Many of our Detours are journalistic in that they tell true stories about history, people and neighborhoods. But this is the first time we’re using Detour to tell the story of an issue.
We don’t take you to a landfill or a dump, show you a “place,” and talk about it. Instead, we walk you through the nooks and crannies of daily life in San Francisco, from a convenience store to the trash cans in someone’s driveway to a brewpub to a Bay-side park — with lots of surprises along the way. Because the front lines of San Francisco’s war on garbage are everywhere.
-Marianne McCune, “Walking the Trash Talk”, Detour
Awhile ago, I linked to a service called Detour. At the time, Detour was just an idea and an email list. Now, Detour has launched with a nice-looking iOS app and web presence. Detour is a fascinating way to experience the sights and sounds of a city, particularly for locals who are looking for experiences and information off the beaten path.
Last week, I received a promotional email from Detour telling me about a new Detour1 to talk about trash in San Francisco. With the recording, came a blog post about the making of the Detour and the information behind it—San Francisco’s plan to rid themselves of traditional trash removal by 2020.
Detour is not in my area or any area I intend to visit often, so its use to me is still limited, but this release reminded me of another media to which I listened the other day: Relay.fm’s Inquisitive podcast and their new Behind the App series. These two aural adventures are examples of the fact that innovation can still occur within established mediums.
Detour is starting to bring their users the news through experiences (and walking tours) with informational accompaniment, while Inquisitive’s new series is taking podcasts to the level of polish that was seemingly reserved for the likes of NPR or nightly television news programs. Both are exciting and everyone should watch them closely, as they make innovative history in their respective spaces.
Detour is both the name of the product itself and the name of the “episodes” of content that they provide to the app. In essence, each episodic Detour is a literal detour that reports to you what you see as you walk a neighborhood with the app’s guidance.↩
Did the Internet community peak at bookmarks? Asked in a different and perhaps more complete way: just as technologies like RSS and email in their purest forms are hard to beat even as technology marches forward, what better technology exists to keep track of information on the ever-expanding Internet than bookmarks? Taken a step further, what better way to share the bookmarked information than a site of your own? As such, I‘ve been reading, which is why I write now.
Working in and having a passion for libraries, I am struck by the fact that the way bookmarks work in the physical world is not directly analogous to bookmarks in the digital world. Bookmarks in the digital world are instead like dog-eared pages or highlighted passages; if you think of the Internet as a single tome, that is. In any case, anything that moves you to deface a book should probably be shared or become immortalized in some other way than just a reference for a future version of yourself.