I was just thinking about this today, because I went to Last Thursday on Alberta street on April 29th. (that picture of a cookie is from an awesome vendor at Last Thursday)
I didn’t realize that the vendors there are primarily self-organizing until about two weeks ago. I had always thought there was a central committee (But there is this ning…). But the vendors just show up, set up tents and hang out.
People would probably make more money and not have to work so hard if things were a bit more organized, but they need more of a light form of administrative assistance, rather than a bunch of top-down organizing. Creating a contact point and information hub, making sure there are portapotties, figuring out ways of providing power, and making sure that business owners and locals are (mostly) happy with what is going on would do wonders. And really, it seems like Magnus Johannesson is working toward that.
This is how I feel about tech community facilitation – we should be making incremental, measurable progress in our tech community on goals that most see the value in and in ways that continue to make organizers and participants feel empowered to act on their own.