SPIographies: Christopher Bakes

The SPI team is updating and replacing the “Getting to Know…” bios with SPIographies 2.0. Stay tuned to read every team member’s SPIography in the coming weeks!

Describe your role on the PBS Digital team.
I’m joining PBS as a Business Intern for the Station Products & Innovation this summer. I’ll be working with member stations to collect feedback on our products and services. I hope to help to continue making the member station digital experience a positive, helpful, and exciting one. Dan Levy–my intern partner-in-crime–and I will also manage @PBSinterns. Follow us to learn more about PBS intern life.

How will the digital world change over the next few years?
Media theorist Marshall McLuhan called electronic technology a “global village,” a term I think aptly describes how public media works simultaneously to compress and expand how we perceive the world–the Internet shrinks conceptual space so we can interact with a gamut of ideas, places, and experiences from one device. I believe the future of the digital landscape will be to continue developing new technologies that bolster simultaneous expansion and locality, helping us to appreciate other communities while realizing that we are, at the same time, all part of one overarching community.

What is the one website you can’t live without?
I’m a big fan of The Onion. The satire they write is spot-on, and they do a great job of delivering content that’s smart and pithy – the humor is always edgy without resorting to immaturity. As someone interested in comedy writing, I can always get behind a tongue-in-cheek news source.
Another site I’ve recently discovered is As the name suggests, it’s a blog all about typography. For anyone who appreciates good graphic design – or just likes experimenting with new typefaces – this is a great site to explore.

What book do you think every person needs to read and why?
The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis is a phenomenal read. Davis crafts her characters with a sense of lightheartedness, precision, and caring. Each person she writes–whether one-time or recurring–is characterized by a different, idiosyncratic tic. Davis places her characters in otherwise ordinary settings, experimenting with how one small shift to a person alters their entire relationship to reality.

What is your favorite mobile app?
I use the free version of the Sleep Cycle alarm clock app to wake me up in the morning. Users set a range of time during which they want to be woken up in the morning, and your phone will wake you up when your body is in its stage of lightest sleep within that time frame. I’m not a coffee drinker, so this app is the best way to avoid morning grogginess. Seriously – give it a try!

If you could have a Google Hangout with any person, dead or alive, who would it be? 
Dorothea Lange: a Depression-era photographer who staked her claim in the American canon through a 1930s photo series commissioned by the Farm Security Administration that depicted rural plight. Lange was one of the earliest Americans to harness the power of a public media form–photography and its subsequent publication in magazines and books–to depict the urgency of social change necessary to help struggling farmers in the 1930s and 1940s. A personal and professional hero, Lange demonstrates the importance and relevance of public media through time.

Describe the internet in one word.