This afternoon, 2011-01-19 at 19.19 CET, Umeå Hackerspace will have its constitutional meeting. This means that it will become a registered organisation that can not only sign deals and organize events but also manage an economy and democratically use the money for whichever cause the members see fit.
The upside of this is of course accountability. There will be a real organisation with real people that, when media or whomever wants to interact, are official representatives of Umeå Hackerspace. Also the responsibility over common resources is shared between reliable, elected members of the organisation.
The downside of this is the possible staleness of an organisation. The most creative hierarchies are flat, where no one has more or less power than the next person. It is therefore very important that the individuals elected to the board are open-minded and neutral.
All-in-all I personally believe that the organisation created will mostly be one of those necessary for certain interactions with other organisations. Such as organising events. The everyday activities, hacking or otherwise, will most likely seldom have anything to do with the formal organisation - these are still mostly spontaneous, random interactions between people. Nothing necessarily scheduled, planned or managed.
So don't think we're losing our grip and fading into boring, old-fashioned hierarchies. It's nothing like that. Becoming a formal, registered organisation is only a step in becoming more relatable for your average Joe - rather than imposing some fictional idea of authority.
You are welcome to become a member, or even attend the constitutional meeting. It will be held tonight at 19.19 CET. The address is Fabriksgatan 8b kv in Umeå. I hear there will be coffee and some sort of related snack.