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About a year ago (February 26th, 2008), Gavin, Chad, Chris, Phil and myself were hanging out at CopyNight Orlando, and we got to talking about Coworking. This is when we came up with Coworking Tuesdays. Gavin and I stayed at Stardust long after closing, and I decided to shoot some video. A year later, it still says something:
Look at how far we've come since then:
groups.google.com/group/coworking-orlando (98 members)
floridacreatives.com/group/coworking (46 members)
facebook.com/group.php?gid=46816242912 (211 members)
The coworking movement in Orlando started at the first BlogOrlando almost 3 years ago when I first met Alex Rudloff and scores of other local geeks interested in building a community, and eventually having a physical location for that community to call home. Lots of other folks have gotten involved since then, and we have a lot to show for it now. Coworking Fridays at Panera became Coworking Fridays at B&S, and a year ago that became Coworking Tuesdays at Stardust. A few months ago, the owner of an old hotel (now office building) in Downtown Orlando opened up a whole floor of his building to us to try and build a coworking space. It's called CoLab Orlando, and we are taking it over as our community clubhouse.
There is a meeting of the CoLab membership tonight at 6pm (March 25th). It's for members only, which is as it should be. If you're not a member yet, I'm sure you can still go, but do plan on becoming a member at some level. The pricing and policies for CoLab will be changing next month as the group becomes separate from the building. CoLab will continue to exist in the Angebilt building on Orange Ave for now, but John Hussey and RealTrend will start to have less direct influence over the space. This space is genuinely becoming the community owned-and-operated effort we have been working toward, so keep your fingers on the pulse of this one by getting involved as soon as you can.
Props and kudos to John Todero, Eric Marden, Alex Rudloff, Alex Hillman, Fredda, the above mentioned folks, anyone who's been coming to Coworking Tuesdays at Stardust, all the members of the mentioned groups and mailing lists, anyone who's edited the wiki, attended Free Fridays, all the kids who went to every coworking meetup in Austin during SXSW, and anyone who has voiced a valid, intelligent concern about how this is going to work. That's hundreds of people by my count, and it would be hard to thank them all by name.
Congratulations to the Coworking Tuesdays group for their one year anniversary, and the CoLab group for their zero year anniversary - this time next year we'll be celebrating again, and I can't wait to see what that blog post looks like!