Saturday, August 1, 2009

The thread grows and La Lutte Continue. Versioned Clickable Print instead of textbooks in High School education.

The thread is the one that started this morning at the New Newsroom. see earlier post. La lutte ( I hope my high school French hasn't failed me) is to get a signal through the noise in the world of journalists and academics.

A snippet from the Comment by Cynthia Thomet
. . . From your blog post, Blodgett's excellent piece and the astute comments here, I would conclude that the way news is reported is an expression of identity, and by extension, the newspaper you carry (the cigarette you smoke) is a public declaration of that identity. ("I read the Washington Post. I read the New York Times. I read the New Yorker.") These statements say something about you. When you remove the physicality of that expression of identity, the individual is left denuded of the "community clothing"--the thing that says, "I rage against the machine" or "I comply with consumer capitalism" or whatever. . . .
To which I replied,
@Cynthia, You've put into much better words, what I was trying to say. Thank you.

Because printers and journalists/academics live in different 'tribes" some of the new technology and thinking in one have a hard time being heard in the other. After 35 years I am fluent in print and have a conversational knowledge of journalism/academics.

In the interests of bringing some of the emerging technology from digital printing on to the radar of journalists/academics and everyone interested in "attracting 'new audiences' to the marketplace of ideas.

QR codes can be scanned by cell phones and take the user to a website for more information. The disruptive aspect is that a website now means video. That creates the opportunity for the new experience of personal TV. I've been exploring how this can play out for replacing textbooks in bottom of the pyramid high schools with "clickable" newspapers. at my ClickablePrint + Printernet Publishing.

From a newspaper business point of view, the other ready for prime time technology is the ability to buy versioned print in previously impossibly low quantities. For example 1000 24 page tabloids printed in black only for around $200. Coupled with XML to PDF technology that means marginal cost of design and layout is essentially zero, after the capital expenses. If that is coupled with the idea of using the USPS "If it fits, it ships" new service, that means that cost to deliver a 1000 copies to a high school is negligible.

The recent going forward policy of eliminating textbooks in K -12 in California opens the market. While all the talk has been about ereaders, the reality is that it's too complicated, the risk of damage is too great and the cost of management is too high.

Consider the effect of publishing twitter streams from a local newspaper in print, with seamless links to more info on the web and videos at YouTube or or any of the many other video for free websites. Google Talks is just one that is top of my mind. Then consider the possibility of reserving two or three pages for the students to add the content that is typical of a high school newspaper. For a high school, the ads would be limited to public health and government. Outside of a high school, the ads could be limited to local business.

The new technology of twitter streams from advertisers takes away the cost of sales for local advertising so that it can be profitably sold at a price a local business is willing to pay.

In the same way that a high school newspaper fixes the voice of a high school community, hyper local newspapers can fix the voice of any community of interest.
If you can help spin this thread, here's the link.

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