Dec. 16, 2010 at 6:09 PM ET
Even if you weren't born Christian, it's hard to live in this country and escape the story of Jesus' birth, especially at this time of year. Then again, the coming of the Lord has become much more than a purely religious event. Decades long (at least) is the commercialization of the story of Mary and Joseph, the miracle conception and birth, the three wise men, the shepherd, the stable, the manger, etc..
This season, we've seen another trend in the retelling of this classic origin story: How it would have been documented if it were happening now, through online social networks.
"The Digital Story of the Nativity" (as imagined by the Portugal-based Excentric) blitzes through the story at hyper-fast pace, using Google products (Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Google search), Wikipedia, an iPhone text, Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook.
I can't help but chuckle watching Mary receive a text on her iPhone from the Archangel Gabriel, or when Mary e-mails Joseph ("Subject: Annunciation"), or clicking on "Avoid Romans" in mapping the route from Nazareth to Bethlehem. And countless other moments. It's a clever mash-up of an all-too familiar story with a fresh coat of pop culture and the most up-to-date ways we make announcements, share news, research travel and communicate with each other.
"A Social Network Christmas" is a more somber video that focuses entirely on the Nativity as experienced via Facebook, beginning with the engagement of Mary and Joseph and leading to the birth of their miracle child. In-between they share (and overshare) their confusion, doubts and prayers with neighbors and friends.
Google started the whole trend in 2009 with this video, "Parisian Love," which really took off after it aired during this year's Super Bowl. The videos are basically creative demos that show how different products work, with the benefit of having simple but effective stories that resonate with people.
Back in October, Technolog wrote about the catchy new Twitter tutorial/video using Will.I.Am's "Check it out." Again, what better way to show how things work then to show it in action, set it to a song, and go!
We're curious to see how far this will go, and when it will stop being interesting to people. What will be the next thing?