- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (September 5, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781492348436
- ISBN-13: 978-1492348436
- ASIN: 1492348430
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 275 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,015,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy Paperback – September 5, 2013
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About the Author
Shel Israel and Robert Scoble have been friends for several years. They have appeared in the media and on conference stages many times. Both have a passion for how technology will change the world Robert Scoble is among the world’s best-known tech journalists. In his day job as Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for the latest developments on technology’s bleeding edge. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports for Rackspace TV and in social media. He can be found at scobleizer.com. You can email him at Scobleizer@gmail.com, and on social networks as Robert Scoble. Shel Israel helps businesses tell their stories in engaging ways as a writer, consultant and presentation coach. He writes The Social Beat column for Forbes and has contributed editorially to BusinessWeek, Dow Jones, Fast Company and American Express Open Forum. He has been a keynote speaker more than 50 times on five continents. You can follow him at http://blogs.forbes.com/shelisrael and talk to him at email@example.com or at most social networks as shelisrael.
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Robert Scoble and Shel Israel have teamed together to write a well received new book called the Age of Context. In some regards, it may be the book of the decade for marketers, laying out a roadmap of what is to come.
The book examines the impact caused by the confluence of five technology sets impacting us today; mobile, social, data, sensors and location. Age of Context offers a well grounded view of how companies are using these technologies together to launch us into a new media area. But that media is not a screen, it's life itself. Thus the term context, referring to media's increasingly personal nature.
Aside from the science fiction-like reality the book presents, there are numerous examples that include some vertical industries (automative and medical) to help readers visualize the <em>Age of Context</em> as it is developing today. The examples combined with the authors' experience covering and developing marketing and media programs creates a book that is important for any marketing leader and strategist to read.
As Scoble and Israel say in their book, "Storm's Coming." For once that storm is not visualized with cheap notions of hard to understand terms like Big Data. Instead, we are given a view that is digestible and highlighted by example after example.
Age of Context presents the full integration of on and offline worlds, and how data driven algorithms using input from users and environs empowers personalized offerings and choices. Scoble and Israel call this pinpoint marketing in their book.
Pinpoint marketing is the realization of big data and marketing automation. It revolves around permission based access from users and smart data driven nurturing paths that offer highly customized solutions for individuals based on where they are, and what they are trying to do.
Scoble and Israel do a good job of warning readers about some of the pitfalls surrounding context. Specifically they discuss gaffes driven by algorithms that range from annoying to super creepy stalker-like updates. Both feel that the technology will slowly evolve (as will society) to embrace the <em>Age of Context</em>. Similarly, people will evolve accept a world of anytime, anywhere computing, and its lack of privacy.
The book does discuss wearable computing in great length. A bunch of us at Vocus (my client) had the opportunity to try Google Glass last Friday, and we were equally impressed with the device, and could see it is a harbinger of the future.
If there's one knock I have about the book is its generally optimist view that the creepy issues of privacy will become resolved. It seems highly unlikely in the era of Assange and Snowden that this will happen. But, one can hope, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that.
I highly recommend the Age of Context to anyone who is in the marketing or media industries. It's important, and will show you better than any other new media book about what technologies are coming next in our business.
I had just finished Age of Context last week and had my first experience with crossing the freaky line of personal contextual assistants a day or so later.
I was finishing up some work in the afternoon when the alert on my phone went off. I picked it up to check the alert and it was a message that I needed to leave by 2:42 pm to be on time for my 3 pm haircut appointment.
I had never loaded that appointment into the calendar.
(Cue Twilight Zone theme here..)
As I sat giving the phone a long side-eye it occurred to me that I had activated Google Now after having read about it in Age of Context and Google Now must have flagged the salon's confirmation email in my Gmail account with the date, time, and address for my appointment.Then calculated the travel time to the salon from my present location and warned me I needed to leave soon.
As freaky slowly began to turn into delight, I thought to myself "Ohhhh, this is cool. Privacy, pfft. We barely knew ye."
My freaky line has now moved considerably. Bring it on.
The reason this book caught my attention is that for many years, I have been anticipating a future of omnipresent computing. A world where computers know our context and can take action on our behalf in ways that would amaze us and obviate the need for people to waste precious mental cycles on mundane but critical tasks such as managing our health or driving to work.
The "Age of Context" can be described as an attempt to describe what such a world would look like and predicts its imminent arrival given the trajectory of technological advancement and the current research activities of hundreds of teams. I think it's purpose is to bring awareness to what can only be described as a pending disruption, a storm that will catch many off guard. It's a book challenging consumers and businesses alike to consider what such a world might mean for them. Will you be able to transition to the "age of context"?
For the tech lovers, such as myself, such a world seems like a dream come true. But is it really? The authors are very optimistic and so am I, but being optimistic is not the same thing as what will happen in fact. That being said, more people need to join the conversation. There are so many questions that need to be answered and so many implementation details that need to be worked out so that the coming age is truly one that benefits mankind.
I believe the "Age of Context" succeeds in sending out the message that change is coming and in some ways is already here. It does a pretty good job of painting the picture of how this change could affect our everyday life. The authors are cautious to point out that they might get some things wrong, but I think they are mostly right.
This is a book that needs to be read this year, today in fact. There are many references to current events. If you read this book a year from now or maybe even in a few short months it might already feel outdated. The side effect of this approach was that reading it now made it feel really fresh and current, next year's reader might highlight how outdated the book feels. On the flip side, if most of the projections made by the authors become true, for instance the success of Google Glass or its competitors, it will stand out as an incredibly prescient piece of work.
Overall, I liked the book. If you want to gain some insight into the world that many technologists are working hard to build then you should read this book. Read it and join the conversation. I am curious to know what people think about this future, particularly those who are not technology fans.