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What were the most important issues for the coworking movement in 2011? As the year draws to a close, Deskmag looks back at the most popular articles. 2011 was our first full year online, and we published exactly 120 articles. We spent a lot of time sourcing information, travelling, and interviewing to bring you the most complete picture of the fast-growing coworking scene. Many thanks to our guest writers, who contributed diversity to the conversation. Here’s a summary of the most popular stories from the past year.

January began with an evaluation of the 2010 Global Coworking Survey, the first in-depth analysis of the movement. Reports from the survey about coworkers, what they want, and why they like their workspaces, were the top three stories for the month, followed by the announcement of the first European Jelly Week (which, by the way, has now gone global, and will take place from January 16 to 22, 2012).

In February we reported on the progress of the coworking movement in two cities which could not be more different: London, one of the four top coworking cities in the world; and Cairo, the city with the most demonstrators, with one coworking space (that’s changing, however; The District will open soon). The focus on cities continued with our article comparing the differences between coworking in big and small towns, which was the second most popular article for the month.

March was all about numbers. We conducted our regular coworking space tally and counted 700 worldwide, which became our most read story for the month. After visiting the Coworking Unconference in Austin, we were inspired to write about succesful business models. And just before that trip, we excamined the difference between North American and European coworking spaces and their members.

After Austin, Deskmag took a side-trip to New York and visited almost all the coworking spaces in the city. That turned into two articles, one about Brooklyn, and one about Manhattan. The second-most popular story for April was a guest article by Eric van den Broek from La Mutinerie in Paris, who adapted Maslow’s theory of the pyramid of needs to coworking (interestingly, Alex Hillman used the same theory to explain why coworking evangelists can sometime seem religious in their fervour).

In May, the majority of readers clicked on the story about the history of coworking, and what distinguishes it from other forms of work. Reports on small networks of coworking spaces (or coworking chains), as well as tools for new coworkers, followed closely behind. A month later, we reported that the number of coworking spaces had reached 820, and we re-interpreted tips from Soundcloud’s community manager David Noel, applying them to coworking spaces.

During the European summer months we focused on the coworker. The most-read articles for July was a guest post about the dozen most useful online tools for coworkers. Deskmag also travelled to Australia to see how coworking is developing down under, and our report on Melbourne’s coworking spaces was well read.

In August we saw an example of how little Regus understands about coworking. Our story on their report into “agile working” and “Martini working” was popular no doubt as our readers tried to understand how the business center giant would attempt to co-opt coworking. A guest article by Nina Pohler about finding a definition for coworking was second most popular, followed by our regular update on the average cost of renting a desk.

In September we approached a number of coworking space operators to give their forecasts on the future of coworking. Their insightful comments turned out to be the most-read story for the month. In October, we published a book review on five coworking titles by our regular contributor Beth Buczynkski. We also ran a comparison between coworking spaces and coffee shops, and some tips on how to avoid social media overload.

The Coworking Europe Conference dominated the month of November. In the run-up to the event, our readers were interested in the start of the second Global Coworking Survey. The first results from the survey, published in November, became our most-read article of the year. Some other noteworthy mentions go to our guest writers Dave Bunnel and Jeanine van der Linden, as well as Genevieve DeGuzman’s article about the five coworking myths.

In December Deskmag paid a visit to Utrecht to speak at a conference, and during the trip we did some research into the coworking-like workspaces flourishing in The Netherlands. Our story proposing that coworking space operators become expert community managers was the most-read story for the final month of 2011. Following that was Oliver Marlow’s tips for designing coworking spaces, and the second part of the Global Coworking Survey looking at profitability. The results from the survey will continue to appear in the early weeks of 2012, so keep reading Deskmag in the New Year.

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January

1: The coworkers

2: What coworkers want

2: Why coworkers like their coworking spaces

4: The first European Jelly Week

 

February

1: Coworking spaces in London

2: Coworking spaces in big cities vs. small towns

3: Coworking in Cairo during protests

 

March

1: Number of Coworking Spaces increases to 700 worldwide

2: Profitable coworking business models

3: Coworking North America vs. Europe

 

April

1: Brooklyn's creative hotspots

2: The coworking pyramid of needs

3: Coworking in Manhattan, NYC

 

May

1: The cultural background of coworking

2: The rise of small coworking space networks

3: Three useful tools for new coworkers

 

June

1: Coworking's steady growth: 820 spaces now active worldwide

2: The average cost of coworking: two cups of coffee a day

3: Capital C - How to build a community

 

July

1: Ten mobile apps for traveling freelancers

2: Coworking in Australia: Melbourne

3: Exceptional coworking space models

 

August

1: The slow death of the traditional office

2: Coworking 101: A new definition

3: The infrastructure of coworking spaces

 

September

1: The future of coworking

2: Three in a hundred freelancers go coworking

3: Close enough? - The Amsterdam Incubation Experiment

 

October

1: Five must-read books about coworking

2: Home Office, Coffee Shop, or Coworking Space? A comparison.

3: How to Avoid Social Media Overload

 

November

1: First results of the 2nd Global Coworking Survey

2: Is coworking the new incubator?

3: Five big myths about coworking

 

December

1: Coworking operators as expert community managers

2: Designing a successful coworking space

3: How profitable are coworking spaces?

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