Although I didn’t get any work done, this was one of the most productive afternoons I’ve had in a long time. Today I met up with some fine folks to discuss the idea of CoworkingKnoxville. Of course, as the name implies, the general idea is that we actually will get some work done eventually. But today turned into more of a discussion of ideas centered around coworking and its possibilities in this area. For more information on coworking, a great place to start is Alex’s site, but the general idea is a shared space where people with different skill sets and backgrounds can gather to collaborate (or not) on ideas using shared resources, making everyone’s work time more productive and efficient.
The group of five who met today all came from different backgrounds, but without a doubt there is a common thread running through the collective consciousness. Although it’s an idea that all of us have in some abstract form in our minds (ok, it’s pretty firm for Alex), it’s still a little hard for me to get my own mind completely wrapped around at this point. But to me, that shared idea is “why not?”
Why can’t a guy who works for a large corporation while remaining a blogging powerhouse out of his home office share workspace with a freelance marketing research consultant recently transplanted from LA? And why shouldn’t they have access to another guy who works a job locally but is tied into the local web development community? And wouldn’t it benefit everyone to sit next to an altrupreneur who is in Knoxville by way of San Francisco and may be here for a month or a year? Why can’t all of these people share internet access, and a conference room, and a big whiteboard?
Why can’t this movement grow to the point that people are actually attracted to come here to be a part of it? Why can’t we make Knoxville a place people flock to looking for this exact thing? After all, Knoxville is loaded with talented people and the cost of living is negligible compared to the West Coast.
Why can’t we make this happen? I think we can.
There’s an event going on today that I think has a lot of potential for the area…CoworkingKnoxville.Â Here’s the idea:
We’re a group of free-lancers, Web programmers, self-employed professionals, self-unemployed entrepreneurs, and various independent types who meet once every week in West Knoxville.
Throw me into the self-unemployed entrepreneurs and web programmer categories.Â I think there is a lot of talent in the area, and getting together to share ideas and resources is just what we need.Â I also like the idea that this is only semi-organized.Â If you’ve ever been to Panera in West Knoxville during regular office hours you know that people are already doing this, just not introducing themselves to one another.Â But the same folks are there all the time.
If you’re local and interested, stop by.
Jack Lail comments on the Golden Age of Web News:
The community will certainly win through more intense and competition-honed news coverage and some damn good local news Web sites.
For those of us on the outside looking in, this is the most encouraging result of competition.Â The news organization that can bring us the one fact or caveat to a story that the other doesn’t will gain an advantage, if only for 20 minutes or so until they are trumped by the other guys.
Then again, no one is really completely on the “outside” anymore.Â Now it’s more like we all have at least a right leg or left leg in the mix somewhere.Â The blogosphere has made news coverage one big hokey-pokey.
It doesn’t seem like very long ago that The Missus and I would spend way too much time watching something boring on TV or being distracted from writing by some other excuse.Â But for the last week or so it seems like we’ve been doing very little but writing.Â Last night we had to actually set aside some down time–a break from writing–so that we could watch a movie and relax.Â I love when projects get that kind of momentum, but it’s a little tough when you’re working on a project like that from home–you’re always at work.
Tonight I’m taking another break to catch up with some reading (and commenting).Â I’m sure I’ll be spending a lot more time here once Ron Paul announces he’s going to run on the Libertarian ticket though.Â 😉
If you haven’t subscribed to my feed, now would be a good time to do so.Â There is a special prize inside every post that’s available to feed subscribers only.Â You’ll be especially interested in this if you’re a blogger…
I’ve been spending the last few days working on a couple of new projects that I plan on launching later this week or early next week. On Monday I put my first WordPress plugin out for the world to, uh, bash. Just kidding (not really).
I’ve been lucky enough to find a few people who are willing to run it through the wringer and show me the problems and what can be improved. The unexpected bonus is that these guys have great resources on their own websites, and I may not have discovered them otherwise. For example, I was checking out Leland’s site, themelab.com, and ran across a really good article on improving on existing WordPress themes which instantly solved a problem I’ve been having on one of my new projects.
It’s really encouraging to find people who are willing to help out and make these projects go more smoothly, and it’s really cool when you find a resource like themelab.com that you can refer to again and again down the road!
From the KNS:
Burchett and the House sponsor, Rep. Johnny Shaw, D-Bolivar, said the measure would help protect the health of hospital patients, their families and medical staff.
That’s funny, because every time I drive by a hospital I’m utterly amazed at the number of supposedly educated health care professionals who are standing outside puffing away and turning their faces into catchers’ mitts and cooking themselves from the inside.
The real shame is that hospitals don’t currently have the legal right to decide where people can smoke on hospital property, right? Right?
Hospitals already have the power to block smoking on their property if they wish, he said.
Power? Wish? This guy makes it sound like the hospital could handle this on their own. How preposterous! How can anything be decided or handled without the gov’ment?
I’m not complaining…this measure failed. I just can’t believe it was ever even considered.
May 1st has been declared RSS Awareness Day by, uh, some folks who want to raise awareness about RSS. I was actually surprised to learn that only 5.4% of internet users are currently using RSS. I’m pretty vigilant about watching my subscriber numbers, so I would LOVE to increase RSS usage to somewhere closer to 15%…that would theoretically triple my readership.
So for those of you who read this blog regularly and don’t use an RSS reader, let me again emphasize how cool of a technology it is, and how it will change the way you read on the web. For instance, using RSS, one could gain the ability to subscribe to and read a site from work which has been blocked by their company’s IT department, if one were so inclined.
And for those of you who are bloggers and/or webmasters yourself, help spread the word by promoting RSS Awareness Day on your own site. I truly believe that together we can make a difference in the way people surf while looking super-smart in their eyes at the same time. 😛
So the other night I was watching Chelsea Handler and she had Tina Yothers on. You know, the girl from Family Ties who wasn’t Mallory? Anyway, she was pretty hard core about being on Celebrity Fit Club, and seemed like a pretty cool woman, so the next time I saw Celebrity Fit Club was on I watched about 10 minutes of it.
Still with me? Ok, during the commercial break there was a commercial for the Wii Fit featuring Tina Yothers working out. I sort of assumed that the Wii Fit or something like it already existed, but the commercial said it was coming soon. I went over the Amazon to check out this video for the Wii, which isn’t quite as cool as the Tina Yothers commercial, mostly because Tina Yothers isn’t in it.
I watched the long version of the video, and I gotta tell you…I can’t see anyone getting fit with this thing for a few reasons. I can see where it’s better than just hanging out on the couch, but I don’t see it getting anyone truly fit.
The “heavy bag” is just punching the air. If you’ve ever spent any quality time with a heavy bag you know exactly why it wears you down–because it’s heavy. I don’t have the exact numbers, but the density of air probably isn’t anything close to the density of a heavy bag. How is this different from the regular Wii boxing game?
Then there’s the strength training program that has you doing push-ups and torso twists. Again, better than nothing, but do you need a trainer for this? And jogging in place? Really? The balance games looked pretty fun, but I don’t see how you can practice balance without actually having to balance. I mean, without actually feeling gravity, they’re more like leaning games than balance games.
I guess I’m saying that there’s no way I’d buy this game. Then again, I don’t even have a Wii.
The KNS has an article today about the Young-Williams Animal Center.Â The article is a nice, well written local story.Â The comments, however, are tremendous.
Billie is amazing.Â If the KNS could find space to give Billie his/her own column, or at least a blog, I would be eternally grateful.
If you like to laugh until you cry, it’s a must read.