norayoung.ca | At the Corner of Technology and Culture

I’m a Hick (tech)!

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about whether location matters anymore. Now that we have all these tools for remote collaboration, does it still matter if you are physically proximate to colleagues? To a larger community? And if it doesn’t, why do we still get together in physical space?

I suspect there are things we get from each other by being in real, physical space that we will never be able to replicate at a distance, but can we get better at ‘doing’ distance? For instance, the largest stumbling block seems to be creating opportunities for happenstance, for overheard conversations. What would it mean to replicate that idea of idle moments and happenstance over distance?

Anyway, it should come up in a couple of interesting conversations in the next while. Tomorrow, Wednesday, I’m moderating a wrap-up panel at HICK Tech, a very cool all-day conference about technology and rural issues, that takes place in Owen Sound. Very much looking forward to it. At the end of May, Spark is heading up a panel at this year’s MESH conference, with the tentative title “How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?” about this idea of location, and whether distance really matters anymore. I went to MESH last year and had a great time.

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