26 July 2010 ~ 2 Comments

Read this book! Futuretainment: Yesterday the World Changed, Now It's Your Turn review

Futuretainment: Yesterday the World Changed, Now it's Your Turn social mediaAttracted by the lush photography and stand-out style of the book during a visit to a specialist book store, I picked up a copy of “Futuretainment
” recently. Having just finished reading it, I wanted to share my thoughts on it, and recommend what I think is a great introduction to the advent of social media.

Futuretainment: Yesterday the World Changed, Now it’s Your Turn” by Mike Walsh isn’t the kind of book you slip in your coat pocket and flick through during a particularly boring journey. It’s of the coffee table variety, weighing in at 250+ pages and of a very large and heavy size. If you’re into that “new page smell” like me, you’re in for a full-on nasal orgy.

In the words of the publisher:

Over recent years seismic changes have taken place in the structure and direction of the media and entertainment industries. Since the launch of the first commercial web browser, to the advent of broadband, digital downloads and online virtual worlds, patterns of consumer behavior have adapted and evolved enormously, embracing new opportunities and having an indelible impact upon the commercial nature of media.

Mike Walsh has been at the heart of this consumer revolution from its beginning and has been helping some of the world’s leading companies and brands embrace new ideas for the past decade. The 23 insights in Futuretainment: Yesterday the World Changed, Now it’s Your Turn reveal how the rise of the Internet, mobile devices, social networking, audience networks, user generated content, ubiquitous networks and the `adaptive web’, amongst other advances, has affected the worlds of media and entertainment forever.

Futuretainment is a dynamic visual handbook offering an accessible approach to this complex and evolving subject. It is a must-read for any individual or business that wants to understand how to maximize their position in this new era.

Given how quickly the media landscape has changed over the past few years, it’s worth revisiting the process in a condensed and linear manner, and working through a book rather than the disjointed articles of a blog makes for a comprehensible and educating experience. Starting with the advent of the web browser, Walsh outlines what the web changed in terms of how information was consumed and how Big Media (from TV to magazines) is affected and struggling to adapt to this change to the creation and dissemination of media content.

When covering the topics in Futuretainment, Walsh makes sure to place his futurology in context of the past, clarifying changes in behaviour and their causes.

Walsh does feel that there is a viable commercial market for media production in the digital age, but is firmly behind the starting point that the consumer is now in control, with human networks and trust relationships to be an absolute requirement at the core of any media-driven initiative nowadays. He is also cutting when discussing the future of advertising, advocating micro-payments as the saviour of a publishing industry in crisis.

The real pull of this book over the glut of similar titles in bookstores is the presentation. Like infographics? Need visual aids to better understand and absorb information? From Walsh’s beautiful photography to stylised graphic art, the layout transforms reasonably common thoughts (in the social media echo chamber) into a call to arms that us bold and inspirational.

If you are in the camp of those who believe that content is no longer king and the recommendation engine that is your social network rules all, you probably won’t learn anything new but will find it easier to educate others by waving (or pointing at due ot its weight) at this gorgeous book.

If you disagree with the statement in the paragraph above, you need to read Futuretainment: Yesterday the World Changed, Now it’s Your Turn.

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  • Richard Millington

    Micro-payments ? Not a chance. People don't want to have to make a purchase decision every time they want to read an article. IT doesn't matter if it's just 1p, people wont do it.

  • http://www.mike-walsh.com Mike Walsh

    Nice review – thanks!