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July 30, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

How can remote and virtual workers build community

Meetup.com Create a freelancer or entrepreneur Meetup group (which might include virtual or distance workers). You can also advertise it on Craigslist under one of the community sections. Join the local entrepreneur/technology/etc…groups if that interests you. Or you may want to discuss or a hobby and you should be able to find a Meetup which meets those needs. (Craigslist community is also a semi-decent place to find these types of groups as well)

Jellies. Work at or create a Jelly. A Jelly is just a group of people who normally work from a coffee shop, who meet at a common location so they can socialize. There might be a way to build conversation and non-work into the process (ie every hour and a half stop for a 10 minute break). Here is a Wiki for finding local Jellies: http://wiki.workatjelly.com/w/pa…

Co-working, although there is a cost associated with co-working (usually around $10 to $15 a day or $200 a month). If you did it once a week, that would be a cheap way to engage your local tech & entrepreneurial community. You can find out if there is a local co-working space in your area here: http://wiki.coworking.com/w/page… (you can obviously also Google “coworking in X (your home city or nearby big city) as an additional search option)

Scheduled Lunching. Embedding at least two lunches in your week so that you have built in communication with real people. You can obviously grow this goal as time goes on.

Sports Leagues. A pretty common way for people to get together. It also seems like its grown at least in big cities in the US since 2001 or so among 20 to 30 somethings. (bowling, kickball, & flag football seem to be popular). Ultimate frisbee or other forms of outdoor activity like hiking may be more your style. (obviously Meetup, Craigslist, Google should all be able to help you).

Volunteering. Always a pretty decent way to meet people who share your passion–assuming you are able to find the right organization. This shouldn’t be a problem given the need and the internet tools available to find need. For instance: http://www.volunteermatch.org/

I have to think that this is a large need–so ideally there is a critical mass of people who want to get together who would otherwise be isolated.

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