this post was sparked as a result of a series of articles by Kevin Kelly, on his blog called New Rules where he has a collection blog posts about what the networked economy is doing to distinction of places versus spaces, and the economic implications of these shifts.
in the networked economy, what is the importance of place?
how does where you live and work influence your economic activities, social life, political views and vice versa? on the other hand, how does your online presence effect these?
while it is easy to be infatuated by an increasing trend of social and economic activities being conducted over the “network”, the vast majority of these interactions are bound by physical distance. You cannot have a college reunion on Facebook, and cant enjoy a long night of conversations with your high-school friends digitally (unless of course you are the kind who lives in Second Life); at least not with the same intensity.
the network has done, and continues to do tremendous good to society and the economy, I am not trying to dispute that. my point is simple, the large majority of social and economic activities will continue to occur based on proximity to your domicile.
as a society, and as consumers (i believe) we are still undergoing the transformative effects of digital networking, and where on the spectrum of influence we end is up for grabs. silicon valley is a great place to witness entrepreneurs (revolutionaries) try to subvert the paradigm for one activity at a time. many lessons from successes and failures.
the latest target of digital invasion is the coupon business. Groupon and its ilk are transforming the outreach (or customer acquisition activities) of traditional local businesses and driving them online.
and this is where my thesis is the strongest ! …while the network makes it tremendously more engaging and effective to reach your audience, the transaction is still bound (in most cases) by proximity.
i wonder whether equilibrium will ever be reached, or is this a case of sinusoidal movement.