Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Printernet Gets Some Media

Ok, it's not really media as much as my most recent column.

The title is 'Printernet' Vision Brings Custom Print Publications to Masses. You can read the full thing at PBS.org /MediaShift. If you get a chance, stop by at PBS and leave some comments.

The first four paragraphs are pasted below:

Imagine networked desktop publishing where the desktops and printers are spread throughout the whole world. Publishing means newspapers, newsletters, books and posters in mass market quantities, but versioned and personalized for specific communities and individual users.

From the point of view of a writer, it would be easier than ever to see your story in print. If you're a publisher, it means an efficient way to move from the web to print products that can attract advertising. If you are an advertiser, it means one more mass media with a low carbon footprint, unparalleled reach and a clear way to know if it's working. For the citizen, it means the world as bookstore.

In the jargon of networks, this so-called "printernet" can have the same benefits as the Internet -- massive parallel manufacturing with standards-based interfaces, real time production information and easy access for everyone. Each printer -- the combination of the machinery and the intelligence that manages the machinery -- is a print output node.

Each node is both part of the network and self-sufficient. When the nodes are working together mass customization of print product becomes commonplace at previously impossible speeds and quantities. Some recent developments illustrate the potential for printernet technology to enter the mix of communication media.
The subheads and first sentences are:
The Printernet for Newspapers
Some good examples of printernet technology in action come from Oce, a digital press manufacturer based in the Netherlands.

The Printernet for Magazines
Recently, luxury automaker Lexus joined forces with American Express Publishing to put together a printernet experiment called Mine magazine.

The Printernet for Wikis
Separate from the commercial world, some information on the web wants to be available in print form for off-line consideration and mass distribution.
and the last paragraph..
Print product manufactured in just a couple traditional printing plants is too limited. The energy costs and carbon footprint of long range delivery make them unsustainable. Global access, which Wikipedia has achieved on the web, needs a well developed, reliable, global print output network. That's the potential tipping point path for the printernet.

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