Slightly Off-Topic

The (t-) Shirt Off Your Back

By DOM Team| 3 Min Read | June 4, 2008

Well I think it’s over. I can’t swear blind who exactly wound up with the Democratic party nod as entering Hillary Clinton’s parallel universe that defies all laws of mathematics has sent me into an intellectually self critical tailspin of Nietzschian proportions.

I love it when the American media announces that history is being made then wails hysterically as soon as anybody moves off script. The irony is surely lost on most of the poor souls.

Man, did they ever dump all over John McCain’s speech and then all over Hillary’s lack of graciousness. CNN’s Jeff Toobin (who I strangely like as he contains the demeanor of a man who is mentally on a constant eyeball roll) was particularly savage in accusing her of ‘deranged narcissism‘.

Now both the Clinton and McCain campaigns haven’t worked their Internet mojos to the best of their abilities to milk their supporters of every last penny – and reminding them of your Website url halfway through your speech doesn’t count. So, I thought I’d throw this up the flagpole to see if either of them salute seeming one is struggling to make money and the other can’t help lending it to herself.

I recently came across a rather nifty concept in t-shirt design, delivery and marketing over on Read/Write Web. As described over there:

Japanese media-wiki company Nota offers a service called C-Shirt, a fascinating combination of technologies and concepts unlike anything we’ve seen before.

It’s a t-shirt, but with a mobile scannable code, wiki-like editing and a CreativeCommons license.

How it Works

C-Shirt shirts each come with a scannable little QR (Quick Response) code in the corner. If you see a C-Shirt that you like, worn by someone walking around town, you can scan the QR code with your mobile phone. (Especially if you’re in Japan where people scan QR codes with their phones all the time.) Your phone then captures the shirt’s unique URL on the Nota website, where you can load it up and edit the design however you like.

Each design is given a Creative Commons license (that’s what the C stands for) according to the wishes of the creator. Once you’ve got it how you like it, you can have it shipped to you just like any other T-shirt website would do.

Tell me this doesn’t sound fantastic.

But how are you going to swell your campaign coffers?

Well, imagine you’re at a political rally and you see a shirt you like of your chosen candidate. You can go up to that person and swipe the barcode on the shirt and purchase it immediately. You’d have all these t-shirts being virtually swapped via mobile devices designed by your supporters – maybe folks would be uploading pics they’ve just had taken with their candidate to create a t-shirt with – and you’d also be cultivating and strengthening bonds between them.

You’d also sell more t-shirts due to the ‘immediacy of the moment’ after a supremely delivered speech. Plus, your costs would be minimal as you wouldn’t have to print a shed load of ‘official’ merchandise beforehand. In fact, it shouldn’t eat in to your campaign funds at all.

Then again, I can only see the Clinton campaign trying to copyright half of the designs and most of the McCain t-shirts smelling of formaldehyde and mothballs.

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