Hitchgathering/2011/Magdeburg Meeting/Minutes/Day2

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After some productive practical work we went to the park to discuss the points brought up beforehand by Valentina and Tomi and everything else that sprung from that.

The "why", "what" and "how" of The Hitchgathering concept in general


  • meet up with hitchhikers; promote hitchhiking
  • for the later involve beginners, by offering help more directly
    • -> getting started:
      • we have links to hitchwiki already
      • promote pre-gathering to hook up with experienced hitchhikers
      • offer help / contacts for newcomers
      • just click a checkbox "I wanna help" on your profile and you show up in a list so people know they can contact you for help
Not bad idea, suggestions welcome on how to implement it practically. --Sitarane.mp


  • organise communication:
    • again: local contacts per region (e.g. Germany+Austria+Switzerland): Everyone takes care of his region. Hitchhiking Clubs, CS communication, local communities and press
We will need to make sure there is no important area with no volunteer. --Sitarane.mp
    • We reorganised the wiki. Moved the location discussion away and we're now using the main orga page to list the stuff to do. New organizational model: When you want to do something, you put your name on the same line in the to-do list on the wiki. Even if it's for later.
    • Contact Tadas for Lithuania, Martin for Latvia
  • most people will want to avoid Romania because it's very slow. The last "choke point" where everyone will pass is Sofia: have a bigger promo action there, like in BCN?
    • The participants of the pre-meeting were very reluctant to invest time-energy in setting up a BCN-like or even Odessa-like promotion action. We estimated that it was a lot of work for a very little effect.
    • we might not need to promote but then we can connect to the local community

What to do there?

  • encourage people to suggest activities; have a workshop list on the website
    • A website gimmick is possible where people can register a workshop or activity suggestion, even without offering to organize it, and other people can decide to set it up.
My project --Sitarane.mp
  • Set up a forum for workshops coordination, e.g. "can s/o organise a beamer for showing a movie?"
  • ask on website registration what people like to see and can offer


  • Permanent "open stage". People are encouraged to prepare something.
  • jam: who can bring a guitar' etc.
    • A website gimmick is possible where people can request a musical instrument, even without offering to bring it, and other people can offer to bring it.
My project too --Sitarane.mp
  • sport equipment.
    • A website gimmick is possible where people can request an article (volleyball, frisbee...), even without offering to bring it, and other people can offer to bring it.
My project too too. That's all very similar stuff. --Sitarane.mp
  • free shop
  • Open Space, as usual
  • games: a on-site gimmick to suggest them.
    • (threesome) speed-dating, if you are caught telling bullshit you loose, otherwise you win points
    • have a bowl with name and an one-line description to tell a best moment story
    • Werewolf was fun last year.
  • Lightfoot box
  • photo story telling (see evaluation)
  • FIXME: see evaluation, also camera valentina


  • Ben: reorganize menu
That's done actually
  • reorganize the main page: have a more stranger-friendly place, put the stories aside
  • add a short page on Hitchgathering history
  • how hard it is for off-Schengen to come? ... put it on the website in Russian. Figure out how Schengen people can assist.

Learning points from Hitchgathering 2010 feedback


  • Promotion was a pain and boring. Who wants to do that?
  • Concentrate on social media, internet
Please add some other celebrities.
  • have flyers
Contact Robino about last year.
    • track distribution and make it more open; make better use of them
  • Much more DIY promotion, e.g. Michendorf, Grunewald in Berlin, the A'dam spot to Germany, Horner Kreisel in Hamburg
    • Paint the web address with your marker on the HH spot, put it on your cardboard and hang it somewhere
    • Look at the list for getting more ideas (additions welcome)


  • have a kitchen like last year: sign up for stuff on the website, but mostly local support (soup kitchens?). Same website gimmick...
  • Find a bike (with trailer!) on the spot, as town will bei 40m away
  • have pre-meetings with relaxed travel times/distances to the main meeting, to not exhaust people
That was a problem last year.
  • make sure there is some (Russian-speaking / local) core facilitators to turn to; everything else should work ad-hoc
  • look for nomad bases, open houses, squats and stuff in the east,
    • there is one: get in touch with Christopher
  • we need power!: have solar panels
    • add links on where to buy them.
  • Internet: try and organise mobile Internet
    • Yeah, this is 2011. Should be fine.
  • have a contact list on the laptop for those who didn't sign up before, maybe even on the website directly
    • Instead of doing it on a cardboard, taking a picture of it, and never bothering about it.
  • make people upload photos to a central spot (to Flickr?), have an "official" tag, maybe one common Flickr account
  • provide auto-sticking paper for name tags; or whatever information they like: Malerkrepp (english?), Henna
    • Some of us find the idea ridiculous, but some like it. So it's nice to have the material for those that want it.
  • have a hashtag for twitter, people should put their best moment on the internet and we compile it.
    • Can we make it cross-framework? Do identi.ca and ping.fm use hashtags?

Allocation of roles and clarification of responsibilities for organizers and facilitators

Organizational mess is endemic to this event. We tried to brainstorm ways to work less and do more.

  • there is the idea of regional contact persons, see above
    • Put a list of countries we need covered on the orga wiki page. People can put their names...
  • we do not see a need for much roles and instead favor a task-centered approach:
    • put names (and dates maybe) on todo items
    • Identify completed items.
    • Periodically ask on the mailing list for a volunteer to go over the todo list and see if the items that have names in front of them are being done, and identifying the important tasks that nobody is doing.

Do wee want it big? If so, how do we make it BIG (500-1000 participants) enough to stand out from other gatherings?

  • Whoever comes are the right people.
Huh... Someone likes to quote scripture... --Sitarane.mp
  • We reject competition in favor of diversity
How about "We support world peace"... --Sitarane.mp

Deciding and start developing the communication and platform channels (Drupal or/and OpenAtrium? Hitchwiki community...)

  • Clarification: Mailing list is for instant communication, wiki for actual work. We find the website forum redundant with the mailing list (when it come to coordination) and that people prefer to use the mailing list. Therefore, we're dropping the coordination forum. User forum is still on for organising pregatherings and finding travel partners...

What's next

  • Another pre-meeting beginning July in Berlin
    • For organisation but also as an event in itself. We think people will like a little HH trip in June or July. Maybe we can have like 20 people showing up for lulz and work.
    • to distribute remaining flyers