for 18 June 1996. Updated every TUESDAY.

BIG IDEA The Home Shopping Network meets Cops
... on the Web!
25 WORDS <= An elegant vehicle for man's basest
passions - booze, porn, death and
shopping. Realcrime.com merges depravity
with voyeurism on the frontlines of
consumerism: the liquor store.
HARD SELL Across the land, solitary surveillance
cameras perform their slow sweep of the
nation's fastest growing criminal
activity hotspots - seedy corner markets
and 24-7 7-11s. The compelling intensity
of the random stick-ups they record is
honored in the bloody bloopers and
blunders that have become a staple of
broadcast journalism. But while the
outtakes turn store-owners and vigilant
cashiers into heros, and the evening news
into passably interesting fare, the true
entertainment value of the phenomena has
yet to be harnessed. The concept is
simple: instead of lonely lenses, a vast
network of product-filled mini-marts
punctuated by the dependable interruption
of spectacular violence and street
The beauty of realcrime.com lies in the
fact that even with a national network of
liquorcams, moments of chilling frenzy
would be rare. But this only highlights
the breathtaking opportunity the setting
affords - hours upon hours of slow
product shots featuring countless vessels
of alcohol, seated alongside the latest
print periodicals from the world of
graphic erotica. When crime abates,
shopping sates - the network turns into a
reality-driven QVC-inspired shopping
network, offering viewers the
unprecedented opportunity to fulfill
their most personal shopping needs from
the privacy of their homes. The savage
beatings and random gunplay reverses
traditional concepts of
programming/commercial breakdowns,
serving as action interludes to the
commercial programming in much the same
way the occasional Tampax or Arch Deluxe
30-second spot interrupts video rotation
on MTV. Better than a win-win, this is a
win-win-win, as consumers benefit through
engrossing content, spirits companies
relish the selling potential, and
store-owners enjoy lower insurance rates
through the increased security nominally
offered via networked surveillance.
OVERHEAD We recommend incentivizing store-owners
into absorbing set-up, maintenance, and
connection fees with discounts on
insurance premiums and appeals to the
desirability of celebrityhood that the
programming would likely create. Central
monitoring is essential, but interface
design should be implemented with an eye
towards encouraging viewers to surf at
random in search of potential melees.
Timely roll-out would depend not only on
television promotion, but also on the
calculated manufacture of potent
confrontational situations in the early
months. Criminal elements could be put
under contract to throttle and/or simply
brandish handguns and other weapons at
heavy rotation realcrime.com affiliates,
until natural crime events occur on their
own with trackable regularity. Managing a
network of affiliate broadcasters could
be farmed out to TCI, or other
content-hungry tech partner.

courtesy of
The Duke of URL