Nerdlepoint booth progress

Here’s family friend and all around awesome guy Dave Moroz-Henry of Barking Dog Signs made up a five-foot coroplast (corrugated plastic) NERDlepoint banner with grommets in the top for my booth at the West Chester Craft Fair:

Nerdlepoint craft-show booth banner

Now all I need is to make some inventory to sell! I’ve been working on the back-end side of things (like TinyURL, except that it will let you change what the target of the URL is.) Here’s how it works; I’m trying to come up with a coherent explanation for the craft booth:

  • You buy a hand-painted needlepoint canvas at the booth. The canvas has a URL painted on to it, in the form of a 2D barcode that your cameraphone can read.
  • The URL painted on the canvas is unique — it points to “” and an arbitrary three-letter word. The canvas you buy might have “”
  • When you buy the canvas, an envelope comes with it containing a secret password for that canvas that only you have. The password is something like “mike23melissa”.
  • You can go to the site, and — using your secret password — set the location on the internet where your canvas goes. You can set it to your blog URL, your Flickr photostream, or make it a Rick Roll.

Let’s say you’ve done that. You’ve purchased the canvas with the url painted on it, and you’ve used the secret password to make it a Rick Roll canvas. The user experience then is:

  1. Your teenaged nephew with a jailbroken iPhone shoots your needlepoint pillow using his semacode reader.
  2. Your teenaged nephew groans in anguish as Rick Astley starts dancing in the YouTube player on his iPhone.

I think I’m going to have to make this explanation less complicated. Maybe explain it like a magic trick, with the user-experience first, then the instructions on how to make that happen, and only then the squidgy bits about what’s going on under the hood with the 302 redirects and the electrons and the gabba-gabba hey?

UPDATE: Um… teenaged nephews don’t have iPhones, do they? I guess you’ll have to substitute “…your twentysomething brother-in-law with expensive shoes and Art Director Glasses.”

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