Differences Between a Guild and a Working Group


  • expectation of medium-to-long-term existence.
  • roster of Members.
  • ratifies new Noisebridge Members.
  • claims a physical area of Noisebridge to be responsible for (not as “land rights” but in terms of stewardship)
  • takes responsibility for enculturating its members with Noisebridge ideals.

Working Group:

  • comes together to solve a particular problem that may or may not be short-lived.
  • can be composed of any combination of people (different Guilds, etc).
  • does not constitute Membership at Noisebridge.
  • no expectation of responsibility for any particular physical area.
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Let’s make this optional so there’s no weird land grab issues, fewer territorial tribalism issues, and so guilds like the Cypherpunks guild I’m creating can be legit.

We don’t need to claim land – we live in cyberspace and can physically meet anywhere! Especially in Church, but I certainly wouldn’t want to claim providence over Church.

Plus it seems odd that the Hackitorium, for example, would belong to one particular guild rather than all guilds or Noisebridge itself.

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That sounds excellent to me! The Cypherpunks guild can have a sense of stewardship over Noisetor (though I take full responsibility as an individual to tend to it or explicitly hand off certain tasks to others as needed). Cypherpunks could perhaps be the go-to for Unicorn tech support/other stewardship of digital infrastructure/assets, especially when it comes to preserving privacy. But other infra should be stewarded by people in #rack who aren’t necessarily cypherpunks and shouldn’t need to be to be stewards of other infra, like our website or most servers.

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Oh that sounds really great! Makes perfect sense to me.

And just as medieval guilds used levels of professional accomplishment to communicate levels of skill, you could set definitions within your own guild for Tor and crypto knowledge.

This will make it easier for people to find help when they need it (tracking down someone who knows something at Noisebridge has long been a big PITA). It also allows you to incentivize knowledge transfer by giving people a sense of accomplishment and recognition.


OK, cool, let’s talk about this. I’m definitely not sold on my own ideas here.

What I hope to get out of having Guilds is an increased sense of stewardship. But that doesn’t have to entail exclusive “ownership” of a space, I suppose.

What’s important is to figure out the mechanism by which we encourage people to take pride in a particular thing about Noisebridge and become SEEN as the group/individuals who keep it nice.