Cohere’s Week

Cohere blows my mind almost daily but this week, in particular, stands out.

Tuesday: was the first day for Loveland Coworking.  Due to popular demand, Cohere sent Angel and member Cali to downtown Loveland to see what’s going on down there and if they might like coworking.  Do they ever!  We had 3 Lovelanders cowork for the first time with another 3 expressing interest in subsequent weeks.  This may not be an earth shattering number of coworkers to you but Fort Collins started with only four.  As member Julie Sutter pointed out, “they were the right four.”  And that’s all it takes.

Later in the day, Cali and I got a sneak peek of the Rialto Bridge Project.  A mixed use platform to attract and engage artists of all kinds in the heart of downtown Loveland.  Meanwhile, we found out that we were actually talking with the owner of the building that houses Artlab Loveland.  A behind the scenes tour of this cool space was fun and informative.  We now know more about the history and economic development of downtown Loveland than most.

Wednesday: was the first day for Night Coworking at Cohere.  Again, by popular demand, Cohere decided to stay open very late every Wednesday night.  We welcomed two new members, Kevin and Kristin.  Fun aside, Kristin got her work completed a full 4 hours earlier than normal, so I would call that a win.  We also discovered that Alex really can eat a large pizza on his own which is impressive considering his compact stature.  Check out that new plan: Night Owl Lite.

Thursday: Angel secured a donation of wireless internet for the future location of Loveland Coworking.  To be announced soon. In addition to this, sponsors and a local caterer were secured for Freelance Camp Fort Collins with more and more registrations coming in daily.

An idea born in Cohere’s conference room takes hold: Beth’s Coworking Across America project is getting lots of good attention, sponsors and donations of discounted passes and other delights.  Follow her progress as she RV’s across America stopping at coworking spaces all over the country and blogging all the while.

Friday: It’s hard to tell just how awesome Friday will be and what delightful surprises it will hold.

Overall Learnings: When things fall together logically and easily, just go with it.  It is right and good and wonderful.

Humanity through pants by @_achiang

Cohere member Alex Chiang circa 1996

When I left $GIANTSOULSUCKINGMEGACORP for a kinder, gentler startup, one of the perqs I was most anticipating was workingfrom my home office all the time. There are few things more enjoyable in life than a gentle breeze wafting through the mesh of a Herman Miller Aeron chair, cooling your nether regions while you write exquisite, elegant code.

I mean, let’s face it — your home is your castle, and if the king doesn’t want to wear pants, well, it’s good to be the king.  For the first few months, I reveled in the glory of the home office: a 10-second commute, bacon and coffee on demand, and I’d never miss the FedEx guy again.  But a funny thing happened on the way to the insane asylum. I found myself compulsively ordering completely useless tchotchkes from Amazon just so I could talk to the FedEx guy, who was becoming increasingly nervous about coming to my door, even after we both agreed on a pants policy.

I was discovering that extended periods of time cut off from outside human contact made Alex something something. It was about this time that my colleage, Paul Hummer, mentioned this rad group of people at his coworking space, Cohere. At first, I was mildly surprised that my beloved cow town of Fort Collins was progressive enough to support a real live coworking space. But then I remembered that everyone here drinks two quarts of jawesome juice for breakfast every morning and thought to myself, “of course Fort Collins must have a coworking space; something sweet must have happened by now and I’m missing out on it!”

I tagged along with Paul for one visit and I was hooked. Here was a self-selected group of savvy, motivated, and let’s be honest — just darn attractive people — with a diversity of talent and a shared love of lolcats. A chorus of O HAIs! greeted me and I knew that Cohere was my cure for the subterranean stircrazy blues brought by a basement office. The synergies are subtle for me; I’m a computer plumber, after all, a low level bit banger who still insists on 80-column text terminals for email. Unfortunately, computing plumbing abstractions leak from time to time. The coworkers at Cohere cover a diverse swath of backgrounds, but they all tend to be sophisticated technology mavens, and observing them cope with broken software is like being in the world’s greatest real-time useability lab. So it works. And in return, they put up with my strange obsession of the platypus.

My company’s flagship product, Ubuntu Linux, is named for a Bantu word meaning “humanity towards others”. Archbishop Desmond Tutu said of it: We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.

To me, that captures the essence of coworking and Cohere. Freelancer or not, you can’t work well all by yourself. You owe it to yourself to plug into a community, leaving it better than when you found it, and maximizing yourself both professionally and personally in the process. We’ve got a great community at Cohere. Come check it out. We’ll leave the wifi on for you.

Read more of Alex’s musings on twitter and his blog.

Live chat with Cohere on freenode

Thanks to Alex ,@_achiang, we’re all set up to get our irc chat on.  Stay in the loop with our day to day chattiness.  It’ll replace the 10 gchat boxes you’ve already got.

CohereLLC now has irc goodness! Come join our group chat channel, #coherellc on freenode.

What is irc? Why, it’s only the best group chat technology from 1988! Conceptually, it’s similar to CB radio: the chat rooms are called “channels”, the nicknames are called “handles”, and everyone has a handlebar mustache and sweet 70s chops.

Just kidding!

irc is many-to-many chat versus the one-to-one model of Google Chat. The biggest advantage of this open format is that it allows you to stay plugged-in and connected to the group even when you’re not physically in the office.

To get started, you just need to download a suitable client.

If you’re on Windows, you can download a free copy of xchat here: http://www.silverex.org/download/

If you’re on Mac, you can use Adium or the Mac version of xchat: http://sourceforge.net/projects/xchataqua/

If you’re on Linux, why are you still reading this blog post? You should have stopped reading at the first paragraph and issued /join #coherellc already.

Once you’ve got your client installed, join the Freenode network and then join the #coherellc channel.

If you want to learn a little more about irc: http://www.irchelp.org/irchelp/new2irc.html Some of the information is a little dated, but the major concepts are explained.

See you soon!

PS Cohere members, just ask Alex how to set yourself up .  It takes 1 minute!

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