Noisebridge's Vision eschews the use of rules, which is why these are guidelines. Historically, the membership has noticed that certain actions are good for the space and other actions cause problems. This is a list of guidelines to help you determine whether something you're considering is a good idea.
We're not Wikipedia, but many ideas here are explained much more articulately in Wikipedia's list of key policies and guidelines, especially the ideas that it's not a bureaucracy, that it operates on the basis of consensus, and that ultimately, Wikipedia users can ignore rules that don't apply to them.
Antandrus's observations on Wikipedia behavior has some key insights into what makes people tick in a self-organizing group of people like Wikipedia, and many of those insights also apply to the people who are part of the greater Noisebridge community.
- Talk to people and make friends. Part of the point of Noisebridge is interpersonal interaction, and we want to meet you and learn about whatever cool project you're working on. It's amazing how often random discussions between people at Noisebridge have turned into things that show up on the world stage.
- On the other hand, do be sensitive to people's desire to stop talking and start hacking. If someone starts looking away, returning to their laptop or project, or begins walking away, consider that you might be the Nth person to strike up a conversation with them, and they may want to actually get something done.
- Don't sleep at Noisebridge. It's an anti-pattern. If money is a problem, have a look at our page of starving hacker resources for ways to get around and crash if you're short on cash.
- Pull your own weight. We don't have housekeeping service, so clean up after yourself and put things away when you're done. In fact, you're going to get a lot of good karma by tidying up twice the amount of space you use on a regular basis.
- Everything in Noisebridge is hackable. If you don't want something taken apart and turned into a giant robot the moment your back is turned, leave it on your shelf, or mark it clearly with your name, a way to contact you, the date, and what you're doing. Even then there are no guarantees -- it's just mildly rude to hack on a labelled thing unannounced, as opposed to positively encouraged.
- If you find yourself having to explain something in the space more than once, you should probably label it.
- If you can't throw something away in a full garbage can, you should probably empty it.
- If you see someone being awesome or something which is awesome, it's awesome in turn to sing its praises. Motivation is a rare commodity among us and a compliment here and there can work wonders in terms of creating more of it. We have a Noticeboard of Excellence by the door which is a good place to leave a semi-permanent thankyou.
- Bringing minors to Noisebridge might result in them being exposed to ideas outside of your control, and you probably shouldn't bring them if that's going to be a problem.
- Bringing pets hasn't historically been a serious problem, since we have a pretty big space and allergic folks can usually relocate. You should still ask around and meet people to find out, though!
- Don't bittorrent from the space, it causes lots of problems for other people trying to use the network. We've also gotten DMCA notices about people snarfing copyrighted content using our links and they're very annoying and unexcellent. Please don't download copyrighted content illegally using our Internet links.
- If you're going to smoke, smoke downstairs on the sidewalk. Don't smoke on the fire escape -- it affects our neighbour's small children, the ash falls down onto the fruit below, and the fire service get mad at us.
- At least one Noisebridge member is seriously allergic to marijuana smoke, so please don't smoke it in the space or nearby.
- Don't talk about politics or religion if you want to avoid conflict. Noisebridge attracts a certain kind of personality that gets irate when they suspect someone thinks they're wrong, and even mentioning you support a different political or religious group than them can really push their buttons if they're having a bad day.
- Going on the roof is, except in narrow conditions that you almost certainly aren't covered by, a violation of our lease agreement. It also causes leaks, and in the past a leak destroyed some irreplaceable artwork belonging to a member. Don't go up there without talking to someone who knows about the lease details.
- Taking stuff from the space temporarily without leaving a note with your contact info is a surefire way to cause problems. Taking stuff permanently, even if everyone agrees it needs to go, can cause tax issues which you should bring up at the weekly meetings.
- Please ask before playing music through the public audio systems, especially if people are quietly enjoying the space.
- Try to keep infodumps to new acquaintances to under a few minutes. Many people at Noisebridge are walking libraries on their field of expertise, but no one likes being fed a textbook through their ears.
- Do not do anything at Noisebridge or involving Noisebridge which could affect a political election campaign, express or implied, incumbent or not. While not illegal, it is grounds for the IRS to revoke our tax exempt status, no exceptions.
- Noisebridge must not be involved in anything which could affect legislation, with certain limited exemptions. Talk to the officers of the corporation for guidance if you are unsure whether your proposed activities will be exempt or not.