An Interview with Sarah Cox

Sarah CoxSarah Cox is the Coworking Wiki project’s Volunteer Coordinator. As operations manager at Cospace in Austin, she’s used to herding cats, so why not volunteers, too? Sarah believes it’s important for the coworking community to support each other so that we can all be successful, so she’s doing her part to make the coworking world (and wiki) a better place.

How did you first hear about coworking?
Actually, through the coworking space I manage now, Cospace. I used to run into co-founder Pat Ramsey pretty regularly at tech events, and finally after a good friend joined, I had to come check it out. It was pretty incredible – such a great mix of brilliant people, all grinding away on their passions in one big communal space. Since I know a ton of freelancers, the concept of coworking made sense to me immediately.

How did you get involved with it?
Cospace co-founder Kirtus Dixon was looking for help running it while he took a timeout to focus on his other startup, GroupCharger. The community needed someone with the right combination of space management and geek wrangling skills, so a wonderful developer I used to work with (and Cospace member) referred me for the gig. It immediately felt like home, and Kirtus tells me I was always the missing piece that Cospace needed. I like to think that I’ve made it a better experience for members, and I’m sure I’ve made some friends for life here.

Have you ever used the coworking wiki before?

What did you think of it?
It’s not easy! Initially I was trying to check out other spaces in Austin, but it looked to me like half of them had already come and gone. It was helpful when I was looking for ideas for the types of events I could hold for members, but I’d like to see it get more organized.

What’s your role with the upgrade project?
I’m the Volunteer Coordinator, so I’ll be trying to figure out who wants to help and the best way to apply their skills.

What inspired you to get involved with the wiki upgrade?
It’s twofold. Since Cospace wants to be a leader in coworking, we need to do our part for the whole community. Also, as someone who had limited exposure to coworking just a year ago and was suddenly all-in, I had a lot to learn (and I still do!). The knowledge in the community is fantastic, and I think an organized library of everyone’s ideas would be immeasurably useful.

What would you most like to see changed about it?
I crave order and purpose, so I want everything to be organized and useful. Like I mentioned with those member events, that’s something that could easily be its own category, but everything is just scattered. It’s definitely going to require some systems to keep it neat, so I’m looking forward to developing those as well.

Is there a part of your job with the upgrade that you’re looking forward to? What is it?
I love the idea that everyone who wants to lend a hand with this project will be able to. I understand that one person might have an hour per week and one person might have an hour per year to contribute. I think giving people the tasks that they want and are suited for will make volunteering that much easier, and more appealing.

Is there a part you’re dreading?
Asking for money. Eek! You’d think as a former Girl Scout I’d be ready to go door-to-door, but I’m also a total cheapskate.

Why do you think this is important?
If coworking is going to thrive as a movement, we really need to band together. This wiki should be, will be, the easiest way to share knowledge and learn from the experience of others. There are coworking rockstars out there who seem to have it all figured out (I’m looking at you, Alex Hillman), but the rest of us need to speak up and realize that we all have something that could help someone else out.

What’s the the funniest or most awkward way someone has hit on you/you’ve hit on someone else?
One time I was in England at a pub on trivia night, and this random guy at the bar started yelling at my teammate. I gave him crap all night. Later, to really make him pay for it, I married him. He’ll think twice before he ever pulls something like that again.

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