Monday, April 21, 2008

Custom (Hackable) Tees at

A friend of ours, Carl London, recently brought a great new service to our attention: CNN recently launched a tool that enables users to purchase recent news article titles on t-shirts. This beta service was quietly released today with the sudden appearance of little shirt icons next to the video icons on their homepage.

But you better hurry because the wearable headlines are only available as long as the article is featured as latest news on CNN. Click on a title and you will see the headline on three different American Apparel shirts (gray, black or white), each priced at $15. Once you buy a shirt, you can even share it on Facebook.

"Just t-shirts?" you say (like those nay-sayers over at Wired). Maybe so, but we thinks it's one of the the most surprising, and enjoyable, recent online innovations from a major media outlet. And we're not alone in this opinion. At least one other blogger feels that CNN's new t-shirt service is "the most brilliant Web 2.0 initiative we've seen from stodgy old Time Warner since … since."

As fans of the news – funny news, most of all – we love the idea of people wearing headlines as personal statements (including the t-shirt at right which, we are assured, is a real headline that formerly read "ABC News ****** up the Pennsylvania debate"). But the opportunities for abuse inherent in the CNN t-shirt API open the door for humor even further. You can write their own t-shirt URL and create an "official" CNN tee that says anything you want (though the site appears to block the purchase of illegitimate and outdated headlines). FB

Postscript (4/22/2008, 4:09pm): Looks like CNN has already fixed the URL-hack. So much for my backdoor headline tees!)

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