13 Jan Digital Socialism – a very practical cultural change
Over Christmas, during a 24 hour pyjamathon, I flicked back through some old issues of Wired Magazine. An article by Kevin Kelly in the June 09 issue jumped out at me. I must have missed it the first time; the title of the article was The New Socialism. He talks about how we’re getting more and more connected through things like virtual co-ops, sharing scripts, open source APIs, Wikis as well as social networking and how this is creating a cultural revolution and a new type of socialism. This short quote sums up the shift that Kelly describes;
“Instead of faceless politburo* we have faceless meritocracies where the only thing that matters is getting things done”
It got me thinking about the quiet army of people we know, who in the last two years, have made the brave leap out of established corporate jobs into the brave new world of digitally connected wiki working. One person we know works from his poorly insulated garage, one from a very compact, very well organised desk space in the corner of his living room and another from a small room above a shop. Jon has recently converted his attic into an airy and stylish office space, complete with sea view, and last year my third bedroom had a utilitarian make over so when we’re not working in a traditional office we too have somewhere else to pursue our passion.
Alongside our more conventional partners what our growing network of individuals has in common is that they are self motivated to work autonomously and flexibly whilst also relying on each other’s specific skills and know-how to provide the best in communications planning, web development and digital marketing to their clients.
Here’s another wordier quote from the article;
“Digital Socialism is without state. Old school socialism was an era of enforced border, centralised communication and top heavy industrial processes. The new socialism runs over borderless internet. It is designed to heighten individual autonomy and thwart centralisation. It is decentralisation to the extreme”
With the help of things like Skype calls, instant chat, Google Docs, Dropbox and the project management tools we have developed between us we all feel better connected, better supported and consequently more responsible to each other. It’s an exciting time to be running your own business. We feel lean and nimble and more than ever we’re enjoying getting things done.
*I checked a thesaurus for the true meaning of politburo – supreme policy-making authority