A Possible Model for GW Meetings
I've long had a tangential interest in the hacker scene. It kind of goes with being a ham radio operator. There is quite a bit of crossover between the two. I'm also a big fan of 2600 magazine & their radio show Off the Hook on WBAI in New York. The magazine sponsors 2600 Meetings the first Friday of the Month all around the world. I think the model they present might be useful for GW local meetups. They list the meetings in the back of each issue of their quarterly. It's really helped to create a community.
There are a number of positive things about it. I'll quote those guidelines below. I present this as a model only of something else that already works for one group. Perhaps we can adapt it to our own needs.
"2600 Meetings exist as a forum for all interested in technology to meet and talk about events in technology-land, learn, and teach. Meetings are open to anyone of any age or level of expertise. All meetings take place on the first Friday of every month from approximately 5 pm to 8 pm local time unless otherwise noted.
1) We meet in a public area. Nobody is excluded. There is no admission charge or dues of any sort. It's preferable to have meetings in as open a spot as possible rather than behind closed doors. This ensures that new people who don't know about the meetings will be drawn in. We have nothing to hide and we don't presume to judge who is worthy of attending and who is not. If law enforcement harasses us, it will backfire as it did at the infamous Washington DC meeting in 11/92. (You can find more information on this event in the Secret Service section of our web site.)
2) We act in a responsible manner. We don't do illegal things and we don't cause problems for the place we're meeting in. *Most* 2600 meetings are welcomed by the establishments we choose.
3) We meet on the first Friday of the month between 5 pm and 8 pm local time. While there will always be people who can't make this particular time, the same will hold true for *any* time or day chosen. By having all of the meetings on the same day, it makes it very easy to remember, opens up the possibility for inter-meeting communication, and really causes hell for the federal agencies who want to monitor everything we do. (A few meetings have slight variations on the meeting time - these are noted accordingly.)
4) While meetings are not limited to big cities, most of them take place in large metropolitan areas that are easily accessible.While it's convenient to have a meeting in your home town, we encourage people to go to meetings where they'll meet people from as wide an area as possible. So if there's a meeting within an hour or two of your town, go to that one rather than have two smaller meetings fairly close to each other. You always have the opportunity to get together with "home town hackers" any time you want.
5) All meetings *must* contact us to let us know how things are going even if nothing unusual is happening. If we don't hear from your city on a regular basis, we'll have to stop publicizing the site since telling people to go to where no meeting is really doesn't do anyone a service. You can email us at email@example.com or call us at (631) 751-2600. Please be sure to tell us *which* meeting you're writing about as we don't automatically know which one you're referring to.
Anyone can have meetings and set whatever rules they wish. However, if they're going to be affiliated with 2600, we ask that these few guidelines be observed. Thanks."