Welcome to the future! The future of humanity and the future of publishing.
I am very excited about my new book Entering the Shift Age and the new model of publishing Sourcebooks has created, the Agile Publishing Model (APM). The APM is an innovative platform that allows authors to make their content available faster and in a more flexible format. For example, to suit your needs and interests as readers, Sourcebooks offers a variety of ways to purchase the content of Entering the Shift Age, either in individual parts (“mini eBooks”) or as a whole. (Check out “How to Purchase: The Agile Way”.) You can learn more about the APM by watching the video below.
This is part of the future of publishing. Now let’s turn toward our own future, the future of humanity.
We now live in the Shift Age, a time of transformation that will be regarded by future historians as one of the most significant periods in human history. The Shift Age is one of those inflection points or times when much of humanity will change how we live, how we think, how we interact with each other and what we do.
Another way of thinking about the Digital Natives is through the lens of what most Boomer and GenXers call “information overload.” I think that one of the most often asked question I have gotten from audiences all around the world is something along the lines of “How can I keep up, how can I deal with information overload?” This, of course, is quite understandable to you members of either of those two generations. The Digital Natives, though, are the first generation born into the connected, information-overloaded world. Since this is all they have ever known, they don’t think of it as overload, just reality.
As parents, we have all seen this with our teenaged and younger children. They sit with the television on, connected to the Internet, maintaining multiple text conversations, while listening to music on their ear buds. No stress, just hyper processing of incoming and available data.
All of the technological inventions and innovations of the Information Age—computers, fax machines, communication satellites, cable television, mobile phones, Internet, lap tops, tablets, high speed wireless connectivity, Search, Social Media—are things that all previous generations, including the Millennials born in the 1980s, came to through time. The Digital Natives are the first generation for whom all these things were available to them as children. Every prior generation had to adapt to these inventions and, to some degree, alter established behavior to do so after childhood. To the Digital Natives, this is what they know as their reality.
Another way of saying this is that the Digital Natives are first generation of the 21st Century. There is no remembrance, legacy thinking, established patterns of behavior, thought, or cultural contexts from the 20th Century. A clean slate generation
If you will accept my earlier premise from Part One of the book that the Shift Age started around 2006, then the oldest Digital Native was 7 and just entering the first grade. So this is the first completely new generation of the Shift Age.