Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kodak: Preview of Next Column at PBS.Mediashift. I want to write about Variable QR codes at litho speeds, but I need some real info.

If anyone from the PR outfits at Kodak, Consolidated Graphics or mieller direct visits and has the time, I need a little info. I want to do a follow up column about QR codes at litho speeds. I'm pretty sure the Stream Printheads can do it. All I need is some confirmation that my hypothesis is correct.

It's clear that any of the fully digital equipment from all the globals can do it. HP, Oce, Screen, Donnelly for versioned newspapers. Of course, all the cut sheet high speed devices from any of the globals.

Of course, relatively few people read blog posts, even at PBS. But you never know. It could get picked up. Based on the responses to the last column on QR codes, I think I'm seeing that there are lots of smart folks in start ups that have been doing the development on the ground here in not-Asia. The fact that the column was picked up by Martin Langeveld at Nieman Journalism Lab, tells me this might have some real traction. The fact that in two days there are 15 comments in the thread is more confirmation of the "this might have traction" hypothesis.

The audience over there is mostly newspaper people. The site is supported by PBS and the related site, IdeaLab is for Knight Foundation Award Winners.

Meanwhile a Proof of Concept Project in South Africa has all the pieces in place on the ground to gather the data that Versioned Print is the missing piece to build communities.

You can get the details at the post called Bringing Hyper-Local, Citizen-Driven News to South Africa , by Harry Dugmore 2008 Knight News Challenge Winner. It would be perfect for any global. I'm thinking Oce, HP, Screen or Xerox + Xerox Foundation for the versioned print in the service of community building. Click on the link above if you want granular details, but just to give you a flavor of what I'm seeing, here's a snippet from Mr. Dugmore's comments:
. . . And that's just one of the projects that we think Hyper-local journalism can be a bit crusading about in South Africa that lack of local construction is exactly what is happening, and what we must get to grips with in Grahamstown. As a newby here, I'm struck by how this is so much less an apartheid city spatially -- sure it is still segregated into largely white and wealthy and largely poor and black areas-- but there are so close by, all in this one valley. Most places in SA, black South Africans were forced to live miles away, often 3 or 4 miles away in small towns, and 10 miles or more in bigger towns (I'm using miles not kilometres for no good reason!) But despite our closeness here, we've got a way to go to creating a local sense of what 'local' is. . . .
If anyone decides this is interesting, get your people in South Africa to get in touch with Mr. Dugmor in Grahamstown. If anyone thinks it would be helpful I would be honored to volunteer to manage this on line using basecamp. Face to face meetings near Brooklyn, NYC are also fine.

Column Deadline Monday AM: QR codes at Litho Speeds?
I have to get the first draft done by Monday am, so I need whatever info by Sunday night, EDT, although the editing process will go on until Wednesday. The column will probably be posted the following Monday.

I think I'm seeing a path to make a significant contribution to the textbook/High School education problem, but would love to highlight something that is really happening on the ground. If you've visited here before, you know that while I love the blablabla, it's real events on the ground and data that make a difference.

So any real info about Stream Printheads and most especially the possibility of the QR code piece, would be much appreciated. Feel free to post any info as comments. Or if you prefer send me an email at josefowm (a)

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