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Want to Start a Free Geek?

Get To Know Us

  • Join startup
    • Introduce yourself
  • Read the wiki
  • Hang out on irc
  • Visit a Free Geek!
    • This sure can fast-track your application
    • We might be able to visit them too.
    • give us a call

Make a Franchise Application

  • Application is sent to franchise@ where all the other Free Geeks will evaluate it.
  • Should the application form suggest a second contact in addition to the primary applicant?


Initial Communication

  • Application is sent to franchise@
  • Acknowledgment of receipt mailed to applicant

Steward Communication

  • Someone volunteers to steward the application
    • How will stewards self-select?
    • Should we have an application workgroup for this, styled after a hardware grant workgroup? It would use the franchise@ list so everyone could see it, but maybe each franchise would have a self-selected representative or two?
    • But seriously, how will stewards self-select?
  • Steward emails applicant, says their application is being processed, gives them a timeline
    • Should we have a "within 3 months" timeline for processing? That will probably give enough time to process thorny applications.
    • Should this email take place within 10 days of the initial application? This should be enough time for a steward to self-select.
  • Steward contacts applicant/s with follow-up phone call.
    • "Did you get our email?"
    • "Do you have any questions?"
    • The steward should encourage the applicant/s to invite their compadres to Get To Know Us
  • Steward reports all communication back to


  • What about a monthly IRC meeting for Free Geeks (or representatives in the application workgroup)
  • This will help us stay on top of applications


what are we looking for?
  • Social work experience
  • environmental awareness
  • Business/non-profit experience
  • nonhierarchical commitment and experience
  • community connections
  • Resourcefulness / access to resources
  • The grok factor
  • Free and open source commitment/interest/ability

Woah! We are a Free Geek and have no time

  • license agrement - # of years?
  • documentation to cull
    • IRS 990
    • Statistics - i.e. recycling, computers given out, volunteer hours
    • project goals - i.e. Moving/Expanding
    • bilaws and policies
what support could established Free Geeks provide, or better how can we help them organize them selves?
  • Free Geek Starter kits
License agreement?
  • different levels
  • how long
what are the different types of Free Geeks?
  • have space or running out of garages
  • have staff or all volunteer run
Free Geek Starter Kit
  • Email list (starts with the startup list and soon moves to the location@freegeek list, possibly?)
  • wiki Page (with some kind of frame work for them to work in)
  • red flags to look out for (like FAQ?)
  • dns redirection to their wiki page for ease of browsing.
  • web frame work, could/should there be more?
  • standard project time line to tweak to there needs (perhaps integrated into there wiki template)
what does Free Geek offer to successful applicants?
  • social network, credibility
  • advice, resources, brand recognition
  • experience
fast.slow <=> Big.Small
fast and Big
fast and Small
slow and Big
slow and Small

variations on time and space

Speed of application process

things that make it faster
  • we know them
  • very communicative, asks questions, keeps us posted
  • no red flags
  • they grok us
  • they have most all the parts we are looking for
things that make it slower
  • sparse communication
  • we don't know them
  • lots of red flags
  • they don't have a lot of the things we are looking for.

Scope of proposed operation

large organization
  • big resource base
  • potential volunteers
  • large hardware donation base
  • Solid core of people
  • big time commitment
small origination
  • small resource base
  • small time commitment
  • one person operation