Skip to Content

Alex Hillman

better coworking, better business, and better communities

Twitter Instagram

Search this Site

Type in terms like retention, culture, or tummling and press enter to search.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for by searching, don’t give up! Shoot me a message on Twitter, I might be able to point you to a post about the thing you’re looking for.

my first barcamp, my first coworking pitch, and how Indy Hall got its name

3 minute read
by Alex Hillman

this past few weeks has been a networking whirlwind. every place i go, every person i meet, every email i send, is another business connection. and it’s all peaked in the last 24 hours leaving me barely able to sleep (though I’m gonna try again once I’m done with this entry).



A month or two back, right around when I became obsessed with coworking, I discovered that someone was FINALLY going to be holding a barcamp format meetup in Philly. CMAccess, a staffing/marketing firm, organized the event and while I was initially concerned about ulterior motives coming out of a company throwing a barcamp rather than an individual, or team, I cannot think of a single bad thing to say about the organizing team from CMAccss, or the event itself, except that it was too short!

Since it was their first time with the format, they blocked out a smaller, trial run event that took up 3-ish hours on a saturday (yesterday) afternoon. ultimately, 4 presentations took place in those 3 hours, but plenty of open and intelligent discussion took place.


Camp organizer MaryHelen Votral spoke about some of the benefits of LinkedIn as both a business networking too, and a job search too.

Self proclaimed “blogger, filmmaker, snark addict” David Dylan Thomas put together a wonderful discussion about blogging that not only served as an intro to the process and technology for some people, but focused on the writing styles the format invokes, specifically the idea of “3 dimensional writing” (in other words, using hyperlinks to write THROUGH the page, not just on it), where it’s appropriate, and where it’s not.

Another brief discussion held by Eric Moss on the process of podcast production, and what the format means for the information it conveys.

Also, a quick demo of some sweet automatic rotoscope tools by creator Stan Schwartz, who is also a BarCamp veteran.

the diversity of backgrounds people came from was incredible. I was so pleased to be sharing space with a mix that ranged from state legislator Mark Cohen, who blogs for to language industry veteran Bernard Falkoff, who blew me away when he was telling stories about writing user manuals for Frogger on Commodore64, as well as annual reports for my sar/favorite/sar soup company to remain unnamed (hint, it ain’t prego.)

My first time talking about coworking

And there, in the middle of those sessions, and in front of nearly 3 dozen participants, I made my pitch. I explained coworking to the crowd.

I explained the benefits it provides, the self-sufficient community it creates, and shared my overall passion for bringing the idea to Philadelphia.

The response was…well…incredible. Watching reactions of people from all different industries, walks of life, interests, backgrounds, etc, all get interested about this idea was amazing. and not just interested, but quickly passionate as well.

One participant, Lauren Galanter, even suggested an AWESOME name for the space: Independents Hall. how beautiful is that. I offered to help coordinate the next event in any way possible, because it was such a HUGE success and SO much fun. and the rush of public speaking is like nothing else on this planet. i love it. i wanna go on tour.

i like to talk

christ, what else…

finally hooked up the coworkingphilly wiki page on the main coworking wiki. interested? contribute! get involved. the more talent we have to kick this thing off, the better the community is going to thrive.

im sure i missed something. im sure ill be writing plenty more in days and weeks to come. i know ill be DOING plenty more, thats for sure.

my only other regret is not getting more pictures. i’m so bad at taking pictures when i go places, having a nice camera is still new to me. 🙁

what an exciting weekend.

This will help make sure you can find the most useful resources. I respect your privacy & email. Absolutely no spam, and I won't ever share your data. Pinky promise! 🤞

Hey, thanks for reading!

Alex Hillman I am always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust and business. I founded Indy Hall in 2006, making us one of oldest fully independent coworking communities in the world. This site is packed with the lessons and examples I’ve learned along the way. You can find me on Twitter, too! 🐦 Say hi.