An interesting article in the Economist concludes that in the wired world, physical presence is becoming even more important:
Tony Venables, an economist at the London School of Economics, believes that businesses that thrive on face-to-face communications — or what some call F2F — now account for a growing share of economic activity.
Michael Storper of the University of California, Los Angeles, has written a paper with Mr Venables on Buzz: The Economic Force of the City. They argue that cities are where information and ideas are developed and swapped. But not all information is equal. Some (a bank statement, say, or a booking) is easily codified and electronically swapped; while some (I have a deal for you, why don’t we do it this way?) requires context and trust to be meaningful. It is the second kind of information that requires F2F.