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October 22, 2010

Living Two Dreams and Visiting the Burgh

Seth Werkheiser is a Web 2.0 kind of guy. He's developed several websites/blogs that were commercial successes - and then sold them. He's done significant work as a contractor for AOL-Music. He does a lot of work as a contractor (Web 2.0 generally doesn't involve Employees 2.0) for He was living the geek dream - or at least, one version of the geek dream.

One of the key early tenets of web work is that location doesn't matter. The theory is, you can work from anywhere. (The reality is, to get the work you need to be in the right place, but you can do the work from anywhere.) This last summer he decided he'd had enough of Brooklyn winters, and that he was approaching the point where his possessions were owning him. So he sold or disposed of almost all of his stuff, left his Brooklyn apartment, and hit the road on his bicycle. His plan is to eventually ride to the South, stay with friends along the route, and work with whatever WiFi he can find. Now he's living two dreams.

(I should point out that the old saw of 'location doesn't matter' is starting to fade with the emphasis of the social web, the ubiquity of mobile web devices, and location-driven services. There's even a conference: Where 2.0.)

This is a photo of all of Seth's possessions when he started his adventure:

Seth rode west out of Brooklyn NY in July, spent some time living with friends all across Pennsylvania, and arrived this week in Pittsburgh. Being a Web 2.0 kind of guy, he's blogging the dream, and his adventures are on Facebook and Twitter as well.

There's a subtle line between a "nomadic bike geek" (as he describes himself) and a homeless guy with a Schwinn, but he's working, contributing, paying his bills and paying his taxes. (His tax return would be interesting - what state does he file in?)

His transient lifestyle, while romantic and intriguing, probably fails the test of Kant's categorical imperative - Would it be OK if everybody did it? It probably wouldn't work because then we'd all be homeless and have nobody to stay with. It doesn't scale. But it's fascinating to see one person working it.

Here's his blog: I'm especially interested in hearing his "out of the box" perspective on Pittsburgh.

(This may be the perfect trifecta for this blog- Burgh, bikes, bytes all in one.)


Seth said...

Hey hey! I'm the Bike Nerd! Small correction; I didn't actually sell any of my websites. THey're still rolling... heh. But email me! Thanks for this post!

Ward said...

Kant's Categorical Imperative test of whether something is ethically good or bad is NOT whether it's ok (or not) if everyone were to do it, it's whether or not there's an inherent self-contradiction if everyone did it.

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