This was one of the topics that came up at our bi-annual Cobot retreat too. We have always had the tagline “More Time for your Coworkers” - because we feel that the primary way to build community is getting out there face to face and building community. But over the years, we have the feeling too that it is time to be more active on adding the community building and personal matching tools right into Cobot (coming soon to a software near you).
But that being said, I think that there are also a lot of ways to built it within the space with events and the matchmaking that comes through with it. That is also one of the keys of co-up, our own space. We have been hosting meet-ups, especially programming oriented meetups and don’t charge room rent as long as they don’t collect fees from the attendees. For us it has been perfect because we are know throughout the community for being the host, and for being a space where people can run into each other. We know who to refer questions too and there is something for everyone (who programms). It becomes the identity of the space.
**But how can that be automated? **
You need to open the space, coordinate meetings, find willing coordinators. be available. Sure the scheduling can be automated, but that is a small piece of the pie…
Where does software come into the picture then…
We are putting our bet on “intelligent matching”. Increasing serendipity. Right now the referrals, are coming through our staff, but we want someone in the Rails Girls group to be able to meetup with someone from the Coding Amigos if they are both currently working on a front-end web project. And to encourage people to contact people who arrive on other nights.
Some of this is done through our Slack channel / integration. But a social platform that helps with matching is really the key.
No space manager, no matter how good they are can keep the individual quirks of 100+ members in their head, especially when people are coming for extra events as well!
Increasing the Building of Community is the Holy Grail of Coworking!
And it is what will always set independent spaces apart from the big “coworking” operations.
Maybe we can push it further at GCUC in LA!
On Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 6:35:04 PM UTC+2, Alex Hillman wrote:
There’s a million ways to manage billing out there but nothing that actually helps us be better at our jobs. I’d kill for tools that actually helped with the community building process.
Every CRM-like tool is basically a “deal flow” manager or, at best, an account manager. I’d love something that actually helped me and my team build and cultivate stronger relationships with the people in my community. Ideally, it’s something that members get value from too, and not just a “management” tool.
We’ve tried everything we can find and still get more mileage out of our convoluted Frankenstein of spreadsheets, Trello, Wordpress, and custom software. I would be thrilled to pay to outsource this to something designed with community in mind.
On Thursday, April 7, 2016, Rob Landry [email protected] wrote:
For those of you who manage coworking spaces, I’m wondering - what would you like to see to improve coworking apps and make them more useful to you and your members?
I’m familiar with apps like Cobot and Coworkify, among others.
I started a coworking space a few years ago and built an app that works as a CMS for the website, handles billing of members, and a public member directory, among a few other things. The app is now used by a number of spaces. I’m ready to refine it
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The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.
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