FIR Book Review: Age of Context by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel

Age of ContextAge of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy explores the convergence of five technological factors – mobile, social media, data, sensors and location – and their present and future impact on everything from commerce to medicine to transportation.

FIR co-hosts Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz review the book in the context of an earlier FIR interview we conducted with the authors, and two book launch events including one in London in which Neville recorded Robert and Shel’s presentation as an FIR Speakers & Speeches podcast.

Listen Now:

Get this Podcast:

Age of Context: Mobile, Data, Sensors and the Future of Privacy by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel.

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
248 pages (print edition)
Published: September 5, 2013
Price: US: $22.49 (print edition), $10.43 (Kindle edition); UK: £13.55 (print edition), £6.43 (Kindle edition).

About the Authors

Robert ScobleRobert Scoble is an American blogger, technical evangelist, and author. As a startup liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, he travels the world looking for what’s happening on the bleeding edge of technology.

Robert has interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators, and reports for Building 43 and in social media.

He is the co-author, with Forbes columnist Shel Israel, of Age of Context. Their previous book, Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers, published in 2006, has been called a watershed work in introducing business to social media.

Shel IsraelShel Israel helps businesses tell their stories in engaging ways, as a writer, consultant and presentation coach.

He is the author and co-author of five books including Age of Context – his latest book, co-written with Robert Scoble and released in September 2013 – Naked Conversations and Twitterville.

Shel currently writes the Contextual Beat column for Forbes.com. Previously he has contributed to BusinessWeek, Dow Jones, Fast Company and American Express Open Forum.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future reviews, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the weekly Hobson and Holtz Report, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

This FIR Book Review podcast is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

Related posts:

FIR Interview: Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, authors of Age of Context

Robert Scoble and Shel Israel

Two men who have been at the vanguard of social media and the disruptive evolution that different ways of working and communicating have emerged in businesses everywhere over the past decade are Robert Scoble and Shel Israel.

Their seminal work Naked Conversations, published in 2006, shone a spotlight on the then-emerging world of blogging and the changes being wrought to business practices by enlightened individuals in organizations everywhere.

In their new book, Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy, Scoble and Israel widen their spotlight to examine five converging forces – mobile, data, sensors and location-based technology – that promise to change virtually every aspect of our lives.

In this near one-hour FIR Interview, co-hosts Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz explore the themes revealed in the book with the two authors, discussing topics ranging from privacy to personal contextual assistants; and consider the self-publishing model the authors employed to bring their book to market.

“Be prepared to see the future in these pages,” declares Salesforce.com founder and CEO Marc Benioff, writing in the book’s foreword. With over 100 5-star reviews on Amazon, it’s a view that many readers already agree with.

Age of Context is available now in paperback and ebook formats.

Listen Now:

Get this podcast:

About our Conversation Partners

Robert ScobleRobert Scoble is an American blogger, technical evangelist, and author. As a startup liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, he travels the world looking for what’s happening on the bleeding edge of technology.

Robert has interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators, and reports for Building 43 and in social media.

He is the co-author, with Forbes columnist Shel Israel, of Age of Context. Their previous book, Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers, published in 2006, has been called a watershed work in introducing business to social media.

Shel IsraelShel Israel helps businesses tell their stories in engaging ways, as a writer, consultant and presentation coach.

He is the author and co-author of five books including Age of Context – his latest book, co-written with Robert Scoble and released in September 2013 – Naked Conversations and Twitterville.

Shel currently writes the Contextual Beat column for Forbes.com. Previously he has contributed to BusinessWeek, Dow Jones, Fast Company and American Express Open Forum.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the weekly Hobson & Holtz Report, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Podsafe music – On A Podcast Instrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

Related posts:

FIR Interview: Chris Muccio, author, 42 Rules for 24-Hour Success on LinkedIn

42 RulesLinkedIn is, arguably, the premier social network for business-to-business (B2B).

Over 200 million people have profiles on LinkedIn, but most put their information up with no particular strategy to get the most out of LinkedIn. 42 Rules for 24-Hour Success on LinkedIn, 2nd edition, discusses just this topic.

In this FIR Interview, correspondent Michael Procopio spoke with the author Chris Muccio about the concepts in the book. As the discussion was more an interview with Chris about how to manage a LinkedIn presence than directly covering this new edition of the book, we’ve put this in as an FIR Interview rather than as an FIR Book Review.

Chris covers the common mistakes that can easily be fixed as well as more advanced tips on getting the most out of LinkedIn.

Listen Now:

Get this podcast:

About our Conversation Partner

Chris MuccioChris Muccio is the Chief Technopologist for Catapult Interactive, a strategic marketing tech firm engineered to transform marketing in the digital world.

He previously worked at Ajilon Finance Solutions, Sensormatic and Inphynet Medical Management / EMSA. Chris started his career as a CPA at Cooper and Lybrand.

Connect with Chris on Twitter at @CFOstrategist.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the weekly Hobson & Holtz Report, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Podsafe music – On A Podcast Instrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

The Age of Context comes to London in October

Age of ContextIf you’re a follower of trends in technologies and people’s behaviours – and that mashup between the two – an event in London next month will be of interest to you.

On October 28, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel will be in London as guests of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and their partner Precise to talk about the Age of Context – the title of their new book, out in November.

Age of Context is an embracing term to anchor five converging forces the two authors see as profoundly changing almost every aspect of work and life in the next decade: mobile, social media, data, sensors and location.

Age of Context is a follow-up to Naked Conversations that the two authors wrote in 2006. That book examined the then-emerging field of blogs and blogging and its disruptive effects on how businesses should communicate and engage with customers. (I reviewed it in Feb 2006.)

Naked Conversations is widely regarded as a seminal work that influenced opinion and corporate behaviours in many organizations in how people in those organizations communicate with customers and other stakeholders.

Seven years on and the landscape is very different and a more complex one than that described in 2006.

Where ‘blogging’ was ‘social media’ back then, today the latter term embraces a wide and deep spectrum of tools, networks, channels and behaviours across a huge social web that connects well over a quarter of the world’s population.

I’m thrilled to have been asked by the CIPR to facilitate the conversation, as it were, with Robert and Shel at the evening event in London on October 28 that takes place at Google’s new Campus London facility in the heart of Tech City in east London.

I’m sure this event will sell out fast – just look at how fast the official US book launch event in California on November 7 has sold out – so I suggest you get your London tickets now!

Register at Eventbrite

Everyone who comes will receive a free copy of Age of Context. And, the discussion with and between Robert and Shel and the audience (and those connected online via Twitter and other social media) will be recorded and published as a For Immediate Release Speakers and Speeches podcast.

Hope to see you there!

More information in the CIPR’s press release, issued today.

Related posts:

You’ll enjoy #Attenzi: it’s far more than just a good read

AttenziPhilip Sheldrake‘s new business book Attenzi is published today. Earlier today, I published an FIR Book Review of it as I’d had the opportunity of reading it prior to formal publication.

I don’t do many book reviews these days – our FIR Book Reviews Editor, Bob LeDrew, does an admirable and far better job – and I wanted to prepare well for this one. So I wrote up my notes as a narrative and that’s what made it into the podcast.

As I have that narrative – in essence, the transcript of the podcast – I’m publishing it here as an additional review: the words on a screen that will show up in search results whereas audio yet cannot.

Think of it as bonus content, Philip!

Attenzi review notes

Hello, I’m Neville Hobson, co-host of the For Immediate Release podcast series, with a review of Attenzi – A Social Business Story, the new book by Philip Sheldrake published on May the 15th, 2013.

Attenzi is a business book with a huge difference – it’s not a business book, it’s a novel.

It tells a compelling and credible story of one man’s journey that, unbeknownst to him at the start, would help him and his leadership team “redefine the way we all think about our business and its place in the market and its place in the world.”

With Attenzi, Philip Sheldrake presents a sympathetic character in the story-teller Eli Appel, newly-installed CEO of Attenzi, a fictional international company that makes and sells top-range kitchen equipment and services.

Philip gives us a believable hero in Eli, a man who many readers will easily identify with in his desire to understand the shifting sands of contemporary consumer behaviours, the needs to respond to those changes in ways very different to old management and leadership preconceptions; and his endeavours to knit together a team of people that will be the driving force to enable Attenzi to make the jump to that next level.

As the tale unfolds, we see Eli and his colleagues consider aspects of organizational design, business performance management, marketing, public relations, branding, complexity, and the imminent empowerment of the individuals that make up all organizations.

The story also begins to explore the evolution of the customer-centric mindset that, Philip says, has dominated management thinking for the past two decades.

It’s good writing, good story development, credible characters all. It’s a highly probable storyline of individuals trying to understand the changes in their business world, and in their business itself, figuring out what it all means for them and their business, and working out what to do, who will do it, and when.

The kinds of things that business leaders face all the time in the real world.

Philip has done well in presenting business themes and topics that anyone really could grasp without getting lost or losing interest.

As Eli notes early on in the story, ‘social business’  is the kind of buzz word or buzz phrase you hear about at conferences yet have little belief that even those who bandy the words around have much real idea of what they mean to businesses.

I think Attenzi will make you really think about social business, probably in a way you might not have if you’ve thought about those two words before.

The thinking will be about the very things Eli Appel tells his story about – behaviours, engagement, influence, new ideas, organization culture, change, risks, rewards, and so on. It’s not about the tools and channels of social media.

That’s where I think Philip’s story works well. Yes it’s about social business. But unlike every  other business book on this topic, it’s not a business book – it’s story-telling, it’s a novel, a work of fiction.

In sum, it’s a surprisingly good read on a topic that doesn’t sound like it would be. Social business? That dry old thing?

I think you’ll enjoy Attenzi. It’s not just a good read, a passive activity, though. You could engage with the primary characters, each of which you can find on Twitter. You could add to the content, build on it, with chapters of your own that you can connect via the hashtag #attenzi.

After all, Eli concludes his tale with: “I’m finishing this first part of the new Attenzi story.” In the concluding words of Adam Pisoni, Microsoft Yammer co-founder and CTO, who wrote the foreword, addressing you the reader: “Perhaps you’ll even write the sequel?”

Philip has written this book to give away under a Creative Commons license. The more people who read it, the possibility increases that they’ll talk about it, hopefully favourably, attracting more interest and readers. Word of mouth in action.

You can download a copy of Attenzi free of charge in a variety of digital formats: HTML, PDF, ePub, Kindle, and iBooks. There’s also a version on Scribd.

All available right now from www.attenzi.com.

If you have comments or questions about this FIR Book Review, or suggestions for future reviews, please share them in the online FIR community on Google+. You can also email us at fircomments@gmail.com; and connect with us on Twitter: @FIRpodcast.

You can find more information about the For Immediate Release podcasts, including the weekly business show The Hobson and Holtz Report, at www.forimmediaterelease.biz.

Thanks for listening.

Philip’s set up the foundation for a community surrounding the book, and its broader concepts, on Google+. Well worth being part of that in developing, influencing and extending the conversation.

Related post:

FIR Book Review: Attenzi – A Social Business Story, by Philip Sheldrake

Attenzi - A Social Business StoryAttenzi – A Social Business Story is a novel that shines a light on social business that goes beyond the all too typical homages to social media. It’s a relatively short and easy read intended to help readers explore what social business means for their organization, marketplace, communities and career.

With Attenzi, author Philip Sheldrake presents a sympathetic hero in the story-teller Eli Appel, newly-installed CEO of Attenzi, a fictional international company that makes and sells top-range kitchen equipment and services.

The book tells a compelling and credible story of one man’s journey that, unbeknownst to him at the start, would help him and his leadership team “redefine the way we all think about our business and its place in the market and its place in the world.”

FIR co-host Neville Hobson reviews the Kindle edition of Attenzi and considers the power a work of fiction – a novel – can have in empowering the Eli Appels of our world with the clarity of vision and perspective to explore the evolution of the customer-centric mindset that has dominated management thinking for the past two decades.

As Eli says, “I hope it helps you develop your organization’s relevance, competitiveness and profitability. I hope it helps you forge your career and helps you bring your colleagues with you.”

Listen Now:

Get this podcast:

Attenzi – A Social Business Story by Philip Sheldrake.

Publisher: Philip Sheldrake
Digital formats (content equivalent to about 100 print pages)
Published: May 15, 2013
Price: Free under Creative Commons license.

Attenzi is available in HTML, PDF, ePub, Kindle, and iBooks formats at www.attenzi.com.

About the Author

Philip SheldrakePhilip Sheldrake is managing partner at Euler Partners, a London-based consulting firm.

He is a widely regarded consultant, author and speaker. He is a Chartered Engineer, a main board director of Intellect, the UK trade association for the technology industry, a board director of 6UK, a government backed non-profit promoting adoption of the new Internet protocol, and a founding partner of Meanwhile. He built and sold an award-winning public relations consultancy.

Philip wrote The Business of Influence in 2011 and was interviewed on FIR at the book’s launch.

Connect with Philip on Twitter: @sheldrake.

FIR online communities
Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future reviews, in the online FIR communities on Facebook, Friendfeed and Google+. You can also email us at fircomments@gmail.com; call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments; comment at Twitter: @FIRpodcast. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the weekly Hobson and Holtz Report, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

This FIR Book Review podcast is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)