Planet Money Crew Merges T-Shirts And Journalism

from the hey,-that-sounds-familiar! dept

Just a day after we announced our combined plans to save journalism and sell some t-shirts, the always excellent Planet Money team at NPR did an entire show about their own plans to get into the t-shirt business. Planet Money, we've noted in the past, has really taken the concept of experiential journalism to new levels, by not just reporting on certain subjects, but getting really involved in the topics to better understand them. This is great.

And, their latest plan is to get into the t-shirt business to better understand what it's like to manage such a business. Of course, we've noted in the past that there's actually a ton of money to be made in the t-shirt business, even as some of our critics have mocked our business model ideas as being limited to just selling "looooooots of t-shirts" and little else. In response, of course, we sold a ton of t-shirts with that as the slogan (I'm wearing mine now).

The Planet Money podcast about t-shirts highlights a few interesting points that again fit in with plenty of the things we talk about here. For example, they spend time talking to a "trends" expert, who notes that the big thing in selling high end luxury t-shirts, is to include a "story" with the shirt. It's the story that gets people willing to buy the shirt. She mentions how some of the shirts have huge tags that include a detailed story about where the shirt was made. This kicks off a discussion among the Planet Money crew about how their whole business is telling stories, and they should be able to tell a good story with their shirt. This actually reminds me of the Significant Objects project that we've written about a few times, where a group of fiction writers sold random trinkets on eBay... but did so with a fictional story about the object. That fictional story (given away for free) made the little trinkets much more valuable, and they were sold for much higher than nominal prices.

It was yet another example of an infinite good (the story) being used to make a scarce good (the trinket) much more valuable. It's neat to see the same thing happening in t-shirts as well, as it sort of ties a bunch of these different ideas together.

Oh, and one last thing. In the podcast, they discuss how high end t-shirts, with high quality cotton, can sell for over $200, and talk about how their own t-shirt, which they insist will be a hell of a lot nicer than your typical cheap NPR t-shirt, will probably be sold for about $50. Given all of this, I should note that our own t-shirts are also high quality American Apparel shirts that are crazy soft and comfy... and are offered at the bargain price of just $25... including a one-year subscription to the Techdirt crystal ball feature. It's a bargain. So, if you're interested in t-shirts and journalism, you can pick up our high-quality "paywall" t-shirt to make sure people have to pay you to keep talking:
Or just sign up for our brainstorming event on saving journalism, where you'll get the t-shirt as well... and maybe we'll even figure out a way to discuss t-shirts and journalism.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 11:52am

    Sale at Shirwin-Williams for lead/arsenic free paint!

    Hopefully PlanetMoney uses the lead and arsenic-free paints like Techdirt started using on Tuesday.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    heh, I refreshed the main page and just saw the picture and for a little bit there I thought Techdirt was going to do an experimental paywall just to show everyone that they don't work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Some Other Guy, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Sale at Shirwin-Williams for lead/arsenic free paint!

    Eeek! I shall give up eating t-shirts immediately!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Some Other Guy, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Sale at Shirwin-Williams for lead/arsenic free paint!

    More seriously, if you have poisonous paint/dye with those nasty metals in it on a t-shirt, are you actually likely to absorb much through your skin?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    AdamBv1 (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Sale at Shirwin-Williams for lead/arsenic free paint!

    That's a shame, i like my shirts to have a little bit of heft to them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sale at Shirwin-Williams for lead/arsenic free paint!

    You're not even supposed to handle lead with your hands, did ya know?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 5:39pm

    saving journalism by stopping being journalists and starting selling t-shirts instead. mike, is this your answer for everything? stop what you are doing and sell overprice crap to support yourself?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    dem0n1 (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 6:05pm

    American Apparel quality?

    Really? You think their cheap, thin, undersized, poorly stitched shirts are quality? I will no longer purchase any t-shirt that is from them and as much as I like your shirt idea above, I will not get it if is American Apparel and any shirt I buy on the net that turns out be an AA shirt goes back.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 6:28pm

    Re:

    saving journalism by stopping being journalists and starting selling t-shirts instead. mike, is this your answer for everything? stop what you are doing and sell overprice crap to support yourself?

    Heh. I see you left your sense of humor at troll training school.

    The idea of selling t-shirts to save journalism is a *joke*.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 6:30pm

    Re: American Apparel quality?

    Really? You think their cheap, thin, undersized, poorly stitched shirts are quality?

    Hmm. The shirts that we've done using AA have really been very good. We haven't seen any problems with them at all. They're definitely higher quality than most t-shirts I see. What problems have you seen with AA shirts?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 8:32pm

    Re: Re:

    the t-shirts may be a joke, but the concept isnt. it is the old techdirt plan for everything, no?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 10:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    the t-shirts may be a joke, but the concept isnt. it is the old techdirt plan for everything, no?


    No. (Not even close).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Matt (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 10:56pm

    Acces to me is a scarce good

    I like the new shirt but isn't a personal conversation with me (my time and attention) an example of a scarce good? ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    sharonpriscilla, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 10:00pm

    T-shirts collections

    It’s a very good post I have come across.I really like this post very much.It’s a very appreciated post.Thanks for sharing.Keep blogging.

    Thanks for the insight! There is a lot of helpful information within those links.

    Cheap Wholesale T-shirts

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    stevenadam, May 14th, 2013 @ 6:23am

    Nice Try.!!

    Whoa!! Merging social media and t-shirts is a good way to make a move for give your message about experiential journalism. selling lots of t-shirts to the people is a really influential idea as there's no other way to spread your idea than printing it on people's torso.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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