Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, March 14, 2021

Since office-less coworking among freelancers and other labor free agents is all the rage, and I don’t want to pay Office Nomads actual money in timeshare-like rent for some non-Starbucks workspace, it’s Jelly for me.

What is Jelly? It’s a semi-regular gathering of independent white-collar workers (like me) who converge on a host dwelling for a day, for the purpose of creating a convivial collaborative work environment. It’s like an office setting without a boss hanging over you. The aim is to network with like-minded individuals (as far as work work-life balance goes) and ward off the shut-in mentality that can take hold from working at home every day.

I don’t usually have to guard against stir-craziness, as I go to one client office or another every day. But I was intrigued by Jelly’s concept, and today I was able to jigger my schedule to attend today’s 2nd anniversary of Jelly.

So here I am, having landed in the founding Manhattan edition of Jelly’s gathering, in midtown’s House 2.0. I think I’ll take the opportunity to maintain a running post, to record the couple of hours I expect to be here. Here goes:

1:27pm - I’ve been here about 10 minutes. CNN cameraman arrived a couple of minutes later. The bigtime! I have mixed feelings about being on camera, but I guess I don’t have to worry about it until/unless they turn the lens on me.

Otherwise, I coughed up four bucks for community pizza, and found a backroom area to fire up the computer and (allegedly) get to work. A bunch of people were already here, mostly in the living room where the building’s elevator opened into. I was a little overwhelmed, so I scurried back here. But I think I’ll relocate myself back up front, if there’s still room.

Also, the house puppy Oscar, a daschund mutt, is making his presence felt. Like I need another distraction from work…

2:17pm - Pizzas arrived, so it was socializing time. Talked to a couple of co-Jelly-ers. One was a developer who’d been to these gatherings before, very low-key guy; he’d just gotten a new iMac which he didn’t have with him, so I think he was just observing. The other was a newbie like me, a budding novelist named Kelly; she was most interested in interacting with live, breathing people versus being alone with her (vibrant) thoughts in her apartment.

2:19pm - Some independent vid-journalist/blogger showed up after CNN left. She’s floating around, interviewing the Jelly hosts and taking random shots.

2:21pm - I figured I’d be the only schmoe here dressed in shirt and tie — and I was right. Couldn’t be avoided as I had onsite client work this morning. I’m also one of the very few non-techies hereabouts, which I also expected. It’s all good; it’s been pointed out to me that a different creative perspective is good to inject into these gatherings. Or something.

2:23pm - At this point, I’m waiting for a 3pm conference call to begin; it’s scheduled for an hour, but I doubt it’ll last even half as long. After that, I may or may not hang here at Jelly for a while longer. In the meantime, I’m tackling a couple of put-off marketing reports (between blogging sessions ;) )

2:51pm - That developer I was talking to earlier: His name is Dan. I’m bad with names.

2:54pm - Weird vibe here. A couple of people are pairing off to collaborate, advise, etc. but most are just hunched over their notebook computers, typing away. Not much in interaction, other than being aware of a live body in close proximity. I guess it’s just feeding off the broader aura.

3:22pm - Just had my lone conference call for the afternoon. Short, as expected, and painless. I have the rest of the afternoon, to Jelly or not.

I’m having a bitch of a time with these marketing reports, which is what I feared (and which is why I held off doing them until now). I may have to shunt these until the weekend. I’ll stick with it for another hour or so and see if I actually accomplish something.

3:44pm - We seem to have hit a lull at House 2.0. Most of the folks seem to have cleared out (temporarily, as there are computers and personal effects lying around), except for me and two other guys. They’re chatting about BarCamp and other techie stuff. Oscar the puppy is wandering about, looking for attention and/or food.

And I’ve hit a lull myself. I’m getting nowhere manipulating these marketing charts. So I’m about ready to give up and re-engage over the weekend.

Overall, not as much social interaction as I thought there’d be. It was nice getting a change of venue for one workday, but it was less stimulating than I’d hoped. Maybe I should have gotten here earlier.

3:49pm - Here’s something, at least: This blog post is already ranking high on a Google search of ‘jelly nyc’, somewhere around No. 20. That’s within a couple of hours of creation. Much love for the Googlebot!

This seems to be it. It was worth a shot. I might try for the next edition, provided it’s in Manhattan. Midtown is nice and central, for me anyway.

The greatest irony: I don’t even like jelly. Peanut butter and honey sandwiches — that’s what I’m talking about!

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 03/14/2008 01:26:15 PM
Category: Business, Society, Creative, New Yorkin'
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