Robert Scoble, the earliest of early adopters, and Shel Israel, the pragmatic realist, make a great team as they explore the evolving world of context in a communications climate overtly focused on content.
In “Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy,” the duo cover the discomfort that comes from disruptive and innovative change that challenge the status quo and social norms. Although many consumers resist or opt-out of new technology, “Age” illustrates that improved experiences in personal relationships, connectivity, retail and advertising will add enough value to supersede concerns of privacy, transparency and change-fatigue.
Just as early blacksmiths scoffed at the first car, we may look skeptically at those walking around with Google Glass, self-tracking arm bands and wires in weird places. In both cases, emerging technology changed the world before that first encounter, whether we readily accept it or not.
And although “Age” goes rather deep on Glass and select start-ups that may or may not be around this time next year, the core themes of the book are sure to have as much longevity as the author team’s “Naked Conversations,” which still resonates with communicators seven years later.
The contextual age is based on a tradeoff: the more the technology knows about you, the more benefits you will receive. And new generations raised on mobility, big data and an always-on culture are ready to make the trade.
Are you? Is your brand?