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Introductory Meeting

2nd April 2013, Vivian Arms, Sketty

This is our first physical meeting, 13 people attended, which was near capacity for the room.

The following points were discussed, in no specific order :-

  • Hackspaces appear to have 4 common themes to their activities: 3D Printing, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Linux.
  • Offer to use the universities 3D printers for at/near cost prices.
  • Health and Safety issues, the responsibilities and liabilities that they bring, could be of concern, where possible it could be an idea to avoid activities that cause them, such as "metal bashing", lathes etc.
  • We should ensure that we have a suitably large and sustainable membership before acquiring a permanent home, this could well mean not achieving a space in the first year.
  • When we do acquire a permanent space there will be a lot of front loaded costs, we will need to build up funds for this.
  • Space for meetings, talks, and other temporary events is easily available at the university and elsewhere.
  • An interim/starter space, that is subsidised or otherwise cheap may be available from one of the universities, inquiries are ongoing, anyone with contactsin Swansea Metro would be appreciated.
  • We should find out if the council have any departments that may be able to assist in any way, with accommodation, grants, or advice.
  • Some funding is available (eg from the university) for projects that look like they a serious about outreaching to industry.
  • We have volunteers to look at design aspects for the website and flyers, with particular attention to tweaking the logo to personalise it for us.
  • Also have a volunteer to work on the website, need to discuss more what features we want, work will happen on a separate site to be swapped over when ready.
  • Requests for a web forum were quickly shouted down, compromise on trying to improve the accessibility of the mailing list archive.
  • Meeting frequency. Weekly quickly causes fatigue, Monthly makes it too easy to fall out of touch, agreed that fortnightly meetings would be the best.
  • Further suggestion that meetings should alternate between 'Event' meetings (talks, workshops, etc) and 'Organisational' meetings like this one where we discuss on going efforts probably combined with some amount of social and informal 'show and tell'.
  • A quick straw poll suggested that Monday evenings have the least conflict for those present, so that is what we shall run with for now.
  • Agreement that the next meeting should be an event type, starting with a lightning talk session, to be held in meeting rooms in the university during the first two weeks of term (after that is revision and exam periods), exact date to be confirmed dependent on room availability.
  • For future talks we need ideas for a headline speaker to invite, a name that will draw a crowd to help with recruitment, will also make seeking funding assistance easier.
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