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Rob Walker
Blog | Biography | Books | Projects | Public Speaking | Articles & Essays | Contact

Articles & Essays


ARTICLES

MakerBot's Meta-Tools
Fast Company, January, 2012

Politics As Entertainment

The New York Times Magazine, January 4, 2012
 
The Dog Ate My Paycheck
Marketplace, December 16, 2011

Recognizably Anonymous

Slate, December 8, 2011

A Visual Object for the Digital Era

The Atlantic, December 2011

The Machine That Makes You Musical
The New York Times, October 23, 2011

The Language of Objects
MoMA.org, October 21, 2011

The Cult of Bang & Olufsen
Wired, October 2011

4CP Friday: Effacement
HiLobrow, September 16, 2011
 
Replacement Therapy
The Atlantic, September 2011

Not All Consumers Are Equal
Marketplace, August 18, 2011

The Trivialities and Transcendence of Kickstarter
The New York Times Magazine, August 5, 2011

The Swan Song of the Top 40
The New York Times Magazine, July 15, 2011

Foursquare's Branding With Badges
Slate, July 5, 2011

Failure Chic
Marketplace, June 16, 2011

Hiring “The Crowd” for a Design Job
Slate, May 31, 2011

Advertising That's “Relevant” — But to Whom?
Marketplace, May 23, 2011

Disliking “Dislike
Marketplace, March 31, 2011

The Propaganda of Concern
Slate, March 22, 2011

The Sound of Radiolab
The New York Times Magazine, April 7, 2011

Ghosts In The Machine
The New York Times Magazine, January 9, 2011

The Unlikely Success of Boing Boing 
Fast Company, December 2010/January 2010

Taking Lulz (Sort of) Seriously 
The New York Times Magazine, July 16, 2010

The Song Decoders
The New York Times Magazine, October 14, 2009

Tobias Wong on Consuming Consumer Consumption
Theme, December 2007/January 2008

Can A Dead Brand Live Again? 
The New York Times Magazine, May 18, 2008

Handmade 2.0
The New York Times Magazine, December 16, 2007

TV Land 
The New York Times Magazine, March 18, 2007

The Guts of a New Machine 
The New York Times Magazine, November 30, 2003


CONSUMED

Fun Stuff (Digital Collections)
The New York Times Magazine, February 11, 2011

Go Figure (Scalies)
The New York Times Magazine, February 4, 2011

Global Entertainment (Digital Maps) 
The New York Times Magazine, December 30, 2010

Hearing Things (Music Objects) 
The New York Times Magazine, September 10, 2010

Brilliant Mistakes (Digital Antiquing) 
The New York Times Magazine, July 25, 2010

Valuing $0 (Gifts) 
The New York Times Magazine, May 13, 2010

Rewind (The Cassette) 
The New York Times Magazine, April 23, 2010

Slightly Used (Best Made Ax) 
The New York Times Magazine, April 3, 2010

Stuffed (Hoarders) 
The New York Times Magazine, December 17, 2009

Immaterialism (Digital Goods)
The New York Times Magazine, April 29, 2009 

The Accidental Icon (Fail Whale) 
The New York Times Magazine, February 12, 2009 

Venturesome Consumers (The iFart App)
The New York Times Magazine, January 28, 2009

Talk Is Cheap (The "New Frugality")
The New York Times Magazine, December 12, 2008

Subliminal Branding (Team Speedo USA Parka) 
The New York Times Magazine, October 3, 2008

Shared Memories (Scrapbooks, physical and digital)
The New York Times Magazine, September 12, 2008

This Joke's For You (Brawndo)
The New York Times Magazine, May 4, 2008

Things That Look Like Other Things (Handsoaps)
The New York Times Magazine, January 13, 2008

Imaginary Brands (Last Exit To Nowhere T-shirts) 
The New York Times Magazine, November 18, 2007 

Timeless Object (Counterfunctional watches) 
The New York Times Magazine, October 28, 2007

Not Necessarily Toast (Back To Basics Egg & Muffin Toaster)
The New York Times Magazine, April 8, 2007

Merchant Memories (Mall of America Souvenir Merch)
The New York Times Magazine, March 4, 2007

Unconsumption (Freecycle) 
The New York Times Magazine, January 7, 2007

Animal Pragmatism ("Critter" Wine Labels) 
The New York Times Magazine, April 23, 2006

Original Tastemaker (Ladies' Home Journal Houses)
The New York Times Magazine, March 5, 2006

The Story of O's (Cheerios) 
The New York Times Magazine, February 19, 2006

For Kicks (SBTG Customized Sneakers)
The New York Times Magazine, March 3, 2005

Making Babies (Reborn Dolls)
The New York Times Magazine, February 2, 2005

The Good, The Plaid and The Ugly (The "chav" hat.)
The New York Times Magazine, January 2, 2005

Pattern Recognition (Realtree High Definition Camouflage)
The New York Times Magazine, October 17, 2004

The Filth Epiphany (Dyson vacuums)
The New York Times Magazine, August 8, 2004


COMMENTARY & ESSAYS

What Percent Are You, Really? 
Marketplace, November 29, 2011

Disliking "Dislike" 
Marketplace, March 31, 2011

Collecting: Bicentennial Quarters
DesignObserver.com December 9, 2010

The Hidden: Filtering "Friends" On Facebook
TheAtlatntic.com, October 4, 2010

Clutter, Objects, Joy
Murketing.com, March 4, 2010

Shopping Our Way To Safety (Review) 
The Journal of Industrial Ecology, February 2010

Site and Sound: One Home, Sixteen Objects and the Things We Listen to Now
Essay for Rewind, Remix, Replay exhibition at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, January 20, 2010

Noted, Without Noteworthiness (The End of the '00s) 
The Awl, December 23, 2009

Balloons (Part of a package on favorite toys)
I.D., September 2009

Active vs. Passive: Forward to Ad Nauseam
Murketing.com, June 2009

If You Follow Me I Will Follow You Back ("Blowing Up The Brand" NYU keynote) 
Murketing.com, May 8, 2009

Surface Effects (2005 essay for Shepard Fairey's Supply & Demand)
Murketing.com, 2005
 
Why We Laff
The New York Times Magazine, December 28, 2003

Let There Be Lite
The New York Times Magazine, December 29, 2002

Me, My Brand, and I
The New York Times Magazine, May 14, 2000

Fauxhemian Rhapsody
The New York Times Magazine, January 23, 2000
Rob Walker is a technology/culture columnist for Yahoo News. He is the former Consumed columnist for The New York Times Magazine, and has contributed to many publications. He is co-editor (with Joshua Glenn) of the book Significant Objects: 100 Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things, and author of Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are.


Recent Essay


An End of Things

An End of Things

The life of a thing, the death of an object — and maybe a new life to follow? At Liberty Auction in Pembroke, Georgia.


Recent Book



Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are
Rob Walker
Random House, 2008
More Books >>


Other Essays: 2010-2012


MakerBot's Meta-Tools
Fast Company, January 2012

Politics As Entertainment
The New York Times Magazine, January 4, 2012

The Dog Ate My Paycheck
Marketplace, December 16, 2011

Recognizably Anonymous
December 8, 2011: Slate

A Visual Object for the Digital Era
December 2011: The Atlantic

What Percent Are You, Really? 
November 29, 2011: Marketplace

The Machine That Makes You Musical
October 23, 2011: The New York Times

The Cult of Bang & Olufsen
October 2011: Wired

4CP Friday: Effacement
September 2011: HiLobrow

Replacement Therapy
September 2011: The Atlantic

Not All Consumers Are Equal
August 18, 2011: Marketplace

The Trivialities and Transcendence of Kickstarter 
August 5, 2011: The New York Times Magazine

The Swan Song of the Top 40
July 15, 2011: The New York Times Magazine

Foursquare's Branding With Badges
July 5, 2011: Slate

Failure Chic
June 16, 2011: Marketplace

Hiring "the crowd" for a design job
May 31, 2011: Slate

Advertising that's "relevant" — but to whom?
May 23, 2011: Marketplace

Disliking "Dislike"
March 31, 2011: Marketplace

The Propaganda of Concern
March 22, 2011: Slate

The Sound of Radiolab
The New York Times Magazine, April 7, 2011

Disliking "Dislike" 
Marketplace, March 31, 2011

Fun Stuff (Digital Collections)
The New York Times Magazine, February 11, 2011

Go Figure (Scalies)
The New York Times Magazine, February 4, 2011

Ghosts In The Machine
The New York Times Magazine, January 9, 2011

Collecting: Bicentennial Quarters
DesignObserver.com December 9, 2010

Go Figure (Scalies)
The New York Times Magazine, February 4, 2011

The Hidden: Filtering "Friends" On Facebook
TheAtlatntic.com, October 4, 2010

Hearing Things (Music Objects) 
The New York Times Magazine, September 10, 2010

Taking Lulz (Sort of) Seriously 
The New York Times Magazine, July 16, 2010

Brilliant Mistakes (Digital Antiquing) 
The New York Times Magazine, July 25, 2010

Valuing $0 (Gifts) 
The New York Times Magazine, May 13, 2010

Rewind (The Cassette) 
The New York Times Magazine, April 23, 2010

Slightly Used (Best Made Ax) 
The New York Times Magazine, April 3, 2010

Clutter, Objects, Joy
Murketing.com, March 4, 2010

Shopping Our Way To Safety (Review) 
The Journal of Industrial Ecology, February 2010

The Unlikely Success of Boing Boing 
Fast Company, December 2010/January 2010

Site and Sound: One Home, Sixteen Objects and the Things We Listen to Now
Essay for Rewind, Remix, Replay exhibition at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, January 20, 2010

Complete List >>




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