Hackerspace Architect: Network Effect
I’ve written before about Network Effect as an illustration of why flat hierarchy organisation can feel very slow and very risk averse and why every decision takes so long to agree, if anything at all IS ever agreed.
I want to talk for just a moment about the network effect in a more positive way. I feel very strongly that hackerspaces, hackspaces, maker spaces whatever you want to call them, need to exist as nodes in a network. A cohesive organisation of individual spaces and adjacent organisations with a united goal and many interests in common.
I want hackerspaces to look outwards, to engage with other local organisations, workshops and businesses not simply to promote their existence or lobby for members or cash, but to be a part of something greater, part of the community around them. I’ve seen hackerspaces that would rather interface with a hackerspace on another continent than recognise their shared goals with a craft school up the road.
Imagine the impact a truly well organised hackerspace guild or union could have. One professional organisation looking out for, promoting and championing the interests of hackerspaces across the UK, Europe and the world. The resources such an operation could provide, the leverage it could give each space locally, through national recognition and support it could provide to trustees, founders and members, if done right, could be immense.
I know many of my readers will point to the UK Hackspace Foundation, and yes, this has the potential to be such an organisation. I have great hope that it will become all that I describe in the paragraph above. In the meantime, what sort of network could you create locally? In your city or in your region?
I would welcome suggestions of what such a network COULD achieve or could provide to hackerspaces and their members?
Today’s thumbnail is some yarn/wool on sale at Frank Aldous in Manchester.