Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Schmap me up!

"Riverside Park," Tim Connor, All rights reserved

The picture above is now appearing on Schmap!! New York, a sort of interactive map-travel-guide-with-pictures that you can view on your computer or iPhone. It's one of several photos illustrating Manhattan's Riverside Park. The Schmap editor found it on Flickr & I said OK, use it -- though they weren't paying -- because she asked so nicely & it seemed an unusual choice. Also, I was curious to see it on a cellphone.

Here it is on the schmap.

You probably remember tourists -- their urgent arguments in various languages as they jabbed at ripped maps that flapped in the wind under malfunctioning streelights? Well, that's over. Personally, I thought 20th century tourists were adorable. Their ingratiating smiles & halting, heavily accented questions always made me feel so competent ... But, as I say, that's over. We're onto a new millenium now.

Tomorrow's tourist will have his schmap!! Holding up its self-lighted screen, he will whisk through our city with small deft sweeps of his hand, the occasional masterful finger punch of decision. Imagine. A mere tap & he is virtually soaring -- invisibly, noiselessly -- at attack helicopter height over neighborhoods & parks, highways & bridges. Another tap & he is hovering, exploring -- scrolling through handy pictures and short but informative reviews . Ah, Gotham! What delicious decisions. Times Square! Central Park! Greenwich Village! The undimmable Lights of Broadway! All at his fingertips.

My only problem is -- allright I'll confess it! --I can't make any of these goddamn utopia-is-now gadgets actually work. To give you an example, I tried for an hour & couldn't figure out how to customize the "easy-to-use" widget they sent me to show off my picture. Here, you try it.

I was savvy enough to know the "customizable widget" was part of Schmapp's very smart strategy to not only use my photo for free but also have me do their viral marketing for them. I would, the marketeers hoped, proudly send around e-news of my "publication" to all my friends. 

And I would have done it too. Fired up my Twitter. Digg. LinkedIn. Ning. YouTube. Bebo...

Except I haven't figured out Facebook yet.


Terésa said...

I can never get this stuff to work, either. I think it's a birth year issue (pre-1970 and you're screwed). I consider it a good day when my cordless phone functions properly.

Anonymous said...

Dude, get your kid to do it. :-)

Christine (CA) said...

Oh, Tim, you'd be such a sorry case if you weren't so gifted in all the old-fashioned ways.

Schmap is a funny venture. They found 3 of mine that I let them have. All odd pictures that I would never have any real use for.

Chris Bonney said...

I'll give away pictures to most anyone who asks nicely and isn't just trying to get something they're going to trade on commercially for nothing. But I did draw the line on Schmap. They wanted a lot and were going to use it for their own commercial gain, but weren't going to thank me with anything but the vanity of inclusion.