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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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If you are looking for discussions about where the future of technology is going and how it will impact our lives then this book is good, but not the place that I will start with. I would instead look at the online publications, Wired and different tech blogs to get a better idea of where things are going in such a dynamic world. For example, the future of work is well illustrated in a book entitled "A Year without Pants." That is the reason for the 3 star revenue
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.