coworking in businessweek.com

Where the Coffee Shop Meets the Cubicle by Kerry Miller
Coworking facilities blend the appeal of an independent environment with many of the advantages of the traditional office.

brief excerpt…

Over the past few years, coworking facilities—both grassroots, co-op-like versions and for-profit models—have started popping up across the country and the world, from Seattle to Copenhagen. A CoWorking Wiki hosts pages for dozens of other cities with coworking initiatives in progress. And while the concept of shared office space is nothing new to entrepreneurs, an increasing number of them are signing on and finding that the community-building and networking benefits outweigh even the virtues of a shared fax machine.

photos & profiles of some coworking spaces

ps – please note that the original article in ms miller’s article is wrong. it is not co-working it is coworking and you can find more information at http://wiki.coworking.info or http://coworking.pbwiki.com

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Twittering while you cowork

Happy from Snow WhiteIt dawned on me that upcoming “What are you doing now” app Twitter is actually a really good tool for coworking.

I say this for a number of a reasons and will make one and a half feature requests.

First, Twitter is a global consciousness app. Basically, you sign up, tune in and shout out.

You can also use it for productivity or virtual teams, but I won’t get into that here.

What I’m more interested in is 1) finding social energy while you work and 2) knowing that you’re not in the slog alone. These two ideas I think fit really well with the ethos and spirit of the coworking community.

Indeed, more often than not, folks look to coworking to sate a need for social interaction that, let’s face it, you just don’t get from instant messaging or video chat. Being around other people and having them in your peripheral vision reinforces your choice to keep at it and stay focused. it also means that you’ve got people nearby who can help you “unstuck” yourself.

So, when it comes to letting the world know what you’re up to, Twittering allows for the least bit of interaction with the most possible return: with 140 characters or less, you tell the world what you’re up to and receive the same kind of pings in return. When you’re in a room full of coworkers, the social benefits are amplified since you can sense that you’re part of a much larger story than just your coworking experience that will continue on long after you’ve retired for the evening. And, being able to read about what other people are up to and how many of them are doing great things conditions you to get your priorities straight and pursue the things you love to do, just as other people have given themselves permission to do.

Now, in terms of those 1.5 feature requests, I’d love to see publicly joinable groups, in the sense of collated geographies of people. An awesome mashup would take all the people at a Plazes location (like Citizen Space or the Hat Factory) and make them subscribable as a group. This could also be done easily if people used their zipcodes on their profiles, but people move around, so Plazes would be more timely.

Additionally, it would be nice if you could move into an “earshot group” as you migrate from one coworking space to another — automatically subscribing to non-friends as you travel. It would be like being able to listen in to all the calls passing through the the cell tower that you happen to be on at any given time. This kind of “ambient socialization” or “digital overhearing” would nicely accelerate serendipity and potentially increase how quickly you’re able to acclimate to a new environment.

That’s the idea anyway, I’ll leave it up to the clever coworking folks to figure how to mitigate that kind of mass of information.

Hat Factory open house party

San Francisco coworking space The Hat Factory is having an open house party next Wednesday, February the 28th:

Coworking is having an open house, and you’re invited!

Been wondering what all the buzz about coworking is about?

Tired of fighting for desk space at coffee shops like Ritual House Coffee Roasters?

Are you self-employed and miss community and structure in your work life?

If so, then it’s time to start the New Year right and give coworking a try!

What is Coworking? Coworking is a non-profit, cafe-like community and collaboration space for developers, writers and independents. Grassroots coworking spaces are popping up all over the world, from New York City, to Paris, to our very own San Francisco.

On February 28, Wednesday, the Hat Factory Coworking space in San Francisco is throwing its doors open to welcome interested folks who want to give us a try, for free. Come and work with us during the day, from 11 AM to 5:00 PM.
Bring your laptop and that manuscript, screenplay, or killer app you’ve been working on and leave the crowded, loud coffee shops behind.

We’ll also be cooking a big meal starting around 5pm with free dinner served after 6pm. Come and eat with us! We’ll have a projector set up so everyone can show off their work.

making coworking scheduling software a reality

Friends, Romans, Coworkers…

We have reached that point were we are seriously talking about scheduling software. John McGann, 116 West Houston, has hired a developer to update his old software. John doesn’t have any particular construct, php, ruby on rails, drupal or some other open-souce CMS. John just wants the software built with enough ambiguity to manage a generic set of coworking spaces.

My personal interest is to make this dream a reality, and within the next few days we will set up a call to review any/all documents to kick start this bad boy. In the meantime, if you are interested we need you to do three things…

  1. join the coworking google group.
  2. think up what are the best features and post them to the wiki.
  3. add your name if your want to be part of the development team

This article has been cross posted on noneck.org.

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Coworking office in Palo Alto

SocialText Office 2.0

Ross Mayfield, CEO of wiki company SocialText, recently blogged about his company’s expansion into the recently vacated bob and bob location on High Street in Palo Alto.

Besides a venue for hosting events like their recent Wikithon and the more regular Wiki Wednesdays, Ross is also considering turning the space into an open coworking facility for space- and socially-starved independents and mobile work warriors.

If you’re somewhere in the peninsula or would like a convenient drop-in workspace close to University Ave. in Palo Alto, drop Ross a note.

coworking finds an compatriot in nyc

WOW! it looks like a fellow new yorker & buckeye is coming to the right track… today, Nate Westheimer posted cafeBricolage — The NYC Solution is a Hot-plate… i’m so excited to see others thinking along the same lines… the following is my comment, and cross posted at noneck.org

nate, this is great… i’m glad to see that you are coming to the same conclusion many of us have been working on for many months… we already have a small space in brooklyn, and several spaces through out the world. SF and Vancouver have the most vibrant spaces, and the paris space is going to be awesome!

through here in nyc, my self and a few others have been working hard – coworking, barcamp/drupalcamps/rootscamp, and blogging liberally – to extend the notion of a progressive new york city…

it’s great to see, fellow nextNY are finally coming to the right track. i guess it’s time to finally let the cat out of the bag and tell you for the past few months, i’ve been working with the tank, a creative arts space in tribeca, and we have the framework for the location AND A PHYSICAL LOCATION!!!

roughly, we need 5 people who are willing to shepherd the opening and closing of the tank, and VOLA! you have a access to programming and happy hours at the tank. more details to be ironed out in person…

i won’t argue about names or wether or not this is a brand spanking new idea. these are great thoughts that i’m finally happy to see them receive greater acceptance. you have no clue how hard it’s been to talk to fellow nextNY’ers and meetup attendants about coworking/cafeBrickologe…

i’m currently in geneva for LIFT and will be back on sunday. the tank and i are planning on having a happy hour to discuss this space and many other ideas in the next two weeks.

come join the ongoing discussion on our global email list.

Brooklyn Coworking Open House

We’re having an open house, and you’re invited!

  • Tired of arguing with your cat about a bad client?
  • Wondering what is the next wave in social networking?
  • Looking for an invigorating environment to call an “office?”

Break free from hourly coffee purchase and grab a slice of Willamsburg’s alternatively working community. We call it – Coworking – a cafe-like community and collaboration space for developers, writers and independents. Grassroots coworking spaces are popping up all over the world, from San Francisco, to Paris, to a few here in New York City.

Join us this Friday, 12 January, at the Not an Alternative gallery for COWORKING BROOKLYN. From 10 am to 5 pm, our doors will be open for anyone to come on by and give us a try. Bring a laptop, a snack or two, manuscript, screenplay, or killer app and leave the kats behind.

From 5 pm to 6 pm, we will host a happy hour for you and radical techies! This will be one sweet happy hour!

Who are we? Writers, Organizers, Artist, Philosophers, Activist, Bloggers, and Adventure Seekers.

When you join the Brooklyn Coworking space you get:

  • community
  • a low monthly rate
  • wifi
  • printer and scanner
  • coffee
  • beer-o-clock
  • quiet spaces to work in
  • networking and expertise
  • interesting people

If you have questions feel free to email us at brooklyn.coworking[a/t]gmail[d0t]com

Cost: Free!!!
When: Friday, 12 Jan, 2007, 10AM – 5PM (Happy Hour 5pm – 6pm)
Where: Not an Alternative Gallery, 84 Havemeyer, Willamsburg, Brooklyn
Map: OnNYTurf Subway map or http://tinyurl.com/ykmhbd

hCal Info:

Want more info?
Join the NYC Coworking Google Group – http://groups.google.com/group/coworkingnyc
Check out Not an Alternative Gallery: http://www.thechangeyouwanttosee.org
See the Coworking Wiki: http://wiki.coworking.info/
See the Coworking Blog: http://blog.coworking.info/

Toronto Coworking Preview

The Indoor Playground is having an open house.

The Indoor Playground, 364 Richmond Street West, Suite 503, Toronto, ON

On Friday, January 12th the Indoor Playground – A Centre for Innovation in Toronto is throwing its doors open to welcome interested folks to come an check out the space. A preview to see the space before it is finished. To provide the organizers feedback, suggestions, and to give the community an opportunity to help shape the space, furnishings, etc. You’ll be joining a zoo of interesting people: programmers, designers, marketers, filmmakers, podcasters, entrepreneurs, freelancers, project managers, artists, consultants, and you.

The Details

Friday, January 12, 2007 5:30pm EST
Indoor Playground
364 Richmond St West, Suite 503
Toronto, Ontario
(Yahoo! Maps, Google Maps)

Check out:
The Indoor Playground community: http://indoorplayground.com/
The CreationStep announcement: http://creationstep.com/index.php/2007/01/03/indoor-playground-centre-for-innovation/
Mark Dowd’s blog about the space: http://markdowds.typepad.com/weblog/2007/01/indoor_playgrou.html
David Crow’s invitation: http://davidcrow.ca/article/1384/indoor-playground-details-open-house

Let us know if you’re planning on attending http://upcoming.org/event/137316

Coworking Open House

We’re having an open house, and you’re invited!

Been wondering what all the buzz about coworking is about?

Tired of fighting for desk space at coffee shops like Ritual House Coffee Roasters?

Are you self-employed and miss community and structure in your work life?

If so, then it’s time to start the New Year right and give coworking a try!

What is Coworking? Coworking is cafe-like community and collaboration space for developers, writers and independents. Grassroots coworking spaces are popping up all over the world, from New York City, to Paris, to our very own San Francisco.

On January 3rd, Wednesday, the Hat Factory Coworking space in San Francisco is throwing its doors open to welcome interested folks who want to give us a try, for free. Come and work with us during the day, from 11 AM to 5:00 PM. Bring your laptop and that manuscript, screenplay, or killer app you’ve been working on and leave the crowded, loud coffee shops behind.

You’ll be joining a zoo of interesting people: videobloggers, writers, artists, programmers, marketers, filmmakers, podcasters, entrepreneurs, freelancers, project managers, photoeditors, consultants, and you.

When you join the Hat Factory Coworking space you get:
* community
* a low monthly rate
* kitchen
* free wifi
* printers
* coffee
* beer-o-clock
* quiet spaces to work in
* networking and expertise
* interesting people

If you have questions feel free to email us at try-me@hatfactory.net

The details:
When: Jan 3rd, 2007, Wednesday, 11AM – 5PM
Where: Hat Factory, 801 Minnesota St., #8, San Francisco Map
Cost: Free

Want more info?

Check out the Hat Factory web site: http://hatfactory.net/
See the Coworking Wiki: http://coworking.pbwiki.com
See the Coworking Blog: http://blog.coworking.info/
See the event post on Upcomming: http://upcoming.org/event/135259