Guest blogger: My life as a wifi nomad

I wander the city, looking for an oasis of wifi and air conditioning in my desert landscape. I am all too familiar with lengthy Terms of Service agreements that say I will not harm other people’s computers, do anything illegal, or any other nefarious activity.

Sometimes, this weary wandering wifi warrior simply seeks solitude in a clean, well-lighted place, no matter the bandwidth speeds.
I need to get work done, but I am not a robot punching the keys.

I enjoy fantastic ambiance, friendly baristas, and the occasional regular who stops over to say hi. I appreciate a good cup of coffee, but this is only one of the questions I ask myself before I pull into a shop.

Are there enough plugs there?
Are my favorite people working?
Is “my table” available?
Is the talkative regular there to separate me from my waning attention.

You may wonder what I do, or why I do not work out of an office. I am one of the burgeoning Social Media consultants, helping companies present themselves online. I go to my clients’ offices, learn about their businesses, and transfer their physical personas to digital representations. What makes them different from everyone else out there? It is easy to see in person, but how can we translate that to their digital selves? That is my quest. And of course, to make them more money!

When I need a break from writing emails, or stroll by a few cubicles to see what other people are up to, I hop onto Twitter to find a digital water cooler. Inevitably there are other people doing similar work to chat with.

In fact, I have started turning to my Twitter friends for specific technical advice, and not just the friendship they offer. Sure we send virtual #coffee to each other any and every morning, but because of this social icebreaker, I have discovered more about my digital friends. Like, when they go online, their expertise, if they are in the middle of a big project, and more.

The social side of social media is helping me get more work done, by tapping into the pool of shared knowledge. Sure, this only works because I have poured into that pool many times – but relationships take time.

And now, it’s about time for me to get back to work. Not because I have a boss looking over my shoulder, but because I do not want to live entirely in this coffee shop today. I value my precious freedom.

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