Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Geography Of Home

Update: Justin Kownacki offers a detailed critique of the book "Socialnomics". (The embedded video below is promoting the book.)

There is an important link between media technological innovation and geographies of trust. The sense of community undergoes a rapid transformation, unleashing new economies of scale. Via Brewed Fresh Daily, a compelling video about the social media revolution:

The trouble with understanding new social media is discovering evidence of how the landscape is changing. Since we are in the midst of the transformation, identifying the shifts is difficult, perhaps impossible. Thus the problems newspapers have with their reinvention.

I would argue that migration patterns are a leading indicator of the social media revolution. For example, check out this blog post about how one person is blaming Facebook for Irish brain drain. This more of a tale of two homes and how they could be connected.

In a symbolic shift, Dell moved operations to Lodz from Limerick in Ireland. Ireland has protested the 52.7 million euros in subsidies that Dell got from the Polish government, but Dell cited the skilled work force in Lodz and proximity to growing markets as the reasons for its move.

The Irish boom, now possibly the worst bust in Europe, attracted many Poles, who worked with Dell there and are now finding their way home.

“We even have some workers in Lodz who have come from our Limerick, Ireland, factory and who are very happy to have come back to help set up this one,” Mr. Dell said at the opening in January.

Tomasz Rybinski, 30, was among those Poles who left the country after it joined the European Union in 2004. He found work in then-booming Britain, where he spent three years mixing salads, moving boxes in a warehouse and then, finally, working in a factory that made industrial refrigerators.

Rumors this year that layoffs were in the works were enough to convince Mr. Rybinski that the new possibilities in his native Lodz trumped what had by then become a shattered British economy.

The relationship between Limerick and Lodz is fascinating. The talent network informed the migration of Dell from Ireland to Poland. The imagined economy (to play on "Imagined Communities") is between the two cities. I might call this liminal news and traditional media outlets don't know quite what to make of it.

Where is the news for connected communities? Tomorrow, how this ties into the new geography of globalization.

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