Attention all you lonely designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and general loners out there hiding behind the iridescent glow of your trendy laptops. Social networking online will only take you so far, it’s time to get out in the sun and go IRL.
By all means, don’t stop using Twitter and Facebook, but if you are using social media for more than just entertainment and occasional stalking there’s a whole new world out there that only humans, not silicon, can cure.
It’s called Coworking. Here’s the fun part, you have most probably done it a few times already just not in an organized environment. But what is Coworking really and why should you be interested?
First, lets go back a couple years ago to an article in Wired Magazine, that talks about the emerging trend of coworking spaces. Here we learn where the term, Jelly, comes about and why this is happening all over the world today. Simply put, coworking fills a need. The need for others to collaborate and share ideas. There is much off-time in between work and when someone is immersed in a more productive and team environment, quality of work and new-found opportunities can be substantial enough to be the catalyst to launch new businesses and real products making real money.
Look at it another way. Ever find yourself sipping that overpriced latte at the nearby coffee house and rolling the dice with a Free WiFi? Don’t tell me that it’s for the coffee. This social behavior can we viewed as a natural inclination of people wanting, even needing, that social interaction in order to be more productive. We all want to be in business for ourselves, but not by ourselves.
What’s the difference between a Jelly and Coworking?
Jellies tend to take place in quaint environments such as kitchens, living rooms, and sometimes offices where Jellygoers typically meet once or twice per week. This is a great way to get the feel for this whole thing in case you’ve never stepped foot inside a coffee shop with Free Wifi before. A dedicated Coworking space, run the correct way, is where things can get to be lots of fun. Coworking spaces across the world that have their doors open for the majority of the working week and preferrably Monday through Friday are popping up around major cities first and making their way to the suburbs.
Who’s doing Coworking where I live? Where do I learn more?
The first place to check out is WorkatJelly.com and then it’s off to the wiki for locating a city near you. This site is not my favorite for learning more about coworking however and could definitely use a makeover. Also be sure to check out a great article on Mashable to get you pumped up called, 6 Reasons to Start Coworking.
If you are in Atlanta area, you will want to check out Ignition Alley. Ignition Alley is an emerging coworking space soon to be permanently located in the Midtown/Ga Tech area to help enable startups incubate in a very cost effective manner. With a little help from A Small Orange and direction by Mike Schinkel and Tim Dorr, Ignition Alley is sure to be the coworking space in Atlanta to keep your eye on.
So what are you waiting for? If there isn’t a coworking space near you then maybe you should consider starting your own?