Friday, March 27, 2009

Yikes! They're talking about Oce at Harvard!

To be clear, I do not claim any ownership of the phrase printernet. They are using it in Australia, and a recent commenter pointed out that it is listed in the Urban Dicitonary as of 2006. Just more evidence that there are no new ideas, just new mashups and better implementation of the old ideas.

Meanwhile, perhaps the notion is going to mainstream, a little sooner rather than later. The Nieman Journalism Lab is hosted at Harvard. The title of the post is A giant digital copier: individuated news, Océ-style. The dateline is March 26.

Ok, Oce's equipment is not exactly a copier. I would probably call it a newspaper Print Output Node. But that's inside Print language. But when the folks at Harvard get printers on their radar something is going on.

Meanwhile, earlier in the week in my column at PBS/mediashift, I said,
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.

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