Theology After Google (And Apple?)

 

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking, via Skype, with the “Theology After Google” class at Claremont School of Theology. Tripp Fuller, who is co-leading the class with Phillip Clayton, recorded my abbreviated talk on “The Theology of Twitter,” and I’m grateful to him for posting it online:

I’m extremely excited to be speaking at the “Theology After Google” conference, March 10-12, at Claremont. I’ll be joining Tony Jones, Adam Walker Cleaveland, Spencer Burke, John Franke, Dwight Friesen, Jon Irvine, and others. If you’re interested in learning more about using social media in communicating ideas (especially folks on the West Coast), I hope you’ll consider coming out to this unique conference!

My Take on the Apple iPad
The big news last week was the launch of Apple’s much-anticipated iPad tablet computer. I wrote up the story for the Halogen TV website with my prediction: “It’s not the device itself that’s magical. It’s the innovation that the device now allows—the new interactive games/applications and multimedia ebooks/e-publications (magazines and newspapers) that are going to be developed—which will make the iPad a ‘revolutionary,’ must-have device.”

“Theology After Google” student Wesley Menke nicely synthesized the iPad news with my presentation in his blog post “Apple’s ‘Magical Realism.'” His take on the “magical” language employed by Apple in its marketing of the iPad and contrasting it with the “liturgical” (“work of the people”) concept of Web 2.0/new media is a great observation. This is, in fact, one of the big criticisms of the iPad—that it is a device for consuming media rather than creating media.

I don’t think this is in any way an “accident.” Apple is, no doubt, banking on the market being ready for a consumer device for reading/experiencing multimedia e-books and e-publications (magazines and newspapers). Other companies are quickly joining the e-reader/tablet PC race, but their offerings will now have to stack up against the iPad. And, besides, Apple’s computers are built for creating, while their other mobile devices (iPod, iPhone) are not. In that sense, iPad fits perfectly with Apple’s other mobile devices, and this makes perfect sense now that Steve Jobs is calling Apple “a mobile devices company.”

 

 

Posted on 02-01-2010

Comments

  1. Jonathan Blundell says:

    February 1st, 2010 at 9:36 am

    “Apple’s computers are built for creating, while their other mobile devices (iPod, iPhone) are not. In that sense, iPad fits perfectly with Apple’s other mobile devices, and this makes perfect sense now that Steve Jobs is calling Apple “a mobile devices company.””

    That’s an interesting insight. I hadn’t seen or heard that before. One of the complaints I heard about the iPad was that it wasn’t built at all for creating. So it’s an interesting point that their desktop/laptop machines are built for creating – where as their mobile devices are all about consuming.

    It’s obvious that the Kindle is all about consumption as well.

    Perhaps the future versions of the iPad will have more features for creating (such as a camera and such) but for now it appears to be a great device for easy consumption on the go.

    It’ll be interesting to see if the rumored HTC/Google Tablet and HP Tablets stick to the consumption side of things or are equally focused on the creating side of things — and if so, what difference they’ll make in the market.

  2. Dale says:

    February 1st, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Interesting point, Steve

    “And, besides, Apple’s computers are built for creating, while their other mobile devices (iPod, iPhone) are not. In that sense, iPad fits perfectly with Apple’s other mobile devices, and this makes perfect sense now that Steve Jobs is calling Apple “a mobile devices company.””

    Except for how Jobs introduced the Pad as a device that did what the Netbook does not do well. I agree that it is a “consumer” device. I was hoping it would be a good mix of consumer AND creator. I’d pay twice as much for a good device that spans both worlds, since that is where I think a lot of Social Media needs to do better (provide ways to get more multimedia content out there as a way to be “realtime”)

  3. Eric says:

    February 2nd, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    As long as Apple keeps a tight lid on the creation side, I’ll wait for the competition to catch up…for now. But I might change my mind for the right app. If Apple seizes on the iPad for its utility in a production (esp. for its near indispensable potential among graphic designers, architects and the like) we’ll have not just a game changer, but an industry changer.

  4. Wesley says:

    February 6th, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Thanks for picking up my blog post Steve. To be completely honest I didn’t really think about how the iPad is more consumer driven than allowing for creativity, but that’s a very good point. I look forward to chatting at the Theology After Google Conference.

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