Member Meeting Minutes for October 7, 2009

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  • Recap of events since last meeting
  • Upcoming events (Oct. 28th fundraiser at Brillobox, Mobile Art && Code Nov. 6-8)
  • Dues increases for November
  • Directions for the organization
  • Sprout Fund grant application options

Minutes by Agenda Topic


  • Two Hands Project was here!
    • they filmed us until about 3am on Saturday night
    • and we dropped them off at the airport around 9am Sunday morning

Upcoming Events

  • Sat. - Sun. Oct. 10th-11th - Podcamp Pittsburgh!
    • Nick and Steve will be on a panel at 1pm on Saturday, discussing intellectual property
  • Oct. 24th 2pm-4pm - Video Editing in iMovie, taught by Lori Hepner
  • Oct. 28th 8pm - 1:30am - Hacky Halloween at the Brillobox!
    • $5 at the door
    • DIY costume competition
    • Live music by Andy & the Shockers
    • DJ by Jon Speicher, aka "DJ Jonny Fresh"
      • I hope that by "DJ" you mean "might have an iTunes playlist thrown together to fill the time that Andy's not on stage"
      • Related: this is what I get for missing meetings :)
      • --Jonathan 01:01, 8 October 2009 (EDT)
    • Fliers are being made by Andy!
    • Tell everyone you know
  • Nov. 6th-8th Mobile Art && Code
  • Sometime in Nov. - e-Textiles with Liz and Matt Mets.
  • MAC Classes - still waiting to hear back from Johanna. She is talking with the teachers to set a curriculum and figure out a proposal.

Sprout Fund Update

  • GAGI is waiting to hear from us - we will tell them we are not pushing for the Nov. 1 deadline
  • Our proposal needs some work
    • Current form (laser etched edge-lit tile installation, with text consisting of Twitter responses to the question "What are you making?", or similar. construction would be crowd-sourced, allowing for classes. Performance would include live demo, online Arduino control of LED)
      • Probably cannot cover the laser
      • Could cover a similar tool, CNC mill for $2k-$3k, which should still work for the art
    • Need a committee of 3-4 people to work out the details
  • Liz proposes a 3-4 week timeline
    • We can ask for up to $10k
    • Needs to benefit people ages 18-35, in the region
    • No non-profit status requirement
  • We will not aim for Nov. 1, at this point
    • Next Sprout application date in December or January?

Dues Increases

  • Our current dues structure only covers rent
  • But we now have electricity (hooray!) and (soon) heat
  • At our current membership level, $25/mo. per member is the minimum required to cover our bills
  • If dues cover the bills, money from classes, fundraisers, etc. can go towards equipment and improvements
  • Concerns were voiced about losing students
    • Student discount was proposed
    • Turns out we don't have very many students, presently
    • Need to work on attracting students!
  • Motion made to set base dues to $30, increased from $15
    • Motion carries, with one nay
    • One big nay: Dan Warren points out that majority money goes to rent
  • Motion made to create a committee for exploring the possibility of finding another, cheaper space. Potentially something for the organization to buy.

Directions for the Organization

  • One of the big questions arising from the 501(c)(3) vs. other entity types debate is that HackPGH doesn't have a clear plan from the membership.
  • Discussion with the Two Hands Project folks shows that there are many possible types. For example:
    • Some go big very quickly, try to get as much money and big projects as possible
    • Some stay conservative, keep a smaller number of members, more "homey"
    • Some don't work on projects and end up dissolving
    • "Coopetition" (cooperation + competition), both internal and external, helps keep spaces alive
      • e.g. Bristlebot competition w/ i3Detroit
  • Bringing in new members
    • Classes and Fridays are the only official method for this so far
    • But members have been bringing guests on other days
    • Guideline - if you are just telling people to stop by, tell them to stop by on Friday. If you are bringing someone by, bring them yourself.
    • If a guest is visiting repeatedly on non-open days or events, they should become a member!
    • Another problem is members not recognizing one another
      • Faceboard feature for membership tracking app proposed

Action Items

  • Matt
    • Update the Membership page with new monthly/6-month buttons
  • Marty
    • Update HackPGH Calendar to match Doodle Poll (easier than I thought) Schmarty 20:40, 7 October 2009 (EDT)
    • Send email notification of dues increase!