it sounds good…
Starbucks has a new program they’re calling “The Way I See It,” which looks like an IP-and-sip program to spur topical conversation at your local Starbucks and, presumably, online.
They plan to publish comments on their cups from “writers, artists, musicians, scientists, leaders, educators, activists, athletes and others.” Then you can submit a response or your own original thoughts, online or the old fashioned way, by mailing in 65 words or less using a handy form available next to your napkins and T-Mobile brochures (no postage necessary if mailed in the United States).
One hitch. Even though the pamphlet says you can submit your thoughts at www.starbucks.com/wayiseeit, that web address fails, at least today. Maybe my local Starbucks put the pamphlets out a little early?
But it sounds great. I’ve always loved the idea of contributing to a virtual conversation by mailing in your comments. There’s a reason we call leaving online messages “posting,” and there’s no reason to leave the real post out of the process.
And if people try it, it will help more Starbucks to be “third places,” the non-home, non-work environment sociologist Ray Oldenburg talks about, where we can live out our “informal public lives.”
The Starbucks project reminds me of Edward R. Murrow’s “This I Believe” radio broadcasts, which captured the values and convictions of some of the world’s most notable figures in the early 50’s. The series is currently being revived by NPR. (And thanks to John Barth, for giving me the book!)