Are we driving off a digital cliff and heading for disaster, unable to focus, maintain concentration, or form the human bonds that make life worth living? Are media and business doomed and about to be replaced by amateur hour?
The world, as Nick Bilton—with tongue-in-cheek—shows, has been going to hell for a long, long time, and what we are experiencing is the twenty-first-century version of the fear that always takes hold as new technology replaces the old. In fact, as Bilton shows, the digital era we are part of is, in all its creative and disruptive forms, the foundation for exciting and engaging experiences not only for business but society as well.
Both visionary and practical, I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works captures the zeitgeist of an emerging age, providing the understanding of how a radically changed media world is influencing human behavior:
• With a walk on the wild side—through the porn industry—we see how this business model is leading the way, adapting product to consumer needs and preferences and beating piracy.
• By understanding how the Internet is creating a new type of consumer, the “consumnivore,” living in a world where immediacy trumps quality and quantity, we see who is dictating the type of content being created.
• Through exploring the way our brains are adapting, we gain a new understanding of the positive effect of new media narratives on thinking and action. One fascinating study, for example, shows that surgeons who play video games are more skillful than their nonplaying counterparts.
• Why social networks, the openness of the Internet, and handy new gadgets are not just vehicles for telling the world what you had for breakfast but are becoming the foundation for “anchoring communities” that tame information overload and help determine what news and information to trust and consume and what to ignore.
• Why the map of tomorrow is centered on “Me,” and why that simple fact means a totally new approach to the way media companies shape content.
• Why people pay for experiences, not content; and why great storytelling and extended relationships will prevail and enable businesses to engage with customers in new ways that go beyond merely selling information, instead creating unique and meaningful experiences.
I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works walks its own talk by creating a unique reader experience: Semacodes embedded in both print and eBook versions will take readers directly to Bilton’s website (www.NickBilton.com), where they can access videos of the author further developing his point of view and also delve into the research that was key to shaping the central ideas of the book. The website will also offer links to related content and the ability to comment on a chapter, allowing the reader to join the conversation.
About the Author
NICK BILTON is the lead technology writer for the New York Times Bits blog and a reporter for the paper. His work weaves together many different fields of storytelling, including advertising, journalism, design, technology, user interface, documentary film, and hardware hacking and the effects of all of these on society. At the Times, he is also worked in the research and development labs, peering into the future and helping chart the path for the future of news. Bilton is also an adjunct professor for New York University’s interactive telecommunication program and speaks regularly around the world at major technology and publishing conferences and at universities.
"A bold and provocative look at the future of storytelling. It’s about the virtues of video games, the science of cocktail parties, and the new business model of journalism. It’s about a world in which the medium is mostly irrelevant, and the message is everything. Read this book if you want to get your message right.”
—Jonah Lehrer, author of the New York Times bestseller How We Decide
“Nick Bilton has written a rollicking, upbeat guide to the digital world—a peek into our near future, where news, storytelling, and even human identity are transformed. It’s a fascinating book from a man who has helped pilot the New York Times into a new age of online journalism. If you’re wondering—or worried—about the future of media, this is your road map.”
—Clive Thompson, Wired magazine columnist and contributing editor
“Bilton doesn’t just live in the future, he also understands the past. I Live in the Future explains how our communications tools shaped our present, how new tools are shaping our future, and what we should do to take advantage of all this opportunity.”
—Clay Shirky, author of Cognitive Surplus and Here Comes Everybody