Thursday, June 01, 2006

Garage Sailing

When I was but a youth in southern Wisconsin, one of the major sources of amusement for my friends and I -- particularly when working on camp staff -- was garage sailing. We'd get the weekend classified listings for the upcoming garage sales, map a plan of attack, and head out in the land barge to hit all the hot spots.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune now makes that easy as pie, and it's a model other newspapers could and should follow. The newspaper's garage sale map enables curbside vendors to get listed -- and bargain hunters to map their route from sale to sale.

This is the kind of online application that can help bridge print media with real-world wandering -- and the kind that could help make newspapers more relevant. Here in New York, we already have GarbageScout, which maps stoop-side detritus -- iffy in this rain! -- but how to best find the stuff you seek outside of Craig's List's giveaways?

Every newspaper should offer this service. Take heed. And take advantage if you're in Minnesota!

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