Each week Joshua Fruhlinger contributes This is the Modem World, a column dedicated to exploring the culture of consumer technology.
By now, Cyber Monday is probably as big as Black Friday in terms of sales and retail excitement. According to IBM's Smarter Commerce arm, Cyber Monday online sales jumped 30 percent this year. A few years ago, Cyber Monday seemed to start as a joke, e-tailers heaving a "me too" at everyone returning to work, hoping to pick up a couple extra sales from those who didn't score on Black Friday.
This was, of course, when brick-and-mortar shops still outsold their online brethren. Blockbuster Video still occupied mini-malls; Barnes & Noble sold CDs and didn't know a thing about tablets. There was a quiet respect for brick-and-mortar stores in the quaint nature of Cyber Monday: 20 percent off underwear and free shipping, but that was about it. Continue reading This is the Modem World: Fear and loathing in the local bike shop