The Age of Context So many sci-fi movies have promised us that someday we will live in a connected world where we are served by technology. Instead of being bombarded with ads for products we don’t want and hammered with cold calls, we’ll find that products and services are offered to us that we actually want. Our electronics will be connected.

Just before the alarm goes off in the morning our coffee pot will warm up, the thermostat in the house will turn itself to the proper temperature, the lights will dim on and off as we move through the house. Cars now can tweet status updates to their owners, Google Glass transforms our view of the world, and smart companies use social media to learn more about their customers and create “buyer personas” to better suit the needs of their user base.

Sound a bit like the Minority Report? Well, yes, it’s true there is a huge amount of data about every one of us (connected or not!), but that isn’t always a bad thing.

We had the pleasure of hosting Shel Israel–co-author of The Age of Context–on our weekly hangout, The Friday Hangout a couple of weeks ago and he talked about the chapter on “Pinpoint Marketing” and about how VinTank is using data they aggregate from a number of sources to connect with wine lovers. Say, for example, you posted a photo on Instagram you took at a winery in Napa, mentioned you love a good cabernet, visited the gallery at Hess Collection or dined at Morimoto, VinTank knows it and has used that data to create a profile for you. This allows them to share information with Napa valley businesses that someone who really has an interest in their product is nearby. Then the business can send you a tweet or a text message to let you know of opportunities you’ll actually want. Think of it as a wine concierge service.

Here’s Shel on The Friday Hangout

Get to the book!

All this is to say that our world is becoming more and more connected and what in The Age of Context Scoble and Israel call “little data” is what helps to put it all into context and allows businesses and even medical providers serve us even better. Is there a huge amount of data collected on our each and every move? Yep. But it’s not entirely a bad thing.

As expected Scoble and Israel have delivered an insightful and fascinating look at how technology is and will continue to affect our lives. It’s a must read for anyone interested in emergent technology and anyone doing business in the future. Here’s the link to the e-book, it’s a great read, go get it now.

*disclosure: Shel kindly shared an advance copy of his book with us before the show and some of the people mentioned above a friends and clients whom I support personally and professionally.