To what extent have you articulated your higher purpose?

Hi coworkers!

I was thinking recently about an issue I’ve noticed locally and in other regions, where friendly neighboring coworking spaces sometimes struggle to develop good ways to collaborate. I believe the issue stems from a lack of a well-articulated higher purpose that people from multiple spaces could rally behind.

I think about this phenomenon also in the context of how we communicate with prospective members. The majority of people who express interest in New Work City are, at first, looking for workspace, and think we’re in the business of renting workspace. While we can use that as a starting point for educating prospective members about the deeper values behind and benefits of coworking, I’m thinking about how we can do a better job of connecting with prospective members in a way that’s about something more meaningful.

Have any of you experienced something similar? Have you witnessed or participated in the development of an ambition in your space or region that gives coworking space managers something higher to shoot for than simply getting enough members to pay the bills?

Cheers,

Tony

···

Blog // New Work City // Coworking Community NYC Meetup

Hi Tony,

I think “higher purpose” can be one of four things (or maybe more, or a combo):

  1. Vision

  2. Mission

  3. Community Guidelines (limits)

  4. Culture

At Collective Agency, we have a strong mission statement:

“A cozy place to work alongside people doing work they’re passionate about and committed to, where 80% of people say hi. Come and work here!”

The Community Guidelines (limits) are: http://collectiveagency.co/community-guidelines/

The culture “values us for who we are as people, not for the work we do.” It focuses on “we’re great/life’s great” rather than “life sucks/my life sucks/I’m great (and you’re not).” Expressing appreciation is important.

As for vision, Collective Agency is a full-fledged democracy, a cooperative. We are a mini-city; if something wouldn’t be right for a city, it’s not right for us. (And we go for a cozy fireplace feel; if something doesn’t feel like a cozy fireplace, we don’t do it.) We have the 7 cooperative principles, and all surplus (after quality of life and good things for members) goes into the Oregon constitutional amendment I’m leading with Collective Agency employees (and occasional input from members).

We’ve found community with other places that (and people who) share those goals, in Portland and around the world.

Does any of that sum up the kind of common purpose you’re thinking of?

Alex

···

Alex Linsker

Collective Agency’s Community Organizer / Proprietor

(503) 517-6900 http://collectiveagency.co

Tax and Conversation’s Statewide Community Organizer

(503) 517-6904 taxandconversation.com

(503) 369-9174 mobile (503) 517-6901 fax

322 NW Sixth Ave, Suite 200, Portland, Oregon 97209

On Monday, June 30, 2014 2:42:38 PM UTC-7, Tony Bacigalupo wrote:

Hi coworkers!

I was thinking recently about an issue I’ve noticed locally and in other regions, where friendly neighboring coworking spaces sometimes struggle to develop good ways to collaborate. I believe the issue stems from a lack of a well-articulated higher purpose that people from multiple spaces could rally behind.

I think about this phenomenon also in the context of how we communicate with prospective members. The majority of people who express interest in New Work City are, at first, looking for workspace, and think we’re in the business of renting workspace. While we can use that as a starting point for educating prospective members about the deeper values behind and benefits of coworking, I’m thinking about how we can do a better job of connecting with prospective members in a way that’s about something more meaningful.

Have any of you experienced something similar? Have you witnessed or participated in the development of an ambition in your space or region that gives coworking space managers something higher to shoot for than simply getting enough members to pay the bills?

Cheers,

Tony


Blog // New Work City // Coworking Community NYC Meetup

I’m in an especially awkward situation when it comes to local or regional collaborations. There are now 4-ish shared spaces in Fort Collins. One of the spaces is owned by our former landlord operating out of Cohere’s former space. He and I parted on TERRIBLE terms. I wouldn’t be able to sit in the same room with him let alone collaborate on a project. I desperately want to “get over it” and just take the high road and move forward with unifying the spaces around a cause but I. JUST. CAN’T. Anyone have any therapy to offer me?

Angel

···

On Monday, June 30, 2014 3:42:38 PM UTC-6, Tony Bacigalupo wrote:

Hi coworkers!

I was thinking recently about an issue I’ve noticed locally and in other regions, where friendly neighboring coworking spaces sometimes struggle to develop good ways to collaborate. I believe the issue stems from a lack of a well-articulated higher purpose that people from multiple spaces could rally behind.

I think about this phenomenon also in the context of how we communicate with prospective members. The majority of people who express interest in New Work City are, at first, looking for workspace, and think we’re in the business of renting workspace. While we can use that as a starting point for educating prospective members about the deeper values behind and benefits of coworking, I’m thinking about how we can do a better job of connecting with prospective members in a way that’s about something more meaningful.

Have any of you experienced something similar? Have you witnessed or participated in the development of an ambition in your space or region that gives coworking space managers something higher to shoot for than simply getting enough members to pay the bills?

Cheers,

Tony


Blog // New Work City // Coworking Community NYC Meetup

Hey Alex, this is such a rad post. You gave one subtle example:

We are a mini-city; if something wouldn’t be right for a city, it’s not right for us. (And we go for a cozy fireplace feel; if something doesn’t feel like a cozy fireplace, we don’t do it.)

I’m wondering if you can share other examples of that kind of decision-making? Specific things you’ve done (or not done)? Bonus points for “tough” decisions where the right thing was also the hard thing…and EXTRA bonus points for the sharing the outcome of making that tough choice.

-Alex

···

/ah
indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

On Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 4:58 AM, Alex Linsker [email protected] wrote:

Hi Tony,

I think “higher purpose” can be one of four things (or maybe more, or a combo):

  1. Vision
  1. Mission
  1. Community Guidelines (limits)
  1. Culture

At Collective Agency, we have a strong mission statement:

“A cozy place to work alongside people doing work they’re passionate about and committed to, where 80% of people say hi. Come and work here!”

The Community Guidelines (limits) are: http://collectiveagency.co/community-guidelines/

The culture “values us for who we are as people, not for the work we do.” It focuses on “we’re great/life’s great” rather than “life sucks/my life sucks/I’m great (and you’re not).” Expressing appreciation is important.

As for vision, Collective Agency is a full-fledged democracy, a cooperative. We are a mini-city; if something wouldn’t be right for a city, it’s not right for us. (And we go for a cozy fireplace feel; if something doesn’t feel like a cozy fireplace, we don’t do it.) We have the 7 cooperative principles, and all surplus (after quality of life and good things for members) goes into the Oregon constitutional amendment I’m leading with Collective Agency employees (and occasional input from members).

We’ve found community with other places that (and people who) share those goals, in Portland and around the world.

Does any of that sum up the kind of common purpose you’re thinking of?

Alex

Alex Linsker

Collective Agency’s Community Organizer / Proprietor

(503) 517-6900 http://collectiveagency.co

Tax and Conversation’s Statewide Community Organizer

(503) 517-6904 taxandconversation.com

(503) 369-9174 mobile (503) 517-6901 fax

322 NW Sixth Ave, Suite 200, Portland, Oregon 97209

On Monday, June 30, 2014 2:42:38 PM UTC-7, Tony Bacigalupo wrote:

Hi coworkers!

I was thinking recently about an issue I’ve noticed locally and in other regions, where friendly neighboring coworking spaces sometimes struggle to develop good ways to collaborate. I believe the issue stems from a lack of a well-articulated higher purpose that people from multiple spaces could rally behind.

I think about this phenomenon also in the context of how we communicate with prospective members. The majority of people who express interest in New Work City are, at first, looking for workspace, and think we’re in the business of renting workspace. While we can use that as a starting point for educating prospective members about the deeper values behind and benefits of coworking, I’m thinking about how we can do a better job of connecting with prospective members in a way that’s about something more meaningful.

Have any of you experienced something similar? Have you witnessed or participated in the development of an ambition in your space or region that gives coworking space managers something higher to shoot for than simply getting enough members to pay the bills?

Cheers,

Tony


Blog // New Work City // Coworking Community NYC Meetup

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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Great thread, Tony. This gives me a lot to think about as well - we try to communicate our values and our purpose as best as we can through our website, written materials, etc., but that only goes so far. And words can only do so much when faced with people’s own desires & expectations when they walk in the door. I’ve seen over the years that sometimes you can explain yourself and your community until you’re blue in the face and you are still met with “OK well I’m still just going to pay you to use your meeting room. If I have to become a “member” or whatever to do that then fine.” [facepalm] This is the exception for us (thankfully), but it still happens regularly enough to be a frustration.

The conversation has happened again and again on this list how people frequently arrive at coworking spaces for the “things” (desks, wifi, etc.) and wind up staying for the people. Are you asking the question how do we effectively communicate the need a bit better? How to shine light on the need we actually meet so that we’re attracting members who walk through the door looking to help shape our communities instead of just using our resources? And how regional collectives can help to make an impact?

Because them’s big questions. :slight_smile: Here in Seattle the Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance (formerly Coworking Seattle) has been slowly formalizing over the years, and now fall under the mission “to unify, support and promote the coworking and collaborative space movement.” We’ve got some fun outreach planned for Coworking Week, but in general we’re hoping to grow to a place where we can work to strongly communicate the purpose of coworking communities as best as we can. We’ve been at it for 5 years now as a group and I must admit that we’ve done a great job of supporting one another in the development of our spaces, but we have a long way to go when it comes to reaching out to our city to develop a level of understanding.

Sounds a lot like what we’ve done so far on a global level - we’ve done a great job reaching out and connecting with other community catalysts from around the world, but we have a long way to go when it comes to supporting the members of those communities. I’m really interested in making some inroads into that realm.

S

···

On Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 11:50 AM, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

Hey Alex, this is such a rad post. You gave one subtle example:

We are a mini-city; if something wouldn’t be right for a city, it’s not right for us. (And we go for a cozy fireplace feel; if something doesn’t feel like a cozy fireplace, we don’t do it.)

I’m wondering if you can share other examples of that kind of decision-making? Specific things you’ve done (or not done)? Bonus points for “tough” decisions where the right thing was also the hard thing…and EXTRA bonus points for the sharing the outcome of making that tough choice.

-Alex

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

On Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 4:58 AM, Alex Linsker [email protected] wrote:

Hi Tony,

I think “higher purpose” can be one of four things (or maybe more, or a combo):

  1. Vision
  1. Mission
  1. Community Guidelines (limits)
  1. Culture

At Collective Agency, we have a strong mission statement:

“A cozy place to work alongside people doing work they’re passionate about and committed to, where 80% of people say hi. Come and work here!”

The Community Guidelines (limits) are: http://collectiveagency.co/community-guidelines/

The culture “values us for who we are as people, not for the work we do.” It focuses on “we’re great/life’s great” rather than “life sucks/my life sucks/I’m great (and you’re not).” Expressing appreciation is important.

As for vision, Collective Agency is a full-fledged democracy, a cooperative. We are a mini-city; if something wouldn’t be right for a city, it’s not right for us. (And we go for a cozy fireplace feel; if something doesn’t feel like a cozy fireplace, we don’t do it.) We have the 7 cooperative principles, and all surplus (after quality of life and good things for members) goes into the Oregon constitutional amendment I’m leading with Collective Agency employees (and occasional input from members).

We’ve found community with other places that (and people who) share those goals, in Portland and around the world.

Does any of that sum up the kind of common purpose you’re thinking of?

Alex

Alex Linsker

Collective Agency’s Community Organizer / Proprietor

(503) 517-6900 http://collectiveagency.co

Tax and Conversation’s Statewide Community Organizer

(503) 517-6904 taxandconversation.com

(503) 369-9174 mobile (503) 517-6901 fax

322 NW Sixth Ave, Suite 200, Portland, Oregon 97209

On Monday, June 30, 2014 2:42:38 PM UTC-7, Tony Bacigalupo wrote:

Hi coworkers!

I was thinking recently about an issue I’ve noticed locally and in other regions, where friendly neighboring coworking spaces sometimes struggle to develop good ways to collaborate. I believe the issue stems from a lack of a well-articulated higher purpose that people from multiple spaces could rally behind.

I think about this phenomenon also in the context of how we communicate with prospective members. The majority of people who express interest in New Work City are, at first, looking for workspace, and think we’re in the business of renting workspace. While we can use that as a starting point for educating prospective members about the deeper values behind and benefits of coworking, I’m thinking about how we can do a better job of connecting with prospective members in a way that’s about something more meaningful.

Have any of you experienced something similar? Have you witnessed or participated in the development of an ambition in your space or region that gives coworking space managers something higher to shoot for than simply getting enough members to pay the bills?

Cheers,

Tony


Blog // New Work City // Coworking Community NYC Meetup

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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I’d recommend unifying without the former landlord. You’d never get 100% buy-in from everyone anyway, so what’s one less?

Jerome

···

On Jul 1, 2014, at 10:18 AM, Angel Kwiatkowski [email protected] wrote:

I’m in an especially awkward situation when it comes to local or regional collaborations. There are now 4-ish shared spaces in Fort Collins. One of the spaces is owned by our former landlord operating out of Cohere’s former space. He and I parted on TERRIBLE terms. I wouldn’t be able to sit in the same room with him let alone collaborate on a project. I desperately want to “get over it” and just take the high road and move forward with unifying the spaces around a cause but I. JUST. CAN’T. Anyone have any therapy to offer me?

Angel

On Monday, June 30, 2014 3:42:38 PM UTC-6, Tony Bacigalupo wrote:

Hi coworkers!

I was thinking recently about an issue I’ve noticed locally and in other regions, where friendly neighboring coworking spaces sometimes struggle to develop good ways to collaborate. I believe the issue stems from a lack of a well-articulated higher purpose that people from multiple spaces could rally behind.

I think about this phenomenon also in the context of how we communicate with prospective members. The majority of people who express interest in New Work City are, at first, looking for workspace, and think we’re in the business of renting workspace. While we can use that as a starting point for educating prospective members about the deeper values behind and benefits of coworking, I’m thinking about how we can do a better job of connecting with prospective members in a way that’s about something more meaningful.

Have any of you experienced something similar? Have you witnessed or participated in the development of an ambition in your space or region that gives coworking space managers something higher to shoot for than simply getting enough members to pay the bills?

Cheers,

Tony


Blog // New Work City // Coworking Community NYC Meetup

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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Thanks Alex.

To answer your question about decision-making in regards to acting as a small city and cozy fireplace, I’ll share a few things, maybe some will be of interest.

For hard decision-making at Collective Agency, it’s always come down to the Community Guidelines http://collectiveagency.co/community-guidelines , and any mistakes I made were from not remembering, checking and enforcing the Community Guidelines.

  1. The smallest example is the other day I and an employee were talking too loud in the kitchen. We didn’t realize until a member came in and told us. It was really simple and direct and really assertive of him (asking for what he wanted) and both me and Arianna appreciated him reminding us.

Not enforcing the community guidelines is like littering – it decays the culture over time – and being assertive about the community guidelines is civic action and community growing and role models – people making what they positively want to happen, including expressing appreciation, which is important here.

  1. One of the biggest things I decided early on was to have a Constitution (a contract that was legally binding on me and members, that made the governance and limits on each of our roles explicit). This worked very well in many ways – for accountability, collaboration, and initiative.

What didn’t work and why: I had the idea of wanting term limits for me and for the representatives. At the meeting where we approved the Constitution, a member asked to not have term limits for any of the roles, and gave good reasons. The thing is, back then I wanted term limits for myself, to only lead for a year. And people agreed to my having term limits since I wanted it. A year after we started, there were elections to replace me with 6 candidates (and elections for two new Council members), and I transitioned out and then was earning royalties – if it had worked with more structure and candidates and longer terms, then I totally recommend it as a business model.

But I learned later that I hadn’t had the authority to oust myself; I hadn’t been mindful enough of what was valuable to members, and I hadn’t done enough to pass on responsibility for sales and marketing. (I ended up getting asked back, we voted to end term limits, and now I lead here again and learned a lot about myself in the process.) Aside from the community guidelines, if I’d asked myself whether term limits for just one year were like what works for a democratic city, the answer is no. I would have said at least 4 years, and for very small cities, I would’ve looked and seen that term limits are even more rare and people stay in leadership roles much longer because there’s fewer qualified applicants to lead.

  1. The revenue model and the community model and the property model are always aligned here – it took me a long time to realize that property was part of it – that individually owned assets and profits are valuable too, and can actually strengthen community (they definitely do here). Many times I had to say that I would never do something just to make money unless it grew the community too. We’ve always stuck to that. Sometimes it involves saying why meetings grow the community – sometimes it involves people learning about other people and coming to appreciate their contributions, or the amenities we provide – which is good.

  2. A trick I’ve learned is that people often might think it’s hard to agree on what something is. But it’s easy for them to know what something is not.

For example, if deciding what artwork to put up on the walls, it can be indecisive to be asked, “Does this painting look and feel like a cozy fireplace?” It’s actually more definitive for people to be asked, “Does this painting not look and feel like a cozy fireplace?”

Same with community guidelines. I loved being asked early on by a guy if he could fly a toy helicopter in the big loft room. “If it’s within the community guidelines, you can do it,” I told him. He went and looked at the poster on the wall. “No,” he said, coming back, “I don’t think I can be responsible flying the helicopter around here, I might break something.”

I think that’s like what works for a democratic city too – too many prescriptive rules for anyone to remember aren’t as good as a few generative rules that people can figure out how they can play and live and work within them, while being considerate and supportive of other people and themselves.

We have a structure for decision-making and various rules in place for when things go wrong.

  1. A lot of places do discounts, or negotiate special deals, or even let some people work there no charge, or allow only certain kinds of events. We don’t.

When I started Collective Agency, we had a Council (like a nonprofit board), and Workgroup Organizers (people who each represented hundreds of people). This was very city – and we eventually outgrew it, but it helped us start, by providing lots of knowledge and perspective and advice, and people volunteering to do sales because this is their place, they even had a Constitution!

By choosing a few simple terms and rates that worked for almost everybody, everybody knew they were treated the same.

I think we’re the only place (or one of very few) in Portland that lists the total rates for meetings and events on our website, including all amenities – and it lets other people sell for us – because it’s so simple to remember and share the rates for memberships and meetings, and there are no special deals here, which actually leads to more revenue and community (and property).

Alex

···

On Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 11:50 AM, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

Hey Alex, this is such a rad post. You gave one subtle example:

We are a mini-city; if something wouldn’t be right for a city, it’s not right for us. (And we go for a cozy fireplace feel; if something doesn’t feel like a cozy fireplace, we don’t do it.)

I’m wondering if you can share other examples of that kind of decision-making? Specific things you’ve done (or not done)? Bonus points for “tough” decisions where the right thing was also the hard thing…and EXTRA bonus points for the sharing the outcome of making that tough choice.

-Alex

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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indyhall.org

coworking in philadelphia

On Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 4:58 AM, Alex Linsker [email protected] wrote:

Hi Tony,

I think “higher purpose” can be one of four things (or maybe more, or a combo):

  1. Vision
  1. Mission
  1. Community Guidelines (limits)
  1. Culture

At Collective Agency, we have a strong mission statement:

“A cozy place to work alongside people doing work they’re passionate about and committed to, where 80% of people say hi. Come and work here!”

The Community Guidelines (limits) are: http://collectiveagency.co/community-guidelines/

The culture “values us for who we are as people, not for the work we do.” It focuses on “we’re great/life’s great” rather than “life sucks/my life sucks/I’m great (and you’re not).” Expressing appreciation is important.

As for vision, Collective Agency is a full-fledged democracy, a cooperative. We are a mini-city; if something wouldn’t be right for a city, it’s not right for us. (And we go for a cozy fireplace feel; if something doesn’t feel like a cozy fireplace, we don’t do it.) We have the 7 cooperative principles, and all surplus (after quality of life and good things for members) goes into the Oregon constitutional amendment I’m leading with Collective Agency employees (and occasional input from members).

We’ve found community with other places that (and people who) share those goals, in Portland and around the world.

Does any of that sum up the kind of common purpose you’re thinking of?

Alex

Alex Linsker

Collective Agency’s Community Organizer / Proprietor

(503) 517-6900 http://collectiveagency.co

Tax and Conversation’s Statewide Community Organizer

(503) 517-6904 taxandconversation.com

(503) 369-9174 mobile (503) 517-6901 fax

322 NW Sixth Ave, Suite 200, Portland, Oregon 97209

On Monday, June 30, 2014 2:42:38 PM UTC-7, Tony Bacigalupo wrote:

Hi coworkers!

I was thinking recently about an issue I’ve noticed locally and in other regions, where friendly neighboring coworking spaces sometimes struggle to develop good ways to collaborate. I believe the issue stems from a lack of a well-articulated higher purpose that people from multiple spaces could rally behind.

I think about this phenomenon also in the context of how we communicate with prospective members. The majority of people who express interest in New Work City are, at first, looking for workspace, and think we’re in the business of renting workspace. While we can use that as a starting point for educating prospective members about the deeper values behind and benefits of coworking, I’m thinking about how we can do a better job of connecting with prospective members in a way that’s about something more meaningful.

Have any of you experienced something similar? Have you witnessed or participated in the development of an ambition in your space or region that gives coworking space managers something higher to shoot for than simply getting enough members to pay the bills?

Cheers,

Tony


Blog // New Work City // Coworking Community NYC Meetup

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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Great thread.
I’m a newbie.

Help me out on two points:

“regional collectives” - this is several coworking spaces in the same area of different owners doing things (jellies?) together, right?

“shared spaces” - this a protocol between spaces whereby workers can use any of the spaces?

Thanks a lot,

–Marius

Portugal

···

Angel, When I attended the GCUC 2014 I realized that there are so many different spaces. Some are started by real estate owners looking for a creative solution to the down longterm commercial rental market. Some are started by venture capital/government private/public partnerships to accelerate startups. Some are started by independent creative professionals. Even among these there is differentiation.

Not knowing more details about your former landlord, I suspect he/she falls into one of the above categories and will attract the folks that fit.

We are veteran marketing/sales independent professionals who started out with a mission to support the independent creative professional and the existing businesses they serve to improve a broken creative business.

We bet the bank on a professional yet fun space. We assumed that we may have to fill it with hedge fund guys while we networked our way to attracting the right creative professionals and then to promote them to the business community. But we have been very surprised to find that the right creative professionals are the first to make a commitment of at least 6 months to private offices and dedicated desks.

The lesson I hope is to be true to your reason for developing the space and the right people will get it. I believe there is someone for everyone. So your landlord will attract the people looking for real estate without a long term commitment. Do you want those people?

The implication for a regional or global coworking directory is this - if you focus on what makes you different, you will standout in coworking directory and attract those looking for what you have to offer vs someone else. If you are so unique, Coworking directories are a great way to market yourself on the web - because lets fact is there are not millions of people searching for coworking - so to the extent there is one landing page on which to try to stand out vs the whole friggin web that's great. But nothing replaces personal networking and community outreach.

I know I saw your post about encouraging the work at home people to put their pants on and come to the space to work. And we've seen that as a challenge too. WE have about 35 members who are "mobile members". I think the magic there is believing it is worth the investment in convenience, time and money. ROI - as much as we all think this about warm fuzzy stuff - it is also about expanding business horizons.

I happen to think the two are related. When people feel safe they create better stuff, they find partners to up their game.

Back to the higher purpose of this thread . . . . I think we would all benefit from sharing real live examples of how a coworking space renewed creative confidence that resulted in a new business opportunity or an unexpected synergy that turned a little project into a bigger one or the confidence to ask a client to pay more, etc. etc. etc.

K-

Tony, here's a post that articulates our higher purpose: http://www.comradity.com/comradity/2014/07/independence-day.html

BTW, we have members who commute into NYC and are interested in having what we call "Open Studio" Lounge access in both Stamford, CT and NYC. Sound like something you could package with us?

Hey Tony!

I loved it when you first told me about the analogy of something like, “We are a club. The place where the members of the club most often congregate is in our clubhouse, which is called New Work City.” So, being a member of NWC is really being in this club, that gives you access to the fab features of NWC.

How about A/B testing the copy and layout of the website to use wording that emphasizes the benefits of coworking in general and how NWC’s “club” is specifically, and maybe the space part could be like, “and check out our sweet coworking space, which has xyz features”?

I just thought of the South American Explorers http://www.saexplorers.org. They have clubhouses, but that’s not the main feature; I felt that the members themselves may be the best resource.

My sense is, bottleneck and control the flow of information so that prospective members aren’t even able to get the sense that this is merely a space for rent.

Don’t know if this is helpful or not!

-Alicia

···

On Monday, June 30, 2014 5:42:38 PM UTC-4, Tony Bacigalupo wrote:

Hi coworkers!

I was thinking recently about an issue I’ve noticed locally and in other regions, where friendly neighboring coworking spaces sometimes struggle to develop good ways to collaborate. I believe the issue stems from a lack of a well-articulated higher purpose that people from multiple spaces could rally behind.

I think about this phenomenon also in the context of how we communicate with prospective members. The majority of people who express interest in New Work City are, at first, looking for workspace, and think we’re in the business of renting workspace. While we can use that as a starting point for educating prospective members about the deeper values behind and benefits of coworking, I’m thinking about how we can do a better job of connecting with prospective members in a way that’s about something more meaningful.

Have any of you experienced something similar? Have you witnessed or participated in the development of an ambition in your space or region that gives coworking space managers something higher to shoot for than simply getting enough members to pay the bills?

Cheers,

Tony


Blog // New Work City // Coworking Community NYC Meetup

We’ve very consciously shifted our website to match our focus on the club (with a clubhouse) model, though I’ve been learning new ways to say it since our first couple of years: http://dangerouslyawesome.com/2008/09/the-importance-of-a-clubhouse/

Most recently, we adjusted our membership page and introduced our flagship membership - a community membership - as both the precursor to Coworking and a “feature” of our Coworking memberships:

http://www.indyhall.org/membership

It’s still early to tell the long term effects, but June 2014 (2 months after quietly rolling this out) was our best June for growth in our entire history. June 2013 we shrank by a little less than 1% (typical of our June/July growth historically, given summer vacations). This year, we grew by almost 9% in June. We normally see that kind of growth reserved for seasonal spikes like January/February, and September/October.

The really interesting part is how many of these new members “got it”. We had an uptick in new member intros on GroupBuzz, one of our earliest KPIs for new members being more likely to see beyond the desk.

One of the big takeaways for me, especially during our last 2-3 years of growth, has been to REALLY embrace the old copywriting cannon “show, don’t tell.” It’s better to talk about purpose than not at all (and it’s definitely better to talk about purpose than features), but it’s even BETTER when you simply DO your purpose so that members can see it and say it in their own words.

ABC - Always Be Communicating. If the only time your purpose is mentioned is when it NEEDS to be mentioned, you’ll find that you NEED to mention it more often :slight_smile: Bake your purpose into your website. Your tour. Your events. Your partnerships and collaborations. Use them as ways to demonstrate your purpose, even if the purpose goes unsaid.

And don’t worry if you feel like a broken record. It’s just as important for every new member to see and hear it for the first time, even if you’ve said or done something 1000 times.

-Alex

···


/ah
indyhall.org
betterwork.co

On Fri, Jul 4, 2014 at 11:22 AM, Alicia Hurst [email protected] wrote:

Hey Tony!

I loved it when you first told me about the analogy of something like, “We are a club. The place where the members of the club most often congregate is in our clubhouse, which is called New Work City.” So, being a member of NWC is really being in this club, that gives you access to the fab features of NWC.

How about A/B testing the copy and layout of the website to use wording that emphasizes the benefits of coworking in general and how NWC’s “club” is specifically, and maybe the space part could be like, “and check out our sweet coworking space, which has xyz features”?

I just thought of the South American Explorers http://www.saexplorers.org. They have clubhouses, but that’s not the main feature; I felt that the members themselves may be the best resource.

My sense is, bottleneck and control the flow of information so that prospective members aren’t even able to get the sense that this is merely a space for rent.

Don’t know if this is helpful or not!

-Alicia

On Monday, June 30, 2014 5:42:38 PM UTC-4, Tony Bacigalupo wrote:

Hi coworkers!

I was thinking recently about an issue I’ve noticed locally and in other regions, where friendly neighboring coworking spaces sometimes struggle to develop good ways to collaborate. I believe the issue stems from a lack of a well-articulated higher purpose that people from multiple spaces could rally behind.

I think about this phenomenon also in the context of how we communicate with prospective members. The majority of people who express interest in New Work City are, at first, looking for workspace, and think we’re in the business of renting workspace. While we can use that as a starting point for educating prospective members about the deeper values behind and benefits of coworking, I’m thinking about how we can do a better job of connecting with prospective members in a way that’s about something more meaningful.

Have any of you experienced something similar? Have you witnessed or participated in the development of an ambition in your space or region that gives coworking space managers something higher to shoot for than simply getting enough members to pay the bills?

Cheers,

Tony


Blog // New Work City // Coworking Community NYC Meetup

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

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Alex, would you share more info about groupbuzz?

1) We have a member network website (comradity.io) built on an open source custom social network platform. Is groupbuzz an open source plugin?

2) How have you used it to grow your business? Converting "community" members to be regular visitors?

3) Anything else we should know?

K-

Alex, would you share more info about groupbuzz?

Sure! I'll start with your questions:

1) We have a member network website (comradity.io) built on an open source

custom social network platform. Is groupbuzz an open source plugin?

GroupBuzz is a *hosted* tool for email discussion lists. If you're familiar
with listservs (or heck, even this Google Group), you know how valuable
email discussion lists can be but you also know how *painful* they can be.
Especially as they grow! This list is actually a great example: when it's
valuable, it's VERY valuable. But you have to sift through a fair amount of
noise to keep an eye out for the most valuable topics.

And with our inboxes getting busier and busier every day, people are often
reluctant to join something that's designed to give a whole bunch of people
a direct line into their inbox.

As our membership grew and our list got more activity, we noticed a big
problem: people started tuning out posts to our list. Members would find
out about events too late (or not at all). Conversations would happen out
of band from people who would definitely have something contribute. It got
to the point that we'd worry about busy days on the list because we knew
that it would drive some people to create a filter or unsubscribe.

Not because they didn't want to know what was going on in the community,
but because they couldn't handle the amount of email coming from the list.
They always told us "I WANT to follow the list, but it's just too much
email, I can't deal with it."

Meanwhile, we know that without email, "forums" and other similar setups
are out of sight, out of mind. A forum needs to have a pretty high level of
activity before members start building the habit of "check back here often
to see something new".

I spent quite a bit of time researching other platforms - every email list
tool & every forum platform I could find. I don't think I need to tell this
community how frustrating this search is. Everything is a copy of
everything else's sucky "features", and none of them actually solve the
problems that are inherent to groups having discussions online. Discourse
was the first contender that I saw that actually thought about problems
besides getting messages to people, but after a few months of testing with
our community, it turned out to have the same problems as forums (mostly
out of sight, mostly out of mind).

We had been using Basecamp like a Forum that behaved a bit more like an
email list, but *what I really wanted was an email list that behaved a bit
more like a forum.*

GroupBuzz untangled this problem for Indy Hall (and the other communities
that have switched to it) by providing a new set of defaults for discussion
list emails. The result looks like this:

When a new thread is started, every member gets an email, just like a
normal email list. But unlike others, that's the first AND last email from
that thread they'll get...unless they click that "Follow" button in the top
right corner.

Once you've followed a thread (which is basically opting in to getting
updates on that thread but that thread alone), you'll get the subsequent
comments in your inbox, threaded, just like a normal email list.
(Participating in a thread also auto-follows that thread for you).

Once you're following a thread, messages start looking like this:

The Follow button turns into a Mute button, which does exactly what you
might expect: it stops new messages from this thread.

Even though Gmail has a "mute" feature, it's hidden (keyboard shortcut
only) and most people don't know about it. I've also found that with some
discussion lists, certain threads don't properly mute. Who the heck knows
why!

Our mute button is "first class", doesn't require any special plugins or
teaching people a keyboard shortcut. It's prominently displayed in every
message, so it's always handy.

And people love it. Best of all, those members who used to "tune out"
started telling how much less overwhelming GroupBuzz made it to feel like
they were a part of the list. Winning those people back was a HUGE win for
us.

There's quite a bit more to GroupBuzz than the follow/mute feature
(including the way we do digests
<http://blog.groupbuzz.io/new-discussion-digests-to-help-you-recap-quicker/>[image]),
a fully searchable archive
<http://dangerouslyawesome.com/snaps/Screenshot_2014-07-07_10-32-27.jpg>
[image].
And our web UI is a full featured forum, not just a rough archive of
messages. There are a number of GroupBuzz community owners/users on the
list, if y'all wanna chime in with anything specific that you love that I
missed :slight_smile:

2) How have you used it to grow your business? Converting "community"
members to be regular visitors?

Community isn't just part of our business, or how we do our business, it IS
our business.

Our list has been a core part of our community - and therefore our business
- since before we had any space. ALL of our members are community members.
We don't focus on converting members from one level to another - that's not
our goal, though it often happens on its own given enough time. What we DO
focus on is giving people reasons to become, and more importantly, *stay*
members.

Meanwhile, only 20% of our total community (and less than 50% of our
revenue) are full time members - we actively keep that number limited to a
fixed ratio. That means that 80% of our community uses our most finite
resource (physical space) 3x a week or less. And more importantly, *65-70%
of our community uses a desk once a month or less. *

I think about our list as another "place" for our community to gather. For
ALL members - full time, various versions of our flex members, and our
flagship Community members - the physical coworking space is only one of
the places where they can do the things that they pay membership for: They
want to meet and connect with people. They want to share and learn. They
want to ask questions and give answers. They want to be inspired. They want
to feel connected.

The ultimate outcome is that people don't have to be physically AT Indy
Hall to feel like they're a part of Indy Hall. We put as much work
into tummling
in our online community as we do in the coworking space
<http://dangerouslyawesome.com/2014/04/community-management-tummling-a-tale-of-two-mindsets/>,
often intentionally moving offline conversations into GroupBuzz so that
people who aren't present can participate. Online GroupBuzz conversations
often spread into "meatspace" as well, spurring new events and gatherings
among our members.

*So there are two ways to tie our use of GroupBuzz to our bottom line:*

1 - our revenue is nearly 2x what it could be if we didn't have an online
community, but we accomplish that by treating the online community as a
first class community space of its own, not an "add-on" to our coworking
space coworking. If anything, we've started viewing coworking as the add-on!

2 - our member lifetime value is....high. Even when members no longer need
physical space, they often keep membership to stay involved in the
community, and a large part of that is through GroupBuzz.

If you focus on "higher value memberships", you need to make sure you're
not just looking at the ones that you can charge more for. Because yes,
while our full time and lite memberships generate more revenue than our six
pack, basic, and flex memberships...they (full time and lite) cost more in
use of the finite & expensive resource (the space), making the net *profit*
for their membership a closer to that of our seemingly lower priced
memberships which have marginal fixed costs.

-Alex

Alex, thanks for the really great review of the app. GroupBuzz sounds perffect!

…however, I do think their pricing is a little $$.

$60/mo for 50 members

$129/mo for 150 members

Am I misreading their prices?

JEROME CHANG

Mid-Wilshire
5405 Wilshire Blvd (2 blocks west of La Brea) | Los Angeles CA 90036
ph: (323) 330-9505

Downtown
529 S. Broadway, Suite 4000 (@Pershing Square) | Los Angeles CA 90013
ph: (213) 550-2235




···

Alex, would you share more info about groupbuzz?

Sure! I’ll start with your questions:

  1. We have a member network website (comradity.io) built on an open source custom social network platform. Is groupbuzz an open source plugin?

GroupBuzz is a hosted tool for email discussion lists. If you’re familiar with listservs (or heck, even this Google Group), you know how valuable email discussion lists can be but you also know how painful they can be. Especially as they grow! This list is actually a great example: when it’s valuable, it’s VERY valuable. But you have to sift through a fair amount of noise to keep an eye out for the most valuable topics.

And with our inboxes getting busier and busier every day, people are often reluctant to join something that’s designed to give a whole bunch of people a direct line into their inbox.

As our membership grew and our list got more activity, we noticed a big problem: people started tuning out posts to our list. Members would find out about events too late (or not at all). Conversations would happen out of band from people who would definitely have something contribute. It got to the point that we’d worry about busy days on the list because we knew that it would drive some people to create a filter or unsubscribe.

Not because they didn’t want to know what was going on in the community, but because they couldn’t handle the amount of email coming from the list. They always told us “I WANT to follow the list, but it’s just too much email, I can’t deal with it.”

Meanwhile, we know that without email, “forums” and other similar setups are out of sight, out of mind. A forum needs to have a pretty high level of activity before members start building the habit of “check back here often to see something new”.

I spent quite a bit of time researching other platforms - every email list tool & every forum platform I could find. I don’t think I need to tell this community how frustrating this search is. Everything is a copy of everything else’s sucky “features”, and none of them actually solve the problems that are inherent to groups having discussions online. Discourse was the first contender that I saw that actually thought about problems besides getting messages to people, but after a few months of testing with our community, it turned out to have the same problems as forums (mostly out of sight, mostly out of mind).

We had been using Basecamp like a Forum that behaved a bit more like an email list, but what I really wanted was an email list that behaved a bit more like a forum.

GroupBuzz untangled this problem for Indy Hall (and the other communities that have switched to it) by providing a new set of defaults for discussion list emails. The result looks like this:

When a new thread is started, every member gets an email, just like a normal email list. But unlike others, that’s the first AND last email from that thread they’ll get…unless they click that “Follow” button in the top right corner.

Once you’ve followed a thread (which is basically opting in to getting updates on that thread but that thread alone), you’ll get the subsequent comments in your inbox, threaded, just like a normal email list. (Participating in a thread also auto-follows that thread for you).

Once you’re following a thread, messages start looking like this:

The Follow button turns into a Mute button, which does exactly what you might expect: it stops new messages from this thread.

Even though Gmail has a “mute” feature, it’s hidden (keyboard shortcut only) and most people don’t know about it. I’ve also found that with some discussion lists, certain threads don’t properly mute. Who the heck knows why!

Our mute button is “first class”, doesn’t require any special plugins or teaching people a keyboard shortcut. It’s prominently displayed in every message, so it’s always handy.

And people love it. Best of all, those members who used to “tune out” started telling how much less overwhelming GroupBuzz made it to feel like they were a part of the list. Winning those people back was a HUGE win for us.

There’s quite a bit more to GroupBuzz than the follow/mute feature (including the way we do digests[image]), a fully searchable archive [image]. And our web UI is a full featured forum, not just a rough archive of messages. There are a number of GroupBuzz community owners/users on the list, if y’all wanna chime in with anything specific that you love that I missed :slight_smile:

  1. How have you used it to grow your business? Converting “community” members to be regular visitors?

Community isn’t just part of our business, or how we do our business, it IS our business.

Our list has been a core part of our community - and therefore our business - since before we had any space. ALL of our members are community members. We don’t focus on converting members from one level to another - that’s not our goal, though it often happens on its own given enough time. What we DO focus on is giving people reasons to become, and more importantly, stay members.

Meanwhile, only 20% of our total community (and less than 50% of our revenue) are full time members - we actively keep that number limited to a fixed ratio. That means that 80% of our community uses our most finite resource (physical space) 3x a week or less. And more importantly, **65-70% of our community uses a desk once a month or less. **

I think about our list as another “place” for our community to gather. For ALL members - full time, various versions of our flex members, and our flagship Community members - the physical coworking space is only one of the places where they can do the things that they pay membership for: They want to meet and connect with people. They want to share and learn. They want to ask questions and give answers. They want to be inspired. They want to feel connected.

The ultimate outcome is that people don’t have to be physically AT Indy Hall to feel like they’re a part of Indy Hall. We put as much work into tummling in our online community as we do in the coworking space, often intentionally moving offline conversations into GroupBuzz so that people who aren’t present can participate. Online GroupBuzz conversations often spread into “meatspace” as well, spurring new events and gatherings among our members.

So there are two ways to tie our use of GroupBuzz to our bottom line:

1 - our revenue is nearly 2x what it could be if we didn’t have an online community, but we accomplish that by treating the online community as a first class community space of its own, not an “add-on” to our coworking space coworking. If anything, we’ve started viewing coworking as the add-on!

2 - our member lifetime value is…high. Even when members no longer need physical space, they often keep membership to stay involved in the community, and a large part of that is through GroupBuzz.

If you focus on “higher value memberships”, you need to make sure you’re not just looking at the ones that you can charge more for. Because yes, while our full time and lite memberships generate more revenue than our six pack, basic, and flex memberships…they (full time and lite) cost more in use of the finite & expensive resource (the space), making the net profit for their membership a closer to that of our seemingly lower priced memberships which have marginal fixed costs.

-Alex

Nope, those are the prices.

Given how much y’all are willing to pay for square footage where your community can gather, GroupBuzz is a drop in the bucket. :slight_smile:

-Alex

···

/ah
indyhall.org
coworking in philadelphia

On Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 3:26 PM, Jerome Chang [email protected] wrote:

Alex, thanks for the really great review of the app. GroupBuzz sounds perffect!

…however, I do think their pricing is a little $$.

$60/mo for 50 members

$129/mo for 150 members

Am I misreading their prices?

JEROME CHANG

Mid-Wilshire
5405 Wilshire Blvd (2 blocks west of La Brea) | Los Angeles CA 90036
ph: (323) 330-9505

Downtown
529 S. Broadway, Suite 4000 (@Pershing Square) | Los Angeles CA 90013

ph: (213) 550-2235





On Jul 7, 2014, at 8:20 AM, Alex Hillman [email protected] wrote:

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

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Alex, would you share more info about groupbuzz?

Sure! I’ll start with your questions:

  1. We have a member network website (comradity.io) built on an open source custom social network platform. Is groupbuzz an open source plugin?

GroupBuzz is a hosted tool for email discussion lists. If you’re familiar with listservs (or heck, even this Google Group), you know how valuable email discussion lists can be but you also know how painful they can be. Especially as they grow! This list is actually a great example: when it’s valuable, it’s VERY valuable. But you have to sift through a fair amount of noise to keep an eye out for the most valuable topics.

And with our inboxes getting busier and busier every day, people are often reluctant to join something that’s designed to give a whole bunch of people a direct line into their inbox.

As our membership grew and our list got more activity, we noticed a big problem: people started tuning out posts to our list. Members would find out about events too late (or not at all). Conversations would happen out of band from people who would definitely have something contribute. It got to the point that we’d worry about busy days on the list because we knew that it would drive some people to create a filter or unsubscribe.

Not because they didn’t want to know what was going on in the community, but because they couldn’t handle the amount of email coming from the list. They always told us “I WANT to follow the list, but it’s just too much email, I can’t deal with it.”

Meanwhile, we know that without email, “forums” and other similar setups are out of sight, out of mind. A forum needs to have a pretty high level of activity before members start building the habit of “check back here often to see something new”.

I spent quite a bit of time researching other platforms - every email list tool & every forum platform I could find. I don’t think I need to tell this community how frustrating this search is. Everything is a copy of everything else’s sucky “features”, and none of them actually solve the problems that are inherent to groups having discussions online. Discourse was the first contender that I saw that actually thought about problems besides getting messages to people, but after a few months of testing with our community, it turned out to have the same problems as forums (mostly out of sight, mostly out of mind).

We had been using Basecamp like a Forum that behaved a bit more like an email list, but what I really wanted was an email list that behaved a bit more like a forum.

GroupBuzz untangled this problem for Indy Hall (and the other communities that have switched to it) by providing a new set of defaults for discussion list emails. The result looks like this:

When a new thread is started, every member gets an email, just like a normal email list. But unlike others, that’s the first AND last email from that thread they’ll get…unless they click that “Follow” button in the top right corner.

Once you’ve followed a thread (which is basically opting in to getting updates on that thread but that thread alone), you’ll get the subsequent comments in your inbox, threaded, just like a normal email list. (Participating in a thread also auto-follows that thread for you).

Once you’re following a thread, messages start looking like this:

The Follow button turns into a Mute button, which does exactly what you might expect: it stops new messages from this thread.

Even though Gmail has a “mute” feature, it’s hidden (keyboard shortcut only) and most people don’t know about it. I’ve also found that with some discussion lists, certain threads don’t properly mute. Who the heck knows why!

Our mute button is “first class”, doesn’t require any special plugins or teaching people a keyboard shortcut. It’s prominently displayed in every message, so it’s always handy.

And people love it. Best of all, those members who used to “tune out” started telling how much less overwhelming GroupBuzz made it to feel like they were a part of the list. Winning those people back was a HUGE win for us.

There’s quite a bit more to GroupBuzz than the follow/mute feature (including the way we do digests[image]), a fully searchable archive [image]. And our web UI is a full featured forum, not just a rough archive of messages. There are a number of GroupBuzz community owners/users on the list, if y’all wanna chime in with anything specific that you love that I missed :slight_smile:

  1. How have you used it to grow your business? Converting “community” members to be regular visitors?

Community isn’t just part of our business, or how we do our business, it IS our business.

Our list has been a core part of our community - and therefore our business - since before we had any space. ALL of our members are community members. We don’t focus on converting members from one level to another - that’s not our goal, though it often happens on its own given enough time. What we DO focus on is giving people reasons to become, and more importantly, stay members.

Meanwhile, only 20% of our total community (and less than 50% of our revenue) are full time members - we actively keep that number limited to a fixed ratio. That means that 80% of our community uses our most finite resource (physical space) 3x a week or less. And more importantly, **65-70% of our community uses a desk once a month or less. **

I think about our list as another “place” for our community to gather. For ALL members - full time, various versions of our flex members, and our flagship Community members - the physical coworking space is only one of the places where they can do the things that they pay membership for: They want to meet and connect with people. They want to share and learn. They want to ask questions and give answers. They want to be inspired. They want to feel connected.

The ultimate outcome is that people don’t have to be physically AT Indy Hall to feel like they’re a part of Indy Hall. We put as much work into tummling in our online community as we do in the coworking space, often intentionally moving offline conversations into GroupBuzz so that people who aren’t present can participate. Online GroupBuzz conversations often spread into “meatspace” as well, spurring new events and gatherings among our members.

So there are two ways to tie our use of GroupBuzz to our bottom line:

1 - our revenue is nearly 2x what it could be if we didn’t have an online community, but we accomplish that by treating the online community as a first class community space of its own, not an “add-on” to our coworking space coworking. If anything, we’ve started viewing coworking as the add-on!

2 - our member lifetime value is…high. Even when members no longer need physical space, they often keep membership to stay involved in the community, and a large part of that is through GroupBuzz.

If you focus on “higher value memberships”, you need to make sure you’re not just looking at the ones that you can charge more for. Because yes, while our full time and lite memberships generate more revenue than our six pack, basic, and flex memberships…they (full time and lite) cost more in use of the finite & expensive resource (the space), making the net profit for their membership a closer to that of our seemingly lower priced memberships which have marginal fixed costs.

-Alex

As a user and a client of GroupBuzz, I’ll plainly say that this is the best product out there. I also did try a lot of tools that could handle discussions among members. That was before Alex showed me GroupBuzz, as I was mentioning him those issues. True fact : the more I use it, the more I see GroupBuzz as the online mirror of our community (this sentence is a quote here : http://groupbuzz.io : ) ). Alex once said to me “We’ve got a lot more we want to do for discussions core…”.

Higher Purpose. We recently, Alix and I, at Les Satellites, gave a one month class to the coworking spaces’ leaders of our region, coaching and showing them what we think are the good words, practices, values and choices of coworking.

Nicolas Bergé

Les Satellites

Yes, loving this thread, Tony.

I started BEAHIVE with a higher purpose and I’m a communicator, so for me it’s been easy (relatively) to articulate it. Though I run into the same issues as Susan: some people just don’t get it. But I don’t worry about them.

That purpose can be found in this post I wrote about my application to the William James Foundation Sustainable Business Plan Competition.

http://beahivebzzz.com/blog/2013/11/making-world-significantly-better-place-to-live/

One of the questions in the application was, "How will your firm make the world a significantly better place to live?” How’s that for higher purpose?

Bzzz…

scott.


SCOTT TILLITT

PR yogi + social entrepreneur + community catalyst + meditator

// [email protected] / 917.449.6356

// Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn

BEAHIVE

sign up for****BEAHIVE BZZZ

collaborative spaces for work + community

// beahivebzzz.com / Facebook / Twitter

SOCIAL VENTURE INSTITUTE / HUDSON VALLEY

a weekend retreat for world-changing social entrepreneurs

// svihudsonvalley.com / Facebook / Twitter

RE>THINK LOCAL

co-creating a better Hudson Valley

// rethinklocal.org / Facebook / Twitter

ANTIDOTE COLLECTIVE

socially conscious communications for a better world

// antidotecollective.org / Facebook

  • – - t h i n k / f e e l - – -

“…an idea or product that deserves the label ‘creative’ arises from the synergy of many sources and not only from the mind of a single person.” — Mihaly Csikszentmihaly

···

On Jul 4, 2014, at 4:14 AM, [email protected] wrote:

Susan Dorsch [email protected] Jul 03 10:38AM -0700

Great thread, Tony. This gives me a lot to think about as well - we try to
communicate our values and our purpose as best as we can through our
website, written materials, etc., but that only goes so far. And words can
only do so much when faced with people’s own desires & expectations when
they walk in the door. I’ve seen over the years that sometimes you can
explain yourself and your community until you’re blue in the face and you
are still met with “OK well I’m still just going to pay you to use your
meeting room. If I have to become a “member” or whatever to do that then
fine.” [facepalm] This is the exception for us (thankfully), but it still
happens regularly enough to be a frustration.

The conversation has happened again and again on this list how people
frequently arrive at coworking spaces for the “things” (desks, wifi, etc.)
and wind up staying for the people. Are you asking the question how do we
effectively communicate the need a bit better? How to shine light on the
need we actually meet so that we’re attracting members who walk through the
door looking to help shape our communities instead of just using our
resources? And how regional collectives can help to make an impact?

Because them’s big questions. :slight_smile: Here in Seattle the Seattle Collaborative
Space Alliance <http://collaborativespaces.org/> (formerly Coworking
Seattle) has been slowly formalizing over the years, and now fall under the
mission “to unify, support and promote the coworking and collaborative
space movement.” We’ve got some fun outreach planned for Coworking Week,
but in general we’re hoping to grow to a place where we can work to
strongly communicate the purpose of coworking communities as best as we
can. We’ve been at it for 5 years now as a group and I must admit that
we’ve done a great job of supporting one another in the development of our
spaces, but we have a long way to go when it comes to reaching out to our
city to develop a level of understanding.

Sounds a lot like what we’ve done so far on a global level - we’ve done a
great job reaching out and connecting with other community catalysts from
around the world, but we have a long way to go when it comes to supporting
the members of those communities. I’m really interested in making some
inroads into that realm.

S

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Office Nomads
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