One of the key reasons we set up the Hack613 space was to have a great place for meetups and communal activities. Also to have a place for peoples’ projects, workshops, to share tools and have a convenient central location for their activities. Further to have relevant tools with high availability (no long queues and schedule conflicts).
Let’s discuss the regular Wednesday meetups we’ve been having over the years. Here are some of the ideas:
Pubs. They’re a great place for meetups since they’re neutral, self cleaning and have food and drink. These chaotic and fun environments are a lot of fun and give the group some visibility in some cases. On the downside you tend to have to be in constant communication with the staff and meet thresholds to keep the bookings. Another community I’m very involved with holds the booking by guaranteeing $500 of business.
Other Public Spaces. Places like the Nepean Library, Central Library, Ottawa University Makerspace have some awesome spaces to meet. There are some interesting tools with varying availability (Nepean lets us have one of the lasers). They tend to be free but do require some volunteer work to maintain relationships with the venues and ensure there is a time and place for the meetups.
Our own makerspace. This is a good option because it has space, tools (can have proximity to social districts for bringing in food etc.) plus there can be breakoff spaces such as lounges, kitchen and boardrooms. On the downside there are expenses for the space, consumables and there needs to be someone to clean up, take out garbage, vacuum and so forth.
What do you want with meetups?
This discussion can take place in the comments of this post and at the meetups of course. I look forward to hearing what you all think.
What do you want in a makerspace?
A makerspace is great for meetups but is also for much more than that. I’d like to invite people to continue this discussion as well to see if we still have critical mass for a project like that.
Of course this discussion can take place in the comments here and at the meetups. I’d like to favor people who are genuinely interested in supporting such a space so a separate regular meeting might be in order. If your want to be a member, let’s talk about when this regular meeting could be. I’d propose this extra meeting be just before or after any existing regular meetups but look forward to other ideas.
Thanks to member Sean and his successful germination project we now have two Avocado trees! I’ve also got holy basil, sweet basil, dark basil, Italian basil and stuff like that on the go. So let me know if you want to start some sprouts or have a pot to bring some home!
Way back in the old days at Artengine, there was this very cool initiative called something like “Have a Part, Need a Part” or something like that. I believe it was initiated by Ryan Stec and it was a repository of parts and materials that people shared.
At Make613 Dave Hunt initiated a similar project (right) except the items were labeled and priced. The idea was if you had extra stuff (like when you order 100 of something but only needed 20), you can place some of them on the parts share board. Other people who need the parts can avoid mail order plus you can reduce your inventory.
This was great for Arduino and electronic parts since those activities are so parts oriented. And it facilitated a bit of trading and sharing of extra parts.
So lets set this up for our new makerspace.
Anybody can put parts on it. Simply label them and then place the details of how people can get those parts (you can recover the cost, donate the money or whatever you want they’re your parts).