Public work places

Again, I find myself looking for public places - coffee shops, cafes, libraries - to work from, and again, I find myself at a loss for resources to help me find them.

Is there an upcoming.org of public work spots? (Notice I didn’t say “flickr of”.) A site that lets everyone add, review, tag, index, search, and triangulate them? That tells about the atmosphere, the furniture, the coffee, the food, whether they welcome workers, the smoking policy, and whether you pay for wi-fi and through which provider.

Does anything like that already exist?

If not, who wants to do it with me? I need someone to do the graphic design and the CSS.

It’d be for fun, not for profit, of course. As a service to the new generation of independent laptop agents worldwide. Shouldn’t be hard, really.

7 comments

Ved ikke om jeg har nævnt den før, men Cafe Retro på Knabrostræde er hyggelig, billig og med gratis net. De åbner dog først kl 16 de fleste dage.
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Jarkko Laine

When I was working a few weeks in Leiden, I had two ideas for a pet project: integrating WimpyPoint with S5 (hell I even wrote a "microgrant proposal":http://jlaine.net/articles/26/integrating-s5-with-openacswimpypoint-an-openacs-microgrant-proposal on that) and perhaps creating a public service out of that, and a service with working name "WirelessHotel". The idea for the latter came from the fact that it was mostly impossible to get independent information about the connectivity in hotels around Europe. They claimed to provide free internet, but it often turned out to be an (I kid you not) ISDN plug in the room. In Leiden I was lucky enough that the neighbours of both hotels I used had open wifi in their apartments so with some acrobacy I could get my daily email and rss fixes. That provoked the idea of a site where people could add hotels (or other places) with parameters like wireless/wired internet, free/paid, how it worked etc. These could then be commented and challenged in a wiki manner. Needless to say, I never got it further from an idea, but your post now reminds me that there is a sore need for that kind of service. So, why not? Ping me if you want to push it further.
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I'm interested in helping out, as I do at least 50% of my work in public places. However, as you probably know, I'm more of a Rails/backend guy. There are tons of sites that list wifi hotspots, but they all look like spam sites and as far as I can tell are usually run by ISPs attempting to provide hotspots. Something that looked and worked more like yelp.com would be wonderful - especially if the site was global in nature. I have found myself in San Francisco, Tokyo, Melbourne and Boston throughout the year and it would be nice to know the best spots to go.
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Yeah, I think the need is pretty clear, and there doesn't seem to be anyone filling tha need. We got plenty of Rails chops, but we still need the designer ...
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Jarkko Laine

I meant I could play the designer in the beginning and you can handle the backend stuff. I'm pretty confident with my XHTML/CSS skills and we can always bring an artist aboard later if it takes off.
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Anders Pollas

Does it have to be drop-dead-gorgeous - or is it something I can do? ;-) Love the idea - in any case, I'll use the site. Frequently.
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It sounds like we have ourselves a team. I've posted the "first draft of a feature list":http://pinds.com/articles/2005/11/11/public-work-places-the-feature-list.
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