As Robert Scoble noted earlier this week, journalism has a distribution problem. The old ways getting people their newspaper (paperboy, newsagent) are expensive and impractical and the digital means of distribution that exist (RSS, email, SEO social media) can leave readers bombarded and overwhelmed. So, with that in mind, I’ve come up a few new (possibly impractical) ways that readers could be alerted about their daily dose of news. (Leave your suggestions in the comments below)
1) Johnny Wilkinson’s left boot
Now that the former England fly half has retired, what better way to put his hallowed left boot to good use than drop kick several hundred thousand newspapers to people’s doors each day? His accuracy would likely mean fewer customer complaints than some newspapers get for their existing delivery services.
The controversial High Speed 2 hasn’t got a many supporters. But it might if it served a duel function of transporting people between London and Birmingham whilst also acting as vehicle for delivering newspapers. Imagine the sight: residents of rural towns in Oxfordshire standing outside their houses each morning waiting for their Telegraph to be flung from carriage 3 of the 7:52 from Euston. It’d be like a scene from The Fellowship of the Ring when Frodo leaves the Shire.
3) Tube windows
I’ve always been a bit baffled as to why the London Underground has windows since a) you’re underground and b) well, there’s not much to look at underground. Here’s an idea: make them into screens like they have in Bourne Identity and bam, you’ve got a ton of sweaty, grumpy commuters held as your captive audience. Take that, Metro/Evening Standard.
4) An army of exuberant south London runners
You can’t bloody move for runners in London especially, it seems, south of the river where there are no Tubes and only coffee to keep people sane. So, why not make use of them by strapping newspapers to them and allowing people to nab a copy as they walked along the pavement? I reckon by harnessing the power of the runners on Clapham Common on Saturday alone, you’d be able to deliver newspapers to the whole of South London before you could say ‘when is the Northern Line extending to Battersea again?’.
5) Compose a daily pop song
People are often sending me links to average pop songs on YouTube in fits of pop nostalgia. Last week, I got pinged Richard Blackwood’s ‘Mamma who da man’ (thank you to the person that sent that), before that it was Chris de Burgh’s Lady In Red (less appreciative). And, seeing as people seem to be comfortable sharing pop songs, even those by a now half-rate comedian from over a decade ago, it strikes me that there’s room in the market for a daily catchy ditty comprised of the big stories of the day. I’d take Tian Tian over Duran Duran any day.
To paraphrase the popular song, if the newspaper industry’s going down, why don’t we try Tinder? Everyone’s favourite swipe-happy dating app is aimed at 18-24 year olds (a market papers have always struggled to access) and a recent update introduced ‘Moments’, a feature that allows a user to share photos with all of their matches at once. Anyone fancy being notified about military intervention in Iraq with ‘Not again :(‘ and picture of a sad Dave Cameron? No?
Photo on home page courtesy of Fanny Schertzer