Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Nomadig or Bedouin? Life in the cloud . . .

Posted by Tom Foremski - September 7, 2006

My good buddy Om Malik has launched a new blog called WebWorkerDaily to chronicle the virtual nature of work and its always-on effect:

Connectivity is only part of the equation, for the virtual nature of work brings up lifestyle issues. It brings up questions about how to work, and when not to work.

Link to Introducing WebWorkerDaily.

Om cites a post called "Going Bedouin" by Greg Olsen in February 2006.

By focusing almost exclusively on service-based infrastructure options, a business could operate as a sort of neo-Bedouin clan - with workers as a roaming nomadic tribe carrying laptops & cell phones and able to set up shop wherever there is an Internet connection, chairs, tables, and sources of caffeine. "Going Bedouin" is an interesting concept . . .

This is an interesting concept and something I explored in an essay in October of 2005. I chose the word "nomadig" to describe the lifestyle made possible by our mobile technologies:

We seem to be going back to our roots and becoming nomadic peoples again--or rather "nomadig" people: living in digitally-enabled groups but not necessarily *technology* focused ...

And this time around, we are no longer tied to a particular geography, and nor is our thinking. Much of the culture of innovation is no longer tied to Silicon Valley, there are centers of innovation all over the planet.

We are mobile and seemingly in constant motion, travelling thousands of miles in a day, in a week, in a month, yet we remain rooted within our online worlds as if we hadn't budged an inch. Our physical address changes more often than our online address.

And our digital technology is disappearing into our surroundings, becoming embedded and almost invisible; as the word "digital" is embedded and almost invisible in the word "nomadig."

The essay is here.

Nomadig is the basis for SVW's future arts and culture magazine that we spoke about late last year, and mentioned in early August.

It was to be called diggrz but that name will probably be changed to avoid association with Digg - the news aggregator. I wanted to make the connection with the Diggers, the 17th century English revolutionary group that advocated a defense of the commons, and despised wealth and privilege; sentiments often expressed in today's software engineer culture.

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