This weekend’s opening at [freespace] was fantastic! We started out the weekend with a community potluck. During opening day (June 1st), several people facilitated group discussions around logistics, safety, and general operations around the space. Remember – we’re starting with nothing except space and passion.
So – we not only have to sort out what events will happen when. But we have to sort out who will turn on the lights, who will keep the bathroom stocked with toilet paper, and who will take out the trash. All as a community. With volunteers.
In addition to actually sorting out these logistics, a few other magical things happened –
A mural went up
Walls were painted
SF Yellow Bikes setup shop
A public art project went up
And people congregated
This afternoon, I personally organized a team meeting around our website. For folks that haven’t visited the space, it’s just not very clear what’s happening and why. Our calls for participation are also not clear. Much of this organization is happening on Facebook, simply because that’s where our friends (and their friends) are. We’re all okay with that. The less we have to build, the better.
Our Philosophy, Our Needs
We’re building more than a website. We’re building a community. The website, like the space, is in flux. It’s dynamic. And it’s a community project.
In practical terms, it is also very useful for coordination and documentation. So during our volunteer-run meeting today, we discussed what the website should be used for going forward, what some existing needs were, and how we should go about building things. We are, after all, volunteers.
Team meeting notes
Team meeting notes
Our needs, specifically include :
- coordinating volunteers
- gathering donations of goods (paint, routers, cleaning supplies, etc)
- planning events
- documenting our process
Some outcomes and [potential] resolutions from the meeting?
We took the wireframes (developed by Jessy Kate), created visual mockups, and are now working on a child theme that we will make available to other community spaces.
Here is a summary of the principles we discussed :
- All our custom code will be open-source (via our newly setup github repo)
- All our contributions (and those of our community) will be licensed under Creative Commons (specifics are TBD)
- We will work to document our process so other can learn from us and replicate them in their own communities
- We will acknowledge and thank those who contribute to the community
- We welcome participation as long as the safety of our community and participants is not threatened
as of now…. freespace media by Freespace is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
In the spirit of documentation and process sharing, I’ve listed out what we’re using to run our site.
As of now, our website is running on a multisite network provided by WP Igniter.org. The software itself is run on WordPress and WooTheme’s One Pager Theme. Our hosting is provided by Arrow Root Media, and served up by WP Engine’s servers. WP Engine is providing Varnish caching, a CDN, and solid tech support as needed.
Our WordPress Plugins collection include :
Of course – the most important asset we have right now – passionate, caring, dedicated smiley volunteers who care about community, resource sharing, and the power of the collective. Without these key principles in place, we’d all be working on “just another project.” But with vision in action, we are able to catalyze a community of people in a very short amount of time.
Looking forward to more!
Comments, love, appreciations, ideas, and inspiration are welcome. Leave your thoughts below!