Early feedback from Day 1 of the Detroit Maker Faire


There were at least 8 of us from HIVE13 at Day 1 of the Detroit Maker
Faire yesterday. Rob and I drove in early yesterday morning and drove
back late last night. Other folks arrived Friday night and stayed to
go to the i3Detroit hackerspace after party last night and attend
today's Day 2 festivities.

The new black HIVE13 T-shirts really stood out and got a lot of
comments and attention. Thanks go to Craig!

There was lots to see and do. The rains held off and the weather was
great. The Henry Ford Museum (The Louvre of the Industrial Age) was a
great venue and the event was well attended. We met contacts at other
regional hackerspaces from Pittsburgh to Raleigh-Durhan and St.
Louis. We will have some new organizing ideas to try out. There were
lots of amazing and inspirational creations to admire.

Several of us are working to see if we can host a visit by Mitch
Altman and Jimmie Rogers from the San Francisco Noisebridge
hackerspace. They are on a midwest tour and could stop by our site
for a Tuesday meeting and lead a Wednesday training class, hopefully
sometime in August. I'll start a separate post for that topic.

The following are some links.






I jotted down a couple notes about what ideas we saw and heard from
other groups, so I'm going to throw those in there.

We made a visit (well, two visits) to i3Detroit's hackerspace, and it
is definitely a very nice space. I took some photos of the space in
general on Friday and I should have those online soon. The photos
won't do it justice, but they'll at least convey some idea of the size
and layout.

We spoke with a few of their members while we were there. They had
come to see that Detroit's depression was also a big opportunity for
them: The multitude of failed businesses had made readily available a
ton of cheap industrial space and equipment. Most of their tools were
acquired from Craigslist, and they'd gotten some extremely good deals
this way, such as an entire CNC for just $800.

OmniCorp, another much younger Detroit hackerspace, also opened their
space up for a pre-party on Friday. They appear to have only had the
space for about a month, and not much is yet in there (and the lights
were too dim in their rave-themed party for me to really see or
photograph much of anything). Supposedly it is much more audio/music-
oriented than i3, so I am curious what their space develops into. I
found their party theme to be an interesting embrace of the dirty,
unmaintained look of the building and the shady surrounding area.

At the afterparty, I also talked with Bonnie and Isaac who came from
Hack Pittsburgh. They claimed about 25 active members and extended an
invitation to come visit if we were ever around. Bonnie also insisted
that the key to hackerspace success was "nerdcore + knitting", but
that zombie Santa Claus cookies also helped.

Some members of LVL1, Louisville's recently-founded hackerspace, also
were present at Maker Faire. However, I did not have a chance to talk
with any of them. I would like at some point in the near future to
make a visit there to meet some of their members and see their new