IN-Berlin is a community-driven Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Berlin. I've been around IN-Berlin since I'm 18 years old, and I really like the project.
It is about making your own infrastructure, not depending on others and commercial interests when it comes to the things I want to do in the Internet.
And it is about making infrastructure available to others, who don't know about the technology.
Or to the ones who like technology, but don't have the chances to buy hardware themselves.
It is about autonomy, which is something people are losing (intentionally) more and more nowadays, giving away government over their lifes for some comfort they get with Google Mail, github, facebook, etc.
I think the Open Source or hacker community is
Along with the mentioned point, we need more internationalisation. Most of the people at IN-Berlin, and at least those doing the support have good English knowledge. Providing English support doesn't matter for our supporters, so the only things we have to do is to provide an English website and English contracts.
On the one hand, autonomy has lost its appeal – so we're having problems finding new blood just because less people are interested in making their own infrastructure – they don't have the need for it.
On the other hand, the job at IN-Berlin is much work, and being an administrator is also not appealing for many people who care for projects which generate more fame. If you have two people, one is saying “Yeah, I do support for some people who don't know how to make websites”, and the other one saying “I develop this anti-censorship software which helps people communicate” – who is the one you would value higher?
There are no ways to overcome this strange concept of reputation, but there must be people who won't like it as well – and who want to support us. It's just about finding them…
On the 29c3, there was a talk about Limesco, a community-driven mobile phone provider in NL. Though I still didn't manage to see the talk about it, I really like the idea. I think IN-Berlin has the capabilities of also being a mobile provider. And there are many people complaining about their providers, who just don't have another choice – in the end, they're all the same. So maybe we can make a difference here and be our own provider?
Marc (who unfortunately left the project) tried to make the IN-Berlin space more like a hackerspace. And he succeeded in great parts, but there are still more possible events and user groups you could have in our rooms.
Eventually, I want to have a space where you can go nearly every day and somebody will be there, working on his project.
IN-Berlin is an open provider, and everybody can come by and join in. But it would still be itneresting, and maybe even lure more people, if we made our infrastructure more open.
I.e. we should show off with the hardware and peerings we have. There are people who don't have the time to join us, but still want to read about professional infrastructure, and there are people who maybe have time and would be animated to come by.