Dibspace in the space

What’s more community oriented than trading the skills, products or space you have available for the services and things you need? Well, maybe sharing a meal or helping to raise a kid, but very next on the list is a marketplace where neighbors trade goods and services to everyone’s benefit.

In a strange and round-about way, I just described Dibspace, a relatively new site that fosters community relationships through business. The best part is, in a kind of domino affect, when one member gets “paid” she can use her dibits to buy something from an entirely different member.

Office Nomads recently joined up because we think we have a lot to offer the Dibspace community and we know that the community around us (especially that of Capitol Hill in Seattle, where we are located) has plenty of people who can fill our needs as well.

Almost immediately after signing up, it turned out that the space we’re offering on

the site for a mere 25 dibits (Dibspace’s virtual currency) ended up being a boon to the site’s founder, Dominc Canterbury, during his quest to live on nothing but dibits for an entire year.

As I said, we’re relatively new to the whole Dibspace community. We’re just now starting to explore the goods and services available our local Capitol Hill Marketplace to see what might be there that we can use, but it was great that one of our first transactions for dibits was with their founder, and for such a neat project. Now, if we could just find a way to frame and hang one of those first dibits…

Are you on Dibspace? Do you have some mad graphic design skills, carpentry know how, lunch-making lunacy or some other service we might need but no office space? Check out our two offers on the site, sign up (if you haven’t already) and let’s chat!

Social Networking Ain’t All That

Twitter. Facebook. LinkedIn. MySpace. Blogs. I know there’s a ton more social networking platforms and apps out there, so what am I forgetting? Oh yeah: Yelp. Discussion Boards. Flickr. YouTube. Viddler. Does that cover it? Nope, because I forgot the biggest, baddest, oldest, most important social network of them all: Word of Mouth.

It’s amazing isn’t it? Most of us who live and work online think and talk about and interact with social networking platforms all day, every day thinking all the time that the world of social networking is some new phenomenon that we need to learn how to manage. But humanity has been networking since we’ve had language and Ugg told Grog about that new warm and bright thing in the back of the cave.

A good friend of Office Nomads, Jeremiah Andrick, who happens to be a social media guru brought all of this to our attention yesterday with a post that says simply:
“We forgot about word of mouth.”

Often when I hear people talk about the how “Twitter is changing everything” I laugh because while I get that twitter and other social platforms are changing our ability to stay in touch, these tools are just enabling us to have conversations that we might have had by other mediums. Real change occurs not by a medium, but by people how people use it.

Take some time to read it. Jeremiah’s idea is pretty brilliant in it’s simplicity, and it’s definitely a D’Oh! moment because it reminds all of us who are in customer service (and which of us running our own business isn’t?) that every interaction is a social interaction, replete with all the opportunities and risks inherent in every social media platform there is.

Office Nomads Open House tonight!

As a quick reminder, tonight is the Office
Spring Open House and it’s gonna be a good one. Those of us in the space regularly have been loving Andrea Huysing’s photos that are on display. We’re also all excited to show off the
brand new library conference room.

We’re cohosting tonight with BALLE Seattle, an excellent local business support
organization, so in addition to the usual gathering of good people to celebrate new art and enjoy some yummy snacks and beer,
there will be some lightly facilitated talks about local business issues for those that want to take part.

So come on by and say hi, check out the new art and find out a bit more about Office Nomads.

WHEN: 6:30 – 9pm
WHERE: Office Nomads- 1617 Boylston Ave, Second Floor
WHY: Our spring open house & BALLE Seattle networking event!
FOOD/DRINK: Provided. Please don’t forget to bring your own cup!

Support Local Businesses

Lord knows we here at Office Nomads LOVE local businesses. Not only are we one, most of our members run or work for local businesses and we frequent ones in our neighborhood often (with a focus on the Redwood Tavern down the block and Honey Hole sandwiches a block away). That’s why the 3/50 Project caught my eye on the coworking Google group this morning:

The 3/50 Project is an effort to get people to spend $50 a month in three local brick and mortar businesses on a regular basis. The goal is to make sure the business that drive the economy in which you live survive and thrive. When they do, your community does too. Simply put, if half the employed population spent $50/month in locally owned businesses, it would generate more than $42 billion in revenue, according to the 3/50 site. It also says that for every $100 spent in a locally owned business $68 returns to the local economy versus $43 when its spent in a national chain.

There’s another benefit too: You have a connection to the product or service you bought. There’s a person behind it, not just a giant mega-corporation (or maybe the mailman) which means your needs, your concerns and your accolades are heard and receive responses. So join us and support local businesses as much as possible.

Office Nomads Spring Open House

Andrea Huysings xxx Rootbeer. Happily, I get to look at it all day long at Office Nomads right now.

Andrea Huysing's "xxx Rootbeer." Happily, I get to look at it all day long at Office Nomads right now.

Spring is in the air and it’s time for another open house at Office Nomads!

WHEN: Monday, April 27th, 6:30 – 9pm (lightly programmed portion of the event to begin at 7pm)
WHERE: Office Nomads – 1617 Boylston Ave, Second Floor
WHY: Our spring open house & BALLE Seattle networking event!
FOOD/DRINK: Provided.  Please don’t forget to bring your own cup!

There’s a ton of great stuff going on at the Spring Office Nomads Open House, we hardly know where to begin:

  • We have room for new members and want people who have been curious about ON to see the changes in our space, including the new library! Since our Pink Slip Special is still going on, now’s a great time to check us out.
  • It’s time for new art from photographer Andrea Huysing, who says she’s “been capturing shapes, pieces & parts and color for as long as I can remember” in “photography [that] is not specifically complex,” but she hopes, “create curiosity and emotion.”
  • We’re co-hosting with BALLE Seattle, a networking group that aims to connect, educate and promote King County businesses supporting local living economies. They’re adding a new spice to our regular Open House format: the opportunity to take part in a few short breakout discussions about building the local economy from a business and consumer perspective. BALLE Seattle + Office Nomads =

For more detailed information, read on, or just come by on Monday, April 27th from 6:30 – 9 and remember to bring your own glass for beverages!

BALLE Seattle + ON =
We are incredibly excited to co-host this open house with BALLE Seattle, who is teaming up with us to run their quarterly networking event.  Never heard of BALLE Seattle?  Well, it’s about time you did – these guys are awesome.  BALLE Seattle is the local Seattle chapter of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.  BALLE Seattle’s mission is to connect, educate and promote King County businesses supporting local living economies.  Pretty great, right?  They achieve their mission by hosting educational events, connecting local businesses to support one another, and promoting local businesses through their network.  They are an incredible partner of ours, and will create an incredibly dynamic addition to our classic open house model.

Along with plenty of networking, there will be a chance to delve into the challenges of building the local economy from both the business and consumer perspectives during short breakout discussions.  These are a new addition to our open house model, and should provide for some great, relevant conversations to independent business folk in the neighborhood. These conversations are meant to be casual, and are a great time to connect with others on the topics that impact you the most.

Spring featured artist: Andrea Huysing
We are excited to open our doors to show off the space and the new artwork by Andrea Huysing! A little bit about Andrea:

I’ve been capturing shapes, pieces & parts and color for as long as I can remember.  My friends and family know me as the shutterbug, always with camera in hand, finding beauty in the simplest things.  I find so much happiness in charming and bold moments of everyday life.

My photography is not specifically complex, however if it can create curiosity and emotion, I have succeeded in relating to each person.

I hope you find even one photo that seizes your attention, creating feeling and thought that you enjoy experiencing, sharing and revisiting.

To view the rest of my work, please visit http://www.andreadesigns.com.

Support ON!
Please come and join us, and bring a friend or two!  We have room for more members at the office and are excited to have interesting, fun indie workers join the office community.

Additionally, we are still running our Pink Slip Special for anyone who has recently been laid off.  So if you’ve just gotten your pink slip handed to you, come on over to the office for a free month of coworking with us!  We like to think of it as our own little economic stimulus package.

Hope to see you on Monday the 27th!

Now that’s a Smart Community

Pardon me while I toot the Office Nomads horn a lot but I have to because an excellent example of how great our community is has popped up in our bathroom this week, and I have to share it.

One of the Office Nomads’ bathroom doors has become a vehicle for the expression of a lot of smart, witty, fun people (not at the same time, thankfully) which directly correlates to how smart and fun the ON community as a whole is.

Check out the recent conglomeration of words on the door (painted with chalkboard paint) that started as a real-world version of a standard Internet meme and quickly morphed into something, well, much more unique.

We got from Blank to Acropolis in just a few short days.

We got from Blank to Acropolis in just a few short days.

Sad News in Seattle Coworking

Jacob first told me about Giraffe Labs back in early 2008 or maybe even late 2007 when it was just called Saturday House and we were looking around for communities we had a natural kinship with. Although I never personally met the people who were a part of Giraffe Labs/Saturday House, I loved their story and model and know that Jacob was very much a fan of them. So it was with great sadness that we read late yesterday that Giraffe Labs’ founders decided to close up shop and move on to other things.

According to TechFlash:

A dwindling membership base — not to mention a lack of windows and an expiring lease — sealed the fate of Giraffe Labs.

Apparently the founders had other things going on that demanded their attention more than building membership numbers and in this economy, realized that was not a sustainable model.

We congratulate Brian Dorsey and Anders Conbere (the founders) on their run as GL and wish them both all the luck in the world on future endeavors. We also hope the Giraffes who worked at GL land safely and happily in a new community. With a wealth of great coworking spaces in Seattle, we’re sure you will. To help, we’re extending the Office Nomads Pink Slip Special to any of them that want to come and try us ouf, since losing one’s workspace is akin to being laid off. We also know that StartPad is doing the same thing.

Good luck and Good bye Giraffe Labs!

Coworking Visa gets Web Worker love

Man, Web Worker Daily loves coworking. They just covered the Coworking Visa.

The Coworking Visa project, a community-based effort, is essentially an exchange program. If you’re a member of one participating coworking center, you can work at another participating coworking center without having to pay the fees.

It’s really no surprise that the site keeps heaping the love on coworking. It’s aimed directly at the same people who make up a large contingent in the coworking community after all. I don’t know the folks there, but I bet many of them have worked from home or the cafe for too long and were chomping at the bit for coworking when it came along. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me that some of the people who run WWD run or helped start up coworking spaces.

Oh, yeah, what’s the Coworking Visa, you ask? If you’re newer around here, it’s likely you may not have heard of it as it is something Office Nomads fully supports but doesn’t talk about much. Basically, if you’re a member of coworking space that takes part in the Visa program, then you can visit any other member of the program when you’re traveling, for free. Each space sets its own limits and requirements, but most are pretty easy going and willing to make an effort to make visitors comfortable. So next time you’re on the road and need a place to work, look into the Coworking Visa on the coworking wiki and find a space waiting to welcome you.

Coworking Captures Attention, Again

I’ve probably said this here before, but when it rains, it pours coworking and Office Nomads coverage. This week already there are three articles on coworking in the blogosphere, and it’s only Tuesday!

First up is a fabulous overview of coworking and why businesses should try it over at TriangleB2B.com. It’s a long-ish piece that explores the origins, reasons and mechanics of coworking (though it does use the hyphen). It’s by far the best piece on coworking that I’ve seen yet and well worth the read if you’re new to the concept or if you’re well versed in coworking but still sometimes getting the “blank stare” when you explain it. This piece will give you plenty of good, clear language that helps entreprenuers see the value in coworking.

The venerable Web Worker Daily posted another piece on coworking, this time focusing on the history of their coworking coverage. It’s a handy guide to stories describing coworking in general, covering unique business models in coworking and even one on some exotic coworking locales. Read up and join the ongoing discussion there. It’s lively and informative.

Finally, slightly West of us, Jennifer Hargrove at The Kitsap Sun (yes, an actual print newspaper) caught wind of the coworking movement. They published a short piece about coworking and used Office Nomads as the example. Thanks for the kind words and the shout out about the Pink Slip Special!

The image is appropriately titled “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain” We used it under the Creative Commons license thanks to flickr user Krikit.

Office Nomads Mobile

Have an iPhone? Looking for a way to keep Office Nomads (or at least a water cooler) with you at all times? Thanks to our very own Ryan Salva, principal of Capitol Media and stalwart Office Nomads member, now you can. Out of the blue, he created the following excellent wallpaper for you iPhone. Download and bask in its gloriousness!

Office Nomads iPhone wallpaper