For the past two weeks, we’ve been soliciting your thoughts and feedback on the Coworking Wiki – what it is and what it could be. We want to share that feedback. Check back for next week’s post, in which we’ll go into more detail on how we plan to address these concerns with the redesign.
How did you first hear about the wiki?
Respondents most frequently found the wiki through a Google search for “coworking.” We heard from a few people who stumbled across it while using coworking-interest websites, like the Google group and Deskmag. Some had their first encounter with the wiki after seeing it referenced by a small business news outlet, like Emergent Research. It’s pretty clear – if you’re trying to learn more about coworking, regardless of where you start, you’re going to encounter the wiki at some point.
What do you think about the current wiki?
Here are two fairly representative replies:
“I have consulted with the wiki on occasion. It has a few useful parts, but some of it is not very up-to-date, and it’s hard to navigate. Many links on the front page are hit-or-miss as to whether or not they’re useful and/or working. I haven’t plumbed its depths yet, as I tend to get overwhelmed when I spend too much time on it.” -Sabrina Simpson, Catalyst, Plymouth, UK
“My overall impression of the wiki is that it’s difficult to find what I need. I tend to utilize the Google group for daily interaction on a topic.” -Rayann Larsen, The Work Spot
Do you use the wiki for anything now? Have you ever?
People come to the wiki for advice on their current efforts. Catalysts peruse the business models and rate samples (there are broken links to common legal issues and a coworker’s guide. Drat!). There’s also contact information for individuals listing themselves as Catalyst mentors, but no word on whether or not anyone has utilized these contacts. One person wrote, “The ‘Getting Started’ guide starts off well, but then drifts off into headings with no content.” Sabrina had a great Catalyst’s question that can’t be answered by the present wiki: How does one market a collaborative community to potential coworkers when one doesn’t yet have a community to show them?
Space Owners come to the wiki for information on growth and ways to further collaboration across spaces. The most helpful resource on the homepage right now is a list of coworking tools and projects, like the Coworking Visa and STAYWITH.IT. The page for owners has a list of mentor contact information, but we didn’t hear from anyone who’d reached out or if the contact information is still up-to-date. Where would you go if you were looking for feedback on a specific project, like how to foster more openness and community among your clients? What about the debate on private vs. public office space? Or opening satellite locations? The wiki lacks a structure for organizing and storing information on topics like these.
Rebecca Brian, Community Curator + Co-founder at NextSpace, liked the concept of a map-based Coworking Directory. Rebecca also pointed to the general look of the site, calling for some color and layout changes to make it more visually appealing. Rayann suggested we layout the resource sections of the site in a way that mimics the stages a successful Catalyst/Space Owner would go through, “inception to execution to growth and development to maintenance within a space.” These are great ideas! Universal to all of the feedback we’ve received are these essentials: we want a wiki that’s organized, easy to use, and maintained.
If you were talking to a stranger about coworking, what would you most want to communicate to them?
“Try out a few top-rated spaces before choosing one. Each one has their own vibe, and finding your community starts with meeting the people who will become your tribe.” -Rebecca Brian, NextSpace
Special thanks to Rayann Larsen of The Work Spot, Rebecca Brian of NextSpace, and Sabrina Simpson for going above and beyond in their replies to our questionnaire!