BLOGGER: JEFF BARAK
I haven’t had the chance to read it yet – hey, it was only published this week – but a new book by Nick Bilton, a leading New York Times technology writer, definitely seems worth leafing through (either the “old-fashioned” way by actually turning the physical pages or by tapping your ereader).
The central point of I live in the Future & Here’s How it Works is that today’s digital world has fundamentally changed our concept of space, time and location, our sense of community and the way we view information, news and data.
Today’s world is all about me. In the old world, as Bilton writes in an article adapted from his book, when you bought a map, you bought a map of a place and located yourself within that map. Today, when you click the “locate me” button on your smartphone mapping application, it puts you in the middle of the screen and, as you move, the surroundings move to keep you in the center of the map. In other words, the digital world follows you, not the other way round.
It therefore follows that the Internet generation expects a personalized experience when accessing entertainment or information: I want my news to be relevant to me, with adverts that match my interest and location.
There are plenty of companies already providing these services but Bilton is looking forward to the day when “if I am reading the newspaper at 4 p.m. in Brooklyn, the content I see should reflect the time of day (near dinner), the place (what’s nearby) and more.” The news feed, he continues, should be intelligent enough to know what he’s already read that day, what stories his friends recommend and what’s being discussed on his social networks. And all this should happen without the user needing to give any instructions.
The Holy Grail for the service provider in this connected world is to win ownership of this space for the consumer, offering a personalized flow of content, because although the consumer is no longer prepared to pay for content, he will pay for the seamless and effortless experience that enables him to consume it.