A Contest for your Desk

Date: Saturday, January 10, 2009 by GTD Times Staff

A Community Contribution by Venkatesh Rao

If you are into GTD, your desk/main workspace is probably a constant source of intellectual stimulation for you. Do you think your workspace manifests and models the future of work? If so, take a quick picture and tweet it to @cloudworker on twitter (run by the folks at cloudworker.org). You’ll need to upload it somewhere like twitpic first of course, and you’ll need a twitter account (if you’ve been waiting to try twitter, this is the perfect excuse). The deadline is Jan 31. You could win some cool prizes. I hope a GTDer wins! Here’s my (noncompeting) entry, a picture I took of my desk with its own webcam. I call it “My desk introspects.”

There’s an interesting story behind this contest. A few months ago, Plantronics ran a contest inviting people to suggest words to replace ‘telecommuter,’ since we all lead lives that are so much more complex these days. My entry, ‘cloudworker’ was the winning entry. I define it as ‘someone who uses the flexibility of on-demand work anywhere/anyplace technology to craft a my-size-fits-me career.’ You can read the series of articles I’ve been writing about the concept here. In a lot of ways, this is an idealized archetype similar to what David likes to call a ‘martial artist’ of work. The difference of course, lies in the special emphasis on the use of virtual work technology and the economic emphasis on people who build an element of entrepreneurship into their careers (even if only through a blog).

The contest and the cloudworker entry got quite a lot of attention, and it is continuing unabated, so I’ve stopped updating the page above. Some friends of mine, who run a design and innovation startup company called WilsonCoLab, were intrigued by the concept. So they decided to start www.cloudworker.org, a nonprofit website devoted to exploring the future of work in creative, artistic ways, using monthly themed contests. This contest of workspace photographs is their second contest.  To help the new site along, I donated most of the prizes I won from Plantronics (about $2000 worth of audio equipment) to them, to use as prizes for their contests.

My entry above is  non-competing, since I am sort of a charter sponsor of the site, but I am still curious to see if a lot of people can come up with more creative ways of looking at their desks than I have. And of course, like any organization nut, I am curious about the variety of desks out there too. For those of you with literary tastes, the beautiful book, Neatness Counts, which analyzes the desks of some famous writers in metaphoric ways, may provide inspiration (I warn you though, it is heavy with postmodernese).

2 Responses to “A Contest for your Desk”

  1. Contest-Gal says:

    Nice story and nice contest. I hope you could host another contest like this..Thanks for this game:)

  2. Venkat says:

    The guys at cloudworker.org hope to hold monthly contests. Bookmark or subscribe to their RSS feed 🙂


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