Communauté Coworking Léman [fr]

[en] In the process of gathering a community of people interested in coworking, in the Lake Geneva area. I have a concrete possibility of setting up a coworking space in Lausanne, but need comitted people to make it happen. Join the mailing-list and introduce yourself so we can talk about it. There is also a blog and a Facebook group you may join and tell your interested friends about.

Il existe depuis quelque temps [une mailing-liste](http://groups.google.com/group/coworking-leman/) et un [blog](http://coworking-leman.net) pour parler de coworking et partage de bureaux en région lémanique. Depuis cet après-midi, on a même [un groupe sur Facebook](http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=50136055054). Si la question vous intéresse, [rejoignez-nous](http://groups.google.com/group/coworking-leman/)!

D’où ça sort, tout ça? Petit retour en arrière.

En avril de l’an dernier (2007), je suis à Leeds et je m’apprête à faire la connaissance d'[Imran Ali](http://imran.ali.name/), découvert via [un ami commun](http://twitter.com/ikisai) sur [Twitter](http://twitter.com). Je feuillette ce que [Chris Messina](http://factoryjoe.com/blog/) et [Tara Hunt](http://www.horsepigcow.com/) ont publié au sujet du coworking (je me prépare à aller passer un bon mois à San Francisco chez eux, donc je fais mes devoirs), et je réalise qu’Imran s’est inscrit sur la page [Coworking Leeds](http://coworking.pbwiki.com/CoworkingLeeds) du wiki. Amusante coïncidence.

*Imran ouvrira, avec l’aide de Linda Broughton et le soutien de la Leeds Metropolitan University, l’espace de coworking [met:space](http://www.oldbroadcastinghouse.com/coworking/); c’est entre autres grâce à cette communauté que [Going Solo](http://going-solo.net) prendra place le 12 septembre prochain à Leeds, dans le même bâtiment!*

En mai de la même année, comme mon départ pour les USA se rapproche, je retourne me renseigner un peu sur mes hôtes (Chris et Tara), qui ont passablement contribué à populariser le principe du [coworking](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coworking), en particulier à travers leur espace de coworking [Citizen Space](http://citizenspace.us/). Je visite le site, je lis un petit peu, je découvre, j’aime, et je me dis: “ce serait cool d’avoir quelque chose comme ça à Lausanne.” J’envoie un petit mail très court à deux personnes, je m’inscris sur la [liste de discussion coworking](http://groups.google.com/group/coworking), mais ça s’arrête là.

En juillet, je suis à San Francisco (et peut-être même installée dans le canapé de Citizen Space!) quand Olivier écrit [Et si on co-travaillait?](http://b-spirit.com/blogollie/?p=2140) — on est au moins deux à avoir le même genre de bonne idée à peu près au même moment… les temps sont mûrs en Suisse Romande, ou le seront bientôt. Quelques e-mails sont échangés, une poignée de vaudois sont intéressés, mais rien d’assez solide pour véritablement aller de l’avant.

Décembre de la même année, le sujet coworking revient brièvement sur le devant de la scène lors [du premier Website Pro Day](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/12/17/wwpad-wpd/). On se retrouve à quatre chez l’un d’entre nous pour travailler chacun de son côté sur sa présence en ligne professionnelle ([Website Pro](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/10/31/une-journee-pour-bosser-sur-nos-sites-pro-website-pro-day/) Day!), et c’est vachement sympa. Donc on reparle de coworking. Dans la foulée, je crée un compte Basecamp et un [wiki](http://coworking-leman.pbwiki.com/), qui péclotent un peu et finissent par se mourir, comme nos discussions sur le sujet (en tous cas en ce qui me concerne: je commence à être très prise par [Going Solo](http://going-solo.net)).

Plus tôt cette année, dans les mois précédant Going Solo, il a semblé à deux reprises qu’un local pour y créer une communauté de coworking m’était tombé dans les bras. Réflexion faite, ce n’était pas réaliste, mais ces fausses alertes m’ont (sérieusement) relancée sur le sujet. D’autant plus que je me retrouvais sensibilisée à la problématique du travail en indépendant par la préparation de Going Solo.

Après la deuxième fausse alerte, j’ai décidé qu’il fallait commencer par se concentrer sur la communauté. Trouver un local, ce n’est pas le plus difficile. C’est trouver les gens, le problème. J’ai donc créé [la liste de discussion par e-mail Coworking Léman](http://groups.google.com/group/coworking-leman/) ainsi que [le blog associé](http://coworking-leman.net/), que j’anime seule pour l’instant mais que je voudrais également pouvoir remettre en d’autres mains.

Et là… il y a quelques semaines, bonne surprise: les 3 artistes/artisans (dont la céramiste [Sylvie Godel](http://syldavie.ch/)) occupant les bureaux du rez inférieur de mon immeuble cherchent à remettre leur local. Il y a donc une [possibilité concrète de coworking à Lausanne](http://groups.google.com/group/coworking-leman/browse_thread/thread/72d5699f1c3eb8e5) pour la fin de l’été ou cet automne.

Bon, fini l’histoire. En pratique?

Vous avez besoin d’un bureau de façon irrégulière — ou fixe — en compagnie d’autres personnes sympathiques, ouvertes à la collaboration et au partage, mais avec qui vous ne travaillez pas forcément?

Ça vous intéresse peut-être mais vous n’êtes pas vraiment sûr?

Vous travaillez principalement sur ordinateur ou chez vos clients?

Le [coworking](http://coworking-leman.net/coworking/) est peut-être pour vous.

Pour en savoir plus, [inscrivez-vous](http://groups.google.com/group/coworking-leman/subscribe) à notre [liste de discussion](http://coworking-leman.net/liste-de-discussion/) et envoyez si le coeur vous en dit un bref e-mail pour vous présenter et poser vos questions!

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LIFT08: Zentrale Intelligenz Agentur (Holm Friebe & Philipp Albers) [en]

*Very incomplete notes. [What these guys are doing](http://www.zentrale-intelligenz-agentur.de/) seems really exciting.*

Quality and nature of work changing. Lots of people from our generation are discontent with the opportunities they find in organizations, career opportunities.

The Hedonistic Company. How do you integrate the new generation into companies?

LIFT08 143

7 NOs:

– no office
– no employees
– no fixed costs
– no pitches
– no exclusivity
– no working hours
– no bullshit

*steph-note: guys, we need to talk about [Going Solo](http://going-solo.net)! Gah, computer crash… rebooting*

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Website Pro Day 3: mercredi! [fr]

[en] The third Website Pro Day will take place on January 16th (the day after tomorrow!) -- in Lausanne, but maybe in your town too?

An Afternoon in San Francisco 85 On avait [déjà fixé la date](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2008/01/04/two-successes-wpd2-and-wowipad1/), donc j’ai un peu traîné pour battre le rappel. Le Website Pro Day 3 aura bel et bien lieu [mercredi 16 janvier](http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=22033902952) (après-demain!) — toujours [chez Julien](http://julienhenzelin.typepad.com/), qui a la grande gentillesse de nous accueillir avec nos ordinateurs de compagnie.

Si vous n’avez pas de compte Facebook, vous pouvez toujours vous inscrire dans les commentaires! Faites passer le mot!

Et bien sûr, vous êtes toujours invité à organiser des événements similaires dans votre ville.

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World Wide Paperwork and Administrivia Day (WoWiPAD) and Website Pro Day (WPD) [en]

[fr] En plus du Website Pro Day, je propose de tenir début janvier le World Wide Paperwork and Administrivia Day, consacré à régler ces histoires de paperasses (j'ai des tas de quittances à trier et à envoyer à ma comptable, par exemple) une fois pour toutes. On fait ça chacun chez soi, bien entendu, mais on est solidaires et on fait ça en même temps. Ça motive!

Faites signe si vous êtes partants.

A couple of months ago, I came upon [Chris Messina](http://factoryjoe.com/blog/)’s [Finish your %#&*@ drafts](http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/295393/) day. I thought: “what a great idea!”

Well, not the drafts thing (I have drafts in my WordPress installation right now for the first time in my life), but the “get people together to do something”. It’s not a new idea, of course. I’ve actually already used it to fight procrastination, with friends:

– oh, we’re both chatting when we should do washing up and other things. Let’s go and do it and then meet up on chat again to congratulate ourselves on doing it.
– hey, can I come and do my homework at your place?
– let’s meet up do our tax declaration together.

So, when my friend [Olivier](http://b-spirit.com/blogollie/) mentioned in passing that his professional website needed some work done, I said “oh, me too! let’s do it together” and organised the [First Website Pro Day](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/10/31/une-journee-pour-bosser-sur-nos-sites-pro-website-pro-day/) (it’s bastardised gallicised English, don’t worry).

There were four of us (a fifth had to cancel at the last minute because of a sick child) and it was a great success for all those who participated. Not only did we make progress on the “professional online presence” front (I actually moved this blog over to my server back from DreamHost, a move which had been stalling all my efforts to do anything to [SB.com](http://stephanie-booth.com/)), but we also started talking about [building a local coworking community](http://b-spirit.com/blogollie/?p=2140) again.

Website Pro Day 1, Lausanne

We also decided that one day was not enough, and that we needed to organise (at least) another similar day: [Website Pro Day 2](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/12/14/website-pro-day-deuxieme/) is set for December 28th.

Now, obviously, this kind of gathering is local. But wouldn’t it be great of other freelancers or small business owners, in other cities, also got together to work on their professional online presence on the same day? All you need is two people to begin with. Announce it, put it [on Facebook](http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=6369349379) or [upcoming](http://upcoming.yahoo.com/), whatever catches your fancy. I’ll mention it here, too.

Being a freelancer is cool, but it can sometimes be a bit lonely. That’s why ideas like [coworking](http://blog.coworking.info/) and [barcamp](http://barcamp.org/) are very important to us: it’s a chance to get together with “colleagues”. Well, it can also be done in a slightly less formal way, too. Just grab a few “colleagues”, and meet to get something done.

So, another of these “get-together” initiatives I’m launching is the **World Wide Paperwork and Administrivia Day**, which we’ll call WoWiPAD from now on. Unless you’re super-organised or are already a [GTD black belt](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getting_Things_Done), you probably have piles of receipts to sort, papers to file, expenses to invoice, forms to fill in, and various administrative things that just pile up and don’t get done, because, let’s face it, it’s way more fun to be earning $$ doing exciting stuff with clients than spending the day drowning in stuffy papers alone at one’s desk.

Obviously, we can’t really gather in one physical space for the WoWiPAD. No, you are not welcome to come to my place with your drawers, piles of papers, stapler — in short, your whole office. But what we can do, though, is decide on a date to do things together. Yes, just knowing that we’re not in this “alone” can be very supportive.

Whether you’re a freelancer, a small business owner, or just a somebody with stacks of paperwork to deal with on your desk, leave a comment here or [sign up on Facebook](http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=7437407283) if you’d like to participate in the WoWiPAD.

I’m going to suggest two dates, which I know are quite nearby — because I’m going to have to do this paperwork stuff soon anyway, or it’ll sprout legs and start running all over the place. The cat is enough trouble by itself, I have no need for paper pets.

As far as I’m concerned, Wednesday January 2nd would be good, as would Thursday 3rd (and even Friday 4th).

What about you?

**Update, Dec. 26th:** Date is officially Jan. 2nd, and the event has been rechristened WoWiPAD (much more pronounceable) — thanks to Greg for the suggestion.

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Notes From San Francisco [en]

So, roughly half-way through my five-week trip to San Francisco, what’s going on? I haven’t been blogging much lately, that’s for sure.

For once, I took some photographs from the plane. Unfortunately my camera batteries ran out just as we were coming down on San Francisco, and my spare ones were in the luggage compartment above my head. Oh, well.

Flying to San Francisco 31

I got some first-level questioning at immigration coming in. No, not the sort where they take you to a separate room, become much less friendly, and have boxes of rubber gloves on the counter. This is how it went:

– …And what is the duration of your stay?
– Five weeks.
– …And what do you do in… over in Switzerland?
– I’m a freelance… internet consultant. *OMG that sounds bad.* …I’m actually here to work on a book project. *Yeah I know I should never volunteer information.*
– What’s the book about?
– Er… teenagers and the internet.
– And…?
– Er… Well, the situation with teenagers and the internet, and what we’re doing about it in Switzerland.
– And what are you doing about it?
– Well, not enough!
– And? Come on, tell me more about it.
– Er… OK. *OMGOMG* Well, see, teenagers are really comfortable with computers and the internet, and so they’re chatting, blogging, etc. — they’re digital natives, see? — and parents, well, they’re clueless or terrified about the internet, and they don’t always understand what’s going on in their kids lives online, so basically, we have teenagers who are spending a lot of time online and sometimes getting into trouble and parents don’t know or don’t care about what they’re doing there, so we have this… chasm between generations and…
– Thank you. You can go.

The pick-up from the airport was wonderfully orchestrated and much appreciated. Being driven into town by somebody friendly rather than having to use unfamiliar public transportation really makes a difference. Thanks to all those involved (yes, it took that many people!)

Waiting on the Sidewalk

Then, through some freak breakdown of all modern forms of communication (partially documented on Twitter), I ended up waiting outside on the sidewalk for almost an hour while my kind host Tara waited for me inside her appartment. We worked it out finally, and I was introduced to my (nice and spacious) room before going to hang out at [Citizen Space](http://citizenspace.us/). A nice dinner out with Chris, Tara and Jimmy to end the day, and I happily collapsed in my bed at a respectable local hour. You will have taken note that I did not collapse at 4pm feeling like a zombie, thanks to having taken [melatonin](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melatonin) on the plane. (It [doesn’t seem to work that well for Suw](http://chocnvodka.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2007/6/29/3057876.html), but it works perfectly on me, and I’m never traveling between continents without it again.)

The four next days went by in [a blur of Supernova madness](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/06/21/taking-photos-at-supernova/): too many people, too many sessions, food with ups and downs, parties with [cupcakes](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/sets/72157600415592611/) and others at the top of [skyscapers](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/sets/72157600430915725/). I took [lots of photographs](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/collections/72157600420716687/) and even [a video sequence that got some attention](http://www.viddler.com/explore/steph/videos/5/).

Supernova First Day 33

During the next week, I started settling down. Met and hung out with old friends, made new ones, unpacked my suitcases, went walking around in town, saw [Dykes on Bikes](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/sets/72157600459417123/), the [Gay Pride Parade](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/sets/72157600487653731/), and the [iPhone launch](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/sets/72157600579979445/), photographed [skyscrapers in the night](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/sets/72157600607158151/), ordered a new camera, got my MacBook (partly) repaired, and even [dropped in at Google to take notes of Suw’s talk there](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/06/27/suw-charman-at-google-does-social-software-have-fangs/).

All this, actually, is documented in [my Twitter stream](http://twitter.com/stephtara) — maybe I should add a whole lot of links? — be sure to keep an eye on it if you’re interested in a more day-by-day account of what I’m doing here.

Overall, things have been good. A small bout of homesickness a few days ago, but I’m feeling better now. I need to start focusing on the things I want to get done (blogging, writing, book, writing, fixing things for clients…) — holiday over now!

Downtown San Francisco By Night 9

I’ve been thinking about my “work career” a little, too. I’m very happy doing what I’m doing, but I’m not going to be doing “Blog 101” for ever — I can feel my interests shifting somewhat already. I’ve been interested in the “social tools at large” department for a long time, but unfortunately it seems to translated to “blogging” in most of the work I do, so I’d like to expand my horizons in that direction a little. I’ve had a couple of talks with people in startups recently, and I realize it’s a kind of environment I wouldn’t mind working in — at least part-time. We’ll see what happens.

I’m also realizing that there is more potential than I first thought around [the two main things I care about these days](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/06/22/what-do-you-care-about/): teenagers online and internet language issues. Hence, the book, and also a talk on the subject of languages on the internet which I’ll be giving at Google this coming Tuesday.

Also in the “work” department, two other things have been on my mind. First, the idea of opening up a coworking space in or around Lausanne ([Ollie is having the same kind of thought](http://b-spirit.com/blogollie/?p=2140) — we’re talking). Second, trying to find a solution so that I don’t have to do maintenance on my clients’ WordPress installations once all is rolling, or spend hours swimming in HTML, CSS and WordPress theme PHP template tags. Not that I don’t know how to do it or don’t enjoy it once in a while, but it’s really not the kind of work I want to spend my time doing. So, I’ve been starting to ask around for names of people who might do this kind of thing (for a reasonable fee), and even thinking of recruiting some students in Lausanne that I could coach/train so that they can do most of the work, and call me up only for major problems. So, see, I’ve been thinking.

Some people have been asking me if I was planning to move here. Indeed, 5 weeks in the city looks suspiciously like a scouting operation. Actually, traveling has an interesting side-effect for me: I tend to come back home thinking “gee, Lausanne is *such* a great place to live! I’m never moving!” Sure, I have some underlying personal issues which contribute to making me overly attached to my hometown, and I know that someday I might end up living elsewhere. But really, for the moment, I don’t think I’d want that.

And even though I’m told San Francisco is very “European” compared to the rest of the US (which I have yet to see) I can’t help seeing how “horribly American” it is. Don’t get me wrong, I really like this city and am enjoying my time here. I know that what I say can give wrong impressions (for example, people — especially Indians — read [the story of my year living in India](http://climbtothestars.org/logbook) and think that I hated the country; it’s not true, I really loved it, and can’t wait to go back). But I walk around San Francisco and see all the signs with rules and regulations and “stupid” warnings (like, God, the pineapple chunks I buy at Whole Foods haven’t been pasteurized and may contain harmful germs! or, don’t use the hairdryer in the bath tub!), the AT&T Park and other manifestations of what to me is “consumerism gone mad”, I hear about health care and [“you’re expected to sue” horror stories](http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2007/06/23/sicko_barack_an.html), visa lotteries for non-renewal, the education system…

So, yes, I’m focusing on the negative. And Switzerland, even though it’s a wonderful country ;-), has its negatives too. Like many natives all over the world, I’ve developed a selective blindness to what is “wrong” in the land I come from, considering much of it “normal” as I have been brought up with it. I know that. But too much of what I see here makes my skin crawl. I’m really enjoying spending some weeks here, I love my friends, the food and the sunshine, but I don’t think I’d be happy living here.

Misty Skyscrapers in Downtown San Francisco 10

Well, this was one of these longer-than-expected posts, and it’s occupied most of my morning. My tasks for this afternoon are (in this order):

– one WordPress install for a client
– spending a little more time trying to see if there is hope for the aggravating Google Groups problem I bumped into, and if not, setting up a Yahoo! Group instead
– writing a post for [bub.blicio.us](http://bub.blicio.us) or working on my book — whichever I most feel like.

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