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Publisher's Summary

In 2006, co-authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel wrote Naked Conversations, a book that persuaded businesses to embrace what we now call social media. Six years later they have teamed up again to report that social media is but one of five converging forces that promise to change virtually every aspect of our lives. You know these other forces already: mobile, data, sensors and location-based technology. Combined with social media they form a new generation of personalized technology that knows us better than our closest friends. Armed with that knowledge our personal devices can anticipate what we'll need next and serve us better than a butler or an executive assistant. The resulting convergent superforce is so powerful that it is ushering in an era the authors call the Age of Context.

In this new era, our devices know when to wake us up early because it snowed last night; they contact the people we are supposed to meet with to warn them we're running late. They even find content worth watching on television. They also promise to cure cancer and make it harder for terrorists to do their damage. Astoundingly, in the coming age you may only receive ads you want to see. Scoble and Israel have spent more than a year researching this book. They report what they have learned from interviewing more than a hundred pioneers of the new technology and by examining hundreds of contextual products.

What does it all mean? How will it change society in the future? The authors are unabashed tech enthusiasts, but as they write, an elephant sits in the living room of our book and it is called privacy. We are entering a time when our technology serves us best because it watches us; collecting data on what we do, who we speak with, what we look at. There is no doubt about it: Big Data is watching you. The time to lament the loss of privacy is over. The authors argue that the time is right to demand options that enable people to reclaim some portions of that privacy.

©2013 Shel Israel (P)2013 Shel Israel

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall

Awesome view of future

One gets a real peak into how technology might play in the future and impact our lives. Also one can use this to spot future opportunities.

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  • Catherine
  • CHEYENNE, WY, United States
  • 01-04-15

Interesting--food for thought

I am glad for the audio version of this book. I think that if I were reading it it might be dry. Narration kept me involved.

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  • Story

Technology is becoming more human

If you could sum up Age of Context in three words, what would they be?

Future Presently Here

What other book might you compare Age of Context to and why?

Thinking fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Daniel Kahneman explores humanities tendencies and their biases. I suppose the technology that Scoble and Israel explore is learning these biases proposed by Kahneman, and making our human experience more convenient, data-driven, and empirical.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene was the portion of the book that describes the Alohar mobile platform. It's companies like that that offer a peek into the future.

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  • Story

Interesting points with poor delivery.

Scoble and Isreal have a lot to say and many interesting points we should all think about. However, the organization and delivery of this book made it borderline impossible for me to follow.

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  • JR
  • 06-06-14

A view of Current Technology

If you could sum up Age of Context in three words, what would they be?

Technology,Evolution, Future Predictions

What was one of the most memorable moments of Age of Context?

Big Brother is here and how we embrace him.

What does Jeffrey Kafer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I get a lot of car time. Audio books allow me to learn while in motion. It takes a good narrator to keep things moving. Otherwise I may not have bought this book to read.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

Any additional comments?

It is a great book. But, it will have a short shelf life. I a couple of years the references will be outdated. Read it -- Or, hear it -- Now! The short shelf life is the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5.

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  • Story

Disappointing. Superficial.

What disappointed you about Age of Context?

Disappointing. Superficial.<br/><br/>Because there is so much available free content -- posts, blogs, tweets, etc, consumers have high expectations for the quality of paid content. If a consumer invests time and money in an audio book, he should expect deeper analysis and insights than what can be found in the average social media rant or rave.<br/><br/>I give it at least two stars because Scoble and Israel introduce some major forces working today to fundamentally alter how we interact with our devices, our data and each other. But the book disappoints because it is not fleshed out with insights and details to challenge preconceptions are build cases for alternate perspectives. An entire section of the Google Glass chapter is devoted to recalling how the authors shared a prototype of Glass with strangers and how the strangers smiled when they tried it. They smiled after 60 seconds of trying it?!? That's what you got? That entire experiment can be reduced to a single post. Why did they smile? And didn't anyone frown? This kind of lightweight journalism is abundant on the free Internet so there's no need to pay for it.

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  • Story

What a great insight in the new world ahead of us

What did you love best about Age of Context?

It was very well researched and impartial. They took their time to really look hard at all sides of this subject.

What other book might you compare Age of Context to and why?

not sure as this is the first book of this kind for me.

What about Jeffrey Kafer’s performance did you like?

He is very easy to understand. Very clear.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Upsize me meets the tech world

Any additional comments?

If you have an interest in where we are going with all things tech and social. Read this book.<br/>If you have an interest in Big Data.<br/>Read this book.<br/>If you have concerns about your privacy in today's world.<br/>Read this book.

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  • Story

Glimpse of the not too distant future.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Really awesome set of observations from Robert Scoble. Excited about the possibilities that will arise as more and more contextual data is gathered about individuals. No need to fear it but to adapt and grow by taking advantage of all this data about ourselves.

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  • LA Bos
  • STUDIO CITY, CA, United States
  • 03-25-14

Important info heading into the future

Would you listen to Age of Context again? Why?

I would, because it's a lot of foreshadowing of technical educational stuff that you may miss the first time around, since a little may be over one's head. But it's got great value, so a second listen at some point in time would be worth it.

Any additional comments?

It's somewhat dry material, but Jeffrey Kafer did a nice consistent job with it. He's got a nice cadence for this subject matter.

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  • Dawn
  • calgary, AB, Canada
  • 03-02-14

Interesting Stuff

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. This book was really enlightening in terms of where we've been, where we are and where we're headed.

Which character – as performed by Jeffrey Kafer – was your favorite?

Jeff's narration of this title was easy to listen to, well paced and intelligent.

Any additional comments?

If you want to get a clear understanding of the state of our digital world, this book is a worthwhile listen.