An Interview With Clarke Rahrig

Clarke Rahrig is working directly with Sarah Cox, coordinating the ever-growing number of dedicated wiki volunteers. Outside of working on the wiki, he is the summer intern at Cospace, a student majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas in Austin, and an entrepreneur with a group of friends working on a mobile app called beDJ. Clarke is looking forward to spending some time this summer helping with the Coworking Wiki and making the coworking world a more connected place.

How did you first hear about coworking?
I first heard about coworking when I started looking for a summer internship. I was looking at different postings online and going to career fairs. I stumbled across Cospace and looked into the whole idea and concept of coworking. Coworking was interesting to me because it helps bring individuals together and creates a somewhat traditional work environment while still promoting creativity and learning. Among my internship offers, I knew Cospace was the right fit. This experience has given me an opportunity to see a business grow, meet and network with entrepreneurs in Austin, and learn other valuable skills along the way. Once I started working here, I realized the awesome environment created by placing highly motivated, like-minded individuals in the same room. It’s electric, and makes me want to work harder in all the things that I do. The energy that surrounds coworking is where the true power lies.

What do you think of the current coworking wiki?
I think it has the potential to be an amazing resource of information for people entering the coworking world. The Coworking Wiki is already a go-to resource to find coworking locations in other locales. There’s a woman who has spent time at Cospace who’s now moving to Michigan and looking for a coworking space there. I pointed her to the Coworking Wiki’s space directory. There is also a wide range of information and resources for people looking to start a coworking space. If a person was interested in setting up a space in their community, there are plenty of helpful dos and don’ts posted among the different pages on the site.

What would you most like to see changed about it?
I would love to see the size of the community grow. It seems logical that the Coworking Wiki would be supported by a large number of people working together to make it better. In order for this to happen, the site structure and presentation of information needs to be more user-friendly. It should be super simple to look up all the coworking spaces in Austin, San Francisco, New York, or any location around the world. Information centered on establishing a coworking space should be packaged nicely for any person interested in starting a space in a “How To” guide. Making all the information more presentable will help grow the community around the Coworking Wiki and coworking in general.

What’s your role with the upgrade project?
My role is handling the coordination of volunteers. I figure out their skillset and how they can best apply their volunteered time to improving the Coworking Wiki. I’m effectively Sarah for the summer.

What sort of work do you do as a Cospace intern?
I make sure the main space is running smoothly. This includes cleaning, restocking food and drinks, and being ready to address any general inquiries from potential or current members. I also give tours of the space, sign up new members, and coordinate test drives of the space. In addition, I help define and flesh out processes for programs that Cospace is currently developing and deploying. These programs focus around four categories: Meet, Work, Build, and Learn. Meet is for people meeting in our space, Work is for people interested in coworking, Build is designed to help companies develop an idea or product. Learn facilitates education on a wide range of topics useful for entrepreneurs. On top of all of this, I have been known to make a pot of coffee or two.

Can you tell us about the beDJ app you’re working on?
beDJ is a mobile application that four friends and I are working on. During the last couple of months, we have decided to pivot our focus away from targeting venues in order to target DJs. We are creating a tool for DJs that aids them in connecting with their audiences and establishing a ranking system, among other features.

Is there a part of the Coworking Wiki project that you’re most looking forward to?
The part I am looking forward to most is interacting with the Coworking Wiki team and seeing the process that will make this project a success.

Is there a part that you’re dreading?
As long as I don’t have to figure out how to make a virtual pot of coffee, I’m good.

Among your friends, what’s a cool thing you’re known for?
My height. I’m 6’6” (2m). I often get referenced as “that really tall guy.” Along with the height, I’m also known for my calendar. My friends like to say, “If you’re not in Clarke’s calendar, you don’t exist.” What can I say? I like to keep myself busy.

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