I recently attended the last Triangle Tweetup, pictured above, that was held right here in downtown Raleigh at Edge Office. This “tweetup” is a gathering of local individuals that interact on the internet through the service called Twitter. Twitter + meetup = tweetup, get it? Anyway, there were over 100 people at Edge, all with a common interest in socializing and putting faces to the internet avatars that each person has on Twitter. I have been using Twitter for almost a year now and I can say the local community is growing very fast. With this service, I have been able to meet and contact people for information or possibly collaborate on new projects. I also use it just for socializing; my twitter name is DTRaleigh. I recommend anyone that is interested to jump on the service and start interacting with local people (or “tweeple” as some like to say).
I open up this discussion with Twitter because I feel it is the most powerful tool to organize, market, and network with others that have similar interests as you. While Twitter lives and breathes on the internet, all the local users are still working, living, and playing individually around Raleigh. But what if there was a place for this community to collaborate, meetup, and work? What if there was a dedicated space for ANYONE that was interested in working with other people, sharing their ideas, and meeting others that can help them create those ideas? This is a slight introduction to the concept of coworking and a space for this is in talks for downtown Raleigh.
A good friend of mine, Jason DiMambro, has been leading the way on organizing the Raleigh community and is working with Empire Properties to set up a coworking space. At the recent tweetup on January 29th, Ben Steel from Empire gave a short speech about coworking and how Empire is very interested in providing a space for people to work in. Ben was pretty vague but looking at Empire’s track record, you can bet this will be a great looking, renovated space with a lot of character. If you pair this up with some great office furniture then this will be one of the best workspaces in the city.
The use of the space will range from the casual visitor to the dedicated worker. If your work requires you to be at the office then you will probably only visit a few times; to check e-mail after hours or to focus on a project when working from home is to distracting. Also anyone that works for themselves, out of coffee shops, their houses, on the phone or on their laptops, can use the space. Desks and tables will be set up for anyone to use at any time of the day, and night. For me, I can’t use the space for doing work because of my job but I would love to get out of the apartment and focus on the blog as well as the other projects I have in mind. The uses are very fluid and vary between everyone’s situation.
Coworking is a community driven concept where people that work for themselves, whether it is for money or yourself, can interact with others and share ideas. The coworking space will be the focal point of this community and while working on your own project, you can tap your creative side and give feedback to others on their ideas. I’m excited about this concept coming to Raleigh and the creative community will really embrace it.
If you are already on Twitter and would like to follow the progress of this space, follow CoworkRaleigh.
[Update: CoworkRaleigh twitter account has been disabled.]