NICK BILTON is one of the people we listen to most closely on tech. Now the Times' lead technology writer, he's a veteran of New York Press (during that publication's golden years) and of the Times's research-and-development lab. In his new book, I Live In the Future and Here's How It Works, he begins by checking in on an industry often credited with pushing digital innovation -- yep, porn -- and discovers that it has suffered a death just as ugly as any entrenched old-media vertical. The big porn studios are losing money hand over fist -- but young upstarts are filling in the gaps by offering all-encompasing go-anywhere multi-platform experiences. Thus his advice for the immediate future: content is dead, but consumers will pay for the sense that they're immersed in something.
And he's the junior guy on this fantastic Boston Book Festival panel, which also features Wired vet KEVIN KELLY (describing his evolutionary theory of technological advances), DAVID KIRKPATRICK (whose The Facebook Effect has been criticized for being too pro-Zuckerberg, but should be read as a balancing corrective by anyone whose entry point was The Accidental Billionaires or its Hollywood spinoff The Social Network), and NICHOLAS NEGROPONTE, who had -- less than 24 hours before this was recorded -- celebrated the 25th anniversary of the MIT Media Lab alongside the likes of Google CEO Eric Schmidt and the moderator of this panel, broadcast journalism vet John Hockenberry. (Negroponte was also, presumably, the easiest booking of the entire festival: his significant other is the Book Festival's founder and executive director, Debbie Porter.)
From the Boston Book Festival program guide:
The recent changes that technology has made to books, reading and the way we relate to each other are unprecedented and transformational. Come hear tech guru Kevin Kelly, author of What Technology Wants; digital visionary Nicholas Negroponte; David Kirkpatrick, founder of Techonomy and author of The Facebook Effect; and the NYT’s Nick Bilton, author of I Live in the Future and Here’s How It Works discuss technology and its impact on how we live. Moderated by NPR’s John Hockenberry.
DOWNLOAD: "The Tendencies of Technology" at Boston Book Fest 2010 [mp3]