Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A space for the people

If it weren't for The PPL's workspace, "We'd be [working] on the street," Jeff Deal said.

Deal, information technology specialist at Appalachian Voices, is working this week from the newsroom of The PPL, a space designated for Democratic National Convention media work and special events at Packard Place. The PPL has been in the making for many months as a workspace that caters to uncredentialed media - like independent bloggers.

But it's not just uncredentialed bloggers making themselves at home at The PPL. Appalachian Voices has several media credentials for the convention center, but decided to register to use the space at The PPL.

"It's just incomparable," Deal said. Because Appalachian Voices registered early, Deal said it didn't cost much more than coffee for the week.

Weeklong passes have gradually gone up in cost over the past few months. Today was the last day to buy a $125 week pass, but $100 day passes are available for Wednesday or Thursday.

Aspects of The PPL that appealed to Deal and the rest of the Appalachian Voices team were wireless internet and cell phone charging, the many panel discussions hosted there and, of course, the prime downtown location.

The PPL workspace has other perks, too: coffee and brownies, a place to leave things during the day, guidance and city advice from Charlotte locals, and the occasional guest appearance. Tuesday, it was Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.

The workspace encourages collaboration and independent work and provides a place for people that don't quite fit into the traditional media mold. As the world continues to turn toward social media, keep an eye out for more organizations like The PPL.

*Disclaimer: Jessica Kennedy interned with Appalachian Voices this summer.


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