What's the relationship between Guilds and the weekly meeting?

It would almost certainly change if each guild has its own meeting on a different schedule, both in format and in purpose. Some sort of meeting of the Noisebridge Guilds instead of a meeting of the people formerly known as noisebridgers? I don’t have any answers here.


the weekly meeting has not done important business that I can remember since I’ve been here. I’m sure it did at some point, but 2 hours of the same material is making it boring as fuck. it’s a pagent for the same people to recite the same sentences. we don’t even uphold the majority of it.

the ritual is important for new people, but the guilds will solve that a bit.

kill it with fire and let some new structure emerge. Like an every-other-week meeting. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

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I think there’s two kinds of “important business” at the weekly meeting. There’s the culturally important stuff that Naomi suggests, like discussion of membership. And then there’s the business part of the meeting where we discuss consensus items and have discussion and hammer out consensus.

The former is extremely boring so I can see how @rando would say it isn’t important business. I myself feel this at times! It kinda sucks to hear the same ceremonial boilerplate read out every damn week. It desensitizes us to the importance of Membership by turning this super important thing into mere recitals. A while back we did an un-meeting for the first time (or at least, the first time its been called that) specifically because the boilerplate was dreadfully boring and made people not want to have a meeting even though we had exciting things to discuss!

I suppose then what this really means is we need to be asking (as we always do, from time to time) how to address the boringness? I don’t have any answers here. Occasionally I’ve thought about moving the boring ritual parts to once a month instead of every week, but I dunno if that actually changes the problem or just sweeps it under a different colored rug. Maybe we do something like distill membership down into one sentence at the meeting, keep a log of these definitions somewhere, and then say that every time we discuss membership, the meeting isn’t allowed to end up with a definition that has been written down before. Sorta like XKCD’s ROBOT9000.

I get it.

Not all information is FOR the same people. The info that’s important to deliver regularly at the weekly meeting is inherently boring to people who have been around for a long time.

That is actually BY DESIGN. If the concept of Consensus started to become “interesting” in a “omg I can’t wait to find out how Consensus process changes this week”, that’s Bad.

But that doesn’t mean we get to stop talking about it. It means that it’s an organizational chore that simply has to get done, like taking out the trash. It is boring and most people don’t want to do it. That doesn’t mean it’s worthless.

Watch how half a dozen new people at the Weekly Meeting tune in with rapt attention when we go over how different forms of membership work, and you’ll see how important the Weekly Meeting is to the community engagement spiral.

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To be fair I’ve only been around in 2018 so perhaps that’s a correlation with my opinion?

I agree the repetitive bits are important for new people for sure, but we also don’t retain people coming to meetings. Very few people become “meeting regulars,” which I mean very loosely here. If someone shows up for a second or third meeting in 6th months that’s regular enough attendance for me.

Most of the agenda is not true content, which is the real issue.

Announcements get far more traction as a post. Currently, 5 people take 30m to give 5 announcements to 10 attendees. This information get posted anyways, but not even widely disseminated (though i think discuss will make that easier).

We don’t talk about Membership and Philanthropy, we just define it, reciting an already written down thing. It’s not an on-going discussion. And to be fair, it seems like the community has learned the weekly meeting is not the place to discuss things that are contentious.

Likewise, actioning consensus at a meeting has been boiled down to a “it should pretty much already pass before it’s up”. I think that’s a good rule: If you have an item up for actual consensus, it should be defined and discussed already. But it does mean debate is pushed out of the meeting and all that’s left is process.

The rules around the meeting have been broken this year anyways. Blocks happen anywhere EXCEPT the meeting. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal personally, other than the fact that the meetng is supposed to be sacred around these things, or at least it sounds that it used to be.

And people who don’t participate in any fashion pipe up at the most ridiculous moments with the most inane things, but can’t be bothered to haul down to the space to make even one meeting a year.

So the meeting is mostly process and definitions. Can’t the weekly meeting be around beers, pizza, and talking only about what we’re hacking on and other stupid/interesting shit? We can have less process oriented rundowns of things. Like make the introduction section longer so we can discuss what people are working on instead of trying to blow though the only “getting to know you” noisebridge has.

I think the boring stuff we are discussing doesn’t have to happen weekly. I like to think of things in terms of rewriting the past to see how I feel about changes. If Noisebridge had been running fortnightly meetings instead of weekly, what would have changed? Would the chore become less burdensome if only required half as much?

Maybe we have a meeting scheduled every week, but every other week is slightly more of an orientation for 30m. that way people can show up 30m and be in the fun stuff? I dont know, these aren’t solutions as much as just thinking up different scenarios that might inspire someone.



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That’s exactly the point though…

You just contradicted your own point.

New people don’t usually come back to weekly meetings. But there are new people all the time. So it’s important to repeat the “boring” stuff, because for people who are new, it’s not repetitive or boring.

Seriously, if you don’t want to pay attention during that hour of what is essentially Noisebridge Dogma Time, then don’t. Hack on something while everyone else talks. That’s a Noisebridge tradition too.

I meant to say something like “the information is important, but not required every week.” I didn’t explicitly say that but was thinking along those lines.

For example every other week we have an “Orientation” meeting. It can be before the normal meeting that week. We still have a meeting every week but the non-Orientation part goes quicker.

I think a separate Orientation meeting sounds good to me. Maybe even get a member of each guild to show up and do an elevator speech on what they do?

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I would like to have a section for guilds present to say who they are, if they’re looking for new people, when they meet, if they’re fundraising for anything, etc. I hope guilds have some kinda focus and understanding of the activity going on for each space that would be interesting for those people who are attending the meeting.

Here’s how I imagine a guilded meeting would go:
Introductions - name, pronouns, guilds you are in, what you’re hackin on lately
collect general announcements and discussion items. Hear which guilds want to give announcements

General announcements go
Guild announcements go.

Here’s what they might be like

"Hi, we’re the sewing guild! We have a project night on monday nights in the sewing area. Right nowWe’re collecting funds right now to afford a coverstitch machine. You can donate online or in the box in the sewing area.
We have an annoucenment - the serger has a missing foot and we’re asking people not to use it until it can be replaced. ETA next tuesday.
Also next Sunday there’s a class on fabric draping from 1-3 pm.
One of our members is having a fashion show in Oakland on the 5th at Omni Commons, so come see her work!
Find me or any of the other sewing guild members here after the meeting if you want to get trained on the industrial machines or want to join our guild. "

Call if there are any philanthropist applications. If none, SKIP

  • If & only if there are new Philanthropist applicants - describe philanthropy, process applicants

Call if there are any membership applications or consensus items. If none, SKIP

  • If and only if there are consensus items or new membership applicants, describe our consensus system and the role of members, process that business

General discussion, breaking out into guild meetings if enough members are present to do so. This is a good chance for new people to join guilds and get facetime with existing guild members.

I think making space for guild annoucements will do a couple good things:

  • Make the guild discuss amongst itself enough to compile an annoucement, and get organized to that extent
  • Make guilds a very present and visible part of Noisebridge, and make it easy for people to get involved and maybe join them after a meeting.
  • increase the interest in noisebridge meetings overall - people are likely to be interested in the guild content since it’s very actionable and about hacking

Given how few Membership applications we currently process, this is a great way to basically kill Membership.

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Seems fine to me.

If we want to add guild stuff to the meeting, we either gotta make the meeting longer or remove current stuff. I think removing membership stuff unless it’s currently relevant this meeting is
great way to deemphasise membership and emphasize guilds.

I haven’t attended the weekly meeting in a while and likely won’t for the upcoming few months due to a time conflict with a class I have. If anyone likes my proposal for a guilded meeting, I invite them to do-ocratically add it to this page: https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/Meeting_Notes_Template

If I were attending the meetings regularly I’d do it myself but since I’m not, I invite someone who is to do it

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I honestly have no opinion at this point, so my comment certainly wasn’t to indicate displeasure.

Only that it’s important to go into these things with open eyes.

AFAIC, Noisebridge doesn’t have a strong enough concept of Membership anymore to warrant trying to keep it, unless we have a conversation in which we reaffirm what it means, why we want it, and (especially) how it differs from Philanthropy.

(And just defining how it’s different from Philanthropy isn’t enough… just because you can find differences between coffee beans doesn’t mean you should rearrange your life around buying coffee from different places.)


I spoke to a few people and it appears the Meeting attendance has gone down dramatically from before. My goal was to increase attendance. I guess there is some other driver than the time spent (The Fissure?) I have some additional points which might be relevant, though.

I know you are making a factual point, as you mentioned. I’m responding to point out possible issues with the lack of current Membership applications, not to kill Membership.

The current practicalities of applying for Membership is that a number of Members know you and support your application.

For example, the last 4 applicants (incl. me) were asked/told by Members to apply and had support of a number of other Members. It’s not really treated as something you apply for, but it’s an invitation you receive.

So I think Members aren’t getting to know enough people not promoting enough people. Good people need to be found and promoted, possibly groomed.

I think reformatting is a solution, and I think Members reengaging the current process is also solution.

The current status is that there are fewer and fewer Members coming around to know people. The Members who do come around aren’t actively engaging in finding new Members that I can see. I can think of 3 currently who have brought up Membership to a few people.

I don’t have a solution to it, but it’s my current thesis.


Meeting enjoyment is directly correlated with the enthusiasm of people running the meeting.

Meeting frequency goes up with the amount of people willing to enthusiastically hold a meeting.


As a Member, I consider it next to impossible to invite anyone to become a Member in the context of there being no clear consensus on what Membership means or provides, and as well, no opportunities for people to demonstrate what full participation in Consensus even looks like.

Sure, but for some reason I can’t yet articulate, I feel like we need some regular meeting of the minds to help support cohesion between the Guilds and collaborate on the space and the community across the whole set of noisebridgers.


I couldn’t disagree with you more.

The work of calling people to the table to discuss “boring” topics such as how Membership works (or doesn’t) and what Consensus is (and is not), and what “Excellence” means, is just about the most important work that can be done at Noisebridge.

2018 saw the fewest number of meetings done the right way of any previous year. It’s no accident that 2018 was also the year in which people fundamentally misunderstood what Membership was and why it has a stabilizing effect on the community.

EVEN IF we tear up the notion of Membership and replace it with something different (e.g. Guild Membership), I would consider it dangerous to not have a centralized weekly meeting full of “boring” topics that communicate and disseminate Noisebridge’s most deeply-held and important values.

A Guild structure without a Noisebridge general weekly meeting will result in a dangerous deep fractionalization and leave the community unable to communicate well when it comes time for NB-wide decisions that affect everyone.