Tag Archives: Beta

What are they smoking? (CNN Shirt Edition)

As I am compulsively refreshing the CNN homepage like I do every day, I suddenly notice there’s a new icon next to some headlines in the “Latest News” section (it’s the one to the right of the headline).It looks like the letter T but upon closer inspection more like a T Shirt. Why would a T Shirt icon sit next to selective headlines at cnn.com? For CNN headline shirts of course!

At that point I distinctly remember hearing the exclamation “Brilliant!” from that Guinness commercial. I mean seriously CNN headline T Shirts? Who would want to wear that?

Let me just give you a concrete example to get an understanding of how bad it is. The first shirt available was “DUI Gizmo might’ve been wrong 2 years” and here is what it looks like

The next is “Principal sets up drug sting on student”… WTF! So now here I am, obsessively refreshing the T shirt’s homepage to see how low this can possibly go. Nothing too appalling so far, but on the other hand nothing I would even remotely consider wearing.

Since I had questions, well I’m not sure I had actual questions but I was puzzled I went to the FAQs section and was pleased to find answers to such pressing questions as”How can I share my shirts on Facebook?” or “I took my CNN shirt on vacation and I have great pictures. Where can I send them?” Since I don’t expect that part of the CNN site to be up for very much longer, I’ll go ahead and post the whole thing:

Frequently Asked Questions about CNN Shirts.Thank you for your interest in CNN Shirts. With CNN Shirts you can wear the news. If you have any issues or questions regarding CNN Shirts please read the answers to the frequently asked questions below.


What are the minimum computer specifications required to use CNN Shirts?


  • Microsoft Windows®: 98SE, 2000, Millennium Edition, XP Home Edition, or XP Professional
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5, Netscape Navigator 7, Firefox 1 or Opera 7.51
  • 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM
  • Broadband Internet connection or access to a high-speed network
  • Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution


  • Mac OSX
  • Safari 1.2, Firefox 1 or Opera 7.51
  • 256 megabytes (MB) of RAM
  • Broadband Internet connection or access to a high-speed network
  • Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution

How do I get a CNN Shirt?

To get your own CNN Shirt please visit CNN.com. In the latest news section you will see a series of headlines with little t-shirt icons next to them. Click the icon that accompanies your desired headline. You will then be able to preview your shirt and proceed to checkout.

How long are headlines available for?

Headlines that can bought as shirts are only available as long as the headline stays in the latest news section.

How can I share my shirts on Facebook?

When you purchase shirts from the CNN Shirt store you will see “Share on Facebook” links that accompany all purchased headlines in your receipt page. When you click the share button the headline you purchased shows up in your news and mini feed.

What kind of shirts are headlines printed on?

CNN Shirt uses high quality American Apparel t-shirts. Please visit americanapparel.net for more information.


What colors are CNN Shirts available in?

Currently CNN Shirts come in gray, white, or black.

What is the little timestamp on my shirt?

The little timestamp on your shirt is denotes the date and time your headline was created.
I took my CNN shirt on vacation and I have great pictures. Where can I send them?

Please upload any photos of you wearing a CNN Shirt to www.ireport.com/tshirt. Your photo will be considered for future contests, and our CNN Shirt photo archive.

CNN Shirt Store:

My CNN Shirt has not arrived yet. Who can I talk to?

Please take up any billing or shipping inquiries with Spreadshirt, our vendor partner. Please use their provided contact form and be sure to include your order confirmation number.

How much is a CNN Shirt?

Currently CNN Shirts are priced at $15.00 US. This price does not include tax or shipping costs.

Where can I redeem a coupon for a CNN Shirt?

If you have a coupon for CNN Shirts, redeem it for discounts and free shirts at the CNN Shirt store. Pick a headline that you want to purchase from CNN.com, customize it and proceed to checkout. In the checkout phase there is a coupon code field that you can enter your code into. Your coupon code is printed on your discount card, or in your discount email. Please remember that all codes expire on 12/31/08 at 12:00 am EST.

How can I track my CNN Shirt order?

All order tracking is done through Spreadshirt, our vendor partner. Orders can be tracked by logging into Spreadshirt and using the order tracking system, or by following the order confirmation links in your purchase confirmation email. For any other inquiries please contact spreadshirt directly

I might eat my words but I’ll make a prediction. Two things will either happen with this:1. Someone at CNN will realize how terrible an idea this is and shut down the service but if it stays long enough I predict

2. We will get a T Shirt along the lines of “20 bodies found floating near Bahamas” and then CNN will shut down the service.

This is not going to work

I Love Gamefly. I’m a level 3 member, which means I’ve been with them for over a year and get 10% off purchases and 5 Gamefly dollars every 3 months.
It’s on one hand a great video game rental service but I also love having the option of keeping the games I am renting at prices nothing short of amazing. Take a game like “Eternal Sonata” for the 360 for example: $54.99 used at Gamestop, $29.69 at Gamefly!

When I received an email from them on Tuesday inviting me to Beta test their new trade-in program, I had mixed feelings because although it seemed logical they would try to take market shares to Gamestop, I just couldn’t see, considering their store or “keep it” prices, how they could offer a competitive trade-in value.

The interface on the site is pretty much what’s to be expected of Gamefly. It’s intuitive, easy to use and self explanatory.

You enter the UPC code of the game you want to trade-in, you get a price quote, you then confirm your cart and check out, print your mailing label and packing slip and finally pack and ship your game.

The system however massively fails on two points.

1. The trade-in value. My first attempt was with “Red Steel” for the Wii and I was offered an insulting $8.28. Just to make sure it wasn’t the exception I did some price comparison with Gamestop on other titles.

Super Mario Galaxy: GF $25.30, GS $30.00
Mario Party 8: GF $18.40, GS $25.00
Call of Duty 4 and Assasin’s Creed: Both GF $28.75, GS $30.00

I could go on and on, Gamestop offers a better trade-in value every single time.

2. Shipping and packaging costs. You’re getting free shipping on your rental and purchases but trade-ins are on you, It might not seem like a big deal but for a game like “Red Steel” shipped regular mail, it brings down the trade-in value to $6.80 and “Mario Party 8” under $17.

So, although it seems like an interesting idea, I think it’s broken and I don’t see how Gamefly can fix it. Let me take that back, I know exactly how they can fix it: The only way they can resolve this, is by raising their store and “keep it” prices.

I’ll be lighting a candle every day, hoping they don’t.

Trade-in program details.
Trade-in program terms of use.