When I first heard about hackerspaces a few years ago I was completely transfixed by the concept of a bunch of people getting together and creating a space to work on projects. Much like the early computer user groups I helped start about 30 years ago, hackerspace and makerspaces are a modern version of the computer clubs where people shared their knowledge, worked together on projects, and sometimes even create a real company (more on that in future posts).
I've been working with a great team of people for the past 18 months to open the Danbury Hackerspace & Coworking Facility in a building connected to the Danbury Library. In November of 2012 the voters of Danbury approved a $550,000 bond to help renovate the space to our specifications, and it was unanimously approved by a 3-1 margin.
We've had a lot of help from Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Michele Capozzella from the Danbury Library, CityCenter Danbury, the Danbury Area Computer Society, and other hackerspaces around Connecticut. A special thanks to BIll Saturno from CT Hackerspace, who showed up at our first meeting and has been advising us since the start.
The City of Danbury helped us produce the First Danbury Mini Maker Faire on June 8th to help raise awareness of the Danbury Hackerspace, and we've been told this is the first time a City has produced a Mini Maker Faire. The Danbury Maker Faire was also the first time all of the hackerspaces in Connecticut were together at an event, something I hope to see happen all over the state.
So, why did I start a blog about hackerspaces & makerspaces? Because it's not easy to start one, and I want to share information on starting, running, and growing a hackerspace. Some of the topics I want to cover include:
- Hackerspaces vs. Makerspaces
- Non-profit vs. profit
- Leasing a building (or getting one for free)
- Products created at hackerspaces
- Safety (some tools can kill a person)
- Marketing (Meetup is your new best friend)
- Finding a space
- Dealing with problems
- A minimal viable shop to get started
- Maker Faires
- Legal issues
- Working with your local City officials
- Types of hackerspaces
- Coworking opportunity
- And much more....
If you have a story idea, hackerspace activity, product that was created at a hackerspace, news or just want to say "Hi!" you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.