One of the coolest things about Austin is its sense of community. When I moved here from New Orleans 7 years ago, I worried it would take awhile for me to make new friends, to build relationships, to develop a supportive community. My worrying was needless. In this town, I find community everywhere; and it’s always welcoming and wholly inclusive. It’s a signature of this city, and today is a perfect example.
At Conjunctured co-working space in East Austin (one of my favorite parts of town) there are 60 people, all gathered to blog, discuss, and share knowledge about communications and all its facets. The brain (and sweat) child of Ilene Haddad, BlogathonATX Part Deux personafies community. There are young people just beginning their careers and middle aged people who are more established and even people in their 60′s and 70′s who want to stay current and engaged, all sharing freely their knowledge and dreams, their ideas and concerns. It’s downright peace and love inspirational, warm and fuzzy stuff. Furthermore, it’s a helluva lotta fun. And it was a great place for us to launch The PR Channel today, surrounded by people who support us and understand how much we love our work.
As an aside, organized co-working is a great way to fully participate in community; something that our fast, competitive society had lost sight of for awhile. If you find that you work alone a lot, consider co-working a couple of days a week in a coffee shop or at a co-working space (for a small monthly fee) or at one of several Austin Jellies. You’ll make new friends, you’ll find that you’re surprisingly productive and inspired when surrounded by them, and you’ll validate what you’ve known all along: working and living and truly engaging in community is the healthiest, happiest way to live. (Photo of Ilene Haddad & Annette Priest by Summer Huggins)