Sunday, December 27, 2009

Maybe HP or Oce/Canon will reinvent education

While wandering on a path that started in the twitter stream, I came upon, HelloBrand. The path was a little complicated, but in any case I got the page that lead to the following tweet.
#HP Snapfish as augmented by @Hello_World is almost precisely what is needed to reinvent textbooks in USA.
Turns out that HelloBrand worked on the Snapfish update that allows a user to get a printed version of their photographs. I assume but don't know that Kodak has a similar functionality. The point is that it's become pretty clear by now that the new opportunity for Print is to publish XML into the real world for wider effect.

Given the massive fleet of Indigos around the world and HP's recent launch of a website that makes it easy for anyone in the world to find the HP PSP most convenient, it seems that all the pieces are in place.

On the other hand, Oce has a significant fleet of digital newspaper output PSPs around the world. With the emergence of Niiu in Berlin, the pathway seems clear. As I understand it Niiu version 1.0 is optimized for PDF. My bet is that Version 2.0 or 3.0 will be optimized for XML.

As that develops, it means that even more web content will be organized by XML. That's where the knowledge management folks come in. My twitter friend in the Netherlands is @weknowmore.

So then I tweeted:
By way of introduction @niiu_community meet @Weknowmore meet @Hello_World. You're all in NorthWest Euroland.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Why did Canon buy Oce? Because of Ingram.

My understanding is that Oce machinery powers digital book production for Ingram. I think I read a while ago that Ingram bought about 20 machines to set up in London. (should be confirmed).

In any case, the CEO of Ingrams is not distracted by PrintIsDead blah blah.

Skip Prichard, president and CEO of Ingram Content Group in La Vergne, heads up an array of companies for the Ingram family that have been on the front lines of book manufacturing, distribution, sales and marketing in a fast-changing new media landscape.

With a background in digital content and a law degree, Prichard now finds himself, after 2½ years at Ingram, presiding over a restructured company with an international sales reach.
It's a long article. If you're still not convinced, you can find it here

Saturday, December 19, 2009

If you won't listen to me about textbooks, maybe you'll listen to a teacher

The following is reposted from a comment to the previous post.

The viewpoint is that of @chadsansing Chad teaches humanities at a charter school and blogs about reforming classroom practice. NBCT, NETS*T

Are any K12 text book publishers going hyperlocal for customized, print-on-demand reading comprehension collections or workbooks for kids?

Another way to leverage the works they've licensed might be to sub-license school districts permissions to remix text books with student input for reading content differentiated to students' levels and interests.

A company could charge the same price as a workbook, but let the school division pay the paper price, using the larger profit margin to pay for the infrastructure to deliver the texts and remix interface to divisions. And why not throw some QR tags on each page back to additional online resources or practice hosted by the company?

I'd rather not send text book companies any more money.

School budgets are drying up, and there's an awful lot that can be done with free software and open-access informational texts. I hope open-source education beats companies to the differentiated-textbook-on-demand punch.

Until there's a compelling collection packaged for easy use, divisions and teachers will probably stick with what they're given. Any chance of open source education drafting authors to produce CC or public domain work for schools? Is this going on already?

Print is D-E-A-D. A twitter conversation.

He is @JeffMello , Founder of Evolution of Communication a social engagement, digital marketing, mobile, and emerging technology consulting company.

Me is @ToughLoveforX , retired.

It began yesterday,
Me: Assertion: #SM is merely a transitional technology. It will get old, fast. The only two mass mediums in the real world are Print and TV.

Then continued this morning,
He: Describe QR please.

Me: QR is a printed ( or displayed on screen ) graphic that can send and receive info from the web with one click on a smart phone.

You can get a good idea of the issues involved at 2D Codes in the Global Media at LinkedIn

He: QR sounds good but old world print with ink...not so much:)

Me: There we go again about "old." I prefer enduring. In 500 years Print has seen it all. And changed as needed to thrive.

as for "old world" China is the one of the oldest in the world. Maybe old is the new "new"? and Print is the next big thing.

He: Print is dead my friend! D-E-A-D!

Me: D-E-A-D? Then howto explain that CGX and Donnelly stock is up over 50% While McClatchy is up almost 7X and Gannett 5X.

He: For Gannett I would say without the research that they have rolled all their media into 1 stock.

Me: I have my little IRA in all print related companies. So far up 85% this year. Print is far from D-E-A-D. Just ignored.

He: Don't think of the medium but content. Newspapers were not successful because they are paper but the journalist's content.

Me: "Don't think of the medium but content" Actually the medium really is the message. McCluhan had it just right.

Re Newspapers:The enduring value of newspapers has never been news, it's always been the paper. Consider @niiu_community .

He: If u define print as also digital then is not dead.

Me: I knew we could agree! Digital printing is Print's adaptive response in the evolution of the communication ecology. :-)

He: Nice use of my company name! U know how to win me over every time:)

Me: U have to keep in mind that I sold Print for 35 years. Back in the day some called me "the prince of bullshit." thx 4 convo :-)

He: LOL! LOve it and look forward to more discussions.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Manroland GB is soooo smart. New environment. New Business model

from Printweek:
Manroland GB no longer reliant on press sales | |

"Press manufacturer Manroland GB has said it has replaced its dependency on press sales with a business model that can break even on services and parts.

Managing director Norman Revill said: 'We started to feel things tightening in July 2007. Budgets were being held and printers were only buying what they really needed. From 2007 to 2009, we have completely changed our business model and strategy.

'We have separated our Print Services, Printcom and spare parts business from our sales side and we are able to break even on those three alone. We are set up to break even without sales, so we are sustainable through tough periods.'"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Free Advice to Xerox: Get in front of the toner shortage thing. Today would be good.

I apologize to the folks at for the copy and paste below. I could have done snippets, but the article is just too tightly written. I highly recommend to anyone interested in staying abreast of what's going on in not-the United States.

Meanwhile I mostly love everything I see that come out of Xerox UK, but clearly some system broke down someplace. Too much unneccesary brand damage that comes from stuff like:
According to director Neil Winstanley, there has been little useful contact from the manufacturer and it took a week of phone calls to establish that the order "should be completed next week".

Printers speak out over Xerox toner shortage
Adam Hooker,, 11 December 2009

Printers have said they will seek reimbursement from Xerox after a toner shortage forced a number of companies to cease production.

Digital press manufacturer Xerox said the toner shortage was due to high levels of demand. Toner for the Xerox 700 press is understood to be the most affected and some customers are having to wait up to ten days for deliveries.

The scale of the problem is currently unclear. However, all six Xerox 700 users that PrintWeek spoke to had experienced some disruption to supply of Xerox's wax-based toner, with many having lost income as a result.

Xerox declined to comment on the scale of problem, but said that it was "doing its best" to address any customer concerns.

"We want to make sure we help as much as we can and we are working very, very hard. If customers want to contact with any concerns we will do our best to answer any questions," a spokesman said.

However, printers faced with lost earnings have told PrintWeek that they will be pursuing Xerox for compensation.

Martin Whetton, managing director at Pro DM Solutions in Ripley, said that his company placed an order on 24 November and received two toners on 9 December, when it required 10 to complete a large monthly job.

He estimated that the problem has lost his company around £5,000 worth of work.

He said: "I would consider going after Xerox to cover our losses. I would hope that Xerox would offer compensation without the need for legal action."

Eslewhere, Digital Studio in St Albans launched a new calendar and gift website specifically timed to coincide with Christmas.

Paul Warren, director, said: "We spent £14,000 on this website. If we don't get any toner in we will be doing a lot of refunding. I have pulled adverts off of Google because I don't want to be known as the Moonpig wannabe that couldn't deliver.

"We pay £10,000 a quarter for service, so in a sense we have paid for the toner, it's part of the package. We will be going to Xerox and we hope to prove the orders we have received and then lost as a result, as we stand to lose about £20,000 because of this."

Minuteman in Bristol has also experienced problems with toner deliveries in the past. In October this year, it had to taxi toner from other printers to keep its 700 running.

Managing director Peter Wise said: "We ended up paying for taxis to pick up toner from other printers and charging Xerox. They paid after we provided them with all receipts. We will do that again if we have to."

However, not everyone is chasing reimbursement. Litha Print in Stockport received one set of cartridges on 10 December, having ordered four on 26 November. By that point its machine had "laid idle for five days".

According to director Neil Winstanley, there has been little useful contact from the manufacturer and it took a week of phone calls to establish that the order "should be completed next week".

He said: "I've heard some are considering going after Xerox for lost earnings, but right now all I want is my toner order."

Cheshire printer DXG Media put an order in on 2 December, which is yet to arrive. Managing director Duarte Goncalves explained that the company enough to keep going for the time being, but would begin to worry if nothing has arrived by early next week.

However, for Goncalves, misinformation as much as anything has been the issue here.

He said: "We were told three days was the limit and if we ordered by 2pm we could get it next day. That has never happened."

Xerox would not comment on specific details of the problem or how it was prioritising its deliveries, but Jim Brasser, vice president of Global Consumables Supply Chain at Xerox, said: "We are very much aware of the current, short-term situation concerning the supply of toner cartridges, resulting from growth in demand in certain situations.

"This is not a general shortage and only affects certain products. Our supplies inventory is being replenished daily and shipped to customers immediately. The vast majority of orders are being fulfilled within about a week, and we expect that pace to quicken. We are working closely with our customers to address their needs as quickly as possible."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Exactly Correct from Andy McCourt . Why does so much good sutff come from Australia?

What could I possibly add to a print person who quotes Ovid. So I won't.

Copy & paste from

Top tips to triumph in 2010 – Andy McCourt
It’s customary to look back at the year in flight for the final 2009 issue of Print21, but being the ardent rule-breaker that I am, I’d like to offer readers my ideas for ten pointers to success in 2010.

After all, why write about a truly rotten year when we can all look forward to a much livelier New Year? We can’t undo what has happened but we can learn from it and, to all those printing businesses that have survived and even prospered during the financial meltdown, a big pat on the back!

1) Attack yourself. Sounds crazy but many large corporations use this tactic. Attacking your own weak spots is actually the best defensive strategy there is. It’s not a form of masochism – properly executed it is an organisational improver. Example: you are a mid-sized printer and those pesky print management companies keep sniping accounts away. Tactic: set up a print management company and use your own print operation as just one of many possible suppliers, having to compete along with the rest, no favours. Another example, if you are a high-quality printer fed up with delivering premium product at a knock-down price, set up in opposition to yourself with an ‘El Cheapo Print’ type of concern. It will be profitable, and will improve margins on your premium offering.

2) Get a business coach. No man is an island, we all need to rub shoulders with peers and exchange ideas. But business coaching and/or mentoring goes several steps further. It’s not just for struggling businesses, far from it, fast growing highly successful businesses use professional business coaches to mange the growth and deliver on KPIs. A business coach is your ‘Jimminy Cricket’ or that inner voice that says “don’t do it this way, consider another plan.” Objectivity is paramount and so many printers are nose-to-the-grindstone types who can only see subjective issues. Hire a competent business coach. Google it; I’m not going to do all the work for you!

3) Zig when others are zagging. Bandwagons can be profitable for short spells but you soon fall off. If everyone else is in on ‘the next big thing’ – find something different. Classic Greek sage Ovid wrote: “In the pool where you least expect it, there you will find a fish.” What else can you produce on your existing equipment? Niche markets can be beautiful places until the ravaging hoards de-niche them. Create new niches constantly. And make hay while the Sun shines on them, which it will.

4) Down-sell. “Now he has gone bonkers,” I hear you say. All the sales logic in the world points to up-selling where possible. I’d like to say that in 2010, this should not apply to the printing industry. Get out of the habit of offering longer print runs for diminishing margin return. It just makes you work longer for less. If Mr/s Customer says “okay I need 5,000”, why not say “why don’t we print 1,000 and you can asses the response, we can make any changes, and then print another 1,000 next week.” Naturally, for very short runs that means digital. The customer sees you are saving him money and you are also avoiding redundancy, so saving waste into the bargain. It also puts you in contact with the customer more regularly, which is a good thing and keeps the oppo at bay.

5) Tell fibs about digital. Like it or not, hardly anyone gives a toss about “offset quality” anymore. The ‘in’ word is digital; it is in synch with the zeitgeist of the second decade of the 21st century. So promote your business as ‘Digital, Green and Proud of it.’ You’ll need a digital machine of course but when jobs come in that are screamingly, obviously, common-sensically better placed on an offset press – just do it. And don’t volunteer the fact to the customer. Let them complement the high quality of your digital print. Offset with CTP is really a digital process anyway and if you have a Presstek or other DI press even more so. It’s not really a big fib; just using the secrets of the back-room to provide better customer service and maybe make a bit more margin. If it really bothers you, just say three ‘Hail Caxtons’ and consider yourself absolved of all sin.

6) Advertise more. I don’t mean Yellow Pages. Use your own processes to create dynamic DM to your local business market. Try not to mention “printing.” How about: “We can show you how to attract 50 per cent more customers than you are currently doing.” Something like that. Fish where the fish are.

7) Wrap your truck/s.
Your delivery van or truck is a mobile billboard. If you haven’t already vehicle-wrapped it with snappy graphics, get cracking and experience the cheapest advertising you’ll ever find! Leave the grubby white Toyota Hiaces for the contract courier drivers.

8) Adopt a charity. Charity support is not only good corporate citizenship, but also a great networking method. It puts you in contact with other businesses and individuals and makes you look positively engaged with society.

9) Go to Ipex. Ipex 2010 is on at the National Exhibition Center, Birmingham, UK in May. There will not be a better opportunity to stimulate your brain and see the full glory of print communications until drupa 2012. And they speak English. Well, of sorts.

10) Be a print champion. We’ve all had enough of the “print kills trees” bollocks. As the APIA urges, tell your friends at the BBQ, we are one of the most sustainable industries around and those that criticise us most are the biggest polluters – there are plenty of facts to back this up. Be a printer and be proud of it, proudly read newspapers and magazines and if someone persists with the ‘print bad’ fallacy, take them off your Christmas card list and send them a text message or tweet instead.

Wishing you and yours a very safe and happy Christmas and prosperous New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Score another for Xerox (CA) EPS deal with UBC

UBC-Xerox partnership targets costs, sustainability � UBC Public Affairs:

"UBC-Xerox partnership targets costs, sustainability

The University of British Columbia has entered a partnership with Xerox for new and cost-effective document and print management services.

The partnership agreement with Xerox Global Services (XGS) will enable easier, better and less expensive printing and copying of documents, according to Pierre Ouillet, UBC Vice President, Finance, Resources and Operations.

“The agreement will involve virtually all aspects of the document lifecycle, including printing, copying, scanning, faxing, design and delivery of print materials,

WOW. Here comes the HP printernet.HP Launches Printing Network

This deserves a much longer post, but I don't have the time just this minute. More later. But, any one who has followed this blog knows what a printernet is. To see what I mean do a Google search on "Printernet"

It could have been Xerox Premier Partners or Oce's Digital Newspaper Network or Staples. But it's HP.

I'm still hoping they give me a way to get in on the action by figuring out a way to separate the print piece from the computer piece. My bet is that sooner or later.... but not as of today.

The money sentence:
The launch of the PSP Network is an exciting first step that brings a new dimension of versatility and reliability to print buying,” says Martin.

HP Launches Printing Network

"n an effort to drive printing business to its customers, HP announced the launch of the PSP Network, a global on-line directory for print buyers to find local print service providers—what it calls 'PSP'—around the world. The site lists more than 80 countries, from Latvia and Lithuania to Turkmenistan and Tunisia, as well as major print centers in the U.S. and Canada"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Google will change the world of Print: Living Stories and the Google Phone and the elimination of print drivers.

What's next in 2010?
It's for a longer post, but what I see is a land grab in the world of QR and other 2d codes. I also believe that "distribute and print" will get much closer to a tipping point to various printernets. .

Most important is that Managed Print Services will integrate with the commercial print world to enable trackable Print in any form, at any time in any place with a minimum carbon footprint.

It's probably going to turn out to be a big deal.

Why I'm seeing what I think I'm seeing.
The world of print has been changing since Apple introduced the Mac and more importantly with Adobe launched PDF. It's been a hard decade for us printers. Contrary to popular wisdom we are probably the most adaptive manufacturing industry on the planet.

My own hypothesis is that the resiliency of our industry comes from the fact that is organized in thousands of small shops. Each is required to innovate and change to stay alive in our local niches. What works quickly spreads. What doesn't work means businesses die. Since they are small the industry overall keeps changing.

At any rate, every twenty years or so something happens outside the world of Print that crystallizes a change and creates a "tipping point." My understanding is that the newspaper strike in the 60's created that "tipping point" for cold type versus hot type. And when the newspaper barons saw the business potential of steam driven printing, the mass newspaper was born.

Consider the Google reality by Q1, 2010.
If Living Story is still not on your radar, Google search on Living Story and take a look. This morning it was confirmed that Google is launching a Google branded unlocked smart phone in January, 2010. They have already distributed thousands of them to their own people.

The disruptive business innovation is that the phone is unlocked which means it will work with any carrier. That means that the "I want to get an iPhone but I hate AT&T " problem disappears. It also means a huge shift of power away from the telco's into the hands of the cvonsumer. Since everyone from Apple to Nokia to the other telco giants are going to have to respond, it plausibly means much greater and faster growth of the smart phone market. What might be described as a "tipping point."

Meanwhile this was posted this week:
Google: Chrome OS will revolutionize how printer drivers are handled, but not in 2010

But printers? As everyone knows, printers have highly specific, unique and complicated drivers associated with them. It’s why an operating system, stripped of its driver support, weighs in at a mere fraction of its initial gigabyte weight. Google is going to have to contend with drivers when they deal with Chrome.

How are they going to do that? Google’s not saying. “”We want to get out of the business of printer drivers. All the problems related to drivers we want to go away,” Upson said. But they say they have a new, “wonderful printing solution” up their sleeves to get rid of printer drivers once and for all. But that’s long-tail. “If [printer support] is important to you, Chrome OS is not the OS for you in 2010.”

Friday, December 11, 2009

Google + New York Times + Washington Post could be the final straw for textbooks and a huge new market for newspapers.

It's been a very interesting week on twitter. The big news (2me) was finding the Google/New York Times/Washington Post Collaboration called Living Stories. If you haven't yet seen it, here's the link to the ongoing story on The Politics of Global Warming

The collaboration is to test out a new software tool that will be offered for free to newspapers. I have no idea if it's going to work, but my bet is that it will. If it does, it means that the newspaper industry will move to giving context. Context is valuable and is exactly what is needed for serious readers.

The under appreciated reality is that "real readers" is a niche market. As literacy continues to grow both in the States and globally no doubt that market will increase. But for now the opportunity to monetize is the same as it has always been - by delivering content in Print for mass distribution.

I've always believed the low hanging fruit is in education. It is the only mass market where people are trained and expected to be "real readers.'

Some of today's tweets:
Cnsdr: Living Stories ( ) + @niiu_community 1to1 24 pg #newspapers delvrd overnight ( ) + QR codes.

Cnsdr:Living Stories( ) + @niiu_community ( ) + QR codes = 2010 K-12 textbooks ( )

The printing audience for this blog probably know the story of Oce enabled personalized newspapers that launched in Berlin. Most of us also are pretty aware these days of the potential power and opportunity of 2d codes.

To say some you some time, I've reproduced the last link about versioned newspapers to replace textbooks below. It was orginally posted June, 2009.

My California
My California 21 is a unique history curriculum developed specifically to meet the needs of upper elementary and middle school students.

Newspaper format: 32 chronological issues resembling small newspapers present the story of California in a student-friendly, informal style that does not intimidate or repel young readers.

Some Global or PSP or MPS should really get in touch with these people. The next natural step will be The Clickable Newspaper.

Here's why:
On Wednesday, June 10, 2009, California will be phasing out textbooks for K -12 education. Instead, the so-called Digital Textbook Initiative will supposedly replace these old books with digital e-readers. Recognizing that one size fits all textbooks books were no longer the best tool to reach modern, tech-saavy students, Schwarzenegger said:

Kids, as you all know, today are very familiar with listening to their music digitally and online and to watch TV online, to watch movies online, to be on Twitter and participate in that and on Facebook. So basically kids are feeling so comfortable today, as a
matter of fact, as comfortable with their cell phones and with their keyboards as I did when I was your age, when I was a kid, with my pencils and crayons.

So this is why I think it is so important that we move on from the textbooks. The textbooks are outdated, as far as I'm concerned and there's no reason why our schools should have our students lug around these antiquated and heavy and expensive textbooks. California is the home of Silicon Valley. We are the world leader in technology and innovation, so we can do better than that.

Schwarzenegger's announcement should not be a surprise, since every state needs to save every penny it can. And it's also clear that the Obama Administration is serious about fixing education in the United States.

But what may go unnoticed is the new opportunity that this creates for newspapers struggling to find their niche in the new digital economy.

The Education Problem
A thanks to Alan Sitomer at the English Companion Ning for the point to YouTube.

The underlying problem with our public education is that it was never designed to create learning environments. It was originally grew out of the need to train a rural population to the new requirements of an industrial economy. It is no accident that most schools are organized into discrete classes that start and stop with the bell, since showing up on time, following directions, and performing well on specific tasks are the fundamental requirements of an mass market value chain industrial economy.

The other original function of our school systems was to filter and sort. The "smart kids" were filtered toward college and careers in management and the professions. The "less smart" were filtered to move first into the ever expanding manufacturing jobs supplied by ever expanding manufacturing and later into office-based service jobs. The "unruly" were consigned to doing whatever they had to do to survive.

Now that the underlying economy has changed from mass market to masses of niche markets and the real value of the workforce is its ability to respond creatively to ever changing challenges and opportunities, this old model has become obsolete. Around the country, there are the pockets of new models emerging -- and soon they will merge to create a tipping point.

The Newspaper Opportunity
Any teacher can tell you that a student really learns when the teachable moment occurs. The problem is that seeing and then taking advantage of that "teachable moment" is very difficult. A teacher must first be able to sense when it is going to happen, but even then it's almost impossible today to take advantage of that moment. The problem with textbooks is that they say do this, then do that. There is no way to leverage the teachable moments that happen in daily life -- for example, when GM crashes or the President makes a speech in Cairo -- to fit into a school curriculum.

Each of us have, at one time or another, followed a link to another link to another link. In that process, we were able to find just the appropriate story and data for us, at that time. What is interesting to me now may not be interesting to me an hour from now. That's the power of the web.

The problem for a teacher is that, for their students to learn what they need to learn, that journey needs an active mentor. Software designed interfaces are okay, but much less effective than a human who can both sense and quickly respond to needs that are felt but not yet articulated.

While undirected searching can very effective in the hands of person who already has a context in their brains, it is too unpredictable to be the primary method of educating a student who has yet to develop that same context that we take for granted. Given that different students have different learning styles, a complete reliance on computers is the same "one size fits all" approach that created the problem in the first place.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger instead seems to moving in the direction of e-readers and web access. That is a good thing. But the reality is that the web as a medium has the advantage of speed and the very serious disadvantage of making it inconvenient to do "compare and contrast." The additional problem is that e-readers are going to have be managed and will break and students will lose them.

From the educational point of view, the fact is that print is the most convenient medium for compare and contrast. The essence of logical thinking is to compare and contrast before coming to a personal judgment. The more a student practices that activity, the more robust the logical thinking function in their brain.

It's not that hard to implement
The world of newspapers is designed for speed and relevance. Producing a print product on deadline is a natural and necessary skill for any newspaper organization. The skill sets are already well defined and in place. If the editorial decisions were made on the basis of educational standards instead of the "breaking news,"

Journalists are experts at crafting just the right words, pictures and videos to communicate stories. Teachers and textbook editors and writers are not. To be clear, it's not because they don't have the talent. It's because they don't have the practice.

Teachers are experts at knowing their students. They understand just the right words and actions to allow a student to learn. As they practice their mentoring skills, instead of their class management skills, they will become increasingly more proficient at it.

In a world where newspapers take up the mantle for education, the optimal teacher/newspaper experience might be something like this:

1) The teacher goes to a website that catalogs a library of newspaper stories based on the curriculum of each grade. They could be stored in a wiki and new stories added as they were requested by a teacher.

2) The teacher selects just the right series of stories for her class for the next week. Different classes could use learn from stories coming from different sections of the paper. Science classes would learn from stories from the science and technology beat, while English classes could benefit from great feature stories on items of community interest.

If it's good for the parents, it will be good for the kids. Maybe parents and kids could actually talk about the same thing after dinner or driving to the supermarket. The benefits to a math class might be less intuitive, but consider how much math high school kids could learn by reading business stories. Plus the stats from either baseball or wall street are completely compelling to many kids, opening up a whole slew of teachable moments.

3) The newspaper publisher delivers 200, 500, or 1000 copies of a 24 page newspaper to the school for next week's unit. This was not practical before the invention of digitally printed newspapers. But it is cost effective today.

The Business Model or Where's the Money?
The same place the money always came from -- advertising. But for delivery into the schools, the advertising is strictly limited to organizations involved in public health, safety and citizenship. Government organizations and foundations spend significant amounts of money both getting their message out and fund raising. It is a ready market that wants to change the behavior of exactly this audience.

Once California has eliminated textbooks from K -12, there is little doubt that the textbook business as it has developed over the last 40 years is done. The vacuum created could be just what a newspaper needs to get to the next stage of its development.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

If Google, the New York Times and the Washington Post can play nicely together, what might that mean for Oce/Canon, Screen and HP

On Tuesday, the NYTimes ran an article about Living Stories. A snippet below:
Google Unveils News-by-Topic Service

Google on Tuesday introduced a new approach to presenting news online by topic, developed with The New York Times and The Washington Post, and said that if the experiment succeeded, it would be made available to all publishers.
For the last half year, an emerging notion in the world of journalism is to focus on ongoing stories instead of "breaking news." This collaboration between Google, the New York Times and the Washington Post is the most elegant implementation of that idea I've seen so far.

To see what I'm talking about you really have to take the click to a sample of the reporting of continuing saga of education reform in Washington DC.

What could this mean for Oce, Screen, HP and any other global who enables digital newspaper production.

From the Atlantic Monthly
it could turn this page into a key learning tool, highlighting the aspects of the debate ( on Healthcare, Afghanistan, education reform )
Consider the power that could be put in the hands of a teacher. By combining the technology that Niiu has launched in Berlin. here. using Oce/Canon printing machines the right story could be delivered at the right time to the right people in the right form - Print.

There is little doubt that the American education is now going through it's greatest reorganization in at least 50 years. The problems of high school dropouts, science and technology and citizenship are coming back to the foreground.

Any method that gets American kids closer to these goals has lots of money available for demonstration projects. Given the new players in K - 12 education, most especially the massive growth of Charter Schools encouraged by the new rules for stimulus money, the path to sales and innovation have never been more accessible.

The particular business models will be different in different places. To me the simplest is versioned newspapers carrying stories on science supported by advertisement from government and NGOs.

I can't see why this doesn't pass the "Why wouldn't I do that" test. Somebody might want to make a call to WaPo, the New York Times, the Guardian or Pearson.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Konica Minolta Receives InfoWorld 100 Awards. I didn't see XRX, HP or Rico on the list

I keep thinking that Konica is going to take a nibble at Kodak. Only time will tell. Anyway, I really like "from the desktop to the Print shop."

Konica Minolta Receives InfoWorld 100 Award:

"Dec 09, 2009 ( via COMTEX) -- Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta a leading provider of advanced imaging and networking technologies for the desktop to the print shop, today announced that it was recognized with an IDG InfoWorld 100 award for its innovative CRM initiative, as one of the top 100 IT projects of 2009 For the second year in a row, Konica Minolta was recognized in InfoWorld's highest honor."

If only HP would spin off the Indigo piece, I could bet on them.

The thing is I hate the computer business. Too much volume, too much competition. Low margins. The print business on the other hand . . .

PSPs switch to HP Indigo based on reliability - Printing Industry News from WhatTheyThink:

"Print service providers (PSPs) from across the United States chose HP solutions such as the HP Indigo 7000 Digital Press and the HP Indigo press 5500 instead of renewing leases on digital presses from other manufacturers. Joining the group of PSPs switching to HP entirely were firms that continue to have some competitive solutions but have added HP Indigo presses to produce their highest-quality digital print products."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Google enters QR code game. Time to evangelize less,implement more.

Enough data points have gathered in the last couple of weeks to support the idea that QR and other 2d codes will go mainstream in early 2010. The latest news was posting at the Google Blog, yesterday..

Explore a whole new way to window shop, with Google and your mobile phone

12/07/2009 06:00:00 AM
What if you could decide where to shop, eat or hang out, with a little help from local Google users?

It might take you a while to ask them all, so to make it easier we've launched a new effort to send window decals to over 100,000 local businesses in the U.S. that have been the most sought out and researched on and Google Maps.

We're calling these businesses the "Favorite Places on Google" and you'll now start to find them in over 9,000 towns and cities, in all 50 states. You can also explore a sample of the Favorite Places in 20 of the largest U.S. cities at

Each window decal has a unique bar code, known as a QR code that you can scan with any of hundreds of mobile devices — including iPhone, Android-powered phones, BlackBerry and more — to take you directly to that business's Place Page on your mobile phone. With your mobile phone and these new decals, you can easily go up to a storefront and immediately find reviews, get a coupon if the business is offering one or star a business as a place you want to remember for the future. Soon, you'll be able to leave a review on the mobile page as well, just like on your desktop.

It's been clear for a while that Google's next move was the fight to be the OS of the mobile web. While Apple was first out of the gate with the iPhone, the Droid is now coming to market. Unlike Apple, Google is making it's operating system available on a full range of hand sets.

Whatever the outcome, it's clear that the world is now moving to the stage of hand held computers that take the internet into the real world. Once computing enters the real world, the unique values of print as an interface become apparent. Check out the links in the tweets below, if you want to see what I'm trying to say.
Print products are interfaces to online information - Columbia Journalism Review and In Brazil vid

Pitney Bowes Sets up a Research Center in Connecticut

Most of the globals have set up demonstration centers. But the following caught my eye. It's so simple. Try it before you buy it.

Pitney Bowes Launches Dynamic Customer Innovation Center for Print Production Solutions
"Shortly, customers will run their own multimedia and transpromo applications and report metrics on test runs to demonstrate return on investment in new technologies.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Score for Ricoh at Clarion University . Why wouldn't every school do that?

It seems like such a no brainer that it should go on the front of a postcard .
6,000,000 black and white copies & 250,000 color copies.
Before: .06 to .12 per black only copy & .15 to .32 per color
After: .03 to .035 per black only copy & .08 to .09 cents per color

You do the math.

Call or email if you would like to chat. xxx-yyy-zzzz or
Much lower cost of sales than scheduling meetings and getting into a fight with the IT people.

Send the postcard to whoever is in charge of keeping the ship afloat. Send the same postcard for week after week after week. If they don't respond, keep sending out the same postcard to lots of people that might. Week after week after week.

The hard part:
Answer the call if and when it comes on the second ring or the email within an hour.
Printer changes saving Clarion University money:

"Led by President Joseph Grunenwald, the administrative offices in Carrier Hall are leading the way for campus. Most all of the desktop/personal printers, including those in the president's office, have been removed. A Ricoh central printer/copier/scanner, for use by the entire floor has replaced the personal printers. One centralized networked printer will serve as backup per department.

The analysis was eye opening. There were roughly 540 print devices (mostly Hewlett Packard) on campus, which used $60,000 a year in print cartridges. Clarion spends $12-15,000 per year to purchase printers and an additional $4-5,000 per year to maintain the devices. The cost to print from these devices is six to 12 cents per black and white copy and 15 to 32 cents per color copy.

During 2009, a switchover started. Ricoh Equipment installed 27 color/black and white and 44 black and white only copiers on campus. The copy volume during the first year for these 71 machines was almost six million black and white copies and 250,000 color copies. Factoring in the cost of toner, maintenance, and other supplies, the cost per copy was .03 to .035 cents per black and white copy and .08 to .09 cents per color copy.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Erasable Paper from Xerox. Is the perfect for present customers the enemy of the good enough for huge new markets?

Erasable Paper was announced sometime in 2006. It seems to some like a very long time ago. My guess is that in corporate time it was the day before yesterday.

No doubt it makes "good sense" when viewed from the corporate offices, it needs market research, focus groups and feedback from the channels. Perhaps that is crux of the GUI, Postcript, and Ethernet problem that the awesome engineers at Xerox Research continue to face.

What if a separate business unit were established to bring it to market tomorrow. Will it put stress on legacy business? Yes. Will the purchase of ACS and setting up EPS put stress on present business? Yes.

Clay Christensen has detailed the real problems and real solutions for a global bringing disruptive innovations to market. I have to wonder if the Board and Managers at the mother ship have taken the time to read his stuff.

Metro - Go, go (green) gadgets!:
Published 01:30, December the 3rd, 2009

Bill McKee, of Xerox Canada talks about the erasable paper his company is developing.

How much can we save?
Estimates [say] more than 30 percent of printed office documents will be discarded right after being read.

What is the next step?
The team created a reusable paper that self-erased in about 16 to 24 hours. Customers wanted images to last for more than 24 hours. So, the team currently is working on a second version where images last 3 to 5 days."

The unique value of Print in formal education is about compliance. A culture of compliance is step one.

Most of the conversation about improving high school education is about content, curriculum and the role of teachers. What is under appreciated is that without a safe orderly school culture none of these issues make much of a difference.

The explanation of a disorderly school culture is now finally changing from "blame the customer."In the world of education at the bottom of the pyramid in the States this most often manifests as the "these students come from dysfunctional ..." Or "these students have learning disabilities." While it is true that some very small percentage of students have medically derived learning disabilities, most of those diagnosed as such do not.

At the middle and top of the pyramid the problem most usually presents as drug or alcohol use. Again there are a very small percentage of students who have significant problems. But the fact is that most are kids who get into trouble when they are bored. If they are not identified very early, the cascade of bad decisions get them into very bad situations.

As in medicine so it is in education. The most sustainable, fastest and least expensive solution is early detection. As a culture of compliance builds, it is easier and easier to have the time for early detection of going forward sub optimal paths.

That's where print connected to the web comes in.

3 tweets
For the role of Print in edtech see min 3:53 of this vid. "we will have an Ipod Use contract that goes to parents."

Only Print (and TV) mediums enable shared communication events. For compliance in K -12 the act of signing a document creates culture.

When print is connected to the web with 2d codes that can be clicked with a cell phone, it can emit behavioral data for early interventions.

The Medium is the Message
The way I read McCluhan is that the medium creates an experience separate from the content communicated in the medium. The experience of signing a contract on iPod use in the classroom creates the shared experience of parent and child that says "I agree to these rules. And you (the kid) know that I expect these rules to be followed."

When the person with less power in a situation knows that the person with power expects something to happen AND has a piece of paper that will exist and can be easily referred to in the future, it's the first step to creating a culture of compliance.

The second step is to create the plausible expectation that failure to comply will be seen in very close to real time. That's where print connected to the web through 2d codes comes in. The very first signs of non compliance in attendance or homework compliance can trigger just the right intervention, early enough to make a difference without heroic efforts.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Printers are in the infrastructure business. It's a good business.

Cats Solutions acquires LDSI to create £15m-turnover group

Cats Solutions, the digital print and print management company, has bought the business and principal assets of Legal Document Services International (LDSI) to create a £15m-turnover group.

The equity-based acquisition, the details of which have not yet been disclosed, is intended to create a "market leader in the provision of managed print, scanning and electronic data discovery services to the legal sector".

Since at least September, 2006, I've been on the same little soapbox.
What business are you in? is a multiple choice question.
A. Infrastructure
B. Personal service
C. Creative

It's interesting this is another case of a "print management company" doing the buying. Makes sense if the "value is the network." It's consistent with the most successful users of digital marketing techniques have been mailing houses that clipped on the print manufacturing. Or a company like Color Central that prints for Everybody gets the hype about lulu. Color Central gets the clicks. Infrastructure is about clicks not hype.

The recent "market service provider" meme was a very wrong turn. If you already supplying a market service buying or partnering with a printer is easy. The wrong headed notion is that printers should fundamentally move away from the skill and experience they have earned in manufacturing print, at scale and on time.

Many in the industry have been taken in by the noise of "marketing" "internet blabla" and have been blind to the defensible value of manufacturing. As America is finally moving back to a manufacturing, business model innovation powerhouse, this meme should quietly fade away.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Score for RR Donnelly! Gets Verizon statement printing.

RR Donnelley Verizon Deal -
| Graphic Arts Online:

"RR Donnelley wins expanded $100 million contract for Verizon Wireless statement printing. RR Donnelley says its proprietary high-speed inkjet printing technology helped it win a $100 million multi-year extension on a contract for statement printing with Verizon Wireless.

Verizon Wireless, a joint venture with Vodaphone, is the largest U.S. cell phone and communications company, claiming 89 miillion U.S. customers."

What happens when the grownups in Tokyo get together with the grownups in Venlo?

In my not so humble opinion, they will act on the reality that in the new normal global economy the value is in the network and commodities. That could mean that there will be a business strategy that unlocks the value of the DNN and 1 to 1 newspapers.

Canon has product dna. Oce has product dna. They both make killer app products. Oce is the box and production infrastructure for Niiu in Berlin. If you've visited my blog before, you probably know that I think that Niiu is the best example so far of connecting the mass of content on the web with the power of hyperlocal print delivery.

It is the next big thing for Print.

Oce has a huge lead in global digital book and newspaper production.

My bet is that while everyone is still running after the shrinking pie of direct mail, the new Oce division of Canon will go after industrial strength infrastructure printing. When the grown ups are back in charge, the game changes.

Consider what's going on at the Federal level in the States.

Another score for Xerox ( UK). Insource, outsource. Doesn't matter if you get the clicks.

On October 25, Printweek posted

Manor Creative changes hands under MBO
Manor Creative print and design company has been taken over in a management buyout (MBO). The MBO team, led by new chief executive Graham Brownett, brokered the deal with the help of the Royal Bank of Scotland's Structured Debt Solutions division.
Brownett told that the new team would ring the changes at Manor Creative, starting with the environment. "We are doing a lot of work on our environmental policies towards gaining the BS 8555 environmental standard," he said.

Today I found the following:

Manor Creative moves into digital with iGen4 buy
"Manor Creative has brought digital printing in-house with an investment in a Xerox iGen4 and the launch of a new division. Manor Digital will offer an on-demand printing service for its clients and service contracts that were previously outsourced.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nice Xerox story about Biz Development

The value of the globals is their networks of smart. As boxes get better and better, the competition drives margins lower and lower. The defensible value is the network that surrounds the box. More smart is much nicer than less smart.

Found this one by Gina Testa at Output Links
Progressive Communications, based in Florida, had its light production Xerox DocuColor 242 Digital Color Printer/Copier just six months when it recognized a larger opportunity. . .

According to Xerox Business Development Consultant Mickey Call, they also needed to do the necessary planning and training to make the investment pay off.

..Call began helping them prepare well in advance of the Igen3’s installation.

He met with the Progressive Communications sales team for three months preparing them to use the more consultative approach that’s required for selling personalized communications programs.

Their business is doing so well that they are adding a second iGen press.

RISO is more interesting every day

Riso got on my radar a while ago. I don't know enough about CPC pricing in the real world, but if RISO delivers what they say, why wouldn't everyone do that?
From OutputLinks:
With a color cost that is typically one to two cents per page, . . Add to the equation the monochrome cost of less than a half-cent per page and this concept becomes even more compelling.. . a $50,000 ComColor system

Monday, November 30, 2009

MPS in education is not just about cutting costs, it's about a Printer in every school building and education informatics.

I said:
If an independent #MPS integrated , they could offer blogs or wikis in print to the classroom printed on MFP

He said:
zinepal @ToughLoveforX What is a #MPS? I am working on a API to allow others to integrate with it. Looking for good usage examples...

I said:
@zinepal how good to know you are on twitter! MPS is "Managed Print Services" it's the growing part of the print industry. 1 of 2

@zinepal MPS means that every copier is an output device for PDF. That means 1 to 1 instructional collateral produced in the school building.

@zinepal just one more for now. A class does writing on a blog or wiki. zinepal delivers PDFs. The edited writing is output in print.

He said:
zinepal @ToughLoveforX Cool. Sounds interesting. Thanks for the info!

If zinepal is working on APIs for Cloud based translation of HTML content into PDF, he might be a good person to get in contact with. According to his twitter page, he's in British Columbia.

As the Printers in the enterprise are connected to the Printers outside the enterprise, it's another step closer to the realization of true distribute and print, or what might be called a network of printernets.

In the emerging global economy the high margin values are in the network, not the output box. If MPS or EPS brings a new networked delivery system for Print directly into the classroom it should be possible to get to some kind of sustainable margins going forward.

If upload codes are integrated into the PDFs the network can emit the raw material for the only defensible high margin product - predictive analytics. In the education business that means education informatics. Education informatics means real time evidence to improve education with less danger of falling prey to the Flaw of Averages.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

If you don't believe me about QR in 1to30 newspapers to replace textbooks, maybe this video from Brazil will show you want I mean.

Instead of a book, consider a very similar experience in a 24 page black and white newspaper delivered to a classroom. That's why the title says 1 to 30. Then consider the cost of a black only newspaper that had content that was aligned with education standards and supported by ads from public health and ngos.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oce figured out crowdsourced R&D. Someone should get this on Ms Burn's radar. It could do wonders for STEP.

To read full article at

My favorite parts:
"...this closed attitude has been replaced by an approach that explicitly creates room for partners in the development of new products. Open innovation, as the platform for making maximum use of each others' core competencies, forms the basis for a new period of future innovations."

For example, in the Netherlands, the website Dutch (google English translate version) allows businesses and government agencies to tap into the country's freshest brains. It works like this: a company poses a question or challenge to an audience of students and young professionals up to the age of 30. This is the ‘battle'. Students then submit their ‘concepts', or solutions, in return. Responses are anonymised and the company chooses the 20 best answers.

The prize money attached to each particular challenge, which can be between €2,500 and €10,000, is then distributed according to a standard scale. Financial services provider Rabobank recently offered a €5,000 carrot for clever ideas to help it engage with entrepreneurs and business start-ups via social media.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Getting margins is about pre press business processes and Finishing

Offset and digital printing machines get better and better. Squeezing more efficiency in the face of over capacity is a tough road.

Business processes, on the other hand, are full of inefficiencies, that's the web 2 print piece. in my not-so-humble opinion, finishing is the low hanging fruit. Closed loop automated production means a finished product at the end of the process. Press sheets are easy. Finished products in the customers hands is hard.

Value and therefore margins comes from making the hard, easy.

Roll fed digital presses without the ability to output a finished newspaper are missing the boat. That's one of the reasons I bought Oce at $3.10.
Finishing features from |
"Our features archive boasts a wealth of information on making finishing create value in your business. You'll find our roundup below."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Quark goes into web 2 print. Teams up with AlphaGraphics and Franchise Services. What ever happened to white label Marketsplash?

AlphaGraphics Teams Up with Quark for
Salt Lake City, UT- AlphaGraphics, Inc., announced today its partnership with Quark to provide professional marketing collateral for small and mid-sized businesses seeking to start and grow their companies. The new online service, called, launched yesterday at an event held in Denver, Colorado.
Quark Press release A:
Quark announced today the launch of, a new online service that helps entrepreneurs and small businesses in the United States easily create their own high-quality, professional marketing materials that can be picked up at a nearby neighborhood printer or received by mail in just a few days.
Press release B
According to Terry Welty, vice president of corporate marketing for Quark, "The Web to Print market we are entering is a $17 billion market. Small businesses are increasingly going online to find an easy way to create and print marketing materials. In the next three years this market is going to double and we think in concert with our print partners is going to be a big part of this."

Franchise Services, parent company of Sir Speedy, PIP and Signal Graphics, announces that its brands are part of the Neighborhood Print Partner program. The program will provide Sir Speedy, PIP, and Signal Graphics centers the opportunity to gain new customers by receiving print orders online.

Several Sir Speedy, PIP and Signal Graphics locations across the country have already signed up to join the program and many more are expected before the end of this year.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Maybe Kyocera or HP will take a nibble at Kodak

Turned up a November 16 article.

11/16 post; "SNS Securities said HP & Kyocera had sufficient financing options for a counter bid for Oce"
So if they have enough money for Oce, they have enough money for the Kodak print piece.

The web and printed books can play nicely together.

- Technology and Learning - Inside Higher Ed:

"When we get to a point that a mobile version is expected of whatever content we want to interact with, not having a mobile version may cut-off the desire to consume that content.

People who teach courses, and those of us who also work with people who design and teach courses, need to recognize that we are more likely to succeed in having our students engage with the curricular content if our students can access this content on a platform that they choose.

Students are amongst the busiest people on earth. Perhaps they will be more likely to read an assigned chapter if they can grab some snippets during those 'in-between' times on their mobile device. Later they can crawl up for extended times with the paper book, or on an e-reader, the point is to offer choice."

Maybe KBA will take a nibble at Kodak?

KBA eyes new business lines as rival manufacturers post losses
William Mitting,, 20 November 2009

Press manufacturer KBA is to move into solar energy and water treatment technology as it seeks to diversify, rather than 'enter a merger in a shrinking market'.

Speaking after the company said that it would explore 'new fields of operation', chief executive Helge Hansen said that, while print manufacturing would remain core, the company would explore acquisitions in 'new business lines with good prospects for growth and earnings'.

He identified these sectors as packaging, digital print, water treatment and solar thermal technology."

It's pretty clear that something has to give at Kodak. The transition from the film business to another business has been brutal. They've made a great run and have created some great pockets of value. But the money has pretty much run out. The Kodak Gallery is a jewel. Gezillions of users have stored their high res photos. It should have a very long tail. The Kodak moment is still the sustainable margin deliverable.

Meanwhile the Creo Scitex piece is a jewel in it's own right. I assume, but don't know, that Creo gives Kodak a strong lead in the offset workflow. Scitex dna gives them deep expertise and knowledge in inkjet. Sooner or later Stream will come to market. But what could have been a first mover advantage is gone.

This week Kodak's market cap was $1.1 billion dollars. That is less than the cost plus assumption of debt that Canon is offering for Oce. It's less than Ricoh paid for Ikon. Meanwhile, Kodak owns KKR $700 million dollars. I just can't see KKR waiting patiently for a return.

This week had a big surprise with the Canon offer. The following weeks promise to be interesting as the inevitable reorganization of the global print industry continues.

"Canon and Oce" by Cary Sherburne. I don't have a lot to add.

The tweet.
"Canon and Océ: More Details" by Cary Sherburne @WhatTheyThink

Thursday, November 19, 2009

HP India and most everyone else takes a hit. Canon and Epson India market share up .

One has to wonder what Oce's possiblities might be in India where print is most definitely not even close to being dead.
HP India Loses Printers Market Share in Q3:

CRN Network, November 19, 2009, 1030

Market leader HP saw negative growth of nearly 32 percent in Q3 2009 in the printers, copiers and MFP segment, shaving off almost 10 percent of its market share during the period, according to a latest Gartner report.

The biggest market share gainer has been Canon, which posted a 48 percent growth in overall printer shipments thus growing its market share from 11 percent in Q3 2008 to 19 percent in Q3 2009." Epson too saw a growth of 14 percent in unit shipments.

On the other hand, several other top-tier vendors experienced significant shipment declines in the Q3 of 2009. Shipment declines by vendors such as Xerox with a 58 percent decrease, followed by Panasonic with 39 percent, HP at 32 per cent, Brother with 28 percent and Samsung Electronics with 21 per cent decline primarily contributed to overall decline of the market.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Roger Belanger, Director, GossRSVP, LLC has it just right about interactive print

The common wisdom is that sales are motivated by fear and greed. In my experience, for a going enterprise, decisions are made in the service of managing risk, or what might be more clearly referred to as fear.

Now that newspaper management is more afraid of losing control - through a bankruptcy or a buy out - the time may finally be right for them to get over the legitimate competing fear that "the emperor has no clothes. "

Roger Belanger, Goss RSVP clarifies the situation in much more palatable language.

From the Goss RSVP blog:

We see two main factors that continue to hold back the growth of interactive print. The first I believe is a myth and the second an opportunity.

First we continue to see reluctances by publishers, especially newspapers, wanting to allow metrics to be part of their offering. They seem scared they will loose advertisers or advertisers will be able to leverage the cost they pay for an ad if their ad only gets a few hits in a given print publication. Though one would like to say print metrics and page views are one in the same they are not. Just like on the internet, there are millions of pages that get seen everyday, but not clicked on. But the ones that do get clicked on some metrics are provided, great!

So if print publishers can break this mind set, or myth, and separate ad sales from the fear that metrics will erode sales, we believe then interactive print technology will really take off.

Secondly, publishing & editorial tools do not have interactive features as part of their front end offerings, thus making it a bit more expensive & cumbersome to add after the fact. This is mainly a technology issue, but more importantly an opportunity for the print publishing industry to capitalize

Hendrik and Wanja invented Newspaper 3.0 in Berlin

On Monday, November 16, , Hendrik Tiedemann and Wanja S. Oberhof launched Niiu in Berlin. Since I am illiterate in German I have to depend on Google Translate. It was reported in Germanin Germany in column by FOCUS-Online-author Claudia Frickel . The article in Google Translate English is here.
The subscribers will select up to 14 on the clock "Niiu" homepage by clicking, what content it wants to read. He can currently access to 17 local and national newspapers, including American and one Russian.The reader may also select specific departments and determine how many pages he wants from the respective newspaper - but not search for individual articles. Incorporated in each case is the complete page, including advertisements. The areas of interest can change daily.

In addition, the "Niiu" can be supplemented with Internet content from about 500 portals . On the last page for example, information is collected from blogs or printed Facebook messages from friends.
If interested in the business model for education, check out the previous post including the comments. If interested in the commercial model, consider that predictive analytics on consumer behavior is the high margin deliverable for print. Then think about the analytics possible if you have a data base that tells you what a user thinks is interesting.

If you add QR codes,
it means you can drill down even further to see which articles were interesting enough for the user to make the click to the web. You could also tell an advertiser exactly when and where the user clicked on an ad.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yesterday the newspaper world changed in Berlin. Tomorrow the "textbook" world in the States. Go Oce! + Canon ? WOW.

The story is from Deutsche Welle | 16.11.2009: You can read the full story at the click.
Customized 'Niiu' newspaper launched |
"'Every Niiu is only printed once for every reader. You can also add the logo of your favorite soccer club or something like that,' he said.

Several German newspapers and magazines at a kioskBildunterschrift: Gro�ansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Newsprint is having an existential crisis

In effect, Niiu allows the reader to be his own editor, choosing the news he or she wants from the company's website. The price is not much more than the newsstand price of most German papers - 1.80 euros ($2.70).

Oberhof continues: 'I can say I want the front page of a regional newspaper, for example the Tagesspiegel from Berlin. And then I can say I want the sports section of the Bild and politics from "
The point is that the same technology makes versioned newspapers simple to adapt to fill the vacuum created by the end of textbooks.

Consider that instead of the reader, a teacher chooses just the right content for next week. Add QR codes and you get performance metrics that allow detecting early warning signs of a student at risk.

Add some quizzes, some links to YouTube Edu and reserve 2 pages for student writing and art.

It's done.

OutputLinks on Canon & Oce. There's a new 800 pound gorilla in the world of Print.

The smart people at OutputLinks, see the same thing I think I see. The story is at
Canon and Oce to Create Global Leader in Printing Industry.

The money sentence:
Canon and Océ aim to create the overall No. 1 presence in the printing industry;
I can't see a reason why they couldn't do it. My only problem is that it sounds like I'm going to have to tender my Oce shares. It was fun while it lasted.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Canon to acquire Oce . Ricoh took Ikon. Canon fights back. What will Fuji do?

It shouldn't be that surprising.

The titans of print are based in Tokyo. The yen is playing under new rules after the recent election in Japan. Oce owns the HVTO space and is first to play in versioned newspapers. With their history of the DNN they have first mover advantage. Today, Nov 16, the really disruptive innovation for versioned and personalized newspapers goes live in Berlin.

But it's too late for Oce get a space on the desktop or the CRD. On top of it all, Canon took a big hit from Ricoh when they bought IKON and replaced the Canon boxes with Ricoh boxes.

What's next?
What I'm seeing is that outsourced print and insourced print will just be print. That's what Xerox EPS is about. Given that KKR has recently joined the party, Kodak will probably spin off the Creo and Scitex piece to focus on their core dna in photo and the consumer space.

The last remaining question is what will HP do? I'm hoping they will spin off the Indigo piece so that it can get the focus it needs to be number one in commercial digital printing.

But whatever happens next, it's pretty clear to me that today, the printernet took a huge step forward.
Canon in £655m bid to acquire Océ
Tim Sheahan,, 16 November 2009

Canon is set to acquire Oce after making a 730m euro ($655m) cash offer for the digital press manufacturer.

Japan-based Canon has made an offer of €8.60 per Oce share, which represents a premium of 70% more than the company's closing share price at the end of play on 13 November, valuing the company at €730m.

The deal hinges on the offer being accepted by Oc�s ordinary shareholders, a decision that has been fully recommended by the company's board."

Oce, Infoprint, Riso and HP go to Washington

For anyone who has followed my blog for a while, you know that I think the real opportunities for the revival of Print are in the fields of education, health and government. Not in marketing.
In fact, I've been on the same little soapbox since 2005. So it makes sense that the story in Outputlinks would catch my attention.

HP, Oce, Infoprint was to be expected. RISO at the table surprised me a bit. But as far as I can tell Xerox didn't participate. That's interesting.
From Outputlinks:

On November 4, INTERQUEST hosted the 2009 Digital Printing in Government and Higher Education Forum, with nearly 100 attendees from federal, state, and local government, and colleges and universities.

The event kicked off with a morning session geared toward both environments. Speakers from leading printing systems vendors shared their companies' strategies, product offerings, and initiatives in these markets. Speakers included Jim Strief, Eastern Regional Manager for Hewlett-Packard's Publications Sector for High Speed Inkjet and Indigo; Jay Ainslie, Americas Director for Software, Services and Solutions Marketing for the InfoPrint Solutions Company; Bryan Beauchamp, Vice President of Business Development and Federal Sales for Océ Document Printing Systems Division; and David Murphy, Vice President of Marketing for RISO Inc.

The forum was sponsored by leading industry players, including Cascades, Hewlett-Packard, InfoPrint Solutions Company, Kodak, MGI, Océ, Rimage, and RISO, with additional support from American Printer, the Association of College and University Mail Services, Inc. (ACUMS), the Federal Electronic Document Systems Association (FEDS), the Franklin Technical Society (FTS) In-plant Graphics, the Interagency Council on Printing & Publications Services (ICPPS), the National Association of College and University Mail Services (NACUMS), the National Government Publishing Association (NGPA), the University Mail Managers Association (UMMA), and the Xplor Mid Atlantic Region (MAR).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Sign and Graphic Imaging Middle East 2010 off to a great start"

This may be just pre show hype or it might be real. Consider the attendance for Print 09, then consider what they say from the Middle East. Based the value of the Australian currency and after having read Re-Orient, 1998 by Andre Gunder Frank, my bet is that it's for real.
Sign and Graphic Imaging Middle East 2010 off to a great start | Sign & Graphic Imaging (SGI) |

"Now in its 12th year, Sign and Graphic Imaging Middle East 2010 (SGI) is enjoying a steady flow of international and regional exhibitor registrations, which will match if not surpass participation at SGI 2009 despite the economic downturn."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Now it's Flickr + HP (Snapfish) Anyone else seeing the pattern

Flickr and HP’s Snapfish Team on Photo Printing:
"Users will be able to order standard prints from images in their Flickr photostreams, but will also be able to create calendars, cards, books, collages, and canvas prints."
Here's the cool part.
. Flickr users in the United States will also have the option to pick up their photos locally at Snapfish retail partners, which include brick-and-mortar operations like Walmart, Staples, and Walgreens.
Who gets the clicks?
Will it be best of class in HP's Indigo fleet? Will it be CGX? If the volumes increase I bet it could be a sustainable revenue stream for an HP printernet.

Fuji Xerox to double China sales on recovering demand . Reorient just goes on and on.

In 1998 Andre Gunder Frank wrote Re-Orient. It's worth re reading today.

China Business News: Fuji Xerox to double China sales on recovering demand:

"Nov. 13, 2009 (China Knowledge) - Fuji Xerox Co Ltd, the world's leading provider of document processing products, aims to double its China sales every two years, thanks to recovering demand for office equipment in the country and the company's direct sales method, President Tadahito Yamamoto said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

The company expects its China sales to reach US$535 million for the year ending in March 2010, said the president.

Fuji Xerox has three development and manufacturing plants in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Suzhou, and a sales office in Shanghai.

Fuji Xerox is a 75:25 joint venture between the Japanese photographic firm Fuji Photo Film Co and the American document management company Xerox"

New Canon showroom tipped as UK's largest

New Canon showroom tipped as UK's largest - 12 Nov 2009 - CRN:

"Velmex Distribution has moved to larger Surrey premises, including a 80m2 to 90m2 showroom for Canon large-format demonstrations claimed to be the largest in the UK.

Mark Keeley, managing director of the distributor, said it was continuing to expand as favourable yen rates versus the euro, alongside product innovation, were helping it get a leg-up over wide-format rivals.

“We are managing to expand in a shrinking market that has been dominated by HP and Epson. We are taking them on and doing well,” he said."
But I thought I read that in the States, Canon production machinery is going to be available from HP networks.

What a complicated world.

Save the Children Elects Anne M. Mulcahy as Chair of the Board

In my not so humble opinion, the children that need saving quickest in the States are the high school kids who have a really good chance of winding up in jail, because the early warning systems in bottom of the pyramid high schools are awful.

Personalized PDFs with links to CMS systems on the web can make a huge difference. Hopefully someone will get it on her radar.
Save the Children Elects Anne M. Mulcahy as Chair of the Board:

"WESTPORT, CT -- 11/12/09 -- Save the Children today announced that Anne M. Mulcahy, Chairman of Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX), has been elected Chair of the Board of Trustees, effective March 2, 2010.