You are walking, say, in drizzly Boston or bustling New York or uptight Zurick, and there, amongst the graffiti and indie band flyers, is a bright yellow arrow sticker. It has a declarative word in faux-scrawl-font: "COUNTS."
At the stalk of this arrow is a cryptic number: "wdam3"
You clutch at the mobile phone velcroed to hip, shoulder or bag to send a text message via thumb and truncated keypad to the YellowArrow hotline (1.646.270.5537), inquiring: "What counts?"
The SMS message begins with a "?" followed by the arrow's unique code, so goes SMS "?wdam3".
The point of the YellowArrow will be sent immediately to your phone. In this case: "The US trade deficit is up 19% from last year, with a $50 billion monthly deficit. This 1918 port storehouse is now home to the Boston Design Center. ~ posted by newurban"
At www.yellowarrow.org, the project, launched in Septemebr 2004, seems to be spreading as hoped, continent to continent:
Since the full launch last month, the interest in the YellowArrow project has been phenomenal! From Uruguay to Australia, from Israel to Latvia, and from nearly every Western European country, people have been requesting arrows and asking to become involved. Arrows have reached almost every state in the US, and pictures and maps have shown up in the web gallery from big cities-- NYC, Philly, Chicago, San Francisco, ATL, Boston, and LA-- and smaller towns like Chapel Hill, NC, Boulder, CO, Coalmont, TN, and Bald Mountain, CA.
The YellowArrow is on it's way to becoming an open global symbol and is growing a crazy and remarkable community--not just on the web, but authentically connected to places and with messages left to be discovered in the real world. We wish we could show you the list of people that have contacted us, just to give you an idea of the broad spectrum of brilliant people interested, all of whom seem to have their own cool projects going on--architects, musicians, school teachers, graffiti artists, dot com-ers, designers, retired media execs, and hardcore bikers. This project is in good hands.
I learned of this wondeful experiment from Christopher Allen, Director of Creative Development at The Ride New York.