This past week I accompanied my daughter to Seattle. Vali was attending a Partners for Smart Growth conference and I was along for the trip. Seattle is one on my favorite cities. I’ve never had enough time to explore it in the past, so this was a nice opportunity to do so.
As I toured the city, I continued to play Four Square, the fun in real life game. If you don’t know about Four Square, it is a geo-based, social networking game where the players check-in to venues, get point, leave relevant comments and sometimes connect. In cities where Four Square is established you might get a coupon offer from an establishment that sees you are in the neighborhood.
Social Networking Reaches Out and Connects
Anyway while exploring Seattle, I got an Twitter DM from Bob Stewart. He and Jonathan had noticed I was in Seattle and asked if I would like to stop by Active Rain!
Of course I was delighted at the invite! I hopped on the Seattle Streetcar, using my FREE transit pass provided by the Smart Growth people (thank you!) and found my way to AR International World HQ!
Located right on the Streetcar line, Active Rain is in a very nice urban neighborhood. Their building is a Leeds Gold certified Green building, recently built by some very smart and savvy architects.
Jonathan took some time to show me around, obviously very proud of his new office and rightfully so!
The entire office is open with no interior walls. This allows the natural light to flow through. Unlike most buildings with stationery windows, these windows all open allowing fresh air when necessary. The design also allows for lower heating and cooling bills thanks to the solar properties.
The desk units are very high end and efficient for work. I chuckled at a file folder on one of the employee’s desks. It has labeled “dead trees" and it was not briming with paper! Obviously Active Rainers are thinking of the environment beyond the Green building!
I must say I was impressed with the total atmosphere. The office has such a positive vibe. The openness produced a nice hum of activity, that would inspire anyone working there to be busy. It was nice to be able to sit at a desk and have everyone clearly visible.
The exterior of the building is mostly glass. When I was yet on the Streetcar, I knew I was in the right neighborhood, but didn’t know for sure which way to look for the building. That problem was quickly solved when I spotted first Jon then Bob sitting at their desks.
I had to blink, at first not believing my eyes and good fortune in finding them so easily!
The photo to the left is of the courtyard. Standing opposite the Active Rain office I took this picture so you can see the corner section of the first floor is the Active Rain office. Isn’t that a terrific setting? I love the way the building seems to reach outside.
Life at work is so much nicer when work is located in a pleasant place, not just the physical building, but the location as well.
Active Rain Employees must really love going to the office! The neighborhood is charming, filled with interesting buildings. In fact Jon mentioned Amazon is moving in across the street, taking up about a million sq. feet!
Check out this street photo of the building, see the Space Needle in the background! That's how close the office is to Seattle's downtown.
Oh and there's a gym right across the street. No excuses now folks!
The Past is Rewarding the Future
This visit was my first and only visit to Active Rain HQ. I've been a member for a longtime, in fact Bob told me I was #990 joining early in July '07 (correction '06!). Back then we didn't know exactly what Active Rain was or how it would form the future of many people. It was a silly little site that gave points for performing certain acts. Points as we all knew could be traded in for SHOES and helped us rank higher in our State.
These days Active Rain has grown into more of a mentoring position. They are focused on providing value to the members of the community by offering training via Rain Camps and online training all for the mere cost of membership. Such a deal!
When I think of all the things I've learned from networking on Active Rain, plus all the wonderful friendships and the business I've garnered, it certainly seems that Active Rain is continuing on the right path.
There is nothing more powerful than a group of minds, sharing, colaborating and enjoying each other's company. Active Rain has provided a great platform to do just that.
Thanks for the invite guys, I certainly enjoyed my visit!
p.s. I just had to add one last photo. Seattle is so rich in scenic beauty, it's no wonder the brain trust of the country is attracted to it's shores.
UPDATE: Here's a few more of my Seattle photos uploaded to my Flickr Denver Dwellings Account.