OK, that's the (semi-)official part done. Now here's my opinion on the matter:Keep the status quo.
Twin Cities Maker is the group, the Hack Factory is the place.
Here's my reasoning..."Hack" is a dirty word
Not among our crowd, to be sure, but our crowd is exceedingly small. There are a lot of potential members out there who don't have a connection to "hacker culture", and see the word only in its predominant sense of criminality. They'd be at least wary of joining a group of hackers, if not immediately turned away from it. There are a lot of potential donors in the same position.
I had my daughter ask her friends to define "hacker"; they all responded with the criminal sense. These are 14 - 16 year old kids, and they don't see being a hacker as a positive thing. I'll agree that's not good, but that's where the language is at the moment, and we're not going to change that any time soon. I don't want to fight that perception in the meantime."Hacker" is exclusionary
Hackers generally work on scientific or technical things: computer hackers, circuit hackers, biology hackers. But we have lots of wood and metal enthusiasts, artists, musicians and tinkerers to go along with the hackers. "Maker" is a much more inclusive term; it doesn't presume a particular skill set.Twin Cities Maker is the main name in use
Strange that we're having this discussion at all, but Twin Cities Maker really is the main name that's been put out to the world. Search for "Hack Factory" on Google
. What words start off the top result? Twin Cities Maker, every time. (Yes, it says "Hack Factory" too, that's why I want to keep both.)Twin Cities Maker is the original name
Paul set up the domain name and original forum, which got this whole crazy-quilt going. See http://blog.makezine.com/2009/01/11/twin-cities-maker-hacker-space-prop/Having two names isn't confusing, as long as we're consistent
The Twins play at Target Field. The Wild play at Xcel Energy Center. The Twin Cities Makers play at the Hack Factory. As long as we stay consistent -- TCMaker is the organization, the Hack Factory is the venue -- there won't be confusion.