Web Worker Daily has a series of thought provoking predictions for 2007. (Of course, this time of year, who doesn’t?) What’s notable is the crystal ball bit about Starbuck launching a series of coworking cafes toward the end. From the piece:
Wish 7: Starbucks introduces a chain of coworking cafes. Instead of jazzy music, customers would hear white-noise style nature sounds like waterfalls or babbling brooks. Wifi would be free, once you joined the coworking club for a reasonable yearly membership fee. Each coworking cafe would include rentable conference and napping rooms–even the most motivated web workers need a rest now and then. Customers could rent the use of large flat-panel displays for an hourly or daily fee. Personal coaches, massage therapists, and tech support specialists could offer appointments to soothe any career, body, or computer problems that arise while coworking. Bonus: a soundproof childcare room would keep the kids busy while Mom and Dad get their work done.
Reality Check: Coworking venues have been popping up in most progressive tech-oriented cities and that will continue in 2007 at both the grass roots and luxury ends of the spectrum, but a national chain with consistent quality and offerings along the lines of what Starbucks brought to coffee houses probably won’t appear for a few years, after sustainable business models for coworking cafes are developed and refined on a local basis.
What do you think? Would you be more likely to leave the comfy confines of a home office for a shop up the street if it was devoted to mobile workers? What kind of needs would such a place have to meet?
The 2007 edition of Software for Starving Students is out! One of the greatest enablers of independent web working is the wealth of freely available tools. SoftwareFor.org, the organization behind the package, goes out and finds the best available stuff and puts it all together in one easy to grab package. From the press release:
Software for Starving Students is a free collection of programs organized for students (but available to anyone). We’ve gathered a list of best-in-class programs onto one CD (one disc for OS X, one for Windows), including a fully-featured office suite, a cutting-edge web browser, multi-media packages, academic tools, utilities and more.
If you’d like to help the cause throw the fine fellows a Digg vote to help spread the news. They’d be most grateful.
From the makers of Connect, a Utah business mag with attractive design, comes Launch. It’s a free magazine all about entrepreneurship (ugh, there really has got to be a better name than that five syllable cluster of vowels). From their email:
LAUNCH is a free, bi-monthly, online publication focusing solely on Utahâs entrepreneurial experience- written by entrepreneurs, and those that mentor, support and invest in them.
Featured in this issue:
- Fueling your startup in Utah- pros and cons
- Columns on working with mentors, getting funding, sales and the daily life of an entrepreneur
- Building a top-notch management team
- Special âentrepreneur-to-entrepreneurâ? interview
- Spotlighting one of our own
- Dashboard of whatâs happening in Utah
Useful resource or just another venue for entrepreneurs to toot their own horn? Time will tell.
www.launchutah.com – hat tip to Rob Merrill
Yesterday I posted about a couple of new tools we’ve developed to aid the freelance and web community in Salt Lake City.
What about mashing up some RSS classified ads from Craigslist into their own area? Perhaps mix in a dash of results from Indeed.com?
Over the weekend I made some decent progress on two new tools for Salt Lake’s mobile web set. While both are works in progress hopefully there is already enough there to make them useful to a few folks.
The first is a Google Maps page with displays the location of free (or nearly free) WiFi zones. I’ll be adding more information as I have time. If anyone has a location not listed or would like to update one of the existing points please leave a comment among the original set of addresses. I’ll also be doing one for Utah County (Provo, Orem) is short order. Most likely it will be the same set of points (for scrollers) but with a different start position.
Next is incorporation of a Google Calendar feed into its own dedicated page. Earlier this year Jordan Gunderson created a ‘Utah Tech Events’ calendar. Unfortunately, it hasn’t become the rich resource of Utah geek events as it could have been. Hopefully, by giving it a bit more visibility and showing how that data can be repurposed we’ll see event organizers take a more proactive role in its upkeep. I’m not entirely enamored with how the plug-in renders the feed; the layout may change in the future.
Got any other ideas for useful tools? What else would make you a better mobile new-media mercenary?
From Chris Messina’s blog comes word of two events happening this weekend:
In case youâve not heard or been before, the fourteenth classic SHDH will be taking place this weekend (tomorrow) at David Weeklyâs SuperHappyFunHouse in Hillsborough, CA. Geektivities start at 1pm and last post-BBQ to 1am.
Oh, and donât forget! Sunday at the Open Source Application Foundation at 543 Howard St, Todd Davies is putting on Technology and Politics Camp, a BarCamp derivative, billed as âa hands-on day of networking, brainstorming, and planning for organizations working at the intersection of politics and the Internet (or media in general)â?.
From ValleyWag’s Silicon Valley User’s Guide comes a list of handy tips for keeping the karma coming while working from that new freelancer center, the WiFi coffee hub:
- Unless the place has a sign forbidding laptop use, you’re welcome to boot up.
- If you’re not paying for Wi-Fi, spend about $5 an hour on coffee, snacks and tips. If the place is packed, make it ten.
- Not hungry? Take your five-spot and put it in the tip jar.
- Carry a power strip! One outlet can power twenty 100-watt laptops without blowing a fuse. That’s still less wattage than your hair dryer.
- Hogging the socket is the #1 laptop offense. If there aren’t enough power outlets for everyone, charge up your laptop just enough to run for an hour. Then let someone else jack in until you need to recharge.
- Laptop Offense #2: If it’s crowded, offer to share your table.
I’m not sure that Utah has quite the same going rate that Silicon Valley has (the five-spot in the tip jar) but taking advantage of free wifi without giving something back to the hosts is a big no-no.
As for the free wifi at many of the areas fine city and county libraries – well, technically that is payed for by the communities taxes. One just has to navigate the widely varying levels of security and login processes.
While the phenom of always on connectivity and distributed workforces may be new to us a new report by New Media Age looks at how our kids are adjusting. From Web Worker Daily comes a thought provoking question: If the kids are always on the go doing whatever whenever, how will employers get them to sit in a cube?
Especially interesting are some of the comments:
We have a similar study out there – we call these workers âOut Thereâ?. You can read more about it at this blog entry here.
Our main findings:
People who are âOut Thereâ? are more likely to:
- Value fame as an âassetâ?
- Willing to share certain types of sensitive information on the web
- Believe it is appropriate to criticize their organizations on the web
- Believe that âorganizations need to be more transparent to succeedâ?
- Believe âthereâs no harm in openly discussing the work I do inside my organization with othersâ?
From the Yahoo business blog comes a story about the changing face of corporate life:
Best Buy did not invent the post-geographic office. Tech companies have been going bedouin for several years. At IBM, 40% of the workforce has no official office; at AT&T, a third of managers are untethered. Sun Microsystems Inc. calculates that it’s saved $400 million over six years in real estate costs by allowing nearly half of all employees to work anywhere they want. And this trend seems to have legs. A recent Boston Consulting Group study found that 85% of executives expect a big rise in the number of unleashed workers over the next five years. In fact, at many companies the most innovative new product may be the structure of the workplace itself.
Yesterday I posted about the tendency for the new web workforce to move creation from their garages to cafes. The keystone for the shift is the collaboration that can happen when people get together in the same room. However, that meeting of the minds wouldn’t take place if the room didn’t have wi-fi, or wireless Internet.
Here is just a partial list of free WiFi hotspots in Salt Lake. You can read the full Utah list wififreespot.com:
Apple Store – The Gateway Mall – 801-456-1948
Beans and Brews – at 500E and 900S
Beans and Brews – 5373 S 3600 W
Beans and Brews – 2707 Highland Dr
Beans and Brews – 2335 Fort Union Blvd
Beans and Brews – 5900 S State St
Beehive Tea Room – 12 West 300 South
Brew’D Awakening – 2005 East 3300 South – 801-485-5427
Brewvies – 677 South 200 West
Cocoa Caffe – 282 East 800 South – (801) 364-3332
Coffee Garden – 898 S. 900 E. – 801-355-3425
Coffee Under the Bridge – 511 W. 200 S. – 801-359-2278
Club Try-Angles – 900 S between 200 & 300 West
Dolce Coffee – 2236 S. 1300 E. – 801-466-3717
Greenhouse Effect Coffee – 3231 S 900 E – (801) 483-0885
Krewson’s Sunrise Cafe & Sunset Bar – 206 S.W. Temple
Lumpy’s Highland – 3000 S. Highland Dr. – 801-484-5597
Lumpy’s Downtown – 145 Pierpont Ave. – 801-938-3070
Main Street from South Temple to 400 South
Mo’s Neighborhood Grill – 358 S West Temple – (801) 359-0586
Murphy’s Bar & Grill – 160 S. Main Street – 801-359-7271
Nostalgia Coffee – 248 E. 100 S. – 801-532-3225
Paradise Bakery & Cafe – 1010 E. 2100 South – 801-485-6100
Piper Down – 1492 S State St – (801) 328-2586
Port O’ Call – 78 W. 400 S. – 801-521-0589
Rosewood – 4110 Highland Dr – (801) 278-9148
Salt Lake Art Center – 20 South West Temple – (801) 328-4201
Salt Lake Coffee Break – 430 E 400 S – (801) 355-4244
Salt Lake Roasting Company – get WEP key at the counter – 320 East 400 South
Salt Lake City Library (Main Branch) – 210 East 400 South – (801) 524-8200 and also Day-Riverside, Sweet/Avenues, Chapman and Sprague branches
Sam Weller’s Zion Bookstore Coffee Garden – 254 S Main St – (801) 328-2586
Sapp Bros. Truck Stop – 1953 California Avenue – 801-977-3900
Stoneground – 249 East 400 South – (801) 364-1368
Thaifoon – 7 North 400 West – (801) 456-8424
The Bayou – 645 S State Street – 801-961-8400
The Green Ant – 2011 S. 1100 E. – 801-595-1818
The Huddle – 2400 E. Fort Union – 801-438-8300
The Leonardo at Library Square – 209 East 500 South
The Zanzibar – 677 S. 200 W. – 801-746-0590
The Daily Brews – 6556 S. Big Cottonwood Cyn Road – (801) 947-0848
Two Creek Coffee House – 502 E. 3RD Ave.
University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott Library – 295 S 1500 E
Nate Wade Subaru – 1207 South Main – 801-355-7571
Peery Hotel – for guests only – 110 West Broadway (300 South)
Prime Hotel – all guest rooms – 215 W. South Temple
Crystal Inn – for registered guests – 230 West 500 South
Hotel Monaco – guest rooms and lobby – 50 West 200 South – 877-294-9710
Days Inn – 315 W 3300 S
Jagged Edge Retreat – 375 S. Main Street – 801-355-4674
Shilo Inn – 206 S.W. Temple
Hampton Inn Salt Lake City, Downtown – 425 South 300 West – 800-HAMPTON
Is your favorite WiFi spot missing from the list? A quick scan shows that it’s missing Liberty Park and many of the city libraries – spots that are wifi enabled through the generousity of Xmission. What else is missing?