An infinity of subcultures coming together, online to offline

An infinity of subcultures outside the mainstream now blossoms on the Internet – vegans, body modifiers, CrossFitters, Wiccans, DIYers, Pinners, and support groups of all forms. Millions of people are finding their true peers in the cloud, a remedy for the isolation imposed by the anonymous apartment complex or the remote rural location.

“This is why location is becoming so much less important: technology is enabling us to access everything we need from our mobile phone, to find our true communities in the cloud, and to easily travel to assemble these communities in person. Taken together, we are rapidly approaching a future characterized by a totally new phenomenon, the reverse diaspora: one that starts out internationally distributed, finds each other online, and ends up physically concentrated.

Software Is Reorganizing the World (WIRED)

This WIRED article is from 2013, envisioning a future that started to take shape over the last decade. Think techies congregating in Silicon Valley to work on the next big startup, or YouTubers congregating in LA, forming creator communes, sharing real estate and resources while collaborating on content.

But as the cost of living spirals out of control in metropolitan areas, our attention turns back to the upsides of distributed networks, punctuated by in-person gatherings like conventions and conferences.

Twitchcon brings streamers together. Vidcon brings YouTubers together. Dreamforce brings Salesforce users together. CMX brings community managers together. WordCamps bring WordPress users together.

…you get the idea.

My point is: we’re finding each other through social media and open networks, we’re sliding into DMs and email to build 1:1 relationships, and then we show up at in-person events to build the face-to-face rapport.