Thursday, February 26, 2009

From the Cloud to . . . Print. Creative destruction in US Government Information?

Today, Adam Dewitz, PrintCEO put up a post called Yes We Scan–Carl Malamud’s Campaign to Reboot .Gov. The lede,

For over 20 years Carl Malamud has published government information on the Internet. His Public.Resource.Org is a digital repository of millions of pages of legal documents.

Now Malamud is looking to “reboot .gov” with his campaign Yes We Scan to become the next Public Printer of the United States.

Then I said,

While the likelihood of Bob Tapella stepping down is very low, what Malamud is doing at his sites may turn out to be a wave of creative destruction moving through the government information delivery system.

There might be an opportunity for digital printers especially and all printers who have the right set up to get in touch with Malamud to see if they could do some profit share deal and get the information he has assembled out in Print.

A niche market, no doubt, but with what is going on in Washington it might be a niche of a couple of million people.

When public information moves to the Cloud, sooner or later it's going to be raining down Print. The tech to go from XML to PDF is well defined. PDF = Print ready files. All that's left to do is push the Print button and aggregate the market.

The small number of interested readers in each community that want to follow or get the real information about whatever government issue they are following. They need about 10 copies to convince whoever they want to convince. The only thing is that the hearing or meeting or dinner is in two days.

They walk up to the counter or a W2P storefront that lives in the Cloud. Click on the report they want. Next day, they pick up 10 copies at the local bookstore, the local Printer, or the closest Staples . . .or dare we dream? Walmart.

Free Advice:
Given that I read this morning that RR Donnelley Reports $687 million Loss maybe a really enterprising sales person at Donnely, could make the contact. On the other hand, I also read that RR Donnelley Awarded $500 Million Contract for Publishing Group of America . I'm betting this kind of project is just below their radar. So how about Consolidated ? My understanding is that they have some pretty sophisticated deliver and Print infrastructures.

Or maybe a VP at one of the vendors will postpone that next planning meeting or conference call and get in touch with Malamud. This is a black and white product. I'm thinking it's a natural for either Oce or Xerox.
I'm pretty sure Malamud would answer an email that looked like:

Subject line: " Have time a for a short chat Re: getting a revenue stream for Public"

Body: "If this sounds worth while, and we can schedule a call at your convenience."
A link if you got one for the silo in which you live.

Signature: Ms XYZ, (A =Vice President) for ( B = Global Print Output) , (C = Big Global Company.)

You can fill in A, B and C as appropriate.

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