What Does It Mean When Physical Location No Longer Matters?

For years, Sun famously had the slogan that “the network is the computer,” with the idea being that a disconnected computer lost much of its value.  While it took some time for that to become a reality, today it’s difficult to find anyone who denies the multiplicative benefits of connectivity and the power of a network to increase as the number of nodes on that network increase.

However, there’s an interesting corollary to this concept — which is that if the network is the computer, and the computer is what you need to work, then the more that “computer” is available, the more you can work from anywhere.  You reach a point where physical location no longer matters.  That reality has taken a lot longer to come true — but in the last few years we’ve finally reached the point where “working from anywhere” is a reality.  These days, I’ve got an office-in-a-backpack, with a variety of devices and tools that I know mean I can pretty much get online and work from anywhere.  Over just the last year, this has meant working from half-way around the world without missing a beat (and without most people who read Techdirt even noticing) to spending a week driving across the country — again, while being able to work the entire way.

With that in mind, we were excited when we had the chance to tap into our Insight Community to see what the bigger issues are when it comes to this “Digital Nomad” mindset, and to build a crowdsourced whitepaper that could explore the tips, tricks and challenges of digital nomadness in a new and innovative way — pulling from the insight of digital nomads from around the world.

The Digital Nomad crowdsourced whitepaper is an experiment that Dell is running in conjunction with the Techdirt Insight Community, to try to put together a whitepaper with multiple viewpoints and insights from a variety of different perspectives, rather than your typical run-of-the-mill PR-produced whitepaper.

Here’s how it works:  Techdirt, through its Insight Community, is designating a variety of different “cases” for discussion on these topics.  If you’re a member of the Insight Community, just log in and enter your insights for the cases associated with the Digital Nomad whitepaper.  The editors at the Insight Community will review and edit those entries for clarity/grammar/spelling and post them to the Digital Nomads whitepaper blog.

If you’re not already a member of the Insight Community, you can easily join right here and start contributing

In November, Techdirt’s editors will begin to organize, edit and collate the best insights submitted, and will put together a more complete whitepaper, drawing on these various insights.  This whitepaper will then be posted again to this site, where it will be open to comments and edits from the community as well — leading to a more complete product, produced by many different people with insights into the challenges and opportunities of the Digital Nomad revolution.