Cowork the Vote: Share Your Election-Day Stories

It’s Election Day in these United States, and our more-than-five-dozen coworking spaces know it. Some have helped prepare, hosting and organizing open-source crowdsource election-monitoring tools. Others are hosting results-watching parties, offering incentives to visitors who have voted, or simply opening for business today.

Launchpad Coworkings mashup of the Obama campaign logo with Coworking
Launchpad Coworking's mashup of the Obama campaign logo with Coworking
  • Williamsburg Coworking, in a Jelly session at the “Change You Want to See” gallery in Brooklyn, New York, hosted a coding party last month, as blogged here, to foster development of the “Vote Report” project mashing up Twitter and Google Maps and creating mobile and web applications to support community-based reporting of election-day problems. They invited other Coworking spaces to be part of a nationwide day of coding parties October 24th.

    fervent coders at Williamsburg Coworking
    fervent coders at Williamsburg Coworking
  • BLANKSPACES in Los Angeles, California is not just hosting a party tonight to watch the returns come in (7-9 PM), it is offering “Free WiFi and a seat at the WorkBar” when you show your “I voted” sticker throughout the day.
  • The People’s Republic of Berkeley Coworking hosted a discussion of the myriad local and state ballot propositions on Sunday.
  • CubeSpace in Portland, Oregon is hosting regular “knitting night” as well as the Ruby Brigade this evening; either could be related to the election or to revolutions in coding, but the connection isn’t obvious.
  • Houston’s Caroline Collective hosted a book-signing Saturday for “One Nation Under Blog,” looking at the intersection of Web 2.0 and politics. The space was slated to host a viewing party for the final Presidential debate, but foul weather intervened.
  • Florida’s second Coworking community, CollabOrlando opened yesterday, in Orlando, Florida.
  • New Work City, which also just opened yesterday, is planning a results-viewing event, although not necessarily in the space (as of last report).
  • Julie Gomoll at Launchpad Coworking in Austin, Texas, while not yet open, has blogged about the connection between the citizen-driven democracy encapsulated in the Obama/Biden campaign and coworking. (she also invited President Obama to come by the space anytime he likes).
  • Seattleites can visit Office Nomads for an election-night viewing party tonight after hours, and bring a cupcake and candle if they like to celebrate the space’s recent first birthday.

As I help get out the vote around Philadelphia today, I’ll be stopping by Independents’ Hall to see if anything democracyesque is happening there. What’s your space doing (other than giving paid staff time off to vote, as required by law)? Are your members engaged in the political process? Please add your stories in the comments. Democracy Begins at Work.

BizDevHouse: Oakland, CA

Open House tomorrow

grand opening in 2 weeks

Did the Mayor declare this coworking week in Oakland or something while I was outta town? East Bay spaces in general and Oakland spaces in particular seem to be proliferating all of a sudden. 

There’s not just Derby Creek Coworking Cooperative on Telegraph Ave. in North Oakland at the Berkeley border fresh on the scene (where this past Monday’s orientation meeting featuring a Concord coworking space creator and a Berkeley Coworking founder is a topic for another post). It’s much more than the meeting last night at a co-creative incubator-esque social-venture shared space that’s been together since 2003 just two blocks from my home, NextNow Collaboratory. What popped up today on my radar is another new coworking space in Oaktown

BizDevHouse coworking in Oakland, CA
BizDevHouse coworking in Oakland, CA

BizDevHouse is in the lower Oakland hills/Glenview area, in what looks like a house (a la Cambridge’s BetaHouse) a block off of the neighborhood’s community-oriented commercial strip (Park Street), close to the Montclair neighborhood and MacArthur bus corridor (with frequent 24-hour AC Transit trans-bay service to San Francisco) and 580/13 freeways, one exit up from Grand/Lakeshore business district and Lake Merritt/downtown, near Piedmont and the Parkway Speakeasy theatre with sofas, and also close to the Dimond District and upper Fruitvale neighborhoods. A couple of miles from the BART subway, with a little hill-climbing involved; a similar trek from Berkeley or the downtown Oakland/Oaksterdam, Piedmont, or Rockridge neighborhoods. 

One of the BizDevHouse workspaces
One of the BizDevHouse workspaces (photos on CL)

I first learned of BizDevHouse via a MeetUp alert this morning. It officially opens September 2 (please remove all playa dust before bringing in your laptop), and seems to feature iPhone app developers and seeks Mac developers and “creative tech folks” in general. Another listing adds marketing people to the list, promising a “great place for people who can work virtually but understand the value of creative collaboration.”


BizDevHouse sites

BizDevHouse WordPress blog featuring just the obligatory “Hello, World” post so far: 

BizDevHouse MeetUp group (featuring tomorrow’s open house): 

Open House event listing: 
Tomorrow (Thurs.), 4-8 PM 

Craig’s List ad, including photos:

I’m looking forward to seeing the space and meeting the people behind it. Based on certain clues embedded in the sites linked above, I think I already know some of ’em. 

Raines Cohen, Coworking Coach
Planning for Sustainable Communities (Berkeley, CA)