The Digital Revolution: Text on a Screen

I recall a conversation with a friend of mine a few years ago wherein we discussed the concept of "digital print media," i.e., reading books, magazines, and newspapers on a screen instead of paper. This sort of thing wasn’t on the cultural radar at the time; we still had flip phones and Lost-watching parties back then. And I was all for reading on a screen: The opportunities this seemed to present seemed wonderful. My friend -- a computer programmer who was much more tech-savvy than I -- felt tha … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: iPads, Kindles, and Nooks, Oh My!

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church. Judging by the latest book study our church has begun, a whole lot of people got iPads, Kindles, or Nooks for Christmas. We had been promoting our latest Wednesday night book study for several weeks, and much to my dismay, we took zero book orders. That was quite different from the previous study. In that one, I ordered around a dozen books for people. I took the low order rate to be a sign … [Read more...]

Can't Access Your Favorite Websites? Blame SOPA/PIPA

If you were planning to get your daily fix of LOLcats or Facebook Fail images, settle an office debate regarding some obscure fact with Wikipedia's help, or spend some time perusing Reddit, then you've no doubt noticed something a little disconcerting today: All of these sites -- and many, many more -- have gone dark. It's not because they all forgot to pay their bills at the same time, but rather, that they're trying to raise awareness of two controversial bills that have been working their way … [Read more...]

Our Top Five Memes of 2011

When I first tried to rank the Internet virals of 2011, the diagrams just weren’t working. I kept trying to draw a graph in my brain, something I could mentally chart out and calculate to get some well-reasoned results. But I kept having this image of Robin Williams pop into my head to draw each diagram on a chalkboard, make fun of it, and tell me to rip the first few pages out of my textbook.And so I just asked myself, “What were my top 5 favorite memes of 2011?” and I was able to come up with … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: Philosophy Shifts in Facebook's Timeline

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.More changes to our beloved Facebook are being forced upon us by the trampling hordes of social media developers, the programmers who seek to uncaringly pillage our consistencies and set fire to our comforts. This time they call it "Timeline."If you haven’t checked out Timeline, you should. This update is big -- perhaps the biggest one to date -- mai … [Read more...]

Music Made Physical: In Defense of the Humble Cassette

If you were born after the mid-1980s, chances are the word "cassette" will evoke a blank stare. And if you're older than that, your first thought might be, "Thank goodness they're gone." But as we learned with vinyl, a musical format never truly dies: it just acquires a cult following. For example, the Wall Street Journal reveals that a surprising amount of love is still being shown for the humble cassette: [C]assette devotees say that tapes are underappreciated. They see cassettes following in … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Creative Lessons from a Thermostat

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Have you seen the new thermostat that’s taking the marketplace by storm? It’s called Nest. nifty, eh? Nest is a start-up company whose founders hail from Apple. The thermostat’s ease of use and sleek aesthetic form an intricate and complex system, reminiscent of Apple product design (a recent Nest blog po … [Read more...]

The CaPC Podcast #101: Followers of Steve, the Cult of Apple

Podcast #101: Followers of Steve, the Cult of AppleWith the death of Steve Jobs, Christians find themselves asking "Whyyyy???!!!" then "Why do I care so much?" then "Well why wouldn't I care so much, he's kind of a big deal?" then "Well isn't everyone kind of a big deal in their own way?" and so on until it coalesces into a communal shame spiral that plays out on Twitter, Facebook, and around water coolers (they still make those, right?). This week, editor-in-chief Richard Clark and associate … [Read more...]

Thank You, Steve

We were in Barnes & Noble when my wife suddenly looked up from her iPhone and told me that Steve Jobs had died. To be honest, I wasn’t surprised. Saddened, perhaps, but not surprised. When Jobs resigned as Apple's CEO back in August, I think we all knew that it was only a matter of time before the end came. But if I had to give a name to my primary emotion upon hearing the news, it’d probably be gratitude.Jobs, as I wrote back in August, was a visonary in the truest sense of the word, a man … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: I Am Not Defined by My Facebook Friend Count

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.For years now we have wondered if social networking was increasing our socializing or keeping us from it. I’m not sure if that answer will ever be determined. But I would say that social networking both helps and hinders me, just as most technology does. Striking a balance between using technology versus technology using you is tricky.Toyota tackles this cosmic question of bal … [Read more...]