Friday, February 6, 2009

Digital Print News Network Anybody want to play?

It has sort of a nice ring to it. I bet a good graphic designer could do a great logo DPNN, that doesn't look like a beachball.

In a post earlier today, I argued that the big digital print vendors should stop the feuding and get together for the overall good of the Print industry. Given how busy everybody is I thought it would be helpful to do the plan as to how to do it.

1. Find three people, not more, not less, that are totally committed to making this happen. My suggestion is to talk some of the recently excessed folks at any of the companies. Since Kodak and Xerox are both in Rochester, it's the best place to find them.

The best way is to hope that team does a start up. Anybody still in the companies already have their hands full.

2. Get in touch with the smartest people you can trust. Their job is to keep the bs to minimum.

They need independent considered knowledge of the industry. But they should NOT be in the companies or working directly for the companies. Too busy and too many incentives for them not to "spin." Spin will kill the whole thing. It's not their fault, but living inside the bubble warps the language. And if your revenue stream depends on the people you are covering. Spin is inevitable. Even if spin is stopped. Building trust with readers is too hard.

Based on recent discussion over at PrintCeoBlog, I nominate Dr Joe Webb in the US, Andy Tribute and Geroge Alexander in the UK, Andy McCourt in Australia and Noel Ward in the US. But there are lots of really smart experienced people. You probably already have alot of them on the payroll as consultants.

3. Locate a totally awesome designer. Not for pretty pictures, but deeply experienced in information architecture. I'll be glad to make some recommendations, but rather not do it on this site. ( The other folks are well published on the web, so everyone can evaluate their history of analysis and fairness.)

4. Once the team is in place co-ordinate with the PR outfits you already have on the payroll. They better than anyone understand the story that wants to be told.

5. Use wordpress, basecamp or any number of other on line tools to eliminate travel, meetings and other such time wasters.

Then, the writers write, the analysers analyse, the designers design and all our printers print and distribute to their customers.

Here's a cool thing.

Each company has the names and addresses of all their shareholders. So how about you slice and dice the names. Distribute them to printers that are closest. Let the printers digitally print and deliver to them.

Given that almost every global corporation has the same problem of an ineffective business press, why wouldn't they buy in to the functionality?

To be clear, I'm not interested in managing this. First, you don't really need my talents. Once the ideas are on the table, any really good Project Manager can do it. Second, I fought deadlines for 40 years as Printer. Enough is most definitely enough, for me.

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