A person who uses technology, particularly wireless networking, to work without requiring an office or other fixed address.
Gruber and Consalvo are digital nomads. They work — clad in shorts, T-shirts and sandals — wherever they find a wireless Web connection to reach their colleagues via instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook, e-mail and occasionally by voice on their iPhones or Skype. As digital nomads, experts say, they represent a natural evolution in teleworking. The Internet let millions of wired people work from home; now, with widespread WiFi, many have cut the wires and left home (or the dreary office) to work where they please — and especially around other people, even total strangers.
—Michael S. Rosenwald, "Digital Nomads Choose Their Tribes," The Washington Post, July 26, 2009
But there's a growing awareness, buttressed by new research, that working remotely is a more nuanced affair. Some people are simply not wired for the life of the digital nomad. What is to some a broadband paradise is to others an exercise in alienation. "If I work at home for more than two days, I feel a bit isolated," says Cisco Systems European Marketing Manager Tim Stone. "I tend to go to the office a couple of days a week just to have human interaction."
—Michelle Conlin, "Is There a Virtual Worker Personality?," Business Week, July 27, 2009
Just how far the portable-office concept has to go was demonstrated inadvertently last summer by one of its biggest boosters. Richard Shaffer, a former Wall Street Journal reporter who publishes a closely read report called the ComputerLetter, set out to prove that mobile computing was already a reality by trekking into the Colorado Rockies with everything he would need to run his New York City office by remote control....
Shaffer's knapsack office worked, but only after a series of setbacks that would have sent a less committed digital nomad back to smoke signals.
—Philip Elmer-Dewitt, "A Portable Office That Fits In Your Palm," Time Magazine, February 15, 1993
Here's an even earlier citation, but I don't think it's referring to the kind of digital nomad that I've defined here:
Depending on where the bike is parked, different security events can be set to page the digital nomad to let him know something is happening. If the bike starts to move without the proper password, the global positioning system detects this, the cellular phone dials the police and the voice system tells the dispatcher "I am a bike, I am being stolen."
—Carl Malamud, "The Guy With the High-Tech Bike," InternetWeek, July 13, 1992