Thoughts from visiting a hackerspace

I was in Tuscon for a bit, and was able to stop by this amazing hackerspace called Xerocraft (like zerocraft but with an X). They’re this huge hackerspace (~1000 members) with a whole snazzy website. I talked to them a bit about how they managed their hackerspace, and I think my takeaways were:

  • Signage was huge there. There were laser-cut signs for each area detailing a) what it was, b) who was the manager, and c) how to contact them. I know we had laser cut section labels, we could bring that back. In addition, they had a “ticket” system for labeling things like not working, in use / projects, junk, etc. This seemed like a useful system. Even the parts were in labeled clear bins (#goals).
  • Donation sorting happened in its own distinct part of the space, which was more out-of-the-way. We could potentially set aside a part of the space for donation sorting / rarely used equipment.
    Membership was on a scale from payment-to-volunteering. Unfortunately, they do have a sign-in, sign-out system for checking it, which is a bit much. We could use classes or tasks for example.
  • They also interviewed with several local newspapers when starting out, and even took out local late-night TV ads when they first started. I think getting back in touch with hacker sites could help us a lot.
    Just putting some ideas out here for discussion, I’d like to know what people think.
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Oh neat. I actually have a founding member of Xerocraft staying with me this week. I’ll see if they’re up for a visit to NB.

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Thank you so much @gaardn !

This is very interesting, how did a totally volunteer-ran space get so big? I feel like noisebridge would collapse under its own weight if it got 20x bigger. Would be interesting to talk to some of the founding members as well.

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Hmm it seems a bit more commercial than NB, but I could be wrong.

A ticket system is a good idea. Even if we had a computer in the space with a large monitor or display that had a list of things which need to be fixed or done.

I thought about QR codes, but it really would need to be something both online and easy to use for somone who doesn’t even have a phone or laptop (This happens pretty often)

It is also possible to buy press releases for like $90. Might be fun to promote some hacks or just the space… hmmmm anarchy and goals though… :goal_net:

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Yes, you are right, they manage the space in ways we would never accept (board makes all decisions, anyone using the space must pay, etc.) but I feel like we can still take some ideas (like the ticketing system) without selling out so to speak

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We used to put orange tickets with a date on everything or it was fair game. It worked fairly well but encouraged leaving too much stuff. I think the system of cleaning up is better, with project shelves.

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I think all the things mentioned in the first post make a lot of sense. cool reportback!

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