Farset Labs is adopting a new membership model in the next few weeks to adapt to the different needs of the different types of members in the space. This both helps students and those of low income by significantly cutting the costs of membership, and provides a bed for more wealthy people to get access to more expensive features at a very low price compared to for-profit ventures.
The Current Model
As all members will be aware, the current model of membership operates at a fixed amount payable each month, with a £5 discount for people with valid student cards at recognised academic institutions. At this time, the membership fee is £30 per month, making it £25 per month for students.
Reasons for the change
A lot of people have approached Farset Labs with the intention of joining, only to be discouraged from signing up due to the relatively high costs involved. This is most noticeable in students and those with lower incomes. These are precisely the kind of people Farset Labs needs to be vibrant, so we need to tailor to them first. Similarly, more professional members have expressed a wish for more business-like features and high-end features, which will be made available at a premium.
These changes were discussed at the Town Hall meeting this month and the community who attended accepted the plan.
Some of the listed advantages (specifically the job board and Asterisk-based phone systems) are not available yet, but we’re pushing these administrative changes for new members out as quickly as possible to give Freshers coming to the Belfast area to study, and recent grads coming to work here, an even greater incentive to join the community.
The membership model will now be modelled with four distinct levels, each with different levels of access and varying features, and a proportionate price to match. These roles will cover from basic student membership up to “honorary” membership for those who wish to financially support Farset Labs or with to provide extra monetary help on an ongoing basis.
Our Membership page has been updated to reflect a summary of these roles
Student membership for Farset Labs will be priced at £15 per month and is available to all members with a valid student card at a recognised academic institution, and those attending a recognised school.
This level of membership offers:
- Access to the space while it is open, but not 24-hour access#;
- Use of all equipment and tools in the space;
- Access to the Internet and public network resources using both WiFi and the wired network;
- Access to all events organised by Farset Labs;
- The ability to use the event space and other rooms for meetings if they are free at the time;
- Voting rights at Town Hall meetings and in all community polls.
Enthusiast membership is priced at £25 per month and is aimed at hobbyists and enthusiasts, as well as students who want a higher level of access, particularly when it comes to online resources and access to the space 24/7. It is available to all members.
Enthusiast membership offers, in conjunction with the benefits of Student membership:
- 24 hour access to the space, the ability to open the building and work on your own (with reasonable exceptions for renovations, etc);
- Access to a VPN service at all times from outside the space;
- A Project Box for storing equipment and tools belonging to the member;
- A 3GB allocation for web space, email and NAS storage;
- The ability to book the lounge, and workshop if they are free with a week’s notice.
Freelancer membership is priced at £35 per month and is aimed at young professionals, freelancers and startup founders looking for more professional features and tools at their disposal. It is available to all members.
Freelancer membership offers, in addition to the benefits of Enthusiast membership:
- An increased quota for web space, email and NAS storage to 5GB;
- The ability to book the event space if it is free with a week’s notice, but not the workshop;
- A telephone extension on the main Farset Labs number;
- A print quota of 60 pages per month;
- A public profile on the Farset Labs website;
- Posting rights to a job board in the space advertising services or the need for services.
Angel membership is aimed at those wishing to support Farset Labs financially by giving a bit more than usual, perhaps because they like the idea or want to seed success. It is available to all members.
The price of Angel membership is £75 per month and up; members paying £75 per month are deemed Angel members, but those wishing to give more are more than welcome to.
Benefits for Current Members
To thank current members for their early support for the space, current student members paying £25 per month will be grandfathered into the Enthusiast membership plan. Likewise, existing personal members paying £30 per month will be grandfathered into the Freelancer membership plan, saving them £5 per month.
This discount will apply for as long as they maintain their current membership; changing down to a lower level and switching back to Freelancer membership will incur a £35 per month membership cost as usual.
Concessions for Starving Hackers
At Farset Labs’ discretion, non-students may be offered a student rate, with the same access rights as Student membership, minus voting rights. This will be offered to those known to be in genuine need only and will not be overtly advertised. (Other than this blog post I guess…)