Who's looking for a virtual co-working group?

Hey all! My name is JC and I do phone sales out of my apartment but am finding it kind of difficult to stay focused. I’m usually pretty disciplined in the office but at home by myself it’s way too easy to get distracted and goof around, especially since my job is commission only so there’s no one to get on my case when I slack off. What I’d like to do is get together with a few other professionals and create a regular google hang out for people who work from home but want to sort of recreate the office environment. A little banter, a little motivation and support. This would probably work best with others who cold call from home but I’m open to working with anyone who’s interested. If anyone is interested in trying it out, shoot me an email.

[email protected]

What you really want is to join a coworking space. That's what will increase your focus, productivity and happiness.

Hi JC, I'd be interested in hearing what you find. If you post back in the future on a new thread, "comparing online with in-person coworking", I would read that.

There are studies showing different benefits from in-person communication than from online communication. However there are Google Hangouts, listserves, IRC, and hundreds of other ways to interact that aren't "co-working". I don't think "virtual co-working" could have as much benefit (but if it could, I'd be interested to hear why people pay for it) or deeply value it as something life-changing.

Most coworking I'm aware of starts as one in-person all-day coworking meeting, then a monthly meeting, then weekly, then in a no-charge space like a living room, cafe or a favor at an office, then getting its own place.

Alex Linsker, Collective Agency, Portland Oregon.

Hey J.C.,

I’m honestly not sure why people are getting all fussy about this, it seems to me like your goals are totally reasonable to accomplish.

I don’t get the sense that you’re trying to avoid a coworking space…maybe you’ve even tried it but because you’re often on the phone it didn’t work out.

The #1 problem that coworking solves is loneliness (which it sounds like you’re dealing with), and there’s more than one way to skin that cat. :slight_smile:

Two anecdotes of encouragement for you, JC:

  1. completely separate from the coworking space that I founded, I run what could easily be considered a virtual coworking community. In fact, here’s an excerpt from the page that people see when they sign up:

The members of this particular community pay more than most of the members of the coworking space - quite happily. :slight_smile:

  1. Indy Hall’s “virtual” coworking community might look like an add-on to the coworking space, but we treat our discussion list & chat room as full fledged places to gather in the same ways you’ve described. There’s banter and motivation and support. We do Photoshop Fridays (you don’t need to be good at photoshop, trust me) and swap music videos on Youtube, help each other with problems ranging from technical to business to DIY home improvement projects, planning lunch & trips…

Are these interactions a complete replacement for the coworking space? No! Of course not.

But for:

  • the people who like you, JC, have a constraint that keeps them from working in the coworking space…

  • the people who have jobs that require them to be at another office, full of coworkers that they DON’T enjoy talking with…

  • and the people who have a whole host of other reasons that physically relocating themselves just isn’t practical, but WANT to be a part of a community of likeminded people who they’re happy to call their coworkers…

we’re really proud of what we’re able to offer, and the members really love having a way to contribute to the energy of the community from wherever they are.

I wrote a bit on this list (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/coworking/CFsjTAEPP2g/oRegOZbfIPYJ)

last year about how we launched an online community membership to focus even more on opening the “door" to people want a community of coworkers but can’t use the space often or ever.

-Alex

···

The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

Hey all! My name is JC and I do phone sales out of my apartment but am finding it kind of difficult to stay focused. I’m usually pretty disciplined in the office but at home by myself it’s way too easy to get distracted and goof around, especially since my job is commission only so there’s no one to get on my case when I slack off. What I’d like to do is get together with a few other professionals and create a regular google hang out for people who work from home but want to sort of recreate the office environment. A little banter, a little motivation and support. This would probably work best with others who cold call from home but I’m open to working with anyone who’s interested. If anyone is interested in trying it out, shoot me an email.

[email protected]


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.

On Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 6:08 PM, J.C. Amaya [email protected], wrote:

I know why people are getting all fussy about it.

···

Aaron Cruikshank

Principal, CRUIKSHANK

Phone: 778.908.4560

email: [email protected]

web: cruikshank.me

twitter: @cruikshank

book a meeting: doodle.com/cruikshank

linkedin: linkedin.com/in/cruikshank

On Jan 18, 2015 6:26 PM, “Alex Hillman” [email protected] wrote:

Hey J.C.,

I’m honestly not sure why people are getting all fussy about this, it seems to me like your goals are totally reasonable to accomplish.

I don’t get the sense that you’re trying to avoid a coworking space…maybe you’ve even tried it but because you’re often on the phone it didn’t work out.

The #1 problem that coworking solves is loneliness (which it sounds like you’re dealing with), and there’s more than one way to skin that cat. :slight_smile:

Two anecdotes of encouragement for you, JC:

  1. completely separate from the coworking space that I founded, I run what could easily be considered a virtual coworking community. In fact, here’s an excerpt from the page that people see when they sign up:

The members of this particular community pay more than most of the members of the coworking space - quite happily. :slight_smile:

  1. Indy Hall’s “virtual” coworking community might look like an add-on to the coworking space, but we treat our discussion list & chat room as full fledged places to gather in the same ways you’ve described. There’s banter and motivation and support. We do Photoshop Fridays (you don’t need to be good at photoshop, trust me) and swap music videos on Youtube, help each other with problems ranging from technical to business to DIY home improvement projects, planning lunch & trips…

Are these interactions a complete replacement for the coworking space? No! Of course not.

But for:

  • the people who like you, JC, have a constraint that keeps them from working in the coworking space…
  • the people who have jobs that require them to be at another office, full of coworkers that they DON’T enjoy talking with…
  • and the people who have a whole host of other reasons that physically relocating themselves just isn’t practical, but WANT to be a part of a community of likeminded people who they’re happy to call their coworkers…

we’re really proud of what we’re able to offer, and the members really love having a way to contribute to the energy of the community from wherever they are.

I wrote a bit on this list (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/coworking/CFsjTAEPP2g/oRegOZbfIPYJ)

last year about how we launched an online community membership to focus even more on opening the “door" to people want a community of coworkers but can’t use the space often or ever.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

Hey all! My name is JC and I do phone sales out of my apartment but am finding it kind of difficult to stay focused. I’m usually pretty disciplined in the office but at home by myself it’s way too easy to get distracted and goof around, especially since my job is commission only so there’s no one to get on my case when I slack off. What I’d like to do is get together with a few other professionals and create a regular google hang out for people who work from home but want to sort of recreate the office environment. A little banter, a little motivation and support. This would probably work best with others who cold call from home but I’m open to working with anyone who’s interested. If anyone is interested in trying it out, shoot me an email.

[email protected]


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.

On Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 6:08 PM, J.C. Amaya [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.

We are workinig towards this as a community, the impulse came mostly when we shifted form one space to 2. The secopnd space is a sort of a daughter location, which has options the original space simply did not have. (I know th espace isn’t supposed to matter. But when the webshop has taken up all the tables with inventory and packing materials, or the importer is sending home machines on pallets which have to be put somewhere, it starts to matter. A lot. lol)

It isn’t quite mature yet, but it has been a really interesting ride so far.

For a Euro-development, the newest initiative/proposal we are discussing is to stop with the discussion group thing altogether and move to Whatsapp groups for this function. Not sure how that will go, but I guess I will know in a couple of months.

Cheers,

Jeannine

···

On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 3:26:47 AM UTC+1, Alex Hillman wrote:

Hey J.C.,

I’m honestly not sure why people are getting all fussy about this, it seems to me like your goals are totally reasonable to accomplish.

I don’t get the sense that you’re trying to avoid a coworking space…maybe you’ve even tried it but because you’re often on the phone it didn’t work out.

The #1 problem that coworking solves is loneliness (which it sounds like you’re dealing with), and there’s more than one way to skin that cat. :slight_smile:

Two anecdotes of encouragement for you, JC:

  1. completely separate from the coworking space that I founded, I run what could easily be considered a virtual coworking community. In fact, here’s an excerpt from the page that people see when they sign up:

The members of this particular community pay more than most of the members of the coworking space - quite happily. :slight_smile:

  1. Indy Hall’s “virtual” coworking community might look like an add-on to the coworking space, but we treat our discussion list & chat room as full fledged places to gather in the same ways you’ve described. There’s banter and motivation and support. We do Photoshop Fridays (you don’t need to be good at photoshop, trust me) and swap music videos on Youtube, help each other with problems ranging from technical to business to DIY home improvement projects, planning lunch & trips…

Are these interactions a complete replacement for the coworking space? No! Of course not.

But for:

  • the people who like you, JC, have a constraint that keeps them from working in the coworking space…
  • the people who have jobs that require them to be at another office, full of coworkers that they DON’T enjoy talking with…
  • and the people who have a whole host of other reasons that physically relocating themselves just isn’t practical, but WANT to be a part of a community of likeminded people who they’re happy to call their coworkers…

we’re really proud of what we’re able to offer, and the members really love having a way to contribute to the energy of the community from wherever they are.

I wrote a bit on this list (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/coworking/CFsjTAEPP2g/oRegOZbfIPYJ)

last year about how we launched an online community membership to focus even more on opening the “door" to people want a community of coworkers but can’t use the space often or ever.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

Hey all! My name is JC and I do phone sales out of my apartment but am finding it kind of difficult to stay focused. I’m usually pretty disciplined in the office but at home by myself it’s way too easy to get distracted and goof around, especially since my job is commission only so there’s no one to get on my case when I slack off. What I’d like to do is get together with a few other professionals and create a regular google hang out for people who work from home but want to sort of recreate the office environment. A little banter, a little motivation and support. This would probably work best with others who cold call from home but I’m open to working with anyone who’s interested. If anyone is interested in trying it out, shoot me an email.

[email protected]


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.

On Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 6:08 PM, J.C. Amaya [email protected], wrote:

Hi J.C.:

I’m sure there are people out there who share your need and would want to cowork with you over the Internet and for whom a physical coworking space isn’t the solution. Unfortunately, I don’t think this list is the best place to find those people. As you might have gathered from the replies, most of the people active on this list are coworking space proprietors or are otherwise invested in the coworking space industry or the coworking movement. That’s not by design. In my opinion it’s just by virtue of what has kept a consistent group actively interested in discussing coworking.

Anyone know of a good non-affiliated discussion list where “coworkers”, or people seeking to be coworkers, congregate? My guess–J.C.–is that you’d be better posting this question on some group where digital nomads, location-independent professionals, freelancers, home workers, teleworkers, etc., congregate. But I don’t know where that is (or if those groups suffer from the same trait of hosting primarily people who build their careers around that topic, rather than the participants in those activities themselves).

I’d love to hear others’ suggestions for where to find this niche. Or J.C., if you find a place to post this inquiry that brings you success, I’d love to hear where you found it.

Best,

Will

···

On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 10:23:56 AM UTC+1, Jeannine wrote:

We are workinig towards this as a community, the impulse came mostly when we shifted form one space to 2. The secopnd space is a sort of a daughter location, which has options the original space simply did not have. (I know th espace isn’t supposed to matter. But when the webshop has taken up all the tables with inventory and packing materials, or the importer is sending home machines on pallets which have to be put somewhere, it starts to matter. A lot. lol)

It isn’t quite mature yet, but it has been a really interesting ride so far.

For a Euro-development, the newest initiative/proposal we are discussing is to stop with the discussion group thing altogether and move to Whatsapp groups for this function. Not sure how that will go, but I guess I will know in a couple of months.

Cheers,

Jeannine
On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 3:26:47 AM UTC+1, Alex Hillman wrote:

Hey J.C.,

I’m honestly not sure why people are getting all fussy about this, it seems to me like your goals are totally reasonable to accomplish.

I don’t get the sense that you’re trying to avoid a coworking space…maybe you’ve even tried it but because you’re often on the phone it didn’t work out.

The #1 problem that coworking solves is loneliness (which it sounds like you’re dealing with), and there’s more than one way to skin that cat. :slight_smile:

Two anecdotes of encouragement for you, JC:

  1. completely separate from the coworking space that I founded, I run what could easily be considered a virtual coworking community. In fact, here’s an excerpt from the page that people see when they sign up:

The members of this particular community pay more than most of the members of the coworking space - quite happily. :slight_smile:

  1. Indy Hall’s “virtual” coworking community might look like an add-on to the coworking space, but we treat our discussion list & chat room as full fledged places to gather in the same ways you’ve described. There’s banter and motivation and support. We do Photoshop Fridays (you don’t need to be good at photoshop, trust me) and swap music videos on Youtube, help each other with problems ranging from technical to business to DIY home improvement projects, planning lunch & trips…

Are these interactions a complete replacement for the coworking space? No! Of course not.

But for:

  • the people who like you, JC, have a constraint that keeps them from working in the coworking space…
  • the people who have jobs that require them to be at another office, full of coworkers that they DON’T enjoy talking with…
  • and the people who have a whole host of other reasons that physically relocating themselves just isn’t practical, but WANT to be a part of a community of likeminded people who they’re happy to call their coworkers…

we’re really proud of what we’re able to offer, and the members really love having a way to contribute to the energy of the community from wherever they are.

I wrote a bit on this list (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/coworking/CFsjTAEPP2g/oRegOZbfIPYJ)

last year about how we launched an online community membership to focus even more on opening the “door" to people want a community of coworkers but can’t use the space often or ever.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

Hey all! My name is JC and I do phone sales out of my apartment but am finding it kind of difficult to stay focused. I’m usually pretty disciplined in the office but at home by myself it’s way too easy to get distracted and goof around, especially since my job is commission only so there’s no one to get on my case when I slack off. What I’d like to do is get together with a few other professionals and create a regular google hang out for people who work from home but want to sort of recreate the office environment. A little banter, a little motivation and support. This would probably work best with others who cold call from home but I’m open to working with anyone who’s interested. If anyone is interested in trying it out, shoot me an email.

[email protected]


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.

On Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 6:08 PM, J.C. Amaya [email protected], wrote:

J.C.'s post does point to what I take to be the greatest loss for this discussion group: that it is almost devoid of participation from people who cowork and don’t also have some deeper connection to the movement. But I suppose that’s the nature of the beast? Is there ongoing value in a coworking discussion group for members of coworking spaces?

My sense is we’d all benefit from getting greater input/perspective from that side of the coworking world (the member side), though I’m not sure that side would benefit from taking the time to give it.

I do wonder if there’s some tweak we could do as a community here that would make this list more diverse in terms of who can get benefit from being on here so that coworkers too could participate and add their perspective and also feel as though they’re getting value from doing so?

···

On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 2:22:25 PM UTC+1, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace wrote:

Hi J.C.:

I’m sure there are people out there who share your need and would want to cowork with you over the Internet and for whom a physical coworking space isn’t the solution. Unfortunately, I don’t think this list is the best place to find those people. As you might have gathered from the replies, most of the people active on this list are coworking space proprietors or are otherwise invested in the coworking space industry or the coworking movement. That’s not by design. In my opinion it’s just by virtue of what has kept a consistent group actively interested in discussing coworking.

Anyone know of a good non-affiliated discussion list where “coworkers”, or people seeking to be coworkers, congregate? My guess–J.C.–is that you’d be better posting this question on some group where digital nomads, location-independent professionals, freelancers, home workers, teleworkers, etc., congregate. But I don’t know where that is (or if those groups suffer from the same trait of hosting primarily people who build their careers around that topic, rather than the participants in those activities themselves).

I’d love to hear others’ suggestions for where to find this niche. Or J.C., if you find a place to post this inquiry that brings you success, I’d love to hear where you found it.

Best,

Will

On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 10:23:56 AM UTC+1, Jeannine wrote:

We are workinig towards this as a community, the impulse came mostly when we shifted form one space to 2. The secopnd space is a sort of a daughter location, which has options the original space simply did not have. (I know th espace isn’t supposed to matter. But when the webshop has taken up all the tables with inventory and packing materials, or the importer is sending home machines on pallets which have to be put somewhere, it starts to matter. A lot. lol)

It isn’t quite mature yet, but it has been a really interesting ride so far.

For a Euro-development, the newest initiative/proposal we are discussing is to stop with the discussion group thing altogether and move to Whatsapp groups for this function. Not sure how that will go, but I guess I will know in a couple of months.

Cheers,

Jeannine
On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 3:26:47 AM UTC+1, Alex Hillman wrote:

Hey J.C.,

I’m honestly not sure why people are getting all fussy about this, it seems to me like your goals are totally reasonable to accomplish.

I don’t get the sense that you’re trying to avoid a coworking space…maybe you’ve even tried it but because you’re often on the phone it didn’t work out.

The #1 problem that coworking solves is loneliness (which it sounds like you’re dealing with), and there’s more than one way to skin that cat. :slight_smile:

Two anecdotes of encouragement for you, JC:

  1. completely separate from the coworking space that I founded, I run what could easily be considered a virtual coworking community. In fact, here’s an excerpt from the page that people see when they sign up:

The members of this particular community pay more than most of the members of the coworking space - quite happily. :slight_smile:

  1. Indy Hall’s “virtual” coworking community might look like an add-on to the coworking space, but we treat our discussion list & chat room as full fledged places to gather in the same ways you’ve described. There’s banter and motivation and support. We do Photoshop Fridays (you don’t need to be good at photoshop, trust me) and swap music videos on Youtube, help each other with problems ranging from technical to business to DIY home improvement projects, planning lunch & trips…

Are these interactions a complete replacement for the coworking space? No! Of course not.

But for:

  • the people who like you, JC, have a constraint that keeps them from working in the coworking space…
  • the people who have jobs that require them to be at another office, full of coworkers that they DON’T enjoy talking with…
  • and the people who have a whole host of other reasons that physically relocating themselves just isn’t practical, but WANT to be a part of a community of likeminded people who they’re happy to call their coworkers…

we’re really proud of what we’re able to offer, and the members really love having a way to contribute to the energy of the community from wherever they are.

I wrote a bit on this list (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/coworking/CFsjTAEPP2g/oRegOZbfIPYJ)

last year about how we launched an online community membership to focus even more on opening the “door" to people want a community of coworkers but can’t use the space often or ever.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

Hey all! My name is JC and I do phone sales out of my apartment but am finding it kind of difficult to stay focused. I’m usually pretty disciplined in the office but at home by myself it’s way too easy to get distracted and goof around, especially since my job is commission only so there’s no one to get on my case when I slack off. What I’d like to do is get together with a few other professionals and create a regular google hang out for people who work from home but want to sort of recreate the office environment. A little banter, a little motivation and support. This would probably work best with others who cold call from home but I’m open to working with anyone who’s interested. If anyone is interested in trying it out, shoot me an email.

[email protected]


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.

On Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 6:08 PM, J.C. Amaya [email protected], wrote:

Yelp, Google reviews, and http://newworker.co/mag/all-articles/ among others would be channels for outreach, to find people who wrote about coworking but aren’t paid for it, as would the WorkAtJelly.com listserves and wikis. Also work co-ops of all kinds could count as coworking if virtual coworking counts, and would have many of the same issues but different solutions and fun and innovation as “coworking”, and I think would benefit this group.

Alex Linsker, Collective Agency, Portland Oregon

···

On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 5:29:12 AM UTC-8, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace wrote:

J.C.'s post does point to what I take to be the greatest loss for this discussion group: that it is almost devoid of participation from people who cowork and don’t also have some deeper connection to the movement. But I suppose that’s the nature of the beast? Is there ongoing value in a coworking discussion group for members of coworking spaces?

My sense is we’d all benefit from getting greater input/perspective from that side of the coworking world (the member side), though I’m not sure that side would benefit from taking the time to give it.

I do wonder if there’s some tweak we could do as a community here that would make this list more diverse in terms of who can get benefit from being on here so that coworkers too could participate and add their perspective and also feel as though they’re getting value from doing so?

On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 2:22:25 PM UTC+1, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace wrote:

Hi J.C.:

I’m sure there are people out there who share your need and would want to cowork with you over the Internet and for whom a physical coworking space isn’t the solution. Unfortunately, I don’t think this list is the best place to find those people. As you might have gathered from the replies, most of the people active on this list are coworking space proprietors or are otherwise invested in the coworking space industry or the coworking movement. That’s not by design. In my opinion it’s just by virtue of what has kept a consistent group actively interested in discussing coworking.

Anyone know of a good non-affiliated discussion list where “coworkers”, or people seeking to be coworkers, congregate? My guess–J.C.–is that you’d be better posting this question on some group where digital nomads, location-independent professionals, freelancers, home workers, teleworkers, etc., congregate. But I don’t know where that is (or if those groups suffer from the same trait of hosting primarily people who build their careers around that topic, rather than the participants in those activities themselves).

I’d love to hear others’ suggestions for where to find this niche. Or J.C., if you find a place to post this inquiry that brings you success, I’d love to hear where you found it.

Best,

Will

On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 10:23:56 AM UTC+1, Jeannine wrote:

We are workinig towards this as a community, the impulse came mostly when we shifted form one space to 2. The secopnd space is a sort of a daughter location, which has options the original space simply did not have. (I know th espace isn’t supposed to matter. But when the webshop has taken up all the tables with inventory and packing materials, or the importer is sending home machines on pallets which have to be put somewhere, it starts to matter. A lot. lol)

It isn’t quite mature yet, but it has been a really interesting ride so far.

For a Euro-development, the newest initiative/proposal we are discussing is to stop with the discussion group thing altogether and move to Whatsapp groups for this function. Not sure how that will go, but I guess I will know in a couple of months.

Cheers,

Jeannine
On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 3:26:47 AM UTC+1, Alex Hillman wrote:

Hey J.C.,

I’m honestly not sure why people are getting all fussy about this, it seems to me like your goals are totally reasonable to accomplish.

I don’t get the sense that you’re trying to avoid a coworking space…maybe you’ve even tried it but because you’re often on the phone it didn’t work out.

The #1 problem that coworking solves is loneliness (which it sounds like you’re dealing with), and there’s more than one way to skin that cat. :slight_smile:

Two anecdotes of encouragement for you, JC:

  1. completely separate from the coworking space that I founded, I run what could easily be considered a virtual coworking community. In fact, here’s an excerpt from the page that people see when they sign up:

The members of this particular community pay more than most of the members of the coworking space - quite happily. :slight_smile:

  1. Indy Hall’s “virtual” coworking community might look like an add-on to the coworking space, but we treat our discussion list & chat room as full fledged places to gather in the same ways you’ve described. There’s banter and motivation and support. We do Photoshop Fridays (you don’t need to be good at photoshop, trust me) and swap music videos on Youtube, help each other with problems ranging from technical to business to DIY home improvement projects, planning lunch & trips…

Are these interactions a complete replacement for the coworking space? No! Of course not.

But for:

  • the people who like you, JC, have a constraint that keeps them from working in the coworking space…
  • the people who have jobs that require them to be at another office, full of coworkers that they DON’T enjoy talking with…
  • and the people who have a whole host of other reasons that physically relocating themselves just isn’t practical, but WANT to be a part of a community of likeminded people who they’re happy to call their coworkers…

we’re really proud of what we’re able to offer, and the members really love having a way to contribute to the energy of the community from wherever they are.

I wrote a bit on this list (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/coworking/CFsjTAEPP2g/oRegOZbfIPYJ)

last year about how we launched an online community membership to focus even more on opening the “door" to people want a community of coworkers but can’t use the space often or ever.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

Hey all! My name is JC and I do phone sales out of my apartment but am finding it kind of difficult to stay focused. I’m usually pretty disciplined in the office but at home by myself it’s way too easy to get distracted and goof around, especially since my job is commission only so there’s no one to get on my case when I slack off. What I’d like to do is get together with a few other professionals and create a regular google hang out for people who work from home but want to sort of recreate the office environment. A little banter, a little motivation and support. This would probably work best with others who cold call from home but I’m open to working with anyone who’s interested. If anyone is interested in trying it out, shoot me an email.

[email protected]


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.

On Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 6:08 PM, J.C. Amaya [email protected], wrote:

Will, that would only add noise. If the coworkers wanted a discussion group, wouldn’t they have created it already and wouldn’t it be thriving? It is simple and free to start a discussion group. What is stopping them?

There’s no purpose in such a group. The link is too weak and purposeless. It is already hard to have an online group that runs with much stronger ties and interests.

There are a load of social networks, chats, and groups for freelancers, entrepreneurs and every profession and interest, still none of them add what JC is asking for. What he asks for are exactly the things why me and thousands of others joined coworking spaces. No online network is going to provide what physical presence of others does. Creating and online distraction is not the solution to lack of productivity, concentration and loneliness. Attending local meetups is a good way to at least see some faces and not isolate yourself completely, but it does nothing or little to improve the previous.

I speak from my own experience and that of many others: the solution is joining a coworking space or a shared office and interact with people face to face. :slight_smile:

···

On Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 2:29 PM, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace [email protected] wrote:

J.C.'s post does point to what I take to be the greatest loss for this discussion group: that it is almost devoid of participation from people who cowork and don’t also have some deeper connection to the movement. But I suppose that’s the nature of the beast? Is there ongoing value in a coworking discussion group for members of coworking spaces?

My sense is we’d all benefit from getting greater input/perspective from that side of the coworking world (the member side), though I’m not sure that side would benefit from taking the time to give it.

I do wonder if there’s some tweak we could do as a community here that would make this list more diverse in terms of who can get benefit from being on here so that coworkers too could participate and add their perspective and also feel as though they’re getting value from doing so?

On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 2:22:25 PM UTC+1, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace wrote:

Hi J.C.:

I’m sure there are people out there who share your need and would want to cowork with you over the Internet and for whom a physical coworking space isn’t the solution. Unfortunately, I don’t think this list is the best place to find those people. As you might have gathered from the replies, most of the people active on this list are coworking space proprietors or are otherwise invested in the coworking space industry or the coworking movement. That’s not by design. In my opinion it’s just by virtue of what has kept a consistent group actively interested in discussing coworking.

Anyone know of a good non-affiliated discussion list where “coworkers”, or people seeking to be coworkers, congregate? My guess–J.C.–is that you’d be better posting this question on some group where digital nomads, location-independent professionals, freelancers, home workers, teleworkers, etc., congregate. But I don’t know where that is (or if those groups suffer from the same trait of hosting primarily people who build their careers around that topic, rather than the participants in those activities themselves).

I’d love to hear others’ suggestions for where to find this niche. Or J.C., if you find a place to post this inquiry that brings you success, I’d love to hear where you found it.

Best,

Will

On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 10:23:56 AM UTC+1, Jeannine wrote:

We are workinig towards this as a community, the impulse came mostly when we shifted form one space to 2. The secopnd space is a sort of a daughter location, which has options the original space simply did not have. (I know th espace isn’t supposed to matter. But when the webshop has taken up all the tables with inventory and packing materials, or the importer is sending home machines on pallets which have to be put somewhere, it starts to matter. A lot. lol)

It isn’t quite mature yet, but it has been a really interesting ride so far.

For a Euro-development, the newest initiative/proposal we are discussing is to stop with the discussion group thing altogether and move to Whatsapp groups for this function. Not sure how that will go, but I guess I will know in a couple of months.

Cheers,

Jeannine
On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 3:26:47 AM UTC+1, Alex Hillman wrote:

Hey J.C.,

I’m honestly not sure why people are getting all fussy about this, it seems to me like your goals are totally reasonable to accomplish.

I don’t get the sense that you’re trying to avoid a coworking space…maybe you’ve even tried it but because you’re often on the phone it didn’t work out.

The #1 problem that coworking solves is loneliness (which it sounds like you’re dealing with), and there’s more than one way to skin that cat. :slight_smile:

Two anecdotes of encouragement for you, JC:

  1. completely separate from the coworking space that I founded, I run what could easily be considered a virtual coworking community. In fact, here’s an excerpt from the page that people see when they sign up:

The members of this particular community pay more than most of the members of the coworking space - quite happily. :slight_smile:

  1. Indy Hall’s “virtual” coworking community might look like an add-on to the coworking space, but we treat our discussion list & chat room as full fledged places to gather in the same ways you’ve described. There’s banter and motivation and support. We do Photoshop Fridays (you don’t need to be good at photoshop, trust me) and swap music videos on Youtube, help each other with problems ranging from technical to business to DIY home improvement projects, planning lunch & trips…

Are these interactions a complete replacement for the coworking space? No! Of course not.

But for:

  • the people who like you, JC, have a constraint that keeps them from working in the coworking space…
  • the people who have jobs that require them to be at another office, full of coworkers that they DON’T enjoy talking with…
  • and the people who have a whole host of other reasons that physically relocating themselves just isn’t practical, but WANT to be a part of a community of likeminded people who they’re happy to call their coworkers…

we’re really proud of what we’re able to offer, and the members really love having a way to contribute to the energy of the community from wherever they are.

I wrote a bit on this list (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/coworking/CFsjTAEPP2g/oRegOZbfIPYJ)

last year about how we launched an online community membership to focus even more on opening the “door" to people want a community of coworkers but can’t use the space often or ever.

-Alex


The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Join the list: http://coworkingweekly.com

Listen to the podcast: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com

Hey all! My name is JC and I do phone sales out of my apartment but am finding it kind of difficult to stay focused. I’m usually pretty disciplined in the office but at home by myself it’s way too easy to get distracted and goof around, especially since my job is commission only so there’s no one to get on my case when I slack off. What I’d like to do is get together with a few other professionals and create a regular google hang out for people who work from home but want to sort of recreate the office environment. A little banter, a little motivation and support. This would probably work best with others who cold call from home but I’m open to working with anyone who’s interested. If anyone is interested in trying it out, shoot me an email.

[email protected]


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.

On Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 6:08 PM, J.C. Amaya [email protected], wrote:

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


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

To unsubscribe from this topic, visit https://groups.google.com/d/topic/coworking/CgTm15gTY-Y/unsubscribe.

To unsubscribe from this group and all its topics, send an email to [email protected].

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

Ramon Suarez
Serendipity Accelerator, Betacowork
Author: http://coworkinghandbook.com
email & hangouts: [email protected]

Phone: +3227376769

GSM: +32497556284

Twitter:http://twitter.com/ramonsuarez
Skype: ramonsuarez

Try coworking: http://betacowork.com

Hi Ramon, All:

I’m changing the subject of this thread since it’s moved away from JC’s original search for virtual coworkers to two topics I think should have more general interest to this group.

Ramon: I appreciate your candid response and your contribution in general to the group and to the coworking community. That said, there was a lot you wrote with absolutes that I don’t think are absolutes at all (and some that I think are just wrong). Some of the statements are central to what this group is and to how we understand the value of coworking in the lives of independent workers, so it brought out a strong reaction in me.

I learn mostly by conversation, so hopefully this will open up a conversation, and I’ll learn a thing or two. I’d love to get other’s thoughts on this.

(1) Regarding the idea that this group is not for “coworkers” (for people who do coworking in addition to people who run coworking spaces):

This is the first time I’ve heard this suggestion. My sense is that was not the intention of the people who formed this group and it’s not in the group description. It is the de facto use of this group right now, but IMO coworkers themselves are and should feel welcome to participate in discussions in this group. And there was a time in the early stages of this group when people looking for a coworking space and for people to cowork with were nearly as active as people running coworking spaces (though it was a long time ago). Anyone in the role of a group admin who could comment on this? If the group is not for coworkers, then shouldn’t we change the group description and the openness of the group, so people like JC don’t come here looking for connections to other potential coworkers that they won’t find?

**(2) Regarding the idea that participation by coworkers would only add noise to this group: **Maybe you’re right. I’m skeptical. Some of the most insightful posts (useful to me as a space owner/manager) have been from the perspective of members (or past members or people who don’t want to be members) of coworking spaces who don’t bring the rose-colored glasses about the coworking panacea that so many of us are bound to bring. Our community–the community of space operators–like all communities, is extremely biased in ways that are hard to escape once you’re inside the community. I think we’d all benefit from more input from people with perspectives on coworking that don’t share our particular incentives and biased access to information.

Here are some of the many ways the information that gets propogated in this discussion list is systematically biased (almost all of it towards giving us a more positive sense of the relative merits of coworking than warranted):

  • We’re biased by the sample of coworking space “users” we hear from: as with other “therapies”, coworking “therapists” get overwhelmingly more feedback from the people their “treatment” helped than from those who it didn’t help (who for the most part just leave the scene);

  • We’re biased by the sample of feedback those members choose to give us (they’re overwhelmingly more likely to tell us about what they liked about our space than what they didn’t like, a reality of social relationships more generally);

  • We’re biased by the media reports (we’re overwhelmingly more likely to hear stories about the positive aspects of the coworking trend and of the spaces that succeed than the negative aspects and the spaces that fail, neither of which make good business news and neither of which find space owners clamboring to talk to the media about;

  • We’re biased by our own personal subjective relationship to coworking (we wouldn’t have decided to open a space if we didn’t love the idea and see value in it);

  • We’re biased by our financial & business incentives to publicly portray coworking and our own coworking space as purely awesome;

  • We’re biased by our emotional relationship to the business (we have spent a lot of money and time and heart on this thing, and it’s hard not to look–unconsciously, without intention–more for the positives that promote the idea that coworking is great than the alternatives).

  • We’re biased by the cumulative effect of all of the above once we take this to a group setting: When all of us get together posting about coworking, that cumulative individual bias becomes enormous. We’re surrounded by examples and voices of support and evidence and reinforcement giving us the sense that our bias is objective and has been empirically validated.

Those kinds of bias are inherent to all groups, and one of the best ways to (partially) escape that bias is to welcome voices from other perspectives who nonetheless are involved in similar or related domains.

**(3) Regarding whether there are groups for coworkers and your response that there’s no use for such groups (or they would exist already): **Maybe you’re right. My sense was that this was the group, but that it’s so dominated by space owners & managers and their ongoing needs that the transient needs of coworkers just don’t make it worth spending time here, and that both groups have lost potential value because of that.

Let me give an example: I have an academic background in an esoteric field (cognitive anthropology). There are a couple thousand of us. There are hundreds of thousands of cognitive scientists more generally, but the bigger group is dominated by psychologists and neuroscientists and linguists and computer scientists who don’t share some of the basic concerns with systems of meaning (the contents of thought rather than the processes) that anthropologists tend to value. We’d love to contribute to the overall discussion and the direction cognitive science takes, and we like to think our perspective adds important value. There aren’t enough of us to have a thriving google group on our own. But we don’t get much value out of participating in the bigger group, because at this point our world views are too incompatible with the world view of the dominant participants. If we post to that group about the ideas that interest us, we would get responses much like the one J.C. got in his recent post here, basically: “What you’re looking for doesn’t have value. You should be doing what we’re doing.” The anthropologists are basically dismissed and so stop participating in that larger group, and neither group gets the valuable perspective of the other group that would help both sides be better scientists.

I think your attitude about the level of interest of coworkers and what we could learn from them is parallel. Those wanting to actively contribute to discussing coworking may be there in large enough numbers to contribute to this group even if they’re not out there in large enough numbers to create their own thriving group. And in my opinion we’d all benefit greatly from that input. Not getting it skews our sense of the reality of coworking in ways that can’t benefit our community or our business decisions.

(4) Regarding the idea that virtual coworking doesn’t work and that coworking is THE solution for anyone who thinks they’re looking for virtual coworking (that’s the claim, right?): Clearly not everyone can join or wants to join a coworking space. Some people can’t afford it. Some people live in a place too remote from a good coworking space and don’t have the resources or inclination to start one themselves. Some people have an awesome home office with resources they don’t want to give up and where they’re for-the-most-part happy working. Some people are students and live on a campus where they have special resources or class commitments that don’t make using a coworking space feasible. Some have kids (or other people or pets or machines) they need to take care of in the next room. Some have to go into their organization’s office and work from there, even though their particular work is very autonomous and could support virtual coworking. Etc.

It sounds as though you’re saying none of those people could benefit from having a google hangout with five people all sitting at their computers working with the video screen open and the option to talk to one another when they feel like it (i.e., virtual coworking). I know for a fact that some people can and have benefited from that, because I’ve seen it in action more than once. I agree: It’s not the ideal. We’re all sometimes in situations where our ideal work environment isn’t possible (I think most members of coworking spaces would acknowledge it’s not their ideal work environment; it’s just nominally ideal given their particular work reality). Is virtual coworking better than sitting alone at their desk without being able to look up and have that video/voice connection when needed? For everyone, of course not. For a lot of people it would be an annoying distraction. For some? I’d be astounded if some people don’t sometimes benefit from that environment. Give JC the credit for knowing what he’s looking for and for having some reason for looking for it. Telling him he’s looking for the wrong thing and should do what we’re doing instead comes off as patronising. Given that it’s coming from coworking space owners who make their livings–at least in part–“selling” coworking, it also comes off as perhaps inauthentic and self-serving (though of course I don’t think that was the motivation).

Respectfully,

Will

···

On Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 10:13:39 AM UTC+1, Ramon Suarez wrote:

Will, that would only add noise. If the coworkers wanted a discussion group, wouldn’t they have created it already and wouldn’t it be thriving? It is simple and free to start a discussion group. What is stopping them?

There’s no purpose in such a group. The link is too weak and purposeless. It is already hard to have an online group that runs with much stronger ties and interests.

There are a load of social networks, chats, and groups for freelancers, entrepreneurs and every profession and interest, still none of them add what JC is asking for. What he asks for are exactly the things why me and thousands of others joined coworking spaces. No online network is going to provide what physical presence of others does. Creating and online distraction is not the solution to lack of productivity, concentration and loneliness. Attending local meetups is a good way to at least see some faces and not isolate yourself completely, but it does nothing or little to improve the previous.

I speak from my own experience and that of many others: the solution is joining a coworking space or a shared office and interact with people face to face. :slight_smile:

Ramon Suarez
Serendipity Accelerator, Betacowork
Author: http://coworkinghandbook.com
email & hangouts: [email protected]

Phone: +3227376769

GSM: +32497556284

Twitter:http://twitter.com/ramonsuarez
Skype: ramonsuarez

Try coworking: http://betacowork.com

On Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 2:29 PM, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace [email protected] wrote:

J.C.'s post does point to what I take to be the greatest loss for this discussion group: that it is almost devoid of participation from people who cowork and don’t also have some deeper connection to the movement. But I suppose that’s the nature of the beast? Is there ongoing value in a coworking discussion group for members of coworking spaces?

My sense is we’d all benefit from getting greater input/perspective from that side of the coworking world (the member side), though I’m not sure that side would benefit from taking the time to give it.

I do wonder if there’s some tweak we could do as a community here that would make this list more diverse in terms of who can get benefit from being on here so that coworkers too could participate and add their perspective and also feel as though they’re getting value from doing so?

On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 2:22:25 PM UTC+1, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace wrote:

Hi J.C.:

I’m sure there are people out there who share your need and would want to cowork with you over the Internet and for whom a physical coworking space isn’t the solution. Unfortunately, I don’t think this list is the best place to find those people. As you might have gathered from the replies, most of the people active on this list are coworking space proprietors or are otherwise invested in the coworking space industry or the coworking movement. That’s not by design. In my opinion it’s just by virtue of what has kept a consistent group actively interested in discussing coworking.

Anyone know of a good non-affiliated discussion list where “coworkers”, or people seeking to be coworkers, congregate? My guess–J.C.–is that you’d be better posting this question on some group where digital nomads, location-independent professionals, freelancers, home workers, teleworkers, etc., congregate. But I don’t know where that is (or if those groups suffer from the same trait of hosting primarily people who build their careers around that topic, rather than the participants in those activities themselves).

I’d love to hear others’ suggestions for where to find this niche. Or J.C., if you find a place to post this inquiry that brings you success, I’d love to hear where you found it.

Best,

Will

Hey all! My name is JC and I do phone sales out of my apartment but am finding it kind of difficult to stay focused. I’m usually pretty disciplined in the office but at home by myself it’s way too easy to get distracted and goof around, especially since my job is commission only so there’s no one to get on my case when I slack off. What I’d like to do is get together with a few other professionals and create a regular google hang out for people who work from home but want to sort of recreate the office environment. A little banter, a little motivation and support. This would probably work best with others who cold call from home but I’m open to working with anyone who’s interested. If anyone is interested in trying it out, shoot me an email.

[email protected]
On Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 6:08 PM, J.C. Amaya [email protected], wrote:

Thanks a lot for your lengthy academic response Will :wink:

My comments are not about this group in particular, but about the original request or at least what I understood: how to create a new online group that would bring all the good things missing in OP’s lonely apartment working life.

I love to discuss about many things but I prefer to choose conversations and who I discuss with: my time and energy are limited. Most groups I’ve participated in died because there was very little signal and a lot of noise. To get the current list we use at Betacowork working in a meaningful way for all participants has not been easy and there are still quirks every once in a while, but it serves a purpose: it is meant to make it easy to help each other.

But we do not limit ourselves to this, we do a hell of a lot of events and introductions to make the conversations happen face to face, where there’s much more information being transmited, and there’s also a greater chance for serendipity.

For an online discussion forum where people can talk about whatever they want most of us already use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And they are the proof that online communities do not suffice. There are a great complement, but not the core.

I have no clue about the true nature of this group but 4 years ago when I started coming around here there were so much noise and repeated questions that I got away for at least a couple years. If there’s no purpose in an online forum, there’s no interest to participate and the cost to be able to help becomes to high to really engage.

···

On Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 12:42 PM, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace [email protected] wrote:

Hi Ramon, All:

I’m changing the subject of this thread since it’s moved away from JC’s original search for virtual coworkers to two topics I think should have more general interest to this group.

Ramon: I appreciate your candid response and your contribution in general to the group and to the coworking community. That said, there was a lot you wrote with absolutes that I don’t think are absolutes at all (and some that I think are just wrong). Some of the statements are central to what this group is and to how we understand the value of coworking in the lives of independent workers, so it brought out a strong reaction in me.

I learn mostly by conversation, so hopefully this will open up a conversation, and I’ll learn a thing or two. I’d love to get other’s thoughts on this.

(1) Regarding the idea that this group is not for “coworkers” (for people who do coworking in addition to people who run coworking spaces):

This is the first time I’ve heard this suggestion. My sense is that was not the intention of the people who formed this group and it’s not in the group description. It is the de facto use of this group right now, but IMO coworkers themselves are and should feel welcome to participate in discussions in this group. And there was a time in the early stages of this group when people looking for a coworking space and for people to cowork with were nearly as active as people running coworking spaces (though it was a long time ago). Anyone in the role of a group admin who could comment on this? If the group is not for coworkers, then shouldn’t we change the group description and the openness of the group, so people like JC don’t come here looking for connections to other potential coworkers that they won’t find?

**(2) Regarding the idea that participation by coworkers would only add noise to this group: **Maybe you’re right. I’m skeptical. Some of the most insightful posts (useful to me as a space owner/manager) have been from the perspective of members (or past members or people who don’t want to be members) of coworking spaces who don’t bring the rose-colored glasses about the coworking panacea that so many of us are bound to bring. Our community–the community of space operators–like all communities, is extremely biased in ways that are hard to escape once you’re inside the community. I think we’d all benefit from more input from people with perspectives on coworking that don’t share our particular incentives and biased access to information.

Here are some of the many ways the information that gets propogated in this discussion list is systematically biased (almost all of it towards giving us a more positive sense of the relative merits of coworking than warranted):

  • We’re biased by the sample of coworking space “users” we hear from: as with other “therapies”, coworking “therapists” get overwhelmingly more feedback from the people their “treatment” helped than from those who it didn’t help (who for the most part just leave the scene);
  • We’re biased by the sample of feedback those members choose to give us (they’re overwhelmingly more likely to tell us about what they liked about our space than what they didn’t like, a reality of social relationships more generally);
  • We’re biased by the media reports (we’re overwhelmingly more likely to hear stories about the positive aspects of the coworking trend and of the spaces that succeed than the negative aspects and the spaces that fail, neither of which make good business news and neither of which find space owners clamboring to talk to the media about;
  • We’re biased by our own personal subjective relationship to coworking (we wouldn’t have decided to open a space if we didn’t love the idea and see value in it);
  • We’re biased by our financial & business incentives to publicly portray coworking and our own coworking space as purely awesome;
  • We’re biased by our emotional relationship to the business (we have spent a lot of money and time and heart on this thing, and it’s hard not to look–unconsciously, without intention–more for the positives that promote the idea that coworking is great than the alternatives).
  • We’re biased by the cumulative effect of all of the above once we take this to a group setting: When all of us get together posting about coworking, that cumulative individual bias becomes enormous. We’re surrounded by examples and voices of support and evidence and reinforcement giving us the sense that our bias is objective and has been empirically validated.

Those kinds of bias are inherent to all groups, and one of the best ways to (partially) escape that bias is to welcome voices from other perspectives who nonetheless are involved in similar or related domains.

**(3) Regarding whether there are groups for coworkers and your response that there’s no use for such groups (or they would exist already): **Maybe you’re right. My sense was that this was the group, but that it’s so dominated by space owners & managers and their ongoing needs that the transient needs of coworkers just don’t make it worth spending time here, and that both groups have lost potential value because of that.

Let me give an example: I have an academic background in an esoteric field (cognitive anthropology). There are a couple thousand of us. There are hundreds of thousands of cognitive scientists more generally, but the bigger group is dominated by psychologists and neuroscientists and linguists and computer scientists who don’t share some of the basic concerns with systems of meaning (the contents of thought rather than the processes) that anthropologists tend to value. We’d love to contribute to the overall discussion and the direction cognitive science takes, and we like to think our perspective adds important value. There aren’t enough of us to have a thriving google group on our own. But we don’t get much value out of participating in the bigger group, because at this point our world views are too incompatible with the world view of the dominant participants. If we post to that group about the ideas that interest us, we would get responses much like the one J.C. got in his recent post here, basically: “What you’re looking for doesn’t have value. You should be doing what we’re doing.” The anthropologists are basically dismissed and so stop participating in that larger group, and neither group gets the valuable perspective of the other group that would help both sides be better scientists.

I think your attitude about the level of interest of coworkers and what we could learn from them is parallel. Those wanting to actively contribute to discussing coworking may be there in large enough numbers to contribute to this group even if they’re not out there in large enough numbers to create their own thriving group. And in my opinion we’d all benefit greatly from that input. Not getting it skews our sense of the reality of coworking in ways that can’t benefit our community or our business decisions.

(4) Regarding the idea that virtual coworking doesn’t work and that coworking is THE solution for anyone who thinks they’re looking for virtual coworking (that’s the claim, right?): Clearly not everyone can join or wants to join a coworking space. Some people can’t afford it. Some people live in a place too remote from a good coworking space and don’t have the resources or inclination to start one themselves. Some people have an awesome home office with resources they don’t want to give up and where they’re for-the-most-part happy working. Some people are students and live on a campus where they have special resources or class commitments that don’t make using a coworking space feasible. Some have kids (or other people or pets or machines) they need to take care of in the next room. Some have to go into their organization’s office and work from there, even though their particular work is very autonomous and could support virtual coworking. Etc.

It sounds as though you’re saying none of those people could benefit from having a google hangout with five people all sitting at their computers working with the video screen open and the option to talk to one another when they feel like it (i.e., virtual coworking). I know for a fact that some people can and have benefited from that, because I’ve seen it in action more than once. I agree: It’s not the ideal. We’re all sometimes in situations where our ideal work environment isn’t possible (I think most members of coworking spaces would acknowledge it’s not their ideal work environment; it’s just nominally ideal given their particular work reality). Is virtual coworking better than sitting alone at their desk without being able to look up and have that video/voice connection when needed? For everyone, of course not. For a lot of people it would be an annoying distraction. For some? I’d be astounded if some people don’t sometimes benefit from that environment. Give JC the credit for knowing what he’s looking for and for having some reason for looking for it. Telling him he’s looking for the wrong thing and should do what we’re doing instead comes off as patronising. Given that it’s coming from coworking space owners who make their livings–at least in part–“selling” coworking, it also comes off as perhaps inauthentic and self-serving (though of course I don’t think that was the motivation).

Respectfully,

Will

On Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 10:13:39 AM UTC+1, Ramon Suarez wrote:

Will, that would only add noise. If the coworkers wanted a discussion group, wouldn’t they have created it already and wouldn’t it be thriving? It is simple and free to start a discussion group. What is stopping them?

There’s no purpose in such a group. The link is too weak and purposeless. It is already hard to have an online group that runs with much stronger ties and interests.

There are a load of social networks, chats, and groups for freelancers, entrepreneurs and every profession and interest, still none of them add what JC is asking for. What he asks for are exactly the things why me and thousands of others joined coworking spaces. No online network is going to provide what physical presence of others does. Creating and online distraction is not the solution to lack of productivity, concentration and loneliness. Attending local meetups is a good way to at least see some faces and not isolate yourself completely, but it does nothing or little to improve the previous.

I speak from my own experience and that of many others: the solution is joining a coworking space or a shared office and interact with people face to face. :slight_smile:

Ramon Suarez
Serendipity Accelerator, Betacowork
Author: http://coworkinghandbook.com
email & hangouts: [email protected]

Phone: +3227376769

GSM: +32497556284

Twitter:http://twitter.com/ramonsuarez
Skype: ramonsuarez

Try coworking: http://betacowork.com

On Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 2:29 PM, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace [email protected] wrote:

J.C.'s post does point to what I take to be the greatest loss for this discussion group: that it is almost devoid of participation from people who cowork and don’t also have some deeper connection to the movement. But I suppose that’s the nature of the beast? Is there ongoing value in a coworking discussion group for members of coworking spaces?

My sense is we’d all benefit from getting greater input/perspective from that side of the coworking world (the member side), though I’m not sure that side would benefit from taking the time to give it.

I do wonder if there’s some tweak we could do as a community here that would make this list more diverse in terms of who can get benefit from being on here so that coworkers too could participate and add their perspective and also feel as though they’re getting value from doing so?

On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 2:22:25 PM UTC+1, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace wrote:

Hi J.C.:

I’m sure there are people out there who share your need and would want to cowork with you over the Internet and for whom a physical coworking space isn’t the solution. Unfortunately, I don’t think this list is the best place to find those people. As you might have gathered from the replies, most of the people active on this list are coworking space proprietors or are otherwise invested in the coworking space industry or the coworking movement. That’s not by design. In my opinion it’s just by virtue of what has kept a consistent group actively interested in discussing coworking.

Anyone know of a good non-affiliated discussion list where “coworkers”, or people seeking to be coworkers, congregate? My guess–J.C.–is that you’d be better posting this question on some group where digital nomads, location-independent professionals, freelancers, home workers, teleworkers, etc., congregate. But I don’t know where that is (or if those groups suffer from the same trait of hosting primarily people who build their careers around that topic, rather than the participants in those activities themselves).

I’d love to hear others’ suggestions for where to find this niche. Or J.C., if you find a place to post this inquiry that brings you success, I’d love to hear where you found it.

Best,

Will

Hey all! My name is JC and I do phone sales out of my apartment but am finding it kind of difficult to stay focused. I’m usually pretty disciplined in the office but at home by myself it’s way too easy to get distracted and goof around, especially since my job is commission only so there’s no one to get on my case when I slack off. What I’d like to do is get together with a few other professionals and create a regular google hang out for people who work from home but want to sort of recreate the office environment. A little banter, a little motivation and support. This would probably work best with others who cold call from home but I’m open to working with anyone who’s interested. If anyone is interested in trying it out, shoot me an email.

[email protected]
On Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 6:08 PM, J.C. Amaya [email protected], wrote:

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


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

To unsubscribe from this topic, visit https://groups.google.com/d/topic/coworking/CgTm15gTY-Y/unsubscribe.

To unsubscribe from this group and all its topics, send an email to [email protected].

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

Ramon

Thanks, Ramon. All makes sense to me and very reasonable. And a good reminder of the value of shorter posts, which I often need. :slight_smile:

···

On Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 7:10 PM, Ramon Suarez [email protected] wrote:

Thanks a lot for your lengthy academic response Will :wink:

My comments are not about this group in particular, but about the original request or at least what I understood: how to create a new online group that would bring all the good things missing in OP’s lonely apartment working life.

I love to discuss about many things but I prefer to choose conversations and who I discuss with: my time and energy are limited. Most groups I’ve participated in died because there was very little signal and a lot of noise. To get the current list we use at Betacowork working in a meaningful way for all participants has not been easy and there are still quirks every once in a while, but it serves a purpose: it is meant to make it easy to help each other.

But we do not limit ourselves to this, we do a hell of a lot of events and introductions to make the conversations happen face to face, where there’s much more information being transmited, and there’s also a greater chance for serendipity.

For an online discussion forum where people can talk about whatever they want most of us already use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And they are the proof that online communities do not suffice. There are a great complement, but not the core.

I have no clue about the true nature of this group but 4 years ago when I started coming around here there were so much noise and repeated questions that I got away for at least a couple years. If there’s no purpose in an online forum, there’s no interest to participate and the cost to be able to help becomes to high to really engage.

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


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

To unsubscribe from this topic, visit https://groups.google.com/d/topic/coworking/CgTm15gTY-Y/unsubscribe.

To unsubscribe from this group and all its topics, send an email to [email protected].

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

Ramon

On Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 12:42 PM, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace [email protected] wrote:

Hi Ramon, All:

I’m changing the subject of this thread since it’s moved away from JC’s original search for virtual coworkers to two topics I think should have more general interest to this group.

Ramon: I appreciate your candid response and your contribution in general to the group and to the coworking community. That said, there was a lot you wrote with absolutes that I don’t think are absolutes at all (and some that I think are just wrong). Some of the statements are central to what this group is and to how we understand the value of coworking in the lives of independent workers, so it brought out a strong reaction in me.

I learn mostly by conversation, so hopefully this will open up a conversation, and I’ll learn a thing or two. I’d love to get other’s thoughts on this.

(1) Regarding the idea that this group is not for “coworkers” (for people who do coworking in addition to people who run coworking spaces):

This is the first time I’ve heard this suggestion. My sense is that was not the intention of the people who formed this group and it’s not in the group description. It is the de facto use of this group right now, but IMO coworkers themselves are and should feel welcome to participate in discussions in this group. And there was a time in the early stages of this group when people looking for a coworking space and for people to cowork with were nearly as active as people running coworking spaces (though it was a long time ago). Anyone in the role of a group admin who could comment on this? If the group is not for coworkers, then shouldn’t we change the group description and the openness of the group, so people like JC don’t come here looking for connections to other potential coworkers that they won’t find?

**(2) Regarding the idea that participation by coworkers would only add noise to this group: **Maybe you’re right. I’m skeptical. Some of the most insightful posts (useful to me as a space owner/manager) have been from the perspective of members (or past members or people who don’t want to be members) of coworking spaces who don’t bring the rose-colored glasses about the coworking panacea that so many of us are bound to bring. Our community–the community of space operators–like all communities, is extremely biased in ways that are hard to escape once you’re inside the community. I think we’d all benefit from more input from people with perspectives on coworking that don’t share our particular incentives and biased access to information.

Here are some of the many ways the information that gets propogated in this discussion list is systematically biased (almost all of it towards giving us a more positive sense of the relative merits of coworking than warranted):

  • We’re biased by the sample of coworking space “users” we hear from: as with other “therapies”, coworking “therapists” get overwhelmingly more feedback from the people their “treatment” helped than from those who it didn’t help (who for the most part just leave the scene);
  • We’re biased by the sample of feedback those members choose to give us (they’re overwhelmingly more likely to tell us about what they liked about our space than what they didn’t like, a reality of social relationships more generally);
  • We’re biased by the media reports (we’re overwhelmingly more likely to hear stories about the positive aspects of the coworking trend and of the spaces that succeed than the negative aspects and the spaces that fail, neither of which make good business news and neither of which find space owners clamboring to talk to the media about;
  • We’re biased by our own personal subjective relationship to coworking (we wouldn’t have decided to open a space if we didn’t love the idea and see value in it);
  • We’re biased by our financial & business incentives to publicly portray coworking and our own coworking space as purely awesome;
  • We’re biased by our emotional relationship to the business (we have spent a lot of money and time and heart on this thing, and it’s hard not to look–unconsciously, without intention–more for the positives that promote the idea that coworking is great than the alternatives).
  • We’re biased by the cumulative effect of all of the above once we take this to a group setting: When all of us get together posting about coworking, that cumulative individual bias becomes enormous. We’re surrounded by examples and voices of support and evidence and reinforcement giving us the sense that our bias is objective and has been empirically validated.

Those kinds of bias are inherent to all groups, and one of the best ways to (partially) escape that bias is to welcome voices from other perspectives who nonetheless are involved in similar or related domains.

**(3) Regarding whether there are groups for coworkers and your response that there’s no use for such groups (or they would exist already): **Maybe you’re right. My sense was that this was the group, but that it’s so dominated by space owners & managers and their ongoing needs that the transient needs of coworkers just don’t make it worth spending time here, and that both groups have lost potential value because of that.

Let me give an example: I have an academic background in an esoteric field (cognitive anthropology). There are a couple thousand of us. There are hundreds of thousands of cognitive scientists more generally, but the bigger group is dominated by psychologists and neuroscientists and linguists and computer scientists who don’t share some of the basic concerns with systems of meaning (the contents of thought rather than the processes) that anthropologists tend to value. We’d love to contribute to the overall discussion and the direction cognitive science takes, and we like to think our perspective adds important value. There aren’t enough of us to have a thriving google group on our own. But we don’t get much value out of participating in the bigger group, because at this point our world views are too incompatible with the world view of the dominant participants. If we post to that group about the ideas that interest us, we would get responses much like the one J.C. got in his recent post here, basically: “What you’re looking for doesn’t have value. You should be doing what we’re doing.” The anthropologists are basically dismissed and so stop participating in that larger group, and neither group gets the valuable perspective of the other group that would help both sides be better scientists.

I think your attitude about the level of interest of coworkers and what we could learn from them is parallel. Those wanting to actively contribute to discussing coworking may be there in large enough numbers to contribute to this group even if they’re not out there in large enough numbers to create their own thriving group. And in my opinion we’d all benefit greatly from that input. Not getting it skews our sense of the reality of coworking in ways that can’t benefit our community or our business decisions.

(4) Regarding the idea that virtual coworking doesn’t work and that coworking is THE solution for anyone who thinks they’re looking for virtual coworking (that’s the claim, right?): Clearly not everyone can join or wants to join a coworking space. Some people can’t afford it. Some people live in a place too remote from a good coworking space and don’t have the resources or inclination to start one themselves. Some people have an awesome home office with resources they don’t want to give up and where they’re for-the-most-part happy working. Some people are students and live on a campus where they have special resources or class commitments that don’t make using a coworking space feasible. Some have kids (or other people or pets or machines) they need to take care of in the next room. Some have to go into their organization’s office and work from there, even though their particular work is very autonomous and could support virtual coworking. Etc.

It sounds as though you’re saying none of those people could benefit from having a google hangout with five people all sitting at their computers working with the video screen open and the option to talk to one another when they feel like it (i.e., virtual coworking). I know for a fact that some people can and have benefited from that, because I’ve seen it in action more than once. I agree: It’s not the ideal. We’re all sometimes in situations where our ideal work environment isn’t possible (I think most members of coworking spaces would acknowledge it’s not their ideal work environment; it’s just nominally ideal given their particular work reality). Is virtual coworking better than sitting alone at their desk without being able to look up and have that video/voice connection when needed? For everyone, of course not. For a lot of people it would be an annoying distraction. For some? I’d be astounded if some people don’t sometimes benefit from that environment. Give JC the credit for knowing what he’s looking for and for having some reason for looking for it. Telling him he’s looking for the wrong thing and should do what we’re doing instead comes off as patronising. Given that it’s coming from coworking space owners who make their livings–at least in part–“selling” coworking, it also comes off as perhaps inauthentic and self-serving (though of course I don’t think that was the motivation).

Respectfully,

Will

On Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 10:13:39 AM UTC+1, Ramon Suarez wrote:

Will, that would only add noise. If the coworkers wanted a discussion group, wouldn’t they have created it already and wouldn’t it be thriving? It is simple and free to start a discussion group. What is stopping them?

There’s no purpose in such a group. The link is too weak and purposeless. It is already hard to have an online group that runs with much stronger ties and interests.

There are a load of social networks, chats, and groups for freelancers, entrepreneurs and every profession and interest, still none of them add what JC is asking for. What he asks for are exactly the things why me and thousands of others joined coworking spaces. No online network is going to provide what physical presence of others does. Creating and online distraction is not the solution to lack of productivity, concentration and loneliness. Attending local meetups is a good way to at least see some faces and not isolate yourself completely, but it does nothing or little to improve the previous.

I speak from my own experience and that of many others: the solution is joining a coworking space or a shared office and interact with people face to face. :slight_smile:

Ramon Suarez
Serendipity Accelerator, Betacowork
Author: http://coworkinghandbook.com
email & hangouts: [email protected]

Phone: +3227376769

GSM: +32497556284

Twitter:http://twitter.com/ramonsuarez
Skype: ramonsuarez

Try coworking: http://betacowork.com

On Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 2:29 PM, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace [email protected] wrote:

J.C.'s post does point to what I take to be the greatest loss for this discussion group: that it is almost devoid of participation from people who cowork and don’t also have some deeper connection to the movement. But I suppose that’s the nature of the beast? Is there ongoing value in a coworking discussion group for members of coworking spaces?

My sense is we’d all benefit from getting greater input/perspective from that side of the coworking world (the member side), though I’m not sure that side would benefit from taking the time to give it.

I do wonder if there’s some tweak we could do as a community here that would make this list more diverse in terms of who can get benefit from being on here so that coworkers too could participate and add their perspective and also feel as though they’re getting value from doing so?

On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 2:22:25 PM UTC+1, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace wrote:

Hi J.C.:

I’m sure there are people out there who share your need and would want to cowork with you over the Internet and for whom a physical coworking space isn’t the solution. Unfortunately, I don’t think this list is the best place to find those people. As you might have gathered from the replies, most of the people active on this list are coworking space proprietors or are otherwise invested in the coworking space industry or the coworking movement. That’s not by design. In my opinion it’s just by virtue of what has kept a consistent group actively interested in discussing coworking.

Anyone know of a good non-affiliated discussion list where “coworkers”, or people seeking to be coworkers, congregate? My guess–J.C.–is that you’d be better posting this question on some group where digital nomads, location-independent professionals, freelancers, home workers, teleworkers, etc., congregate. But I don’t know where that is (or if those groups suffer from the same trait of hosting primarily people who build their careers around that topic, rather than the participants in those activities themselves).

I’d love to hear others’ suggestions for where to find this niche. Or J.C., if you find a place to post this inquiry that brings you success, I’d love to hear where you found it.

Best,

Will

Hey all! My name is JC and I do phone sales out of my apartment but am finding it kind of difficult to stay focused. I’m usually pretty disciplined in the office but at home by myself it’s way too easy to get distracted and goof around, especially since my job is commission only so there’s no one to get on my case when I slack off. What I’d like to do is get together with a few other professionals and create a regular google hang out for people who work from home but want to sort of recreate the office environment. A little banter, a little motivation and support. This would probably work best with others who cold call from home but I’m open to working with anyone who’s interested. If anyone is interested in trying it out, shoot me an email.

[email protected]
On Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 6:08 PM, J.C. Amaya [email protected], wrote:

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


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

To unsubscribe from this topic, visit https://groups.google.com/d/topic/coworking/CgTm15gTY-Y/unsubscribe.

To unsubscribe from this group and all its topics, send an email to [email protected].

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

Will Bennis

Like Locus-Krakovska on Facebook
Like Locus-Slezska on Facebook

Follow Locus Workspace on Twitter

http://www.locusworkspace.cz

[email protected]

Mob: +420 732 501 105

You know, I think it was Kissenger who pointed out that Americans say “let’s do business and we’ll see if we can become friends” while Europeans say “Let’s first become friends and then we’ll see if we can do business”.

So there are cultural barriers, certainly in the Netherlands, to a purely virtual notion of coworking. They have I think to do with identity and trust and so on. How this palys out in South America I do not know enough to speculate but would be curious to hear. My impression is also that in Asia it is in general a no-go but I certainly could be wrong about that.

Which is why I find the development of SMS/texting groups to be so interesting here, somehow it gets a pass while social media does not. I guess if anyone knows yo well enough to have your phone number? I don’t know. It is early stages yet but very interesting to watch.

How to create virtual serendipity in an environment where the signal:noise ration is really high is where the heart of the problem lies I think.

Cheers,

Jeannine

···

On Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 7:20:20 PM UTC+1, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace wrote:

Thanks, Ramon. All makes sense to me and very reasonable. And a good reminder of the value of shorter posts, which I often need. :slight_smile:

On Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 7:10 PM, Ramon Suarez [email protected] wrote:

Thanks a lot for your lengthy academic response Will :wink:

My comments are not about this group in particular, but about the original request or at least what I understood: how to create a new online group that would bring all the good things missing in OP’s lonely apartment working life.

I love to discuss about many things but I prefer to choose conversations and who I discuss with: my time and energy are limited. Most groups I’ve participated in died because there was very little signal and a lot of noise. To get the current list we use at Betacowork working in a meaningful way for all participants has not been easy and there are still quirks every once in a while, but it serves a purpose: it is meant to make it easy to help each other.

But we do not limit ourselves to this, we do a hell of a lot of events and introductions to make the conversations happen face to face, where there’s much more information being transmited, and there’s also a greater chance for serendipity.

For an online discussion forum where people can talk about whatever they want most of us already use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And they are the proof that online communities do not suffice. There are a great complement, but not the core.

I have no clue about the true nature of this group but 4 years ago when I started coming around here there were so much noise and repeated questions that I got away for at least a couple years. If there’s no purpose in an online forum, there’s no interest to participate and the cost to be able to help becomes to high to really engage.

Ramon

On Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 12:42 PM, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace [email protected] wrote:

Hi Ramon, All:

I’m changing the subject of this thread since it’s moved away from JC’s original search for virtual coworkers to two topics I think should have more general interest to this group.

Ramon: I appreciate your candid response and your contribution in general to the group and to the coworking community. That said, there was a lot you wrote with absolutes that I don’t think are absolutes at all (and some that I think are just wrong). Some of the statements are central to what this group is and to how we understand the value of coworking in the lives of independent workers, so it brought out a strong reaction in me.

I learn mostly by conversation, so hopefully this will open up a conversation, and I’ll learn a thing or two. I’d love to get other’s thoughts on this.

(1) Regarding the idea that this group is not for “coworkers” (for people who do coworking in addition to people who run coworking spaces):

This is the first time I’ve heard this suggestion. My sense is that was not the intention of the people who formed this group and it’s not in the group description. It is the de facto use of this group right now, but IMO coworkers themselves are and should feel welcome to participate in discussions in this group. And there was a time in the early stages of this group when people looking for a coworking space and for people to cowork with were nearly as active as people running coworking spaces (though it was a long time ago). Anyone in the role of a group admin who could comment on this? If the group is not for coworkers, then shouldn’t we change the group description and the openness of the group, so people like JC don’t come here looking for connections to other potential coworkers that they won’t find?

**(2) Regarding the idea that participation by coworkers would only add noise to this group: **Maybe you’re right. I’m skeptical. Some of the most insightful posts (useful to me as a space owner/manager) have been from the perspective of members (or past members or people who don’t want to be members) of coworking spaces who don’t bring the rose-colored glasses about the coworking panacea that so many of us are bound to bring. Our community–the community of space operators–like all communities, is extremely biased in ways that are hard to escape once you’re inside the community. I think we’d all benefit from more input from people with perspectives on coworking that don’t share our particular incentives and biased access to information.

Here are some of the many ways the information that gets propogated in this discussion list is systematically biased (almost all of it towards giving us a more positive sense of the relative merits of coworking than warranted):

  • We’re biased by the sample of coworking space “users” we hear from: as with other “therapies”, coworking “therapists” get overwhelmingly more feedback from the people their “treatment” helped than from those who it didn’t help (who for the most part just leave the scene);
  • We’re biased by the sample of feedback those members choose to give us (they’re overwhelmingly more likely to tell us about what they liked about our space than what they didn’t like, a reality of social relationships more generally);
  • We’re biased by the media reports (we’re overwhelmingly more likely to hear stories about the positive aspects of the coworking trend and of the spaces that succeed than the negative aspects and the spaces that fail, neither of which make good business news and neither of which find space owners clamboring to talk to the media about;
  • We’re biased by our own personal subjective relationship to coworking (we wouldn’t have decided to open a space if we didn’t love the idea and see value in it);
  • We’re biased by our financial & business incentives to publicly portray coworking and our own coworking space as purely awesome;
  • We’re biased by our emotional relationship to the business (we have spent a lot of money and time and heart on this thing, and it’s hard not to look–unconsciously, without intention–more for the positives that promote the idea that coworking is great than the alternatives).
  • We’re biased by the cumulative effect of all of the above once we take this to a group setting: When all of us get together posting about coworking, that cumulative individual bias becomes enormous. We’re surrounded by examples and voices of support and evidence and reinforcement giving us the sense that our bias is objective and has been empirically validated.

Those kinds of bias are inherent to all groups, and one of the best ways to (partially) escape that bias is to welcome voices from other perspectives who nonetheless are involved in similar or related domains.

**(3) Regarding whether there are groups for coworkers and your response that there’s no use for such groups (or they would exist already): **Maybe you’re right. My sense was that this was the group, but that it’s so dominated by space owners & managers and their ongoing needs that the transient needs of coworkers just don’t make it worth spending time here, and that both groups have lost potential value because of that.

Let me give an example: I have an academic background in an esoteric field (cognitive anthropology). There are a couple thousand of us. There are hundreds of thousands of cognitive scientists more generally, but the bigger group is dominated by psychologists and neuroscientists and linguists and computer scientists who don’t share some of the basic concerns with systems of meaning (the contents of thought rather than the processes) that anthropologists tend to value. We’d love to contribute to the overall discussion and the direction cognitive science takes, and we like to think our perspective adds important value. There aren’t enough of us to have a thriving google group on our own. But we don’t get much value out of participating in the bigger group, because at this point our world views are too incompatible with the world view of the dominant participants. If we post to that group about the ideas that interest us, we would get responses much like the one J.C. got in his recent post here, basically: “What you’re looking for doesn’t have value. You should be doing what we’re doing.” The anthropologists are basically dismissed and so stop participating in that larger group, and neither group gets the valuable perspective of the other group that would help both sides be better scientists.

I think your attitude about the level of interest of coworkers and what we could learn from them is parallel. Those wanting to actively contribute to discussing coworking may be there in large enough numbers to contribute to this group even if they’re not out there in large enough numbers to create their own thriving group. And in my opinion we’d all benefit greatly from that input. Not getting it skews our sense of the reality of coworking in ways that can’t benefit our community or our business decisions.

(4) Regarding the idea that virtual coworking doesn’t work and that coworking is THE solution for anyone who thinks they’re looking for virtual coworking (that’s the claim, right?): Clearly not everyone can join or wants to join a coworking space. Some people can’t afford it. Some people live in a place too remote from a good coworking space and don’t have the resources or inclination to start one themselves. Some people have an awesome home office with resources they don’t want to give up and where they’re for-the-most-part happy working. Some people are students and live on a campus where they have special resources or class commitments that don’t make using a coworking space feasible. Some have kids (or other people or pets or machines) they need to take care of in the next room. Some have to go into their organization’s office and work from there, even though their particular work is very autonomous and could support virtual coworking. Etc.

It sounds as though you’re saying none of those people could benefit from having a google hangout with five people all sitting at their computers working with the video screen open and the option to talk to one another when they feel like it (i.e., virtual coworking). I know for a fact that some people can and have benefited from that, because I’ve seen it in action more than once. I agree: It’s not the ideal. We’re all sometimes in situations where our ideal work environment isn’t possible (I think most members of coworking spaces would acknowledge it’s not their ideal work environment; it’s just nominally ideal given their particular work reality). Is virtual coworking better than sitting alone at their desk without being able to look up and have that video/voice connection when needed? For everyone, of course not. For a lot of people it would be an annoying distraction. For some? I’d be astounded if some people don’t sometimes benefit from that environment. Give JC the credit for knowing what he’s looking for and for having some reason for looking for it. Telling him he’s looking for the wrong thing and should do what we’re doing instead comes off as patronising. Given that it’s coming from coworking space owners who make their livings–at least in part–“selling” coworking, it also comes off as perhaps inauthentic and self-serving (though of course I don’t think that was the motivation).

Respectfully,

Will

On Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 10:13:39 AM UTC+1, Ramon Suarez wrote:

Will, that would only add noise. If the coworkers wanted a discussion group, wouldn’t they have created it already and wouldn’t it be thriving? It is simple and free to start a discussion group. What is stopping them?

There’s no purpose in such a group. The link is too weak and purposeless. It is already hard to have an online group that runs with much stronger ties and interests.

There are a load of social networks, chats, and groups for freelancers, entrepreneurs and every profession and interest, still none of them add what JC is asking for. What he asks for are exactly the things why me and thousands of others joined coworking spaces. No online network is going to provide what physical presence of others does. Creating and online distraction is not the solution to lack of productivity, concentration and loneliness. Attending local meetups is a good way to at least see some faces and not isolate yourself completely, but it does nothing or little to improve the previous.

I speak from my own experience and that of many others: the solution is joining a coworking space or a shared office and interact with people face to face. :slight_smile:

Ramon Suarez
Serendipity Accelerator, Betacowork
Author: http://coworkinghandbook.com
email & hangouts: [email protected]

Phone: +3227376769

GSM: +32497556284

Twitter:http://twitter.com/ramonsuarez
Skype: ramonsuarez

Try coworking: http://betacowork.com

On Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 2:29 PM, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace [email protected] wrote:

J.C.'s post does point to what I take to be the greatest loss for this discussion group: that it is almost devoid of participation from people who cowork and don’t also have some deeper connection to the movement. But I suppose that’s the nature of the beast? Is there ongoing value in a coworking discussion group for members of coworking spaces?

My sense is we’d all benefit from getting greater input/perspective from that side of the coworking world (the member side), though I’m not sure that side would benefit from taking the time to give it.

I do wonder if there’s some tweak we could do as a community here that would make this list more diverse in terms of who can get benefit from being on here so that coworkers too could participate and add their perspective and also feel as though they’re getting value from doing so?

On Monday, January 19, 2015 at 2:22:25 PM UTC+1, Will Bennis, Locus Workspace wrote:

Hi J.C.:

I’m sure there are people out there who share your need and would want to cowork with you over the Internet and for whom a physical coworking space isn’t the solution. Unfortunately, I don’t think this list is the best place to find those people. As you might have gathered from the replies, most of the people active on this list are coworking space proprietors or are otherwise invested in the coworking space industry or the coworking movement. That’s not by design. In my opinion it’s just by virtue of what has kept a consistent group actively interested in discussing coworking.

Anyone know of a good non-affiliated discussion list where “coworkers”, or people seeking to be coworkers, congregate? My guess–J.C.–is that you’d be better posting this question on some group where digital nomads, location-independent professionals, freelancers, home workers, teleworkers, etc., congregate. But I don’t know where that is (or if those groups suffer from the same trait of hosting primarily people who build their careers around that topic, rather than the participants in those activities themselves).

I’d love to hear others’ suggestions for where to find this niche. Or J.C., if you find a place to post this inquiry that brings you success, I’d love to hear where you found it.

Best,

Will

Hey all! My name is JC and I do phone sales out of my apartment but am finding it kind of difficult to stay focused. I’m usually pretty disciplined in the office but at home by myself it’s way too easy to get distracted and goof around, especially since my job is commission only so there’s no one to get on my case when I slack off. What I’d like to do is get together with a few other professionals and create a regular google hang out for people who work from home but want to sort of recreate the office environment. A little banter, a little motivation and support. This would probably work best with others who cold call from home but I’m open to working with anyone who’s interested. If anyone is interested in trying it out, shoot me an email.

[email protected]
On Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 6:08 PM, J.C. Amaya [email protected], wrote:

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


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

To unsubscribe from this topic, visit https://groups.google.com/d/topic/coworking/CgTm15gTY-Y/unsubscribe.

To unsubscribe from this group and all its topics, 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 a topic in the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this topic, visit https://groups.google.com/d/topic/coworking/CgTm15gTY-Y/unsubscribe.

To unsubscribe from this group and all its topics, send an email to [email protected].

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


Will Bennis

Like Locus-Krakovska on Facebook
Like Locus-Slezska on Facebook

Follow Locus Workspace on Twitter

http://www.locusworkspace.cz

[email protected]

Mob: +420 732 501 105