More Coworking at Our House

For a few months now we’ve had a standing offer for people to drop by our house on Thursdays and cowork. A few people came by and hung out. Had some great conversations. But we’d love to have even more people over.

So next week we’re going to give it a try on Monday, April 21. If you’d like to get some work done in a quite space with free wifi, coffee, and snacks let me know. (That link is to my contact form.) I’ll send you directions. BTW – we have two nice cats.

The drive to cowork on Monday was an email from Robert who is from out of town and checking out the Triangle as a place to live. Lets how him how cool our tech community is.

Food for thought: Several people have sent me this link to a Web Worker Daily blog post called Coworking Evolved. Its some good examples of creative work ideas and experiments. Very cool stuff. It also reminds me how nimble I must be as a coworking business person in the future to continue to provide a valuable service.

North Carolina Tech Events

If you are organizing a tech event, big or small, in North Carolina you should promote it on SocialCarolina.org. This is a free site that a few volunteers are putting together. Its goal is to “Connect the Community to Events”. Simple.

To submit an event lets us know about it with our contact form or via email at events [at] socialcarolina dot org.

You can get event updates on Twitter here www.twitter.com/rdch/ and subscribe to the google calendar.

Changes in the Local Political Blogosphere

There has been a flurry of activity in the Orange County political blogosphere this month. Changes that interest me as much as who is wining the presidential primaries. (Go Obama!)

First, the big news is the disappearance of the Squeeze the Pulp forum. In its place appears to be a site that could have a community, but it isn’y very clear how. The new site is based on software called DokuWiki. It looks like a bunch of semi-static pages can be created and edited by a group of people. So people will write rants and others will edit them. For what, grammar? The two-way communication of a forum has been lost.

Part of me is sad that all the STP writing is gone. Mainly because it would help people remember the slander and hateful crap. Why would we want to remember that? To inform the context of our local political history. For example, the dirty tactics some supported there. It could also encourage more long-term responsibility. Politicos won’t forget, trust me. But the new resident to Carrboro may like to know how that candidate got elected or defeated. I think the blog of record will be Orange Politics.

Last year sometime I reminded the folks at STP that all that content would be remembered. If not by Google then by us. A great example of the fear mongering some STP posters facilitated is here in my post Political attack from the Squeeze the Pulp forum. In the end, most of me is happy the STP slander against people is off the web. But I’m sure there will be more.

Second, there is a new community site set up by George Entenman called Orange Citizens or Orange County, NC. (depending on how you look at it.) It’s on the Ning software platform, a quality bit of social networking software. My first impressions are of the software mainly. I enjoy the look and feel of the theme but am not crazy about the threaded comments. It’s easy to have several off-topic threads, but it’s growing on me. It’ll be interesting to see how this site evolves. Especially from a usability standpoint. Already there are several local politicos there like Terri and MarkM, plus Chapel Hill Council Member Mark Kleinschmidt. Hopefully we’ll see lots of local elected officials participate in this new community.

Finally, we have a major upgrade to Orange Politics. At just over four years old Orange Politics has become the most-read local politics site in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. It started off using MovableType and then moved to the open source WordPress blogging software in 2004. Now it’s powered by Drupal, a complex and very powerful open source, PHP-based content management system. I was a bit concerned about the move at first, but now that its full speed ahead I’m way impressed. One reason is there are more ways for people to get involved. There is real power in letting people publish their own blogs a la community sites such as Daily Kos. We should have more viewpoints now. Plus there are new OP community guidelines. I think Ruby has done a great job of balancing lots of factors. I would still like to see all commenters have a real identity (ie: no anonymous posters). But I see where in some cases anonymity is valuable on OP.

GOP Candidate Cho Gets Another My View Column

The December 9, 2007 Chapel Hill News ‘My View’ column titled GOP chair Cho to challenge Price contained the following:

A former Presbyterian minister and tae kwon do instructor, Cho is a writer raising two children in Chapel Hill. He has been writing a monthly My View column for the Chapel Hill News. His column will go on hiatus during his run.

Now on December 26, 2007 Mr Cho has another column in the Chapel Hill News titled ‘Soul patrol.’ (It’s not online yet. I just pulled it out of my driveway at 12AM.) At the end of Mr. Cho’s column today is this excuse,

This is his last My View for now. Cho’s column is on hiatus as he campaigns for the Republican nomination for U.S. House District 4.

To me this column contradicts the first one. His column was supposed to “go on hiatus.” Second, its a clear violation of the News’ journalistic principles. Will Congressman Price get a My View column so he can promote his personal values too?

Cross posted from BlueNC.

Coworking at our house Tomorrow

Get stuff done at our house. 9am to 5pm. Thursday Dec. 20. Free WiFi, Coffee, and Lunch! Come meet new folks and expand your business network. Contact me for directions.

Join the Google Group for the latest on Carrboro Coworking. Soon to be a coworking space in downtown Carrboro, NC. Learn more at CarrboroCoworking.com.

This is a regular event every First and Third Thursday. (Except Jan. 3, 2008. Not looking like a good day for us.) 🙂

Video: Why Jim Neal is going to Win

I went to a fundraiser for the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jim Neal. Shot a some video of him speaking. Its so great to have a progressive North Carolina Democrat running against Sen. Dole. I hope to get some more video of him as he campaigns. Stay tuned. (BTW… I donated my time and energy to produce this.)

Here is a full rez Mov file. JimNealforsenate120907.mov

Techies Building Community in RDCH

So I told you about the creation of SocialCarolina.org the other day. Its a google calendar and blog about local tech events here in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. (That includes Cary, Carrboro, RTP, Morrisville, etc.)

Well.. some of the coolest events recently have been happening at the new Refresh the Triangle. They are organized by the folks over at Viget Labs. A new web design consultancy in Durham. Last night they had an event. Sadly I couldn’t attend. Next time hopefully.

So far there are seven people who can add events to this calendar. Today I added Peyton Crump to that list. He’s the Creative Director over at Viget Durham.

I’m blogging about this seeming mundane activity because I think its a milestone. Why? COLLABORATION! A bunch of cool people who organize amazing events are working together to inform a ton of people.

You would think this would be an easy thing to do. What with all the web 2.0 collab software out there. But… its not. I mean try to get a bunch of people to meet on a regular basis. Its hard. Syncing individual schedules is tricky. A group calendar is a good step towards making this easier.

In some ways the fractured nature of community is ok. Individuality is an important concept. We all have individual lives. But the concept of community is important too. I’m looking for a balance between the two.

To see the desire of people to get together and build community is awesome. We can all benefit from our collective intelligence. The more we come in contact with each other the smart we all become.

We have so much going on around here and lots more ways to find out about it. Very exciting times to be living in this part of North Carolina!

Props to the Refresh the Triangle folks for making a cool website for their events. Social Carolina isn’t a unique idea. I’m glad many of us are on the same page.

Cowork at our house 1st and 3rd Thursday

Join us to get work done at our house in Chapel Hill on the First and Third Thursday of each month. 9am to 5pm. Free WiFi, Coffee, and Lunch! Come meet new folks and expand your business network. Contact me for directions.

Join the Google Group for the latest on Carrboro Coworking. Soon to be a coworking space in downtown Carrboro, NC. Learn more at CarrboroCoworking.com.

Also keep up with all the events in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area at SocialCarolina.org. We have a google map there and blog. Plus a Twitter user to follow to get updates on your phone. twitter.com/rdch. Thanks to Wayne for keeping up with all the local events!

If you read this today come on down!

Social Carolina: Tech Events Calendar

Wayne Sutton is on top of local tech events in our area. So a couple of us asked him to create something to keep track of these events. He set up a blog at socialcarolina.org and I created a google calendar. Plus we have the Twitter user RDCH to follow and stay up-to-date.

Know about a cool event that involves technology of some kind? Is it happening in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area? Then contact us with the blog form. We’ll put it up on the calendar and promote it. We already have a few cool events up there. Check it out.