I wrote in that last column about developing filters in your life so you do not become overloaded with information. A variation on that idea is the idea of context. In other words, the context creates the filter. For example, if you are a technology geek, you probably subscribe to one of the daily technology newsletters. The content consumed from the newsletter is done so within the context of the trust, accuracy and authority of that branded newsletter. If you are an avid gardener, you probably go to a well-respected gardening site for your information. That site has created a context in which you can consume content of value, because you trust that site to provide content just for gardeners.
Our mobile devices are providing us with the opportunity to create dynamic contexts. With GPS technology, we can find friends who are close to us and meet. We can develop contextual relations with merchants based on where we are and what our interests or buying patterns are. We can create a real-time contextual relationship with others around the same place or event that is all about shared interests.
Our lives are increasingly becoming contextual. As we become ever more connected, as physical place has less importance, as information increases, as social media become ever more embedded in our lives and communication patterns...we are increasingly living in context. We will be living in a world that is moving toward contextual data, contextual creation of value, contextual value of electronically connected communities, and even the contextual mapping of human movement and behavior.
At least for now: In 10 years, "context is king" will probably be just as outdated as "content is king" is at this moment. But for now it is our emerging reality.
David Houle is an award-winning futurist and strategist who has launched successful brands and is an in-demand speaker about the future. He writes the popular futurist blog Evolution Shift and lives his life slightly ahead of the curve.
Have you taken any of David's advice about focusing your media attention? Share your experience in the comments area.
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