From my perspective, NoiseBridge is a continuation of the hacker space I had in mind when I started the SFhackspace google group a few days ago. So, I'll quote from some relevant parts of what I wrote there:
I was totally inspired by Chaos Camp in Berlin this summer (2007). There were so many incredibly beautiful projects that people showed at the Camp, and many of them came out of hacker spaces that exist all over Germany and Austria (in big cities, but also in lots of small towns). Since I've been back from Berlin, I've been talking to lots of people about starting a hacker space here.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a space that is open to members 24/7, a place to work on projects both solo and collaborative, a place to support and be supported in your projects, easily accessible to mass transit, safe to get to night or day, a place with a kitchen and a shower, a place to hang out with other geeks? Excitement has been building to create such a space! It turns out that there are several other people who have been independently thinking about starting a hacker space here. There are probably lots of people that none of us know that are also thinking about this as well. This all tells me that it is really is time for a hacker space here!
I uploaded a document that is from some Chaos folks. It gives ideas about what has worked (and not) for them. It is a good place to look to get some ideas, and is a good starting point for discussion.
Last night (18-Nov-07), as I type, a group of us discussed some ideas that we were all jazzed about (as I remember it -- others please feel free to edit this): a space where members pay between $50 and $100 per month (depending on the rent and any common fund we'd like to build up); exploring the intersection of art and technology; diverse membership is cool! (both in types of people and in the types of geekiness members are into); no tolerance of intolerance, including no homophobia, racism, sexism; agreement that people will work interpersonal things out with each other (including not talking behind others' backs); respect for others' well being; there will be space for members to work on projects, and a common space for events, classes, art; members can store their projects in storage drawers/lockers/bins; the focus of the space is non-commercial.
Photography is directly related to art, chemistry and mathematics. Building new an unique processes and integrating technology is very much in line with our purpose. ioerror 14:02, 19 November 2007 (PST)