Google Trends is one of the tools we use to study trends. We've found that search term volume is very useful for trend spotting and tracking. We've also found search term volume is a good leading indicator of changes in trend popularity.
Below is the Google Trends list of cities ranked by the use of the search term "coworking." Google develops this data by calculating the ratio of searches for the search term coming from each city divided by total Google searches coming from the same city. It displays the 10 cities with the highest ratio.
As you can see from the chart, Austin is in first place by a large margin. Also interesting is 3 German cities are in the top 10, and European cities take 6 of the top 10 slots.
We think of this data as an "intensity indicator," in this case showing us the cities where coworking is generating the greatest interest.
While we often refer to Google Trends, we try not to read too much into the data. Google itself warns users that the data may or may not be real accurate. Great quote from their Google Trends FAQ: "We hope you find this service interesting and entertaining, but you probably wouldn’t want to write your Ph.D. dissertation based on the information provided by Trends."
But our work indicates this data is directionally correct and very useful.
Thanks for the link to the article. Somehow I missed it:).
Posted by: Steve | 05/31/2011 at 04:11 PM
you're right, compared to the size of Austin, it's the city with the highest density of coworking spaces. We didn't want to deny it and also wrote about this once: http://www.deskmag.com/en/austin-coworking-space-156 :)
We just wanted to mention the possibility that many central talks about coworking were conducted in Austin since it was a topic at big events such as the SXSW last year and this year also at the unconference itself. So probably many people googled this term there.
Anyway, good article!! .)
Posted by: Deskmag | 05/31/2011 at 02:47 PM
SXSW and the coworking conference probably did influence the data, but not enough to push SF above Austin.
Another measure of coworking intensity is coworking facilities per capita.
Given Austin's size, if it is 6th in the number of coworking facilities it's likely 1st in coworking facilities per capita.
Posted by: Steve | 05/31/2011 at 11:11 AM
Austin is definitely one of the cities with the most coworking spaces in the world. In our current analysis we counted 9 to 10 coworking spaces there. It would be placed on the 6th rank on a global scale, following Chicago.
However, as Google said, it doesn't need to reflect the real demand. We had the great coworking unconference in Austin, with a lot of people entering the terms "coworking" and "Austin" on Google, which might explains the big gap between Austin and San Francisco:)
It's nothing against Austin! We love the city - and especially Conjunctured and Link Coworking!! And we're looking forward to visit Austin next year again!!! :)
Posted by: Deskmag | 05/31/2011 at 08:45 AM
Well this is good to hear since I'm moving to Austin in August and will be launching the US version of HireMatch.me from there later this year. Will need a good space to work.
Looking forward to checking out some places.
Posted by: Marc Mapes | 05/31/2011 at 08:44 AM
This is great information. As a Coworking space owner in Austin, I can validate that the demand is great and more spaces continue to open to meet that demand. Just last week I learned of another new space in Austin.
Posted by: Liz Elam | 05/31/2011 at 07:24 AM