Finding other mobile warriors to co-work with?
August 26, 2007 8:44 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find consultants/freelancers or other people who like to work in wireless cafés to be "co-workers" with?

I'm working as a freelance web application developer, and I need just a little bit of external structure. Arranging work times at a café or spot like workspace with someone who is in a similar work situation (but not necessarily in the same field of work), and just telling each other what we intend to accomplish would be exactly the amount of external structure I need.

I'm not sure how to find such people. Should I build a website for this, or does one exist? I'm aware of and which provide lists of co-working spaces, but it's not finding a location to work that is the problem -- I'm in Vancouver which has plenty of wireless cafés to work in, and I'm probably going to either get a workspace membership or rent office space from an agency that I work with a lot.

It's more about adding just a little bit of external pressure or accountability to my daily work habits. Also, two or three people meeting in a wireless cafe to work and sitting together at one table/area would take up less space than single workers, making it better for the café owners' business.
posted by lastobelus to Work & Money (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
couldnt that same goal be met by setting goals with people on IM or somesuch thing? might be easier.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 8:54 PM on August 26, 2007

It might help, but I'm really keen on the idea of physically meeting at wireless cafés or other work spaces.

It adds the following external structure: you have to show up at a certain time with the intention of working, you have to say what you're going to get done, and if you slack off, someone will know.

At first this was not necessary for me, but after several months of working freelance (no on-site yet) I am sorely missing it.
posted by lastobelus at 9:19 PM on August 26, 2007

I would try posting on your local Craig's List.
posted by metahawk at 10:23 PM on August 26, 2007

Would HereSphere work for you?

(Disclaimer: site set up by friends of mine.)
posted by lemuria at 10:24 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Although some people use those sorts of resources, I think you'll have better luck on Craigslist or if you contact various business start-up organizations. Toward Excellence runs an entrepreneur program just for consultants, but you could also try the YMCA, YWCA and even Small Business BC. You would be able to tap into a wider group of people. You could also put up an ad at Workspace or something.

I am a consultant and I run a website on consulting. The timing isn't right for me now, but what you're proposing would have been attractive at other times. I'm sure other people would love to join you. I know I get emails all the time from people who want to avoid home office isolation. If it is of interest, Lifehacker featured my article on avoiding home office isolation back in May. I can post the (self) link if it's of interest to anyone. However, I think your meetup idea is good. Actually, have you thought of using (Does anyone still use that?)
posted by acoutu at 10:55 PM on August 26, 2007

acoutu, thanks for the Toward Excellence link. Looks like a good resource.

While looking for your article, I also found this which also sounds like a good idea.

lemuria, HereSphere looks interesting, but doesn't seem to have critical mass. I'm going to try posting on Craigslist & see how that goes.

I am a member but I don't envision it working that well for this purpose. I'm envisioning a place you can post a work time & choice of locations, and 1-3 other people can join you. You all show up, very briefly introduce if you haven't met before, state in 15 seconds or less what you're working on, then you hang out & work productively. I know it would work well for me, since it would trigger my competitive self. I would compete to work as productively as everyone else.
posted by lastobelus at 2:35 AM on August 27, 2007

it's low-tech, but why not post flyers at your favorite cafes? at least that way you're narrowcasting to perfect audience.
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:19 AM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Here's a microcoworking group in Ann Arbor, MI.

Microcoworking == coworking out of cafes, with super minimal organization and overhead.

In this case, a Google Calendar and a pageoftext wiki are the organizing tools. We started with a group of 4 or 5 people and now it could probably outlast any of the original participants.
posted by shirobara at 8:10 AM on August 27, 2007

shirobara, this is exactly the kind of thing I was thinking of. Good name for it too.

I think I'll make a simple site like this and then take thinkingwoman's suggestion to advertise it with flyers at cafes.
posted by lastobelus at 2:31 AM on August 28, 2007

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