Group Philosophy

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This is a place for discussing and streamlining the group philosophy and direction. This will eventually lead to rules and guidelines for making things go smoothly and easily assimilating new members into the fold.


Please use nested bullets when addressing someone else's post and use the signature button after each post.

  • I've been doing a fair amount of thinking lately and came to a couple of realizations.
    • We might be approaching this non-profit thing wrong. Being a non-profit group requires organization as far as I'm aware, incorporation. What I think makes this and hsv2600 work so well is the fact that there is no clear leadership or organization. Everyone just shows up at agreed upon times and does what they want, whether that be helping someone else out, working on something of their own, or just having a decent discussion with someone intelligent. Where it gets weird is that the shop does need to be non-profit, but in order to find the space for a shop it would really help if the group is a non-profit. So this is where I'm torn a bit, and would like to discuss it with you all and see what you all think. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm right, just let me know. --strages 06:46, 20 March 2007 (CDT)
      • If I am not mistaken, non-profits usually have a designated leader or two, but they are subject to committee in case they ever try something not in line with the rest of the group. Seems to me that as long as we keep the responsibilities of the non-profit group leaders limited to accounting, legalese, etcetera, there won't be too many limitations on group thinking here. Most group action will probably be organized independently of any official administration anyway. I believe the ends (getting a place, etc.) probably will justify the means (administrative overhead). --jmcarthur 08:15, 20 March 2007 (CDT)
      • Nonprofits require, for IRS nonprofit-tax-status purposes, a function, either for educational, scientific, religious or a couple other purposes, which the government cannot or will not provide. At least that's where nonprofits came from---providing tax relief to those organizations providing a service for the public good. Putting on a con every year qualifies, plus any seminars/classes the group wishes to host. They are nearly always incorporated normally or as an LLC, which means a standard board structure, regular meetings, etc. Also, if make shop activities are conducted under the nonprofit and were indeed to enter production and marketed, returns on those would go to the nonprofit, not the people involved. There are ways to get around that, such as partnering with a business incubator or some for-profit firm, but otherwise we're kind of like the University's Technology Transfer office here---profits return to the University as a whole. For this reason, limiting the activities of the nonprofit to just a con and maybe some seminars/classes seems prudent to me.--Korc 12:01, 20 March 2007 (CDT)
    • This might help some of you who have been having trouble working on or coming up with some projects/ideas. You don't need to make something for everyone, just make something for yourself. The point is you made something and whether you realize it or not there is likely someone else out there who has been waiting for just that but maybe didn't have the same inspiration or gusto to make it. --strages 06:46, 20 March 2007 (CDT)
  • This all brings up a question: how can we retain as collaborative atmosphere the group has enjoyed so far, and yet retain fair rights to share in future returns? How about a success story example? Strages, you or somebody involved with the Photo Booth project want to illustrate how that project came about and suggest how it might have changed under different rights scenarios?--Korc 12:01, 20 March 2007 (CDT)
    • I had actually been planning on a doing a how-to sort of post on my site about the Photobooth and a timelapse video of rolling it into a room, setting it up, using it a few times, and packing it back up then rolling it back out. --strages 05:49, 21 March 2007 (CDT)
    • We might want to look into the use of Creative Commons licensing on projects that we complete. --strages 05:49, 21 March 2007 (CDT)
  • I brought up the idea that this group was an IDEA INCUBATOR, as opposed to a business incubator (e.g. BizTech). If you have an idea for a product, and that is your goal---a marketable product---then go ahead and form a business. Form a partnership, go to biztech, whatever. To me, this group seems interested in making things for the joy/experience/sense of accomplishment that comes from making it. This is idealistic, yes. Recognized. The trick is where the Idea Incubator and the Business Incubator meet.--Korc 12:01, 20 March 2007 (CDT)
    • I like the names "idea incubator" and "think tank" to describe what we do. I agree with you that most everyone thus far is interested in making things for the fun of it, without trying to turn a buck or copyright things. Now if we can keep it that way, I think we'll be better off. --strages 05:49, 21 March 2007 (CDT)
  • Given a discussion yesterday in irc I've reached the conclusion that this is working just fine for discussion, though still a little tedious. I suppose if we keep it well organized and all we might be alright. However, I would like a blog with cross login support for posting deals on equipment, new technology stories, other group's projects, and project showcases once a project has been completed. Something of a public front for what we'll all be working on behind the scenes. A place to post meeting and project pictures/videos to show people we're active and trying to make a difference. I think having a blog like this would give us something to sumbit to places like Make:Blog etc and get use recognized. --strages 05:57, 21 March 2007 (CDT)

Rules and Guidlines

This section is for established rules and guidelines decided upon by the group majority.