I just left the inaugural session of Philadelphia Jelly coworking. As per a suggestion from Jacob Patton, with a twist from one of the participants, I am considering dubbing this Philadelphian version, Cream Cheese Sessions. Alternatively, we could simply adopt something along the lines of “PhilaJelly”, but I’m a pretty big fan of Cream Cheese Sessions, especially if we can invent some kind of ridiculous back-story :-). I’m open to ideas in the comments.
At any rate, I would call the event a success. Over the course of the day, there were 8 on-site participants (most of whom were there for the entire day). The campfire backchannel that I set up was visited by about a half dozen off-site “drop-ins”, some from Philly, as well as one couple from Rochester that are moving to Philly soon and a friend of mine in Maryland. Additionally, Geoff from P’unk Ave dropped in during the class that he teaches at UArts, and I gave the class a quick overview on Coworking and Jelly via the campfire room.
The cafe that we crashed was the Chapter House at 9th and Bainbridge. Honestly, I felt kinda bad because I didn’t give them a heads up that we were taking over but they were kind enough to not kick us out, this time. Next time I’ll provide some warning and maybe arrange some kind of compensation. But we all bought drinks and most people bought some food.
The spread of talent and skills and “titles” was varied. Everything from designers, developers, project managers, general creatives…there was a good representation across the board. Really, anyone who works alone, or in a non-creative setting, could have benefited from today’s session. And really, you don’t need to even be an indie. A few of our coworkers either “worked from home” (and thats what we are, a home away from home), or took a vacation day to work on side projects.
Will we do it again? Absolutely. As Roz said:
“I felt so much more productive working in an independent yet collaborative environment. I could focus on my work, but draw inspiration from the random moments where we’d all stop briefly and chat about an idea or concept. I hope to make coworking a regular part in my work process.”
And I’d agree.
I’m considering contacting twitter to set up a “PhillyCreamCheese” group that people can join, and I’ll send out an notice (or anyone, really) that I’m working from location “X” today, and anyone can join me. Impromptu Coworking at it’s finest, dontcha think?
This was a great experiment and I can’t wait to see where it takes us as we continue down the road to having an established coworking presence in Philadelphia.
[tags]coworking, jelly, cream cheese sessions, Chapter House, Philadelphia, Independents Hall[/tags]