One Pixellated Party



Rick Smolan already brought us One Digital Day. Now, he’s bringing us to One Pixellated Party.

Smolan is no stranger to the cool, technology-influenced coffee table book. You may know him for “America 24/7,” or maybe “Passage to Vietnam.” My favorite has to be “24 Hours in Cyberspace.” I still pull that off the shelf sometimes, to reminisce -in pictures- about the technology revolution that blossomed in front of us here in the Silicon Valley.

As with his previous efforts, Smolan (whose offices are located in the Bay Area) brought dozens of photographers together, enlisted some of the biggest hitters in the tech industry, and cranked out another must-see bit of history. He calls it “The Obama Time Capsule,” a giant book with photos from the campaign trail, all the way up to the Inaugural Ball.

But this one has a twist: You can put yourself into the story. On Smolan’s new website (www.theobamatimecapsule.com), there are specific places for you to insert pictures and dedications, so you can find yourself in the book, before you buy the book. Thanks to some new printing technology from Hewlett-Packard, each book will be custom-made before it’s sold. That way, no paper is wasted, and you can etch your own name on the invitation to the Inaugural Ball, or include your family photo among the celebrities who supported the campaign.

Thanks also to help from companies like Facebook, Google, and Glam, the cost of the book has been kept down, so what would usually cost between 80 and 100 dollars can be yours for about $35. It is truly a time capsule, mostly because of the you-are-there photography that’s become a trademark of Smolan’s work, but also because you yourself can insert photos and words in case you weren’t actually there.

As Smolan himself told me, “I love the idea of using technology to tell a story. To give technology a human face.”

With this book, you won’t notice the technology .. and that’s part of the plan. The human face? That can be yours.

[For more Scott Budman tech stories, visit www.nbcbayarea.com]