One of the interesting comments left to Damien's post about the success that was ShareIT (congrats all) was from Jenny Kent where she mentioned something I'd not heard of but the sound of which definitely piqued my interest -
"I was at a SoHo Solo meeting this morning where there was a lot of interest in the Business Advisory & ShareIT. I’ll be sure to include that group on the mailing list for the next session."
SoHo Solo? Hmmm? I've written a lot lately about Bedouin workspaces, hot-desking nomads and coworking but I'd never heard of SoHo Solo which turns out to be a wonderful European initiative with a local presence right here on my doorstep in southwest Ireland (Cork & Kerry) -
"The Soho/Solo project was launched in 2003 as a European pilot project funded by the Interreg IIIB 'Atlantic Area' Programme for two years. The programe promotes the Atlantic regions of Europe as better places to live and work, encouraging rural sustainability and regeneration.
The aims of the project are to identify Small Office Home Office Workers(Soho Solos) in the South West of Ireland, to encourage others to relocate or return to the region, to promote Small Office Home Office Working and to offer support to these "new" entrepreneurs."
The site includes a member's directory with 39 people currently listed in the New Information and Communication Technologies section alone. Tom Raftery, why aren't you on there? The list could do with a Social Media Consultant.
Some of the Atlantic Regions of Europe covered by the umbrella Soho Solo project include the Canary Islands, Cadiz (Spain) and Beira (Portugal). One page poses the question - have you considered relocating to one of the participating regions? Have I what!
It all reminds me of a wonderfully dreamy post I read over on That Vodoo You Do - Coworking goes abroad. Janette observes that,
"The geek nomad idea is based on the twin observations that a change of scenery can be great for the brain, and that there are plenty of places in the world that are beautiful, cheap, and well-connected (to the internet, anyway). If you are working on a mid- to long-term project, or building that app for your start-up, why not go off somewhere beautiful and cheap to do it? You’d need to have established a good relationship with your client or be working for yourself, but with skype and a fast connection, why not?"
Why not indeed? Especially for someone like myself who doesn't yet have a wife and kids 'holding me back'. But even for family men like Conor and Walter, why wouldn't they take advantage of an opportunity to go on a working holiday (for themselves but a proper holiday for the family) if it's a choice between that and no holiday at all.
I definitely suffer from cabin fever now again working from home. If I knew there were good coworking facilities available in any of the Soho Solo locations along the Atlantic seaboard I'd jump to the opportunity of a more regular working holiday. I wonder if this is an idea the project could embrace?