Monday, March 23, 2009

Xerox: The printernet for education and erasable paper for MPS

My column, that will be posted later this week at PBS MediaShift , is about the printernet. The subheads in the story are the Printernet for Newspapers (Oce). The printernet for magazines (mine magazine). The printernet for wikis (

But what I really wanted to write about is the printernet for education. Maybe I'll find it before the next column in two weeks.

Remember my personal goal is to reinvent high school education. From what I see my favorite team, Xerox, is in just right position to do it faster than anyone else. But, keep in mind, I also root for the New York Mets and really like the Chicago Cubs.

Free advice mostly to Xerox, but for whoever else is visiting
Get in touch with the folks who run the Wikipedia Foundation and/or the team at Figure out the fastest way to replace Textbooks with WikiBooks. If Oce and/or Kodak is visiting, you can replace Textbooks with WikiNewspapers. Imploding newspaper companies might love the idea.

To get the background for the call, follow the links starting from here. You can download the source code to turn wikis into printable PDFs, ODF or DocBooks(XML), here.

Step two is to figure out either an affiliate deal or a reseller program so the ground force can sell wiki2 print and Google Apps. And get out of the software busyness as gracefully as possible.

In case, you missed the press release in 2007, here's an excerpt.
DECEMBER 13, 2007 - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA: The Wikimedia Foundation today announced a partnership that will make it possible to obtain high quality print and word processor copies of articles from Wikipedia and other wiki educational resources. The development of the underlying open source software is supported by the Open Society Institute ( and the Commonwealth of Learning (, and led by, a start-up company based in Germany.
. . .
This technology is of key strategic importance to the cause of free education world-wide," said Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. "It will make it possible to use and remix wiki content for a variety of purposes, both in the developing and the developed world, in areas with connectivity and without.

Erasable Paper?
Why is it always a start up team that gets it done?

I'm betting there are at least 3 start up teams in India, 6 in Germany and a couple of others around the world, that have either already read the patents or figured out another way to do the same thing.

Or perhaps two brilliant engineers in either Palo Alto or France will do another Adobe. They'll figure out a way to partner with a foundation. Do some modifications to make sure they don't violate non competes and do it themselves for governments, health and education around the world to make some money and save lots of energy.

That worked out pretty well in 1982 for John Warnock and Charles Geschke. Not so well for the home team.

No comments:

Post a Comment