)
Crashpace Cat Herder and canonical source of awesomeness
Far McKon (Hive 76, Philadelphia, PA, USA)
Co-Founder of Hive76, Instigator of weird and interesting projects, and a ginger
psytek (Alpha One Labs, Brooklyn, NY, USA)
Inventor and engineer currently building a Flying Saucer at Alpha One Labs.
The “Hackerspaces Forever!” panel will be moderated by Nick Farr.
The recent history of what has happened at “the Forsk“, a hackerspace in Malmö, Sweden before and after the police raid(s).
Let’s start with a timeline to give you a quick round-up of where we are, since unfortunately many articles referred to are written in Swedish.
At this point (22-01-2010) there are still no allegations concerning the hackerspace, but in statements towards press people, these terms get mentioned:
“Preparation for Grand Theft”
“Breaking of the special knife law”
“Breaking alcohol laws”
Asked about these allegations, the prosecutor claimed that this is nothing they will press charges on. (or something similar)
When we ask the police to return our stuff, they say no as they haven’t been able to use or understand any of the data they
cloned of any of the disks. For this reason, they decide to keep the machines to bargain with.
(one laptop unrelated to the hackerspace is handed back, but is totally wrecked (one disk is overwritten with garbage data, dvd-player is broken))
Police contacts employers and relatives to people in the hackerspace to push them in to give up information on people in hackerspace and what “passwords” they may have.
Police decides to hand back ink, wifi-antenna, Linksys-router and three out of ten bus cards.
Police raids founder of hackerspace grill-bit (MMN-o) in Swedish city Umeå (and blog host for forskningsavd). During this bust, the police confiscates four servers, one laptop and one external USB-drive. The forskningsavd.se blog goes offline due to the raid.
The police accuses MMN-o of computer intrusion, prosecutors disagree on the charges but continue with charges.
The charges are based on MMN-o using the Internet connection at his rented office to set up a VPN.
According to the ISP this VPN disturbed the service for other customers since it was “complex to limit its bandwidth” and this type
of connection was not agreed upon. Further the ISP refused to contact MMN-o in person since this would “give him a chance to remove
something illegal before the raid”.
Here is an article written by MMN-o in Swedish
More recently he made this statement, as an argument to why police had decided to put “thepiratebay.org” in the countrywide DNS filter against childporn:
“The police have documented evidence that child-pornographic content is
hosted at The Pirate Bay”
“This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man.“
We will not be victims, we wil continue we will grow and we will
learn, build, recycle and change!
Forskningsavdelningen means Research Department. “Forskning” is the
idea of analyzing circumstances and document them to learn and change
behaviour. Our department are good at this. We are not sad, hurt,
outraged or offended we are innovation we are change we are friendship
and we “forsk” our way to the future. We will not excuse our selves
for our curiosity.
as of yesterday afternoon, our fellow hacker, amazingly talented game and graphic designer, and wonderful friend Florian Hufsky aka oneup (aka geeq, aka no_skill) is no longer with us.
Some of you might remember his beautiful game ideas for Super Mario War or Puit Universe, the 72 dpi Army, and Urban Takeover (later ClaimSpotting), but also the work for GRL Vienna and laser tagging, and Planet; or him being spokesperson of the Austrian Pirate Party, founding member of soup.io, just as well as an amazing graphic designer and comics artist,… and I could maybe continue this unordered braindump of a silly attempt to make a list of all the projects he’d been involved in for eternity and a day, but – never will I be able to embrace the sheer endlessness of his very original, both incredibly inspired and inspiring, geek-artistic output.
Metalab has lost one of its most creative hackers, and the world one of its most beautiful minds.
The one quote of his that came to my mind right after we heard the terrible news was, ‘When in doubt, do it (you have no chance to survive, make your time)’ – and that, I believe, is what held true for all his life.
R.I.P. Florian Hufsky | November 13th, 1986 – December 16th, 2009
While tears choke the words, I have to admit to fail at expressing my deepest sorrow.
Much love and sincerest condolences to all friends and relatives.
And we all go together if one falls down, we talk out loud like you’re still around; and we miss you.
One point I glossed over is why I believe that money and organizational forms are so intertwined when it comes to hackerspaces. This series could have been called, “Hackerspaces and Organizational Forms: Five Approaches.” Admittedly, I’m not talking much about money, how to find it, raise it or spend it. I haven’t talked much about fundraising, accounting or project management, though I plan to in the future. In my observation, what happens in Hackerspaces doesn’t need to be managed or carefully organized. Once Hackers gather in a space, they’ll begin creating and collaborating in ways that are remarkably similar regardless of culture, language or organizational form. Projects and programs that happen in one space can easily happen in other spaces, only marginally constrained by the organizational form in practice.
I believe the “magic” that happens in Hackerspaces is universal, as are the two necessary evils: Money and how to manage it. Being physical spaces, Hackerspaces have real costs and real opportunities for meeting those costs. Being collaborative spaces, the procedure for paying the bills involves some kind of relationship among the collaborators–that relationship is what we’re looking at when we discuss organizational forms. Failing to understand this relationship among the collaborators makes any discussion of funding very difficult. At the same time, carefully understanding these relationships as they’ve happened elsewhere gives future Hackerspaces the best chance of finding the right form for their own effort.
These forms are also heavily tied to the core source of income for each space. The Anarchy form, for example, implies that the rents for a space are essentially appropriated. The Angel form implies that they’re donated. The Owner form implies that they’re taken care of by a single participant, who generally subsidizes them. Both the Board and Membership forms implies that these costs are paid collectively by the participants, most often through membership dues. Hackerspaces, regardless of form, can solicit donations from the public, host classes for a fee, throw rent parties, sell shirts online, or Club-Mate in the space. However, each of those activities is handled differently depending on the form.
The Board Form
The Artifactory, Kwartzlab, Collexion, and Revelation Space are all different examples of the “Board” form. While each space heavily relies on its membership, each space has an involved subset of members that makes decisions. In a way, the “Board Form” is the least well-defined of the five forms and most prone to combination with other forms. Founder Todd Wiley describes Collexion as a hybrid of the Angel and Board forms:
Our board consists of people from our local chamber of commerce, universities, and higher ups at the local big-name tech companies (Lexmark & HP). This helps give us the legitimacy we need to raise funds. The board likes that they are fostering innovation, and see it is an economic development boost, because Lexington loves brains more than zombies do. The board is glad to help us organize things, find money, and host events, but most ideas come from the membership, where there isn’t a set hierarchy…By relying on outside sources we’re going to make membership as accessible as possible ($5 / month for students). The less barriers there are to experimenting the better…I think it will be successful, and free up hackers to hack, and those that are interested enough can take the reins and try to find monies.
As you might remember, we from revspace (den haag) were in doubt about the structure to choose. In the end we settled for the ‘stichting’, basically number four, mixed with elements of a ‘vereniging’, number 5. The board is ultimately responsible, however we define ‘participants’ that have the right to install and deinstall the board, as well as advise the board.
In many cases, a Membership space will have a Board of Directors. However, this doesn’t mean the space is taking on a Board Form, especially when a Board is required by corporate law.
The functional power that board has is the determining factor. If the Board is essentially a paper tiger, with the membership in functional control of affairs, the space is probably best suited to the Membership form. Punkin describes Kwartzlab as an example:
Legally, we’re Corporation Without Share Capital (Not-for-Profit), which matches “The Board”. We opted not to register as a Co-operative (which would more closely match “The Membership”), because the laws governing Co-operatives are more restrictive, without offering us any useful benefits. But the Co-operative or “Membership” philosophy closely matches our vision for the space, so we borrow heavily from it in our bylaws, policies, and procedures…We are 100% member funded (with all members paying the same level of dues), which was also very important to our initial membership. Any of the big decisions (like how much dues will be) are subject to a member vote, and all members-in-good-standing get an equal vote.
So, for lack of a better definition, if your space is primarily controlled by your members, it follows the Membership form. If the members leave most of the decisions and money matters to a subset, it probably follows the Board form. Landing firmly in one category or another is not necessarily that important, as long as the relationships of each are well understood. Some Membership spaces may functionally slip back into a Board form, just like Board spaces often migrate into Membership spaces, or use the Board form as a bootstrapping step.
David Cake describes how the Artifactory is using the Board Form to bootstrap their way into a Membership Hackerspace:
Our brand new Perth space is a board elected by the membership, and so far while the board has been doing a lot of the work and taking the lead on a lot of the decisions, meetings with the entire members are making most of the major decisions. So I guess we fit into the membership category really, even though the board are making a lot of important decisions in the process of getting us up and running.
Makers Local 256 is a non-profit 501c3 and would be considered “the membership” based, but I guess started out as “the board” based since the board is the original 10 members (changing soon given new bylaws and elections).
Makers Local 256 followed the critical mass pattern in establishing their hackerspace, with their original 10 members fulfilling the role of the 2+2 model. Their unique dues model describes how a Board can help build membership in the early stages:
The original 10 pledged a monthly donation that they could afford and we found a space that fit within that budget. We decided that extending this to new membership was a good idea and so we don’t have to turn away someone who might offer a lot but might not have a lot of money. A monthly pledge doesn’t have to be monetary but does fall under board discretion to ensure that said pledge benefits the space.
Especially when bootstrapping, a board can bring the agility needed to get things off the ground. Especially in the first weeks/months a lot of decisions need to be made, while at the same time the membership is still getting used to each other and the whole idea. Having to discuss all these decisions with the membership at large (apart from the fact that we currently have no actual membership defined as we are still in the process of forming the legal entity) will slow down the process of setting up the space a lot.
Of course, we, as a board, are listening closely to what the potential membership wants, and actively seek the opinion of everyone involved in the space. In any volunteer-driven organization you will see different levels of commitment. In my experience, those that become part of the board have a high level of commitment, and don’t mind pulling in a few extra hours for the greater good.
The notable advantages of a Board space are formal organization with less administrative overhead from the participants, as well a greater degree of formal control vested in fewer people. In most cases where there isn’t a hybrid form with another style of organization, the advantages are remarkably similar to those of a Membershp organization. Here, I’m looking at advantages of a Board form
Anarchy: Board spaces are (generally) official legal structures with explicit expectations and guidelines for operation and more stable bases of operation.
Angel: Most Angel arrangements take on some kind of Board form. As in the case with Collexion, these Angels offer advice and consult with the organization through their board. The advantages of having a board include greater independence. In the hybrid form, the advantage of having a board generally involves a defined role for the Angels and the ability to swap or separate Angels if need be.
The Owner: Sometimes an Owner space will have a small, informal group of advisers. However, the purpose of a Board is to have a group of people who make decisions as a group on behalf of the stakeholders. In this case, the Board is somewhat accountable to its stakeholders whereas Owners may not be as accountable. Board spaces generally offer greater freedom and flexibility and rarely exercise a kind of “veto power” that Owners have by default.
Membership: Board run organizations tend to mediate disputes and prevent certain routine issues from getting to the Membership level. Generally, this means more time for members to enjoy their space.
The notable disadvantages over alternative forms are also similar to the Membership form:
Anarchy: Board spaces must periodically file paperwork, support the space through dues, stay on top of other legal requirements and fulfill their stated obligations. This leaves less time for projects, hanging out, etc.
Angel: In the non-Angel form, Board members are often saddled with the heavy burden of coming up with the funds to run the space, and make tough calls on funding issues.
The Owner: Instead of having an owner to rely on for collecting and paying the rent, easily making special arrangements, mitigating disagreements among participants and having one “final say” on matters, Board members must come to agreement on certain issues or figure out ways to work around issues.
Membership: Ultimately, the Board is responsible for issues and decisions that otherwise might have been made by the membership. While the Board can occasionally punt, even a routine decision may run afowl of the membership and lead to difficulties.
Another disadvantage cited by Martens is what he describes as an anti-pattern of complacency:
…some members may fall into a consumer-like attitude. Expect the board to do the heavy lifting, and merely consume what the spaces makes available. The board members, by nature, will have a tendency to pick up work that is left undone, because they have a strong drive to ‘make it work’. That might lead to overworked board members, an apathetic membership, and failure of the space. That’s a doom scenario, and normally there will be someone to pull on the emergency brake before this happens. But still, something to be aware of I think.
The Board form is good for Bootstrapping, and depending on the environment, a next best form to the Membership model. Hackers are generally bad at paperwork and group dynamics, so having a Board to take care of the administrative overhead and mediate disputes can help ensure continuity and sustainability. It also works well as a hybrid with other forms, or as a means for acting as a firewall between Angels, Owners and Members. But beware of complacency!
As always, feel free to ask questions on the Hackerspaces Discuss list, or reach out to these spaces directly.