Author Archives: paulszym

Thank you all for making the day simply fantastic!

Wow, now that was fun :)  What a truly awesome day!!!

Thanks to everyone who came along:  you were all fantastic.  We really appreciated how you were all excellent to each other.  That made the job of the crew significantly easier.  Thanks.

A special thank you to our Contributing Sponsors Swinburne University of Technology, Uniting Church in Australia and 3D Printing Systems.  Thanks also to our assisting sponsor element14 for their support with the soldering workshops, and a special shout out to MakeDo for their wonderful system that made the Maze and partition screens possible.  Without the help we received from our sponsors, it wouldn’t have been possible to host the event.  And of course, thanks to Make and O’Reilly media for their support and encouragement.  Thank you all very much.

The day itself would not have been the intensely fun and fantastic event that it was without our wonderful family of Makers who came along to show their projects and skills.  You folks simply rocked!  And I’d particularly like to thank everyone who traveled from far away to be with us, and to John Bosua for his help with equipment.  Please check out the list of Makers on the Maker page to learn more about their work.

And last, but very much not least, I’d like to officially thank the core team and our other volunteer members of the Mini Maker Faire Melbourne crew.  Please check out the M Team page to find out a bit more about who pitched in to make the event happen.  Truly outstanding help from all of you.  Thanks for making my job a heck of a lot easier.

My thanks again to you all for helping the Connected Community HackerSpace run the first very successful Australasian Mini Maker Faire.  Call me crazy, but I’m already looking forward to doing it again soon!

Here we go! – Have an Excellent Day :)

Well, today is the big day!  I hope you’re all suitably excited – I know I am.  So many fantastic and fun things for everyone to see and take part in.

For those attending today’s event, there’s just one main thing we’d ask of you all: Please be excellent to each other today.

There are couple of other things worth mentioning that relate to the approach we’ve taken to planning and running this event.  Understanding these ideas might help you understand the style of the event a little better.

Unconferences and Open-Space Technology
The other important thing to note is that we’ve adopted in large part an “unconference” approach to running this event, using some of the main ideas behind the Open-Space Technology (OST) approach.  

The main thing to keep in mind is that the day is your day: make of it what you will.  If something isn’t working, please feel free to work with others to improve it.  If you don’t like something you’re involved in, make use the rule of two feet.  Although we have many elements of the programme pre-planned and organised, we’ve attempted to have Makers contribute to that process as much as is practical.  We’ve also left some elements of the programme open to dynamically evolve on the day, particularly with respect to presentations, talks, demonstrations, discussions and potentially even adhoc. workshops that don’t require a lot of preparation.

We’re standing on the shoulders of giants: these philosophies for running events come from a number of sources, including our friends at Noisebridge Hackerspace.  What follows is a a discussion of their Tripartite Pillars system, in the context of our Maker faire event.

Tripartite Pillars
At the core of the event, we’re applying the basic thinking behind the Noisebridge Hackerspace Tripartite Pillars, and we’re asking all our makers, volunteers and attendees to abide by and help promote this philosophy:

– Excellence: “Be excellent to each other” (yes, courtesy of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure).  Mini Maker Faire Melbourne will be a fantastic day if we all take ownership of that one simple principle.  Everything else will flow easily from there.  If you think an action you’re about to make may not be considered excellent by others, ask someone else first and avoid having someone refer you to the fundamental rule of all social spaces.

– Do-ocracy: We’ve created this event and the spaces within it to provide makers the opportunity to showcase what they do.  It’s your day and we want you to take advantage of it.  We’re running this event with volunteer help, donated facilities and services, and limited funds.  It will help us immensely if you take ownership of your needs and help to make the day a great one for yourself and everyone else.  You don’t need to ask permission to do something excellent, particularly where it won’t adversely effect others.  If you see something that needs doing, or a problem that needs to be addressed, please step in and fix it yourself.  If you’re in doubt whether your action is a good choice for others, whether it is safe or whether you can handle it alone, find a buddy and work on it together: grab another maker or a volunteer and work out a solution.

– Consensus: With a nod to “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”, we’re encouraging – as much as possible – making decisions by consensus.  Where that’s not possible, and particularly where Excellence or Do-ocracy are at risk, we’ll employ judicious use of “benevolent dictators” to keep the show moving and support the needs of as many people as we can. Also see here.