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Updating page a day

November 25, 2011
by seth godin

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For a decade or more, the page a day calendar was a cultural force, a lot of fun and really profitable.

Little calendars that sat on every desk, entertaining us with Gary Larson cartoons or the quote of the day.

My brainstorm is pretty simple: use an app to take over the screen saver/lock page of the Kindle or iPad and it’s a new kind of page a day–call it a screen a day. I first thought of this for desktop computers 15 years ago, but it was hard to sell an app then…

I’m not sure why Apple and Amazon won’t open this valuable real estate to content providers and developers who can use it effectively, but they should.

We wrote out and defined an entire spec–it could include the current time, updates of your upcoming calendar commitments… along with the quote or the word of the day (depending on what service you signed up for) or a cartoon or a bit of trivia. Hey, it could even act like PointCast and bring current news or fresh content to the screensaver.

You could license various sources of content (cartoons, quotes, game shows) and even have sponsored versions.

Just imagine how proud you’d feel when your iPad fell out of your bag and there, on the screen saver, was your Sartre quote of the day. And unlike the paper page a day calendars, this format doesn’t go out of date, isn’t expensive to produce (once the app is built), lends itself to the long tail of varied interests and is a truly useful tool.

We were unable to get the access we needed to build this out, but perhaps someone with better timing will pull it off. Have fun with it.

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