Coworking – Methods and Success


If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito.
– African proverb

What is Coworking? It is simply working side-by-side with more than one person. No one has to be working on the same project or talk to each other. Simply being there with someone else negates the lonliness of working from home, or working in a hostile corporate environment.

Coworking is successful in corporate environments, especially startups, and is also ideal for entrepreneurs who need a support group while they develop independently.

It’s also useful to have others to bounce ideas off of.

Ingredients for Coworking. Shared working. Time sharing. Think sharing:

1. Large wooden table.
2. Large room with high ceilings.
3. Next room and kitchen with access to food and coffee.
4. Bathroom.
5. Powerstrips.
6. Computers on swivels (for screen sharing).
7. Good lighting.
8. Good window.

Shared working 2.0:

Costs: Space, and a projector to put computer screens onto wall.


  • Others can watch media.
  • Others can choose to show others media.
  • Processes can be shown in motion.

Image below shows shared working space during the day and at night. This is what the dining room of the Woods house in N. Portland looks like. We set it up like this, and it works.

The same concept was written about in the NYTimes. Here.

RSS Feeds as Fruits, Food, Drugs.

A user return rate of 20% is pretty good, but with a newsletter it could be increased. However, newsletters are Web 1.0, so 2.0 is RSS.

Many design sites place RSS as the most important part of their site. All attentional direction is turned towards directing the user to the RSS feed button, because that button increases the chance of user return.

The following is a good example of a page with a naturalistic feel and an RSS button that seems to be growing out of a plant. This is a very common (and successful) trend. Embedding RSS buttons in natural looking objects on the page makes a page feel organic. It also eases the visual flow.

Color schemes: blue, orange, black, grey, lime green. Look for these in most Web 2.0/design sites with great RSS feed ads.

Twitter Earth – Hello World

Now you can watch live Tweets on Twitter Earth. Unfortunately, the site was only an experiment. Here’s a picture for you. If it’s back online, please let me know.

Isn’t this was the Internet was supposed to be in the beginning? A global conversation…

Regardless, it is useful for watching posting trends. A lot of cross-person chatter, links and excitement about things. Nouns, verbs and adjectives in great supply!

Peter Morville’s User Experience Honeycomb

This is an information design classic. More about user experience visualization.

Search Patterns: A practical guide to the future.

A slideshow about place by Peter Morville, author of Ambient Findability.
I posted this before, but it needs a repost. Peter Morville is so important to interaction design that it’s worth another look.

Design is the Product (with Tumblr example).

According to Malcolm McCullough, author of Digital Ground (2004), “Design is the Product”.

Design is what people experience, what they see…all text, all seen and unseen material. Online voluntary communities need a base under which to interact. They cant be forced into acting voluntarily.

A websites’ user base should be voluntary – you should be providing a comfortable nesting ground for their actions.

Youtube is in a key position with those who allow them the space for their communities to interact.

For instance, telling the user base that a new tool exists and they should use it is wrong. The tool should be added in and capable of being found by the user during normal routine actions. embedding a new action option tool into the user’s experience will allow them to ‘discover’ that tool for themselves and then determine, over time, the best use of that tool.

tools should be created to move forward the voluntary community’s ability to reach their goals. in doing this, the creator must be able to future project what the user’s end goals are, or ultimate end goal, and then help the user to get there by little steps.

The creators can manufacture that end goal only to a certain extent. Unlike Software On-Demand the user may not have their own end goal so explicitly stated (or have business needs). However, the user must glean value (attention or experience) in using the tool in order to use it.

Using incentives like $10,000 prizes work once in a while, but tend to frighten off many users who would normally work towards a progressive goal along the lines of the prize offering anyways.

Explicitly stated actions or rules for the user to follow are confining and dictatorial. Suggestions are better (see Tumblr – a user-based and created space to post quotes, pictures, and videos (a sort of microblog with media…but with less interconnectivity than Twitter). The database/user experience must expand more from the side of the users and the system must be mutable enough for the to move with the space of the user.

Matter makes space bend, the shape of space makes matter move.

A system that allows organic, natural systemic evolution works the best. it must be reduced always to its lowest point, with nothing extraneous. (See Taoism…extractions from natural law). If a system’s physics are being defined by Google, they’ll take the path of water too. Natural law still governs cyber law.

Picture: GUI of the social media microblogging site, Tumblr.

A New Online Presentation Platform – iPaper Content Management System

It’s completely new and green and it glows like it’s white-hot and very natural. Flows (liquid modernity).

A new online presentation method. Japanese stock report for Vestas; a Danish windimill company. Uncertain if used in America.

Powered by iPaper CMS. A deravitive of the flash ‘pageturn’ app (purchased or went opensource and was integrated into iPaper). Recently funded (VC-style). Will invest if goes IPO.

A Table of Rules for Interaction Designers

From Digital Ground, Architecture, Pervasive Computing, and Environmental Knowing by
Malcolm McCullough (2004) MIT Press. Pg. 159. “Common wisdom: a dozen axioms of interaction design practice”.

Activity Design activities, not objects
Cognitive ergonomics Minimize astonishment; maximize intuitive accessibility
Collective memory Provide affordances for history; use enduringly legible elements; commemorate events
Context Expect physical location to provide protocols and constraints
Coordination Versatility and satisfaction increase when actions involve tightly synchronized acts and multimldal reinforcement
Errors Prevent errors; don’t scold the people who make them
Flow Satisfaction emerges when abilities are fully engaged toward objectives that are just about manageable
Latency More satisfyin designs tap latent ability
Scale Images, objects, and actions have different meanings at different scales, especially relative to the body
Suspension of disbelief Help people take part in representing shared objects and activities, but don’t expect them to take that for reality
Tuning Don’t predict the state of complex systems; do let people customize, demonstrate, and accumulate the states of their technologies
Unintended consequences Expect resources to be borrowed by insiders for unforeseen uses with discovered benefits, but also with revenge effects
Work practices Tasks occur with a larger stream of conventions, the representation of which is essential to design

*Note to anthropologists: The inputs in this table similar Donna Haraway’s table of cybernetic dichotomies.

Gravity pulls towards net as new storage device.

Yourself (draft)

Connectivity on the Internet has more gravity than the gravity that business cards supply. Communities such as provide more social cohesiveness and a GUI surface for business cards and connections (a more efficient and shared filing filing system).

A standardized, transparent GUI for data sharing. Standards in GUI and transparency are essential to “ordered” social gravity (increased social gravity). Business cards provide a standard of information display only in shape, size, and custom. They only hold a certain amount of information on them. expands that information and applies a standard graphical presentation and filing structure. Thus, business cards become dynamic and turn into devices that act as passcards into

Social Gravity and the Attention Economy

Cyborg anthroplogy and black holes.
How humans change the world and how technology has changed humans.
We are on the internet right bnow.
The Intenet has its own physical laws that are jsut like the laws lawas of the univers.e

The social gravity of things. Youtube has a sun, that is youtube. and the applications and videos associated with Youtube are the planets. Each has its own specifie gravity. Social gravity is what draws people to websites. Webistes are under the same laws of social gravity as matter or planets. People are reduced to particles acting socially, and when these particles coalesce on a website in a swarm, that means gravity.

In periods of recession, a lot of people go to grad school. They think they can wait out the economy. If they don’t go to school for engineering, law, medicine, or business, or do something with the new gloablized economy, they end up becoming unemployable.