Taboo tech

Pornography can inform our efforts in journalism.

Stay with me.

The topic came up in my emerging technologies class for mobile phone journalism. We focus on ways mobile can fit into the creation and delivery of content in the near-term future.

Let’s agree that digital methods will continue to play an increasing role in every aspect of media, outside of the few stalwarts stocked with yellow Ticonderoga pencils and manual typewriter ribbons.

Pornography has compelling content, private delivery, a unique niche and an identifiable audience. Simplified, to be sure.

Mobile has these attributes: entertaining content (Angry Birds for journalists?), here-and-now delivery, location-based uniqueness and a targetable audience in phone users.

Our discussions have addressed the idea that we might have to offend most people’s upbringing and let them have dessert before their peas and carrots.

We can draw people into the system with entertaining, even non-journalistic, content and progressively introduce them to stories they can actually sink their teeth into.

But we have to invest them in our system first.

I’d like to see regular headline updates via text or email. A local newspaper could send out top headlines at, say, 9 and 3.

Keep it short for those who want to skim and skip back to playing Words With Friends, but include a link to the full story for those who want to explore further.

I don’t know if it will work. I don’t know if it won’t, either. It’s as good a reason as any to try.

Costs are low and the general idea can be implemented with current technologies. And we won’t have to consult Alexander.

Happy surfing.

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