Frank reflects on six months of progress

Posted on 6 Nov 2017 in | Comments Off on Frank reflects on six months of progress

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    Frank Gibbons
    Participant

    WHO IS THIS GUY; ANYWAY?

    Hi:

    As member, #02, of the Oceanside Community Makerspace.
    I strongly support the concept. For several reasons, I am
    not an active member but, do think about issues that face
    OCM. I often offer suggestions that may or, may not be
    followed up by OCM. I am not a crusader. If a suggestion
    is not taken up, I tend to move on. These notes are
    intended as a step in outlining how OCM might grow to a
    sustainable organization.

    FINANCIAL VIABILITY

    Half way through our inaugural year, OCM does not seem to
    sport a solid financial plan. We need to address this issue
    right away so that when startup funding ceases, a viable
    plan is in place. This looks like a task for a committee!

    SHEDS & MAKERSPACE

    Those I’ve met will realize that I relate ‘Men’s Sheds’ to
    OCM. The Australian concept of ‘Men’s Sheds’ is a societal
    solution to the phenomena where many senior men waste away
    in retirement because they are at loose ends with little
    social contact. Joining a ‘Men’s Shed’ re invigorates them
    and improves overall health.

    http://www.mensheds.org.au/

    These sheds are usually configured as a conventional ‘old’
    technology workshop (woodwork, basic metalwork etc.) with
    an area to ‘chew the rag’ and, some involvement with the
    larger community. They are low tech MakerSpaces. These
    days most welcome female members. ( in Australia ??? ).

    I envisage that OCM should feature the characteristics of
    current tech MakerSpaces combined with older tech Men’s
    Sheds.

    WORKSHOP

    Many retirees lack a space to build or fix things. To a
    limited extent OCM offers this space. Hand tools that most
    seniors recognize should be available. Small portable power
    tools such a sanders, ‘skill saws’, and a light drill press
    come to mind. A band saw and pedestal grinder might fit in.

    If a user needs access to heavier machinery, a list of folk
    who have full shops and have expressed a willingness; might
    be posted.

    Senior men, visiting OCM, may be attracted to the accesible
    shop. Later they may recognize the possibilities of the 3D
    printer and realize advantage by becoming a full member.

    COFFEE & COOKIES

    Tech may attract. Coffee and cookies will secure. Perhaps
    a bit over the top but you take my point. OCM needs to make
    a comfortable place to relax, enjoy a snack, and talk over
    future plans. As recognized by the ‘Men’s Sheds’ movement,
    social interaction is a key driver in advancing any groups
    aspirations to ensure long term sustainability. The coffee
    corner generates social cohesion and new possibilities.

    PROMOTION

    These days advertizing only travels so far. Do something
    for the larger community and they will take note. Look to
    the Pemberton example:

    http://www.pembertontoollibrary.com/events—activities.html

    This style of promotion works. How might OCM do similar?

    CASUAL USE

    OCM makes provision for the ‘casual’ non member. The hope
    is that, in time, a casual user will become a per month
    member and maybe, even a full member. It is important to
    maintain this capability so that it is understood that all
    are offered inclusion.

    We need to be financially stable. We need more members. We
    need to enhance our community presence. Some of these
    ideas might move us forward.

    de Frank VE7DSN OCM #2

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