Press Release: I Live in the Future and Here’s How it Works by Nick Bilton

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

                                                                                                                For more information, contact: Tara Gilbride

                      tgilbride@randomhouse.com, 212-572-2872

Are video games ruining our kids? Does multi-tasking really make you lose focus?

Is social media useful for anyone other than narcissists who share too much?

Is the internet really making us stupid? Or are our brains adapting to new media formats?

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In new book, lead technology reporter for the New York Times Bits Blog Nick Bilton provides a provocative look at of how a radically changed media world is influencing human behavior–and argues the positive effects of the internet & technology

“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

I Live in the Future and
Here’s How it Works

Why Your World, Work and Brain

are being Creatively Disrupted

by Nick Bilton

Lead Writer and Technology Reporter for the New York Times Bits Blog

On sale 9/14/10; Crown Business

Recent innovations in social media and mobile technology have irrevocably altered the media landscape and incited a revolution in the way people interact with content and information, from newspapers, books and magazines to TV, movies and the internet. In his exciting new book New York Times reporter Nick Bilton helps make sense of the radical trends that have emerged in the last few years, explaining how navigation, aggregation and narrative are changing our lives and behavior.  Better yet, he offers a glimpse at what news and storytelling may look like and how it will affect our lives, social interactions and businesses. Told in lively and engaging prose,  I Live in the Future and Here’s How It Works: Why Your World, Work and Brain are being Creatively Disrupted (Crown Business, 9/14/10) reveals a new and often counterintuitive understanding of how a radically changed media world is influencing human behavior.

According to Bilton, it’s time for journalists, publishers, advertisers, public relations executives and executives in industries ranging from entertainment to retail to face their future and accept that traditional consumers aren’t coming back. Print advertising isn’t coming back. Media, brands and the established narratives aren’t coming back.  However, Bilton contends, the future is bright — and the book illustrates the positive effect of new media narratives on thinking and action. For example, consider playing video games as a form of storytelling that has teens and grownups alike focused for hours at a time on building an intricate narrative.  Better yet, research shows that surgeons using video games have greater success in the operating room than their non-playing counterparts.  And instead of adding to information overload, Bilton explains, social media will become “anchoring communities” that actually tame information overload and help determine what news and information to trust and consume and what to ignore. And multitasking? Bilton examines new research that indicates our brains may change as children grow up in a more connected, tech stimulated world.  In fact, most of the researchers he interviewed agreed that the brain’s thirst for stimulation drives the technological advances of each new innovation. “The problem isn’t the multitasking generation but the media they are consuming” he says. “Maybe these older types of content—books, movies, television and newspapers—aren’t adapting appropriately to the technologies and expectations of the young and old, of today’s adapted and more demanding brains.”

With I Live in the Future, Bilton reveals the habits and trends of the next generation, the “digital natives” who he calls “consumivores” –a generation who unabashedly create and share content, any type of content. They live in a world where immediacy trumps quality and quantity and anyone with an appropriate device can be a storyteller.  And content needs to be a rich, multimedia experience in order for them to pay for it. “If we want them to consume our stories,” he writes, “we’ll have to harness a range of technologies to tell them well. If we don’t, there are plenty of other options available for them to consume – or more likely, they will create their next meal without us.”  In the book he also explains:

  • Me Economics This new and more personalized way of consuming information and storytelling doesn’t bode well for individuals or companies that create mediocre content and cookie-cutter storytelling; businesses need to engage with customers in new ways that go beyond merely selling information, instead creating unique and meaningful, multi-media experiences.  
  • Through the porn industry we see how this business model is leading the way, adapting product to consumer needs and preferences and beating piracy. Bilton’s foray into porn shows that and people will pay for those experiences if the quality, timeliness and price match.
  • His personal journey from paper to digital, recounting in the first chapter why he canceled his own subscription to the New York Times
  • Technochrondria — why new technology has been feared since the advent of the printing press and how railroads, radio, and comic books were all derided when they first arrived  
  • In a concept called “1-2-10,” Bilton explains the opportunities in and challenges to designing media interfaces for web-enabled devices that will talk to and interact with each other seamlessly as a person moves from one location to another and switches screens – viewing for example an integrated piece of content on a mobile phone (1 foot away), a computer (2 feet away) and a television (10 feet away).

Ultimately, Bilton shows why long-form content isn’t going to die–and if you want to consume a more prosaic type of storytelling, he says, that should be your option. But in the “byte, snack, meal” future that he describes, you, the “consumnivore” will drive the narrative, deciding how much you want and what the format will be.  

In I Live in the Future there will be QR codes embedded (example below) in the book that in link to supplemental information online. There’s also a mobile site, ipad and iphone app.  You can watch Bilton talking about the book and explaining these features at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAI1AE1kO3g.

For more information go to www.nickbilton.com.

Using your smart phone and one of many free applications available for download online, snap an image of the QR Code here to see a video of Nick Bilton talking about his exciting new book. 

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

NICK BILTON is the lead technology writer for the New York Times Bits blog and a reporter for the paper. He has a background in user interface, journalism, hardware hacking, research, and data visualization and has worked in numerous different industries within the context of design, research & development, technology and storytelling. 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 also helped co-found NYCResistor, a hacker space in Brooklyn which offers hardware and programming classes and allows people to collectively work on innovative open source hardware and robotics projects. He is 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. He has been featured in national media, including in WIRED Magazine, National Public Radio and ABCNEWS.com.  

NICK BILTON IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS

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I LIVE IN THE FUTURE AND HERE’S HOW IT WORKS, by NICK BILTON

Crown Business * September 14, 2010 * $25.00 * ISBN: 978-0-307-59111-1

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The Crown Publishing Group