On the occasion of Independence Day, Steve Rubel reflects on the growing independence of knowledge workers in the network economy and predicts the rise of "Digital Nomads:"
"If you spend as much time on the road as I do, you're likely to run into Digital Nomads. This sector of the workforce includes both independents and corporate workers. They use web-based tools like Twitter, wikis, Google Docs, social networks and Skype to collaborate and work wherever, whenever and however they want.
The reality is that many of the tools that workers need to do their jobs are becoming free or low cost. This extends into verticals as well. For example the Google Ad Planner, which launched last week, theoretically could allow anyone to become a nomadic media planner.
Digital Nomads are growing in numbers and they will create ripples. This trend will accelerate use of Web 2.0 technologies in the workplace. Over time, this may slow the efficacy of email marketing and accelerate the reliance on social media engagement.
However, it goes deeper than that. If you don't allow your employees to become nomadic, they may do so and even compete against you in the process."