Category Archives: In English

Read all English content of the official Cowo blog, with stories on the coworking space network operating with +50 spaces in Italy and Spain.

[Cowo Manifesto] Coworkers are not customers. Coworkers are professionals working with you.

People who know us also know that we care a lot about sharing a healthy communications of coworking’s best practices.

That is why we created the Cowo Manifesto, 10 points that explain what coworking means to us.

We have already started exploring the different points (here’s the post dedicated to rule number 1 “Coworking is just a word. Only people give it meaning”, the one on number 2 “We make work a better experience through space/knowledge sharing, every day” and the one on no. 10, “Coworking is a labour of love”).

In this post we want to talk about relationships and language.

Basically, we want to point out that the coworker is not a client – even if s/he may look like one, since he’s paying a fee to use the space.

A coworker is much more: a professional that is part of our network.

So we like to say it again and again:

Coworkers are not customers. Coworkers are professionals working with you

(Cowo Manifesto – number 3) 

Al coworking non ci sono clienti

It is also a matter of language: the words you use imply a way of thinking, an attitude, even a certain behavior.

In a coworking, relationships form an open system, that includes collaboration, networking and – why not -  cheerfulness.

 

Reminder – Cowo Manifesto is available in several languages: ItalianFrenchSpanish, Dutch and Russian.

Here’s the English version:

COWO MANIFESTO

  1. Coworking is just a word. Only people give it meaning.
  2. We make work a better experience through space/knowledge sharing, every day
  3. Coworkers are not clients. They are professionals working with you.
  4. We are part of a larger community, both physical and online, and we speak to each other.
  5. In our model, relationships come first, profit comes second.
  6. Our professional skills are constantly enriched by our community.
  7. We don’t believe in competition. This makes us highly competitive.
  8. Coworking enjoys the best marketing strategy: happiness
  9. Coworking is always the beginning of something.
  10. “Coworking is a labour of love” (Tara Hunt)

 

1 Comment

Filed under In English

Freelancers of the world: make your voice heard, support the Freelancer Movement campaign!

A movement of freelancers is building up in Europe: Freelancer Movement.

They are currently organizing a major communications campaign to build support for the Freelancers manifesto and present it to candidates to the European elections in May.

The campaign will be entirely funded through crowdfunding.

Here you can find all the necessary information and give your personal contribution to the initiative.

Freelancers from all over Europe, as well as a host of local and national associations – including  Acta for Italy – are taking part in the campaign.

Together we want to get politicians to start listening to our concerns.

Alone we are invisible. Together we are powerful: make your voice heard, support the campaign!

(Cowo is a supporting partner to the initiative).

Leave a Comment

Filed under In English

The true story of coworking, according to the guy that started it. And the inaccuracies of Wikipedia on Coworking.

Neuburg sul coworkingPeople in the coworking community know and love the “myth of the founding fathers”, a bunch of coders in California who created the first coworking space around 2005.

If you go to coworking conference, you’re likely to hear names like Brad Neuberg, Tara Hunt and Chris Messina.

And, of course, a reference to the Wikipedia page on “coworking”.

A few days ago, though, the person who invented coworking, declared that he had found several inaccuracies on that page.

First of all, Brad writes, he is the one who invented coworking.
First coworking space The Spiral Muse

Then Tara Hunt e Chris Messina came along to help him, and they worked as a team to share knowledge about coworking, by creating a Coworking Wiki and Coworking Google Group. They also filmed the presentation video that you can find below (with over 10 thousand  views on YouTube).

Brad also said that Bernie De Koven has nothing to do with coworking, apart from owning the coworking.com domain for some time.

The first coworking space was The Spiral Muse (and not The Hat Factory): Brad used to open it twice a week, thanks to the financial support of his father. The space remained open for about a year.

So, now that our founding father Brad Neuburg set the record straight… we need someone to fix the Wikipedia Coworking page accordingly, don’t we!

Coworking on Wikipedia: according to Brad Neuburg there are mistakes

Leave a Comment

Filed under In English

[From the Cowo Manifesto] “We make work a better experience through space/knowledge sharing, every day”.

We have already discussed the Cowo Manifesto, those 10 little rules that help us remember what coworking means for us (here’s the post dedicated to rule number 1 “Coworking is just a word. Only people give it meaning”, here’s the one on no. 10, “Coworking is a labour of love”).

Today, we’ll dig deeper on rule number 2, the relationship between people in coworking spaces and work itself:

We make work a better experience through space/knowledge sharing, every day

In every Cowo space, each person works hard, of course, but without forgetting that everyone’s knowledge that may help others – either directly or indirectly.

There are several ways for a coworker to make the coworking experience more meaningful for herself and for others… some of them:

1 . Sharing stories about her own personal work experience

2. Building networks with other coworkers

3. Giving/Asking for specific services 

4. Telling more about her work during community building activities (an example? Our monthly meeting, Presentation Lunch!)Cowo Presentation Lunch

5. Joining professional networks through other coworkers

6. Exchanging knowledge – all kinds of knowledge! (I teach you how to open a blog, you teach me how to play tennis!)

7. Supporting a Cowo space and suggesting new activities

All this contributes in making a difference in a coworking Cowo environment – so that everybody may have the best community experience!

The Cowo Manifesto has been released in ItalianFrenchSpanishDutch and Russian.

Below, the English version:

1 Comment

Filed under In English

[From the Cowo Manifesto] “Coworking is just a word. Only real people give it meaning”.

Every single time we meet to talk about coworking, the same question pops up:

“Ok, but what’s coworking, really?”

At that point, somebody usually giggles.

The question is important, of course, but the answer is not a single and “stable” one, as the whole process is constantly changing.

To clear up – to us, first of all – what we’re talking about, in 2011 we felt the need to summarize our own answer as Cowo: that’s why we wrote the ten points of the Cowo Manifesto.

While the English version of the Cowo Manifesto on SlideShare has received more than 23,000 visits so far, we still feel about going deeper on its points.

After examining point number 10 “Coworking is a labour of love“, today let’s go straight to number 1:

Coworking is just a word. Only real people give it meaning.

The Manifesto could well stop here, given the importance of this aspect.

But there is more to say, on this: community and language.

It’s true, coworking is made of walls, chairs, desks and wifi, but it’s even truer that if you don’t have even a small group of people, that place is just an (empty) office.

Only  relationships between people – even just a coffee together from time to time  – define “coworking” as such.

Then, language: the attention to words is key for us at Cowo, as the network has developed thanks to word-of-mouth, an important and peculiar way of communications.

For all these reasons, the first point of our Cowo Manifesto focuses on community – it’s a way of saying:

If you don’t have a community… just don’t use the word “coworking”, you mind? :-)

The Cowo Manifesto has been released in Italian, French, Spanish, Dutch and Russian.

Below, the English version:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Coworking Marketing, In English