Don’t be scared – Monthly Review October 2023

Don't be scared – Monthly Review October 2023

While it has finally become autumn outside, we have completed the first full month that we have been open – and are almost back to our usual opening hours. We counted 14 public events in October 2023, which means we’re almost back to the “one public event every two days” average we used to have.

In September, we were delighted with the turnout for Maker Monday, where we had 25 people on the premises from a standing start. But that was nothing compared to the three Maker Mondays in October, where 40–45 people were repeatedly active in the wood workshop, at the 3D printer and the laser cutter. Fortunately, more people are now coming forward to help with the workshop every Monday, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to cope with the demand :)

Created at a Maker Monday on the Laser Cutter: A new stamp, e.g. for visitors who already have a Hackerspace Passport!

The Live Let’s Play evenings have become a regular new event on Tuesdays, where computer games are tried out live as a cultural form and experienced together. And because we are a third place, this can also take place in our rooms without any pressure to consume stuff – in our opinion, we really need places like this in our cities.

TTN and LoRaWAN have been with us since 2016 – back then, the set up the first TTN gateways in the city, and the community that has been active with us since then has not only expanded this network, but also encouraged many other interested municipalities to get excited about this free sensor network :) Two TTN evenings took place again in October. And as reported, the Upcycling Nähcafé, which has been part of our community program since December 2016, also started up again in October.

Last, but not least, Free Knowledge is weaved into our DNA, as it has been from the very beginning. The OpenStreetMap-Stammtisch took place in our rooms for the first time in October. And since Wikidata was already the content of the first Germany-wide networking event in the old rooms, it is only logical that we were the location for a joint livestreaming of WikiDataCon 2023 in the region.

Combining knitting machine with streaming equipment: HD streams with wireless microphonony, accompanied live by our piano, to test our equipment.

On October 3rd, we also spontaneously declared our construction and organization day, which was taking place anyway, to be an open house event. In addition to these public events, our joint house is full of life practically every day, which makes us very happy. There is still a lot of work to be done within the premises – the workshop and soldering lab are continuing to progress, the modernization of the lighting is in its final stages and we have now also found seals for the huge gaps between the glass doors of the main entrance, so that air draw is not as bad a problem as it had been :)

We’ve also been able to integrate the streaming case from WMDE back into our daily routine and have already broadcast several test streams from the living room on Twitch. We want to use this equipment to provide even more live insights into our activities in the future, even if they don’t take place on the “big stage” in the salon. And, of course, we continue to acquire exciting devices that are left to us – for the electronics lab, for the workshop or simply because they’re fun.

Always up to date: Our new Fluepdot display

Provides orientation: Our Samsung Flip as a stopgap device to display, what is currently happening where. And as one can see, there is a lot going on at once.

The new signpost at the main entrance, currently still based on our Flip 2 display, has a very practical use. Synchronized with our new, finally Google-free event calendar (also available for subscription!), it shows which event is currently running where in the entire building, i.e. also the events of the HdN or of guests. Using this technology, we want to be even more inviting and open to occasional visitors. And by the way, you’ll also notice that our two communities sometimes have three things going on in the building at the same time!

Group picture after two hours of conversation and exploring our venue

What also brings us a lot of joy: Just as in the old location, we are once again a place to visit for digital politicians and people from the field of administrative digitization who are interested in the experiences of voluntary civic tech. On Friday, October 27, Anna Peters (Green voter for the European elections) and Tobias Bacherle (Member of the German Bundestag, among others in the Digital Committee) visited us and ended up talking to us for much longer than the planned hour about digital volunteering, hack- and make spaces as third places and digitization in municipalities.

We are happy when we can share experiences and pass on knowledge - the next visits are already scheduled for November :)

Old cameras? Also a topic of interest for people. Often so much, that they keep on nerding out about the topic until late into the night.

With all this program for the public and the transfer of knowledge, the community aspect for our community should of course not be forgotten. And so we did not only combine the public pumpkin carving on October 30th with getting to know various groups active in the house, we also grew as a community at the various other evenings, from the house-building event to the spontaneously formed analog photography interest group – precisely because we want to be a third place where people enjoy hanging out.