Coworking on the move?

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Felix E. Klee

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Mar 18, 2007, 6:01:17 PM3/18/07
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Just a thought:

Coworking on the move: A group of people, traveling and working, in a
mobile home, completely loose, or whatever.

Probably destined to fail, but just out of curiosity: Has anyone ever
tried this?

--
Felix E. Klee

Bill Anderson

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Mar 18, 2007, 6:16:59 PM3/18/07
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Felix, I like this idea. I think this has been in practice for many nomadic communities. Gypsies, for example, come to mind. But this is just a quick mental association; I am woefully ignorant of details on Gypsies or other examples.

I wouldn't be surprised if groups of older folk also think this might be fun and productive.

-Bill Anderson

Tara Hunt

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Mar 18, 2007, 6:17:06 PM3/18/07
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LOL...we've talked about it, especially since Chris and I are always on the move anyway. ;)

I don't know if it's really 'destined to fail' - I think it would be a cool experiment if a group committed to it. You could videoblog the entire journey. Kind of like the geek version of Borat in a way. LOL

Why don't you organize it? Maybe Yahoo! will donate their roaming wifi bus!

T.

On 3/18/07, Felix E. Klee < felix...@inka.de> wrote:
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David Doolin

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Mar 18, 2007, 6:23:33 PM3/18/07
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I'm in for a trip down the coast as long as long as
there is room for a couple of surfboards.

We'll take the ferry across to Mazatlan to continue... ;)

Lachlan Hardy

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Mar 18, 2007, 7:10:53 PM3/18/07
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I'm in for a trip down the coast as long as long as
there is room for a couple of surfboards.

We'll take the ferry across to Mazatlan to continue...  ;)

That's exactly what Ben Duncan did to build @mail:

http://pages.citebite.com/o1o3q7c6b8dtx

Sounds like an interesting story, I'll ask him about it and see what he says

After all, Calacode have done okay out of it ;)

Brad Neuberg

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Mar 18, 2007, 7:19:15 PM3/18/07
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Sounds like the Merry Prankster bus from the 60s:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merry_Pranksters

"Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters are remembered chiefly for the
sociological significance of a lengthy roadtrip they took in 1964,
traveling across the United States in a psychedelically painted school
bus enigmatically labeled "Furthur." "

Several books ended up falling out of this journey -- they were a kind
of band of crazy journalists driving around -- they called it Gonzo
Journalism, where you deeply embedded yourself with the people you
were writing about, becoming one of them:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzo_journalism

"Gonzo journalism is a style of reporting that mixes fiction and
factual journalism. It uses a highly subjective style that often
includes the reporter as part of the story via a first person
narrative and events can be exaggerated in order to emphasize the
underlying message.

The word gonzo was first used to describe a 1970 story written by
Hunter S. Thompson, who later popularized the style. The term has
since been applied in kind to other highly subjective artistic
endeavors.

Gonzo journalism tends to favor style over accuracy and often uses
personal experiences and emotions to provide context for the topic or
event being covered. It disregards the 'polished' edited product
favored by newspaper media and strives for the gritty factor. Use of
quotes, sarcasm, humor, exaggeration, and even profanity is common.
The use of Gonzo journalism portends that journalism can be truthful
without striving for objectivity and is loosely equivalent to an
editorial."

Brad

David Doolin

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Mar 18, 2007, 7:22:31 PM3/18/07
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Well, we would be going through Oaxaca...

[]

Felix E. Klee

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Mar 19, 2007, 5:35:21 PM3/19/07
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At Sun, 18 Mar 2007 15:17:06 -0700,

Tara Hunt wrote:
> Why don't you organize it? Maybe Yahoo! will donate their roaming wifi
> bus!

Aside from that I'm not in the US, I think it's not for me. Working
together with other people is fun, but to live with the same people for
an extended period of time in a contained environment such as a mobile
home would be too wearisome.

OTOH I do enjoy traveling, and I find it highly inspirational. A system
that IMHO is able to combine getting around and having a nice work
environment is based on a rather trivial concept:

Have the possibility to find other people that either provide
Coworking facilities in a certain place (even small ones), or that are
interested in realizing them, perhaps temporarily, e.g. by renting a
holiday cottage.

That possibility could probably be realized most easily by use of some
central web site (or as a distributed network via some standardized
markup). The central web site could eventually be a bit more powerful
than the current Coworking wiki. But the wiki is probably fine for now.
What's needed AFAICS are people providing many more (temporary)
facilities and people collaborating in finding (temporary) facilities.

There are many aspects concerning facilitating access to Coworking
places when traveling, e.g. a centralized chip card access system for
"high end" Coworking. Certainly what I'm telling you is nothing new!
We've talked about some of the aspects at the last WebMontag Karlsruhe,
Germany, a local meetup about Web 2.0 etc..

--
Felix E. Klee

Felix E. Klee

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Mar 19, 2007, 5:41:55 PM3/19/07
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At Mon, 19 Mar 2007 10:10:53 +1100,

Lachlan Hardy wrote:
> That's exactly what Ben Duncan did to build @mail:
>
> http://pages.citebite.com/o1o3q7c6b8dtx

Very interesting. Thanks for the link!

--
Felix E. Klee

Felix E. Klee

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Mar 19, 2007, 5:56:15 PM3/19/07
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At Sun, 18 Mar 2007 16:19:15 -0700,

Brad Neuberg wrote:
> Sounds like the Merry Prankster bus from the 60s:

Hehe ... in fact I was thinking about them when I started the thread.
I've read Tom Wolfe's portrait of the Pranksters, called "The Electric
Kool-Aid Acid Test" some years ago. *IIRC* Tom Wolfe portrayed the
whole journey as a crazy sociological experiment involving people
practicing free love, indulging in vast amounts of drugs, etc., and
rational mind work or solving intellectually challenging problems was
not among their objectives. It must be said though that AFAIK Ken Kesey
didn't like the portrait, which may have a multitude of reasons.

> Several books ended up falling out of this journey -- they were a kind
> of band of crazy journalists driving around -- they called it Gonzo
> Journalism, where you deeply embedded yourself with the people you
> were writing about, becoming one of them:

That's news to me. Tom Wolf, for example, was never on the bus AFAIK,
and the term Gonzo journalism was coined by Hunter S. Thompson.

--
Felix E. Klee

Brad Neuberg

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Mar 19, 2007, 6:47:05 PM3/19/07
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Hi Felix; yeah, Gonzo Journalism was created by Hunter Thompson, but
it was all a big mish mash of stuff called New Journalism, which was
from Tom Wolfe. It all kind of mixed together, sort of the zeitgeist
of the time.

Best,
Brad

Outscape

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Mar 20, 2007, 4:24:05 AM3/20/07
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Yes -- and I really like the idea. There is a whole new lifestyle out
there...

I spent the last 6 years travelling while doing consulting projects
(Java/Ruby)
remotely. About the last year or so I started spending more time
working
with other people.

A month ago I went on a couple of weekend trips in the Philippines
with a
friend, we took a 3G / GPRS setup and wrote code on the beach on
Malapascua
island (interrupted by a couple of dives).

Would love to explore this more... Anyone who's interested, please
sign up
for a community I set up on Ning:

http://glowork.ning.com/

I dream of a world where I can just decide to live in Bali for 3
months, or in Iceland or
New Zealand or Yunnan, and that I know I will find a place to stay
with internet, and some tech people
around to exchange ideas with... Maybe one way to look at it is to
attach accomodation
arrangements to coworking places?

Also, how can we set up coworking places not just in big cities, but
just in generally
nice places to visit? I'd love to get the critical mass together for
this...

David Doolin

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Mar 20, 2007, 10:22:59 AM3/20/07
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I have the same dream, except I also want a permanent
home base to come back to.

This is a very rich and fruitful topic.

Riccardo Cambiassi

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Mar 20, 2007, 11:09:29 AM3/20/07
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This sounds interesting. I signed up on ning but think for the moment it would be worthwhile to keep focused
on one thing (coworking will do for me).
The idea of having a more distributed network is great, I think the coworking software that's in development (see thread in this group) will go in that direction too.

 R

Felix E. Klee

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Mar 20, 2007, 8:02:33 PM3/20/07
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At Tue, 20 Mar 2007 08:24:05 -0000,

Outscape wrote:
> I spent the last 6 years travelling while doing consulting projects
> (Java/Ruby) remotely. About the last year or so I started spending
> more time working with other people.
>
> A month ago I went on a couple of weekend trips in the Philippines
> with a friend, we took a 3G / GPRS setup and wrote code on the beach
> on Malapascua island (interrupted by a couple of dives).

Amazing. You're actually practicing what I've been dreaming about for
quite some time and not having the guts to try out, not even for one or
two months.

> Would love to explore this more... Anyone who's interested, please
> sign up for a community I set up on Ning:
>
> http://glowork.ning.com/

I just added a profile, looking forward to how this will evolve.

> Also, how can we set up coworking places not just in big cities, but
> just in generally nice places to visit? I'd love to get the critical
> mass together for this...

With many people involved, it should be quite possible to find residents
of interesting places, that are techies themselves and that either have
a Coworking place ready to offer, or that know how to organize one.
With a decent network, things could probably be so simple that one can
quickly decide to go for Coworking in a nice location for two months,
and then go back home or somewhere else, not having to worry about
having to spend much time on organization.

--
Felix E. Klee

gregoire

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Mar 21, 2007, 6:17:11 AM3/21/07
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I remember a discussion I've had with Brad last july in Paris about a
mixed place for tourism and coworking in Burgundy where I live.
OK, tourism in Burgundy can appear less *sexy* than beaching and
diving in Philippines :)

Here is how we see this project with my wife who is architect.
We'd like to restore an old construction in the wine-landscape,
something like 2 hours by train from Paris or Geneva.
The idea is to arrange a place for us and our two daughters, and
arrange the rest of the space for welcoming tourists and propose a
place for coworking.
We could propose a few bedrooms, a place for pup tents, a common
kitchen and an open-space where people could work (with tech
facilities) and attend some cultural/touristics presentations about
the region: wine, cooking, history, art, architecture etc.
We could also propose a few bikes and of course all the best tips and
adresses for the area.

This is how the project looks like now, but we'd love to remix it with
considering ideas and needs outline in this group.
We should start to look for our place in 6 months or 1 year.

@Felix: I have also completed my profile on http://glowork.ning.com/
and it appears that we could meet together one day around Evian.

gregoire

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Mar 21, 2007, 6:43:05 AM3/21/07
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I'm also curious to know how people think we could *add the family in
the matrix*: I'm married with two young daughters (1 and 4 years), so
my coworking mobility needs to deal with that family/parenting
consideration.
That's probably stuffs for a new thread.

Outscape

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Mar 21, 2007, 8:46:59 AM3/21/07
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We were talking about that in the context of discussions
of setting up a beach-type coworking place in the Philippines...

One of the ideas was to make it kid-friendly (very easy to do
in the Philippines) and encourage it for young families.
(It helped that one of the potential anchors had 4 little kids...)

Perhaps I should add this somehow to the ning questionnaire,
so that people can coordinate to hang out in places when there
are other kids around..? Feel free to email me a useful question.
I don't have kids so I don't really know what is helpful here...

Outscape

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Mar 21, 2007, 9:04:07 AM3/21/07
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That sounds great!!!

This is exactly what I was hoping for -- people who have found
a good lifestyle in a beautiful place, sharing their ideas and setup
for coworking touring (I won't call it tourism...). And trust me,
you get tired of beaches after a while, so no nothing boring about
wine country :) Plus, everyone has different ideas anyway...

I love the idea of being able to try out different lifestyles in
different
parts of the world with so little friction. You show up, and voila,
instant life in beautiful rural france, and then perhaps a month
of a glimpse in the future in a fast growing city in China, followed
by some time beach time Bali, and then relaxing in a small town in
the
mountains in Thailand, then on an island in Panama...
and wherever you go, you know that there is someone there who
has figured out the geek setup and shares it.

In my travels, it was so often the same drill... Land at airport, find
SIM card for phone, find internet, find place to stay, preferably
with internet. Spend some time, perhaps get into the local tech scene,
or don't. Then, on to the next spot. WOuld be nice to have the
foodwork
done already. Again, that was kind of the idea with the place in the
Philippines.

What differentiates this from existing coworking places?
I think it's the attached accomodation, or at least the idea
of assistance with accomodation.

> @Felix: I have also completed my profile onhttp://glowork.ning.com/

Felix E. Klee

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Mar 21, 2007, 4:57:03 PM3/21/07
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At Wed, 21 Mar 2007 10:17:11 -0000,

gregoire wrote:
> We'd like to restore an old construction in the wine-landscape

Sorry for not being able to provide more input, but what you're
proposing definitely sounds attractive!

--
Felix E. Klee

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