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Future Living with Nick Bilton
September 20, 2010 - 3:45pm

The problem with reviewing Nick Bilton's amazing new book, "I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted" is confirmation bias. Nick says things I agree with, and therefore I'm likely to approve both of his arguments and the way in which he makes them. You might know Nick Bilton as the lead writer of the NYTimes Bits Blog. He has worked as the NYT's the Design Integration Editor and as a User Interface Specialist & Researcher for Times' Research & Development Lab. He also designed the first Britney Spears doll.

Nick is optimistic that his employer (the NYT's) and his industry (journalism) will be positively transformed by the digital disruption. I feel the same way about my employer and higher ed in general.

Nick believes that newspapers, and magazines have the opportunity to leverage technology to improve the quality of journalism while opening up new opportunities and markets. I believe that technology provides us both the opportunity and tools for higher education to transform how we construct and deliver learning, in ways that have the potential to both drive down costs and increase quality.

Nick argues that content creators are selling the entire experience, not just their content, and that pricing needs to reflect the quality and personalization of the total consumption experience. I'm convinced that in higher education we offer much more than content, that we are creating and nurturing environments most conducive to authentic active learning and the preparation of tomorrow's leaders.

Nick is energized by the professional and personal opportunities for self-expression and community building offered by emerging technologies. I'm energized but the opportunity that technology provides us to re-thing and re-invent long held assumptions and practices in higher ed.

The NYTimes is lucky to have Nick Bilton as an employee. I hope his book is widely read and influential in journalism circles. I think the Times' has done a great job of embracing the digital world - I'm a fan of their iPhone application and an avid reader of the content at and (although I wish they would combine the 2 sections!).

I also can't help but to think that Bilton's message for how the newspaper and publishing industries must change is relevant to our industry. We can learn a great deal from how the media and publishing industry and succeed and failed to embrace the new generation of consumers that have been raised digital.

What are you reading?



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