Connecting "IT" with "People" - Understanding Neo-Connectivity & Neo-Communities

Submitted by Fouad Bajwa on Tue, 2007-02-27 22:07. :: | | |

The world is changing everyday, every moment at a rapid pace making available emerging digital technologies that continue to make it easier to connect regions that were once in the past disconnected from the rest of the globe. These disconnected communities comprised of ecosystems that nurtured small-scale communities of limited civilization living within their own worlds enclosed in small community shells deprived of information and knowledge about the outer world they were a part of.

Now, more and more "People" are gaining access to the means that enable them to join communities of learning and practice within a global village of information and knowledge connected through digital infrastructure giving birth to Neo-Connectivity. These communities may also be termed as Neo-Communities since are connected within a global village with various communities of learning and practice.

Within its obvious frame of reference, I myself am a member of this neo-community e-enabled by being "connected" to the rest of the "connected". It does not matter how I am connected, what matters today is whether I can connect or not and that becomes the criteria for the rest to be a component of this connected online civilization of the 21st Century.

Within the Neo-Community framework, it's ultimately the people that enable connectivity and connectivity itself cannot be referenced to the beliefs of Darwinian's Theory of Evolution but yes, it can be seen to have traits similar to those set forth by Moore's Law, that, put forwards as, it continues to multiply and connect more and more people with an increasing cost as well as increased connectivity. Being an evolution as result of the "existing" components of infrastructure that enable this connectivity is the underlying reason for this belief.

People in the Neo-Community exist as interconnected citizens or digital citizens 24/7, 365 days a year from north to south, west to east and vice versa. The prime feature of their digital character is carrying the ability to know more than previous generations based upon technological advancements and being more connected to a larger scale of the world.

With increased knowledge, it enables them to do more than previous generations unless information overloads emerge as bottlenecks to their capabilities. By Knowledge and knowing more we may refer to being able to acquire skills through self learning and engaging within communities of learning and practice bringing that knowledge into context and use. These communities of learning and practice are enabling the next era of knowledge development and sharing that are engraving long lasting affects on economies of the world.

Every person within the Neo-Community is witnessing changing modes of compensation that enables their livelihoods. The traditional compensation models from the pre Neo-connected world still exist but in reduced demographic circumstances. On the other hand, Neo-connected Neo-communities are driven by the scale of variety of self learned skills and the variety of opportunities for them to engage with knowledge based work within the frames of reference of Information Society and Knowledge Economy. Compensation is changing and no one model tends to fit all thus economists have no one single reason to state why workers in the knowledge economy are compensated more than workers of traditional forms of employment.

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is an evolution from the Neo-Community and its ubiquitous Neo-Connected nature that has helped weaken the software stereotyping framed by the Proprietary software groups. Developers of FOSS have been stereotyped by the proprietary software world as communists whereas the Proprietary world itself is falling pray and terming its failure as to competition where as FOSS on the other hand has just reminded the world that freedom and choice have existed since the evolution of software and its use within our daily lives.

This has helped us break free from monopolists instead of remaining pressured under market controlled products and pricing structures. Variety is what is driving markets today and FOSS has been creating that variety. Neo-Communities are developers and a major user of FOSS thus Neo-Variety is the force that today drives commodities, market demands and supply chains.

From knowing skills to believing in the change they can bring, members of the Neo-Communities are using their Neo-Connected nature to bring positive change doing what they know through Neo-Variety. Members of Neo-Communities are first connected through the Internet, share knowledge, get empowered and empower others and help each component of the Neo-Community (the individual) be useful themselves thus Neo-Communities facilitate and enshrine inclusiveness and openness.

Since members of the Neo-communities are digitally connected and mostly do not interface physically, issues relevant to gender and age discrimination tend to exist less as compared to the physical world. Women and Youth collectively have more participation within the global economies if they are connected and thus Neo-Communities comprise of equal participation by all Men, Women and Youth.

Having said this, the Neo-Communities are in some situations regarded as social networks that may be very well true since today social networks are mostly driven by openness to all gender and ages and all can openly and equally access the technologies being used for connectivity and communications. Since Neo-Communities are producing the software they use, software itself is Neo-Community driven so Social Networks may be believed to be Neo-Community Driven where people are becoming more and more capable of controlling technology. This control however is restricted by Intellectual Property Rights whether it is in the domain of public or private usage, even in FOSS.

Neo-Communities are driven by knowledge, knowledge societies are also driven by knowledge, and there are always rules, laws or guidelines to control the flow and use of knowledge in order to keep useful as "useful" as possible and the harmful away from the reach of the community.

Regulated by IPR laws, Neo-Communities survive within knowledge driven market frameworks that today are driven through innovation and emerging disciplines. Emerging disciplines have always been regarded as the trendsetting practices of the knowledge driven economies globally. Within the market, Neo-Communities have enabled individual identity to be a commodity and source of private enterprise, thus, every individual is a constituent of the market economy and its dynamics.

Markets are being driven by communities instead of traditional market demographics. Members of the Neo-Communities emerge together as content and software producing spaces and tend to do business within exchanges of global nature. Products being produced by Neo-Community member groups, individuals and collectives are both available in varieties of localized or internationalized products. This also shows that Neo-Communities produce products of both global and local value.

After detailing the concept of Neo-Connectivity enabling Neo-Communities in the 21st Century, I am in a position to assume that my citizenship of a Neo-Community enables me to be part of a new meaning of open and inclusive existence where knowledge is produced both individually and in the form of groups that share knowledge as well as sell knowledge in Neo-Varieties to enable an ecosystem of demand and supply and compensate livelihoods that did exist but was highly stereotyped as being an inefficient model by capitalist and monopolist theories. Our citizenship within Neo-Communities thus gives rise to Neo-Citizenship.