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A perfect fit?
June 16, 2012
10:54 am
Airhead
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Forum Posts: 4
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June 15, 2012
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Hi guys, I have an idea for a space that could end up being an absolute perfect match (at least initially) for getting this concept off the ground. I recently attended an "Occupy Your Health' fair that was held at a newly-started organization's space called "Greenovation" that recycles materials from demolished houses and other places, and they have a website Greenovation.org for contact info. They not only have the HUGE space that was once the Vietnam Veteran's Thrift Store at 1199 E.Main St, the proprietor Jay Rowe is actively looking for other organizations to help out with materials and whatnot.

 

And get this! There is a second vacant space (at least it was last I looked) that was also a thrift store (can't recall the name at the moment) in the same building right next door to them!

 

It's quite a centralized location and right across the railroad tracks from Village Gate where lots of artists and 'self-made' businesses get their start.

 

Jay has also mentioned in the past that he would be open to allowing use of his space for meetings and they still have tons of furniture from the thrift shop that they can set up in very comfy, non-formal arrangements.

 

Another space that could be used for meetings is the Flying Squirrel on Clarissa Street, their site is thesquirrel.org

 

I read in one of the blogs that an outdoor venue would be nice for a meeting, well, I happen to own a couple of lots that I'm turning into a community garden on the corner of Central Park and 2nd Street that I will be working on setting up for just such purpose soon as well as a fairly large garage with add-ons (sorry, I don't have dimensions handy).

 

I've also been getting the balls rolling for a power-tool co-op ('virtual' tool library?) that may also become a good fit toward this effort, especially if you have people with organizational skills (admittedly my weakest attribute)

 

Give me a shout out if you need more info, and if anyone contacts Greenovation, tell them Brian from "Eco-pi" sent ya… (or not, since that project sorta fell on it's face LOL)

 

Brian

June 16, 2012
11:44 am
Rochester, NY
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Forum Posts: 103
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February 7, 2012
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Excellent.  Thanks for the info!  We've been talking about organizing some classes and moving into at least a temporary space within the next couple of months.  Doing so will greatly increase our credibility, which will help us attract members and community support

Money and tools won't be much of a problem.  But we still need a lot more publicity/potential members, liability insurance (which I'm just starting to look into), and instructors. 

I'd like to get yours and everyone's input about paying instructors.  The original idea was to have free classes.  I still think we should have free safety and tool training classes, but now I think we should charge for most other kinds of classes.  Here's why.

  • It will allow us to attract more and better instructors.
  • Paid instructors will probably allow us to repeat classes on a regular basis.
  • Pat S, who has a lot of experience with stuff like this, thinks "free" classes are perceived as not being worth much.
  • It seems to be what the most successful maker and hacker spaces are doing.

I'm not sure what it'll cost to pay instructors, but I suspect it will only cost $10-$20 per student. 

I also think we should try to partner with other local groups if we can.  We'd get expert instructors and they'd get publicity and maybe some new members.

For example,  maybe we could get one of the ham radio clubs to teach a basic soldering/electronic kit construction class.  The Monroe Astronautical Rocket Society (MARS) to lead a model rocket building session. And a Toastmasters group to help lead a "Lightning Talk" (a bunch of 5-minute talks about almost anything).

Here are some other ideas for classes we could have before we even get into a permanent space:

  • A basic Arduino class
  • A drafting or 3D modeling class

If you or others have additional ideas I'd like to hear them.

June 16, 2012
9:09 pm
Airhead
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Forum Posts: 4
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June 15, 2012
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I guess your 'credibility' concerns are probably behind the removal of my post about the Anastasia device… can't say as I blame you, actually. I should have put some more thought and less emotion into it… not to mention the video is pretty horrible… I think you did me a favor! LOL

 

This stuff is all pretty new to me, especially being out of the corporate and scholastic environments for over 7 years now, and I guess I need to learn how to tone down my political rhetoric and conspiracy theories, especially when it comes to sensitive areas like making money… I wonder if there is an instructor for that? };^/? <— (my personalized emoticon that I 'made', looks like the zig-zag dude!)

 

Hey, you stated you prefer a sense of humor… at least I got one of those! I'm not sure how good of an instructor I would make, I tend to prefer to teach by example and many of my interests have changed from high-tech to more 'old-school' rediscovery of 'low-tech' projects and solutions to emerging world problems. But wherever the space ends up being, wouldn't it be nice to have a free source of compressed air to power some tools with?

 

Brian

 

Edit: I actually had to look up Arduino, THAT'S how long I've been out of the loop! Heck, I could use a nice refresher course in RS-232 interfaces myself, but once I get back into it, I'd probably make a good assistant at least, and I still have all  my textbooks, exams, and lab notes/projects to re-refer to, and I have a few bins in the basement of cabling, joysticks, all kinds of stuff to use for projects if it will help. As far as charging for instructors, I'd be surprised if you could find instructors that WOULDN'T require some sort of compensation in the current state of the economy, and I have to agree about the 'perception' of the quality of free classes, people's time is becoming more and more of an investment nowadays and if they are going to 'spend' it learning something, I think they would feel more justified and commit more to it if they had to shell out some clams… you can always make it 'sliding scale' as well according to (arbitrary or voluntary) needs assessment.

 

Edited Edit: My DREAM SPACE would be the Main Street Armory… just IMAGINE the potential for 'making stuff happen' from that venue! I fell in love with that building when I first arrived in Rochester back in '88 and I now that it's back in operation, I don't hear about very much happening there, and it seems like another good fit positioned right between the public market and Village Gate.

June 17, 2012
7:27 am
Rochester, NY
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Forum Posts: 103
Member Since:
February 7, 2012
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I apologize for deleting your post.  I didn't pay attention to who wrote it or even read the entire thing. I too quickly decided your message was missed by the automatic spam filters. They're not perfect and I maintain three web sites and deal with an lot of spam.

I'm not sure what you mean by "making money."  We're planning to be a non-profit and we have a couple of supporters who have very generously promised us a lot of tools.  And we have many more volunteers who have been volunteering their time.

We'd love to have you as an instructor.  But we've got to find a space and probably some insurance first. I need to get a meeting scheduled soon so we can all discuss that what we'd our maker space to be.  I contacted the Penfield Library Friday about using their meeting room but I haven't heard back from them yet.

I've also got to pick a time.  I'd like to know what you and everyone else thinks about having a 90 minute meeting on a Saturday morning starting at 10:15. 

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