Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ricoh: icandy does Clickable Print for Michael Jackson

Imagine QR id cards for high school kids. All printed on Ricoh MFPs in the school building. Scanned by cell phone. SMS to mom when junior doesn't show up or acts stupid.

From Twitter:
msquihuis Michael Jackson's Thriller on YouTube - scan the #QR Code and play on your iphone #icandy

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

EK: Some free advice. Assuming the FT has it right.

See snippet for what the FT thinks. It's not pretty. At any rate, here's my free advice.

1. Spin off the print piece. The CREO folks probably have it just right. Offset is the next big thing.

2. Spin off the Kodak Gallery piece. With a little focus it should be not that hard to figure out how to unlock the value of 30,000,000 users and their hi resolution images.

3. Stop the move into desktop copiers. No margins. Too much competition. / Lex / Technology, media & telecoms -
Kodak’s moment is over:
"Many once great companies grapple with technological obsolescence. But few destroy as much value in the process. Kodak began investing in digital photography in the mid-1990s after pioneering and then ignoring the technology to avoid cannibalising traditional film. In the past decade, however, it has ploughed 10 times as much into research and development as its current market value. To be sure, today’s chief executive Antonio Perez and predecessor Daniel Carp talked a good turnround game, luring in savvy value investors such as once-legendary Bill Miller of Legg Mason who saw an iconic company at bargain prices.

It still holds almost 15 per cent of Kodak, which has seen its shares drop 97 per cent in 10 years amid ejection from the Dow Jones Industrial Average."

Infoprint: Talk to IBM, they don't get either Print or Public Education.

During the days, the founder of the company said to me "Never underestimate the technologists blindness to the value of Print." When it's compounded by top of the pyramid dna, they are missing perhaps the biggest market of all.

Below is brilliant IBM 8+ minute video. But, they don't say one word about public high school education. And with all the talk about the physical world talking to the cloud, they never say the word paper.

It would be very cool if the R&D smart people at Fuji, Xerox Parc, HP, and Oce could take advantage of the blind spot. Most likely it will be a start up or Google/Yahoo/Microsoft or NBC or Rupert Murdoch. My personal bet is Google.

And then everyone will wring their hands and say " Nobody could have predicted blablabla.

Go Carnegie Foundation! Intel's agency gets it.

The data points are:
1. Carnegie Foundation has been focusing on adolescent literacy for a long time see snippet
2. Whoever managed the latest Intel commercial understands that smart is the new cool. see video below.
3. Congress is going to change and increase funding for adolescent literacy. see snippet

The opportunity for an school based printernet is that to fix the schools you have to change the culture of under performing high schools. The easiest way to change the culture of a school is by publishing in print. The internet is great. Technology is great. But until they get print into the mix, it's going to mean that super human effort by administrators to change a culture. Super human efforts can not scale.

Wikis and blogs are the best ways to gather words. Wikis are the best way to edit words. Publishing in Print is that best way to share words. Sharing words in Print can change culture and expectations. Wikis and blogs can't do it as well.

The difference between a student news-on-screen versus news-on-paper.
The data from colleges is that college kids use the the print version. Not only because news-on-paper is more convenient, but because physical objects are tokens of membership in a community.

The design, predictability and tone of the news-on-paper communicates what it means it be "people like us." People like us is the operational definition of community's culture. When the culture of a school changes, everything changes. The natural passion of students are unleashed and learning can occur in real time, not in school time.

The trick is to make smart the new cool. That's the Intel part.

796,237 views as of this morning.

The other trick is to focus on adolescents.
That's the Carnegie Foundation part.
Carnegie has been working for many years “to get adolescent literacy on the nation’s agenda,” said Mr. Henriquez, “and I believe it has arrived.”
The other trick is to get some money from the Department of Ed.
That's the missing link. Now it's up to the globals, MPS and PSPs to get some of that money, and do some good at the same time.
Education Week:
Draft Literacy Bill Would Boost Funds for Older Students:
. . . and authorize nearly a fivefold increase in the amount of money the federal government provides for literacy in grades 4-12. The draft calls for providing funds for literacy programs along a continuum from birth to grade 12.

The Senate draft bill is “an opportunity to put the country on the right path for having a comprehensive literacy plan,” said Andres Henriquez, the program officer and manager of the adolescent-literacy project of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The philanthropy is a big funder of research in adolescent literacy and efforts by national organizations to support state and federal policy in that area. (Carnegie also underwrites coverage of new routes to colleges and careers in Education Week.)

Carnegie has been working for many years “to get adolescent literacy on the nation’s agenda,” said Mr. Henriquez, “and I believe it has arrived.”

The Senate draft bill is “an opportunity to put the country on the right path for having a comprehensive literacy plan,” said Andres Henriquez, the program officer and manager of the adolescent-literacy project of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The philanthropy is a big funder of research in adolescent literacy and efforts by national organizations to support state and federal policy in that area. (Carnegie also underwrites coverage of new routes to colleges and careers in Education Week.)

Globals, MPS and PSP's should get in touch with these folks, they probably don't get the Print piece.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The three mass media are TV, Radio and Print.

. . . upcoming national trial of TV Everywhere
CBS Interactive’s Smith On Authentication: ‘70 Billion Reasons To Make This Work’
"It didn’t take long for CBS to issue a statement after Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) and Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) announced the upcoming national trial of TV Everywhere, expressing interest in anything “to help extend our business in such a way that is open and non-exclusive; consumer friendly; and responsible to our advertisers and shareholders.” The statement also said the opportunities with efforts like TV Everywhere and OnDemand Online “are the very reason why we believe it’s imperative to control our own programming online.” Then again, even though the network won’t confirm it, I have reason to believe CBS (NYSE: CBS) will be taking part in the trial."

Harper Collins is using Clickable Print. Sooner or later someone is going to offfer them printernet publishing.

HarperCollins to Use 2-D Barcodes in New Mobile Marketing Program :
Book Business:
"HarperCollins Publishers has announced plans to launch a viral mobile initiative using 2-D barcodes, a new technology that links the print world to mobile. The codes, located on the back of book jackets and on marketing materials, will connect to a mobile site, with exclusive content about the authors and book.

To access the content, users download a free application ( to their smart phone, take a picture of the 2-D barcode with the phone, and then the content appears on the phone.

The promotion kicked off June 16 in the United States, Canada and Australia, with the release of the teen novel 'L.A. Candy,' by Lauren Conrad. Users of the application can access video of Conrad, a Q&A with her, or share the new site with their friends via SMS (short message service). The site also can be accessed directly at"

Steve Ballmer says " Farewell to print! "

On the other hand, Microsoft missed the whole internet thing. Maybe Steve is right. Maybe Steve is wrong.
Power Point: Farewell to print! - Postcards:
"The man answers. Here I am, back in New York and sitting in my living room, taking in the news about Michael Jackson’s death. An email from Ballmer popped in moments ago: “I really really think print goes away.” Well, good for Microsoft, I guess. For us journalists, more pressure to adapt."

Oops. Oce needs to fix this, if it's true.

Back in May I did a post about a Jetstream in NJ. This morning anon said "If only it was reliable."

Xerox: Consider clickable postcards to drive business to your PSPs

It's a great video. High ratings at YouTube. but still only 55,000+ as of a couploe of minuters ago. That's a drop in the bucket.So, send out a PDF to all your premier partners. Let them put their names and contact info. Then they will send it out to all of their customers. Then some of their customers might buy clickable postcards from the Premier Partner.

In any case, the PP will be top of mind. Top of mind as a cool printer is the place you want to be:
the video in question:

Google v Bing and Clickable Print + Printernet Publishing

Ok, the success of Bing caught you a little by surprise. It happens. Then China is being a pain. The thng is that free information is going to clash with protected information. As long as governments are based on controlling information there is going to be a friction.

Meanwhile, consider printernet publishing and clickable print to fix high school education at the bottom of the prymid. It's really not that hard.

The trick is to understand how placebos work and how social insects - bees, ants - communicate with each other. If you want to know more, feel free to get in touch. I'm retired so I'm not looking for any comp, although a book budget would be nice.

Need some marketing material to stay top of mind of your customers?

The problem is that printing is not sold, it is bought. The trick is to be top of mind when the print purchasing event is about to happen. The other problem is the people only care about printing when they get close to the printing event. But they all probably care about making a better world.

Add a QR code or TinyUrl and you connect Print to TV. That's a big deal. Printernet Publish and you can put a couple of million flyers or postcards on the street in a couple of days. Show them what you've done. Don't tell them what you will do.

I'm thinking the PR people and designers will start tweeting about it. The brand value created could be amazing. The stock price will probably go up. And everyone in the network gets practice in being a printernet on the ground. Consider it a beta test to get it all right. Then go sell it to politicians and the federal government.

The copy | About

The President has said that the challenges America faces are unprecedented, and that we need to build a new foundation for economic growth in America. The Administration has begun this work with dramatic new investments in education, health care and clean energy, but we cannot do this alone here in Washington. Economic recovery is as much about what you're doing in your communities as what we're doing in Washington – and it’s going to take all of us, working together. is your online resource for not only finding volunteer opportunities in your community, but also creating your own. Use to help you do your part. America’s foundation will be built one community at a time – and it starts with you. is managed by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

United We Serve

"United We Serve" is a nationwide service initiative that will help meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn. With the knowledge that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things when given the proper tools, President Obama is asking us to come together to help lay a new foundation for growth. This initiative aims to both expand the impact of existing organizations by engaging new volunteers in their work and encourage volunteers to develop their own "do-it-yourself" projects. United We Serve is an initial 81 days of service but will grow into a sustained, collaborative and focused effort to promote service as a way of life for all Americans.

What can you do?

The Video
Or probably a lot more effective, this one from Michelle.

Focus on the thing you do better than anyone else

MOD-PAC CORP. to exit Commercial Print -
Printing Industry News from WhatTheyThink:
"Strategically, we believe that focusing our resources on our traditional product lines will improve our ability to expand our market share while also creating greater operational efficiencies and reduced costs.'"
. . .
As a result of the refined strategic focus, MOD-PAC should realize approximately $0.9 million to $1.2 million annually in improved operating results beginning in part in the third quarter of this year. It will also recognize a $2.0 million to $3.0 million charge associated with the rationalization process in the second quarter ending July 4, 2009. The majority of the charge will be non-cash related/
. . .
Mr. Daniel G. Keane, President and CEO of MOD-PAC, noted, "We have been making measurable strides in capturing new customers for our custom folding carton product line while also expanding the level of business with existing customers. Our ability to provide high quality, short-run, on demand custom folding cartons reduces our customers costs through inventory reduction and obsolescence avoidance. This has been a driving factor in our ability to grow custom folding carton sales even in a challenged economy.

Oce, et all re newspapers: Reinventing classifieds: MinnPost launches “real-time advertising” with a new business model

Reinventing classifieds: MinnPost launches “real-time advertising”
@Nieman Journalism Lab:
Real-Time Ads could appeal to marketers that already have Twitter accounts and blogs where they’re reaching out to customers, and MinnPost is hoping that the feature will become a destination site the way the classifieds section used to be treasured by newspaper readers. To me, the concept sounds like a viable way for local news sites to finally compete with Craigslist.

. . . But it won’t be sold on a CPM basis because much of the use of it will be on advertising-only pages. So, in that respect, it’s more like classified in the old days when, you know, readers would go to a section and actually look at the ads because they were looking for it as content. Well, here, the amount of traffic we have on the site will not be the defining factor. The issue will be how many people want to go look for these ads. [...]
The point is that if real time ads were output in print it could earn more revenue for the newspaper by unlocking the value of the Print piece. As of now, the experiment is based on $100 per week for the web. If it were also output in Print, my bet is that they would get alot more users and/or $150 per week.

The really neat thing is that cost of ad sales tends to go to zero.

So we’re creating a beta test, called MinnPost Real-Time Ads, in which we will take marketers, ranging from non-profits to government agencies to companies selling things, who have RSS feeds, maybe they’ve been marketing on Twitter or through other RSS feeds, and give them a space on our site, in which they can update their own messages frequently and create a place on the site where the reader can know that they can go to get ads with a great deal of immediacy. That they’ll get the latest messages from a lot of different marketers. And we’re going to try it by giving it away free, for a while, to marketers in the community that we can see are already doing it because we’re reading their feeds. [...]

It’s all local. You know, we appeal to a local audience and we are looking for local advertisers. The national advertising business pays so little, on a CPM basis now, that its not really very promising. So this is all local. And the test will be done on a small scale, you know maybe somewhere between 8 and 16 or so advertisers. But this could be done on a very big scale. You could think it could become kind of like a new version of classified ads in which many, many players at a low price point can communicate regularly to our audience. [...]

. . . They’re calling the service Real-Time Ads, and it’s live in the left column of the front page right now.

The service aggregates tweets, blog posts, and other feeds from local business with timely messages to convey — an ice cream shop announcing the flavor of the day, for instance, or a clothing store offering a one-day coupon. Joel Kramer, the editor and CEO of MinnPost, explains more about about the project in the video above, which I recorded at the Knight Foundation’s conference last week. You can also read the explanation he posted today, which credits local news sites The Deets (in Minneapolis) and The Windy Citizen (in Chicago) with pioneering the idea.

Newspapers going mobile, but the value is the information received, not the content delivered

MediaPost Publications Verve To Power Newspaper Mobile Sites 06/25/2009:
"Mobile developer Verve Wireless Thursday announced agreements with newspaper publishers including Media News Group, A.H. Belo Corp., Hearst Corp. and Cox Newspapers to create mobile sites for newspapers including The Denver Post, The Dallas Morning News and Palm Beach Post."
Since they seem to be still trapped in the End of Print blablabla they are still getting it wrong.
The mobile expansion reflects the high hopes the battered newspaper industry has for adding new revenue streams by delivering content via handheld devices. In particular, newspapers are expecting mobile to be a more suitable platform for charging for content than the Web, where access to news sites is generally free. But any revenue gains from mobile are unlikely to significantly offset the steep ad declines newspapers have suffered in print and online.
The fact is that the abundance of content is going to keep the prices very low, whether it's on a desktop or a cell phone. On the other hand, if the information is harvested from all those clicks and advertisers pay for results and newspapers focus on the print piece to earn revenue, it could work.

The rules for content is Read for Free, Pay for Stuff. Print is wonderful stuff.

Ricoh: N. Greenbush debates copy machines and Xippa says "enough is enough." Go Independents!

NORTH GREENBUSH — The arrival of several new copy machines, priced in the thousands of dollars each, just days after the town began to address a potential year-end budget shortfall of $165,000 has some up in arms over perceived extravagant spending.
The rules on the ground for selling copiers are changing. If you give the right deal and it will be fine. But if you don't do the due diligence it sometimes gets in the papers. Then a blogger like me picks it up. Then who knows where it goes?

Anyway, consider selling "saving jobs" instead of saving money. The good news about the public sector is that people are spending other people's money. The bad news about the public sector is that when the money runs out, everybody gets to say something. It can get nasty if you get caught in the crossfire.

This is one is from Troy, New York:

from the comments:

xippa wrote on Jun 25, 2009 5:36 PM:

" What a shame. Technology in the Copier space is going down by 6% a year - service and supplies by more. How can you be paying more per month for new machines then you were previously? If you are getting "larger capacity" machines, I understand but then you not need as many machines as before. Compounding this, the industry standard is 1 device per 8 employees - IKON knows or should know this.

Customers can not rely on their vendors to act in there best interest. After being a vendor for 20 years and negotiating thousands of contracts, enough is enough and I formed Xippa. If I can help, please contact me. "
The story from
N. Greenbush debates copy machines -
The Record News: (
"The five Ikon copy machines originally ordered retail for a combined $23,000, but one machine was sent back after arrival due to questions about its necessity. The remaining four are financed by the town for a price of about $500 a month for them and their maintenance, Comptroller Michael Strenka said.

Some councilmen are hoping to have more than just one sent back to keep the unbudgeted expense as low as possible.

“Town hall can run properly without seven printers (in total),” said Councilman Lou Desso, who estimated there are about 22 or 23 employees in the building.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Is it VistaPrint + Fedex v Staples?

Vistaprint Limited is not a printing company, it's the small business marketing company.

Staples is all about small business. Fedex bought the pick up locations from Kinkos and could never figure out the printing business. Meanwhile, Kinkos and Starbucks are the mobile office for mico- small business. And all the globals are blablabla about small business.

What a world !
Vistaprint Launches New Brand Strategy
Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vistaprint Limited, the small business marketing company, today unveiled a host of changes that showcase its newly developed global brand strategy. Developed through extensive testing and research, Vistaprint’s new look and feel is designed to showcase the company’s wide range of products and services available for small businesses and the home,"

Go Eclectic Method! Go Porter Novelli! Go toolbuilders, storytellers and misfits!

At Mediatronica, it says they are "toolbuilders, storytellers and misfits." As a printer and teacher at Parsons, I've always loved toolbuilders, storytellers and misfits. It is after all the fun of the barbecue. I keep hoping they think printernet publishing 50,000,000 clickable postcards for overnight delivery with a minimal carbon footprint is also cool. But don't call me. Call CGX.
from Mediatronica - Remix the Printer:
Thanks to our project partners, Dark Igloo, Eclectic Method, and Learned Evolution, and of course Porter Novelli and HP.

Here's the video. It's way cool.

Read for free. Pay for Print. Springer tested it out. It seems to work.

This might clarify the new opportunity for Print to replace textbooks. E books = wikis. Paper books on demand = stuff you can share. Add a highlighter and it remains the best learning tool on the planet.

The Digital Nirvana
Springer launches Platform to Print eBooks on-demand:
"Springer Science Business Media the publisher of science, technology and medicine books, manuals and journals has announced its eBook catalog is now available in print at participating libraries in North America that have have purchased Springer eBook Collection. According to the company, “All registered library patrons will be able to order a softcover copy of a Springer eBook for their personal use the Springer platform” The books format is perfect bound with a color cover and monochrome interior.

“We tested and evaluated market acceptance. The test phase was a complete success, as the libraries and their patrons confirmed,” said Dr. Olaf Ernst, President of eProduct Management & Innovation at Springer."

Print is not broken. Advertising is broken.

The reason CMOs are all stressed when the CFO asks for ROI is that 50% of advertising doesn't work. If they can't figure out which 50% the smart thing is to do something else that does. Direct response may be pretty expensive, but at least you know if it works or not.

The thing about viral marketing and public relations is that when it's done well, even if it doesn't always work, the cost is negligible compared to space ads. If Print can demonstrate how much it can help with viral marketing and public relations the CMO's will be glad to pay for it.

That's the point of Clickable Print that connects Print to TV. Printernet Publishing can mean 50,000,000 postcards or handout cards in people's hands overnight. If you don't have the speed and scale, it's non valuable to viral marketing. If you do have the speed and scale, it becomes invaluable to viral marketing.

The End of Brand Advertising --
Seeking Alpha:
December 28, 2008
"The internet has witnessed the conversion of analog advertising dollars into digital advertising pennies (credit due to Jeff Zucker at NBC (GE) for “coining” that metaphor). Despite the fact that a viewer is always just a “click away” on the internet, online advertisements command only a fraction of the cost of far less measurable media – like print, radio, and television. Consider this: an advertisement on MySpace (NWS) might cost $.25 to show to 1,000 people ($.25 CPM), versus $25 for 1,000 readers of Time (TWX) magazine ($25 CPM).
. . .
In the good old days of performance-less advertising, engagement didn’t really matter because you generally couldn’t quantify it. Studies on Reach, Frequency, and Recall aside, General Motors (GM) had no way of measuring the marginal benefit (much less revenue!) of a particular advertisement. But on the internet, it is quite clear that if nobody is clicking on your ad, then nobody is noticing it, much less “connecting” with it. Proctor and Gamble has likely spent millions of dollars on Facebook advertisements that attract a few dozen active “followers” – probably the same hit rate they had in Time magazine 20 years ago, but with one key difference: Now anyone can prove that people don’t engage with the advertisement!
. . .
Pundits will argue that with increased ad targeting, profiling, and all sorts of other algorithmic alchemy, online ad revenues will be boosted. In my opinion, such talk is nonsense insofar as brand advertising (not direct response) is concerned. Rather, a seismic shift is underway – one that will not only change the nature of advertising, but will also show that the last century of offline advertising witnessed a tremendous amount of money being flushed down the toilet. We are a lot smarter than we were 50 years ago, and those analog dollars really should have been analog pennies all along.

Versioned Newspapers: This link is a must read.Or talk to the folks at the Guardian.

As an old printer, I loved this metaphor:
In the world of database programming, a framework is like an offset press: hard to build — Django 1.0 required three years of open-source development — but once it’s set up, there’s no faster way to churn out content. Hand-coding an application like the Guardian’s would have been like publishing a daily newspaper with movable type.
Trust me, the four lessons at the click are really worth the time.
Four crowdsourcing lessons from the Guardian’s (spectacular) expenses-scandal experiment
@Nieman Journalism Lab:
Okay, question time: Imagine you’re a major national newspaper whose crosstown archrival has somehow obtained two million pages of explosive documents that outed your country’s biggest political scandal of the decade. They’ve had a team of professional journalists on the job for a month, slamming out a string of blockbuster stories as they find them in their huge stack of secrets.

How do you catch up?

If you’re the Guardian of London, you wait for the associated public-records dump, shovel it all on your Web site next to a simple feedback interface and enlist more than 20,000 volunteers to help you find the needles in the haystack.

Your cost for the operation? One full week from a software developer, a few days’ help from others in his department, and £50 to rent temporary servers.

Journalism has been crowdsourced before, but it’s the scale of the Guardian’s project — 170,000 documents reviewed in the first 80 hours, thanks to a visitor participation rate of 56 percent — that’s breathtaking. We wanted the details, so I rang up the developer, Simon Willison, for his tips about deadline-driven software, the future of public records requests, and how a well-placed mugshot can make a blacked-out PDF feel like a detective story.

TouchSmart: The value is not the box. The value is HP Apps.

In a facilitated user network economy, the value is in the network. User networks that co create the product are the defensible advantage because they take time. Money can not buy volunteers nor can they buy time.

Go HP! If you connect the Indigo piece, you could control the whole enchilda. That's the printernet part. Talk to CGX and the Indigo users groups. The white label version of MarketSplash could be the on ramp.

Regarding high school education, consider wikipedia or the gezillion other wiki's out there. I have little doubt there are English language geek evangelists, probably in Germany or New Zealand that can write the apps that render wiki pages into print pages. Put the touchsreen on every MFP and Indigo. Make the appropriate deal with the wiki owner. Many are start ups who will welcome a new revenue stream. Many more are non profits who are looking for ways to earn some money to keep it going.

One user experience is:
"Would you like to find out more about that? Let me print out the wiki article, and you can start from there. After you've had a chance to do some reading, come back to me and I'll try to answer other questions that occur to you."

The other user experience is:
"That's not the way we do things around here. Go print out the rules. Carry them with you. And don't let me find you breaking them again."
from by John Gapper -
Apple’s network helps prevent a fall:
"Steve Jobs is returning to his post as chief executive of Apple, following a liver transplant, to some good news. On Sunday, Apple’s iPhone 3GS, the latest version of its device, passed 1m sales in three days.

Mr Jobs permitted himself a boast that “customers are voting and the iPhone is winning”. This was aimed at Palm’s Pre, which is the best effort to match the iPhone, but trails it in one vital regard.

Owners of iPhones can choose among 35,000 applications, most built by other companies, that run on the phones. Competitors including Palm and Google have not yet matched this creative alliance.

The fact that Apple persuaded others to rally round has helped to shield it from the margin squeeze in the personal computer and consumer electronics industries. It has become the hub of a creative network.

Lots of businesses are suffering in the recession but that masks a longer-term trend that only relatively few – Apple among them – have managed to buck. This is a squeeze imposed by intensifying competition across many industries

Dr Joe Webb had it just right in 2007. Content is not the king. Distribution is the king.

Since he's on vacation until July 9th, WhatTheyThink is posting some old columns for us Dr Joe junkies. The one posted this morning is called If Content Were King, The King Would be Rich. The dateline is June 25, 2007. Some selections follow.

The heart of the matter.
Content is not the king. Distribution is the king.
This is the connect Print to TV part:
. . . there is a great opportunity to expand our capabilities in the area of content distribution, even, in some cases, becoming that bridge between content and distribution. Video is becoming much more prevalent as a standalone and also in combination with other graphic elements, and as was pointed out in the IPA session, the workflow for video is not all that different from what we are already doing.
"The industry" includes designers and graphic communication advisors. It ain't just printers.
. . . The industry has much to offer in crafting (and I used that word with great purpose and a sense of irony) how messages are organized and displayed to enhance their impact and accessibility, regardless of the media selected. This is especially true for small and mid-size businesses and their graphic communications advisors, as well as publishers.
It's about craft in making (remember, designers are part of the industry), managing and harvesting actionable information from multi channel engagements with information users.
. . . Craft, however, should be considered beyond the tools that were used at a particular time and place. Craft refers to the way things are done. Digital media deployment still needs the sense and skills of craft. We have to believe that first, before we can convince others that we have a valuable and viable role to play in this new multichannel world.
This is the gathering data that can be turned into actionable information piece.
"I am amazed that most communications managers are not aware of the range of options they have for enhancing their most basic projects using new techniques and technologies. Sure, they know about direct mail, but they may not know about assigning unique web addresses for each recipient to establish a new response mechanism and an ongoing dialog. They may not know how to be sure that all of their product brochures are available online, and how to optimize them for desktop output or screen viewing. Nor may they be aware of how to feed campaign or other information to sales and other support people.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I guess they haven't heard Print is Dead: Economist Group’s Profit Jumps 26 Percent

Economist Group’s Profit Jumps 26 Percent - M and A and Finance @
"The Economist Group this week reported record profits for the fiscal year ended March 31.

The London-based company, which publishes its namesake magazine, reported approximately $92 million in operating profit, up 26 percent over the previous 12-month period. Revenue was up 17 percent to roughly $514.2 million."

I love enigneers! Go Fuji! Go printed electronics!

"The era of ubiquitous printed electronics" will be a good thing.
FUJIFILM Dimatix Introduces New DMP-3000 Materials from WhatTheyThink: "Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Frankfurt, Germany -- FUJIFILM Dimatix, the leading provider of industrial inkjet printheads, components and systems, introduced today its new Dimatix Materials Printer (DMP), the DMP-3000, at the Large-area, Organic & Printed Electronics Convention (LOPE-C).

The new FUJIFILM Dimatix DMP-3000 is a non-contact, fluid deposition system capable of jetting a wide range of functional fluids using multiple FUJIFILM Dimatix fluid deposition printheads interchangeably.
. . .
Vivek Subramanian, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. "By combining high accuracy motion control with the well-established quality, reliability, and scalability of Dimatix printheads in a compact, self-contained and easy to use unit, the DMP-3000 meets the needs of researchers in the area of printed electronics and related fields, and helps usher in the era of ubiquitous printed electronics."

Xerox: An award for pricing is an award worth having. Nice.

When this is added to the "utility pricing" model for North Fork in the UK, I have a feeling you are really on to something.

Anyone know how the execution is going? How many have been sold? The engineers and the business folks have done their jobs. Now it's the ground game.

Go Xerox!

Xerox Honored for Innovative Color Print Pricing
from WhatTheyThink:
Wednesday, June 24, 2009

NORWALK, Conn. -- Xerox Corporation's new color pricing plans, offered with the ColorQube 9200 Series multifunction printer (MFP), have been awarded 'Most Innovative Color Printer Pricing' as part of the 2009 BERTL's Best Awards. The plans reduce the cost of printing color pages by up to 62 percent compared to traditional color laser MFPs without compromising quality.

'BERTL's Best Awards recognize the most innovative, highest-quality products and services in the digital imaging and workflow solutions market,' said Margie Davis, managing director, BERTL Inc. 'Compared to traditional two-tiered pricing, Xerox's three-tiered approach opens the door to significantly reduced color page costs.'"

RRD: Is your Board of Directors as cool as Quebecor World's new Board of Directors?

The most useful thing about a bankruptcy is that it's the only way to fire and hire a new Board of Directors. "Jacques Mallette, the Company's Chief Executive, is expected to be the only continuing member of the board."
from WhatTheyThink:
1. Mark Angelson, former CEO of RR Donnelley and leading architect of the 2003-2007 printing industry consolidation, will be Chairman.

2. Tom Ryder, former Chairman and CEO of Reader's Digest,

3. Jack Kliger, former President and CEO of Hachette Filipacchi.

4. Raymond Bromark, chairman of the audit committee of CA, Inc., and a retired senior partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers,

5. turnaround specialist James Gaffney

6. Michael Allen, Canadian lawyer and former senior officer of Alcan, Inc.,

7. David McAusland, and Gabriel de Alba, managing director and partner of Catalyst Capital Group of Toronto.

Ryder and Kliger are past Chairmen of the Magazine Publishers' Association. Ryder also sits on the boards of, Virgin Mobile and Starwood Hotels.

A spokesman for the director designees said, 'The highly fragmented printing industry must undergo further consolidation, and this company will be an important part of that process.
That sounds about right to me. Printernet anyone?

Go EK! Another Tream Printhead. This time in the UK

I love the 1000 fpm at 600 dpi. I wonder what the speed will be when they get out of beta.
Lettershop Group picked as UK beta site for Kodak's Stream printhead |
Tim Sheahan,, 17 June 2009

The Lettershop Group has been revealed as the UK beta test site for Kodak's Stream printhead technology.

Leeds-based Lettershop is trialling the monochrome inkjet printhead and is already using it to produce live direct mail jobs for clients.
. . .
We're already reaching speeds of 1,000fpm at resolutions of 600dpi."

Xerox UK does it again. Go Ian Walker! Go Enterprise Printernet!

MPS + PSP = Enterprise Printernet. Just a reminder, a school district is an enterprise.
Within financial services, the accurate and timely delivery of all customer documentation is the lifeblood of our business... By streamlining our document processes we can reduce our costs and environmental impact."
It may not be obvious from the outside, but he accurate and timely delivery of documents is also the lifeblood of a school district. For them, reducing costs is not a nice to have, it's now a must have.
Northern Rock signs over print handling to Xerox |
Matt Whipp,, 18 June 2009

. . . involves a team of Xerox document advisors overhauling the bank's entire print supply chain, from design and secure production of transactional and marketing pieces to print buying and fulfilment. Northern Rock will be billed on a utility-like model.

Xerox account director for Northern Rock Ian Walker said that Xerox is now '100% responsible for all purchasing decisions.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Oce, HP, Screen, AlphaGraphics: More on versioned newspapers

Newspapers are not about objectivity. They are about partisanship. Every community of interest needs a partisan press. That's why short run and versioned newspapers are so cool.

It's also why versioned newspapers delivered to communities of interest in high school could turn out to be such a big deal. It's not about newspapers giving information. It's about newspapers as a token of membership in a community.

Consider: The population of Serbia is a lot less than the population of the New York Metropolitan Area.

Consider: The latest web ad for the Economist is "In a global world, read the local paper." Plus Pearson is already one of the big textbook publishers,. They might be looking for some new products to protect their margins.
Serbia: The great influence of the tabloid press
- from Editors Weblog:
"The tabloid press is proliferating at a surprising speed in Serbia, to the extent that the country can claim to be the state possessing the greatest number of titles per habitant. This development is having interesting repercussions on mainstream reporting style.

The already impressive list of 200 dailies is increasing with the frequent arrival of new tabloid titles, such as Kurir, Press, Pravda, Alo and Grom. The wave of new newspapers is somewhat surprising as according to surveys only 9% of the population actually use the press as a information tool. According to the Belgrade based Vreme publication, the privileged position of the tabloid press lies very much in the nature of its contents and its involvement in the forming of public opinion.

In contrast with the majority of their counterparts in other countries which are primarily obsessed with scandal, the Serbian tabloids concentrate on politics, with populist vigour. The predominant line is quite clear: all politicians are corrupt and immoral. Yet the papers are reportedly far from independent watchdogs, they are heavily embroiled in the centres of power. Political sympathies change with the feeling of the moment, often reflecting the views of their information sources."

The Mobile Land Rush Continues: Now it's Intel + Nokia

Intel Said to Have Landed Nokia as a Customer for Mobile Chips -
from "June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Intel Corp., the world’s largest chipmaker, will sell processors to Nokia Oyj for mobile devices, marking the biggest breakthrough in Intel’s expansion into the phone market, a person familiar with the matter said.

The deal will be announced on a conference call today, said the person, who declined to be identified because the details are confidential. Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president of Intel’s ultra-mobility group, will deliver the news.
. . .

Intel, whose microprocessors run more than 80 percent of the world’s personal computers, has struggled for about a decade to get a foothold in the market for mobile-phone chips. Chandrasekher leads a group that sells a scaled-down version of Intel’s personal-computer processor. The chip, called Atom, is designed for mobile devices that access the Web and handle basic computing functions.

“Even if they get just a piece of Nokia’s business, it’s a big deal,” said Will Strauss, a Cave Creek, Arizona-based analyst for research firm Forward Concepts. “Nokia is still the biggest cell-phone maker in the world.”

HP: Put this video at YouTube Thanks.

Money is prowling around the Boston Globe

from Current News on the Pulp and Paper Industry: Boston Globe For Sale!:
"The Boston Globe reports three are interested in acquiring the paper. Announced parties that are in discussions include Stephen Pagliuca, a private equity executive and co-owner of the NBA's Boston Celtics; Jack Connors, cofounder of a Boston advertising firm and chairman of Partners HealthCare; and Stephen Taylor, a former Globe executive whose family sold the paper to the New York Times Co. in 1993 for $1.1 billion."

Personal TV at home from Vodafone

The issue is not to connect Print to the Web. The issue is to connect Print to TV. The Web is cool, but nobody loves the Web. Everybody loves TV. Everybody loves Print.

Just one example, still photographs and treasured books are Print.

Mobile Marketing Magazine:
Vodafone Launches Femtocell, But Calls it Something Else:
"Vodafone has launched the Vodafone Access Gateway service, designed to improve reception indoors for Vodafone customers. It’s a femtocell by any other name, but in a show of outstanding common sense, Vodafone has chosen to avoid using that term, which means nothing to most people outside the femtocell business.

Available online and in store from 1 July, the Vodafone Access Gateway service takes the form of small box, similar in size to a router, that plugs into any home broadband line to bring customers improved and more reliable 3G coverage indoors."

Apple 3G iPhone is not about the web. It's about TV, Movies and Music. Clickable Print connects print to TV.

There are three mass media: Print, TV and Radio. Everything else is niche market media. The "analysts" predicted Apple would sell about 600,000 in the first couple of days. They sold over a million. The iPhone is personal TV. Everyone loves TV.

Someone should talk to Apple about Clickable Postcards. 50,000,000 cards the day after tomorrow handed out wherever kids gather. With a minimal carbon footprint.

The front of the card would have the Apple logo and some beautiful typography that might say, "Watch John Stewart when You have the time." The back of the card would have a TinyUrl and a 2d code.

Click the Print. Watch TV.

Look at these commercials and you'll see what I'm trying to say.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Everybody not HP: How to respond to the Touch Smart Printer.

As far as I can tell the TouchSmart is an inkjet + an iPhone. That is a great idea. It creates a single purpose device to search and print and it looks like a well designed box. I still can't see the business model for HP, but am willing to consider that those involved have a plan.

Anyway, the new customer experience will be in education.
What happens if every MFP has an "iPhone" built in? This should work for Ricoh, Cannon, the Color Cube and every other MFP in the market.

The teacher walks up to the MFP. Goes to wikipedia or any of the many wiki based content sites. Wikipedia is best because the structure is so well defined, although I know that PBWiki has open APIs. I assume most of them do. Anyway, I assume that somewhere out there is a wiki set up specifically for lesson plans, student writing, links to some great wiki organized content. She browses to the site, chooses what she needs the coming week, presses print and has copies for her class.

The secret sauce is, as usual, the typography. There are many open source solutions to get from xml to well formed PDF. With an iTunes business model, my bet is that the appropriate software will be written in a month or so. Then the teacher can not only select the content, but also select just the right style in which to print that content for her class.

If you look carefully at Google books, you can put the rest of the pieces together. By the way, this also works for student written books and probably for newspapers.

Once you can get to well designed PDFs, then you are ready for printernet publishing. And that means Print when you want, where you want, how you want it, with a minimal carbon footprint.

Go Print!

The mobile web is the next big opportunity for print

From Beyond Print: Translation by Google.
(June 22, 2009 - dk), the mobile Internet in Germany is growing unabated.
The mobile provider O2 is expected that the number of mobile internet users by 2012 will triple, and compares this with the wireless boom of a decade ago.

In Germany alone, up to 2012 around 30 million users in the mobile Internet services. The O2 also expects a strong customer growth. This year is the number of mobile Internet users has already doubled to 12 million.

The reason for this boom is, according to the desire of many O2 mobile customers to access such as e-mail, card services or social networks can be accessed.

Ok HP does have a Super Duper Personal Printer announcement...

The MSP is $399. (I hope they can get some margins) When the MFP connected to the Cloud is released ( I just made that up) that will be alot more interesting to me.
The $399 printer has a touch screen like an iPhone and is designed to have a variety of built-in or user added applications to let you print movie tickets, shopping discount coupons, maps and other similar content without a computer. What HP is trying to do is make the printer a connected device just like a smart phone or notebook computer.
Big smart phone = netbook computer.

HPs Super Duper Secret Printer announcement. Search the web, print it out.

Going from web content to printed content is a good idea. But it's not a new idea. The problem is consumer printers are a very low margin business. Toner is a very competitive and therefore low margin business. How exactly this helps HP in the computer space is not easy for me to figure out.

I guess if they do this for an MFP in a workgroup with a beautiful interface that could help in MPS.

Now printing out wikipedia and educational supplements as easy as printing from an iPhone should be a better margin business. But for now, HP has bragging rights. Bragging rights are better in stickball than in global business. But hey, they don't hurt.

I tried to get to the live stream at Current TV. I'll wait for the press release. So much easier to think about stuff when the type sits still. The demo is below. Looks pretty cool, but wireless printing is around and most everybody has it. I guess the big deal is doing it at home and seamless. And then there is something about having a developer community to do printer apps. That could be cool.

But nothing about connecting to Indigos. As far as I can tell, when HP says printer for the mass market, they mean the thing that sits on the desktop. Nice, but . . . .

To be clear about printernet publishing + clickable print. They are not new ideas, just maybe different words to describe old ideas.

Anyone who follows Tough Love probably knows that I don't believe there are many new ideas. "Almost everything that will be done, has been done and there is nothing new under the sun."

But, there are different implementations. Printernet publishing is just another word for "distribute and print." The new thing is the massive parallel manufacturing capacity that is possible with standards based management and process control. It's completely plausible to believe that 500,000,000 print pieces can be printed and delivered in two days, with a minimal carbon footprints.

As for Clickable Print, I just got an email from BR, an internet buddy. Turns out that Enthusem is doing that already. I have no idea for how long, but as it has been said, "The future is here. It's just not evenly distributed."

The email in question,
First time I saw print and twitter blend so nicely. I without question visited the website it directed me to. It was personalized inside and had a special # code I was to enter etc.

Crispin gets awards. Awards are nice. Market Share is better.

Perhaps Crispin should learn about printernet publishing and clickable print. They produce amazing videos. They are probably all over viral marketing. What they don't know is that Print connected to the videos on YouTube could help.

The printernet means 50,000,000 million postcards produced and delivered over night. Call CGX, they can probably do it today. My bet is that Scott Dunn, in Boston, could help you out.

Call RRD, but don't wait for the return call. RRD seems focused on buying stuff, instead of making stuff.

Consider the clickable print for a contest.
Click with your mobile. Find out if you won a free Hambuger whil you are waiting on line. Then consider how the kids love their cell phones. Then consider that if BK is cool, they can get kids to go to BK.

Meanwhile, BK has to do it better than McDonald's on the ground. But that's not Crispin's job. That's BK's job. Everybody has to do their jobs to get it right.

Crispin's BK Work Doesn't Help Gain On McD's -
Advertising Age - News:
"There was no shortage of material. In five years, Crispin's creativity had energized a once-moribund brand with memorable, often groundbreaking work that helped BK recapture the No. 2 spot among burger chains briefly ceded to Wendy's. In the process, the partners had made each other famous within the industry, winning virtually every major award, including a Grand Effie earlier this month. The collaboration has drawn comparisons to some of the most celebrated agency-client partnerships in contemporary advertising.

But there was one fact unmentioned in Mr. Klein's glass-raising: For all Burger King's marketing triumphs, it has lost -- and continues to lose -- ground to its largest and most significant rival, McDonald's. 'Burger King is viewed as a tougher competitor now' than it was five years ago, said Ron Paul, president of Technomic, a food-industry research and consulting firm. 'But it is chasing a runaway train.'"

Bankruptcy is hard for those inside, but a new business model means low overhead

Usually "new business model" is a code word for increasing the top line or the bottom line. In fact, "new business model" means radically reducing overhead to be able to earn money in a changed market.

As newspapers right size their overhead they can again focus on the value of Print to earn revenues. Microzoning, versioned newspapers, connections to the web that deliver the metrics every body has to have.

MediaPost Publications
'Star Tribune' Files Bankruptcy, 'Cleveland Plain Dealer' Issues Pay Cuts
"Separately, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis submitted a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan to the U.S. bankruptcy court for the Southern district of New York last week. If the plan is approved, the paper could exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as early as this fall.

To lay the groundwork for the plan, the Star Tribune's management has extracted critical concessions scaling back wages, benefits and employment guarantees from most of the Tribune's unions, yielding about $20 million in cost savings.

It has also required negotiations with a number of lenders, with top priority given to secured creditors. As part of the plan, publisher Chris Harte said 'previously issued equity will be canceled and will not result in any recovery to the owners.' He added, 'The Plan also provides for the reorganized company to emerge from bankruptcy as a privately held enterprise.'"

What does it mean that Jack Welch is going into the Education Business?

I've been on a little soapbox for a while about how selling certification is the best business in the world. Marginal costs are minimal. It's a monopoly market because the right sell certificates has no serious metrics and is granted by government. On line technology has made delivery costs negligible. As cert - selling businesses go out of business, their core value, the contract with the government, can be picked up for peanuts.

It seems Mr. Welch agrees.

Online education + printernet publishing of POD print is good place to be until the advertising business figures out what to do.
The Jack Welch MBA Coming to Web:
"Wall Street Journal

Former General Electric Co. Chief Executive Jack Welch is putting his name and money behind a little-known educational entrepreneur, injecting some star power into the budding industry of online education.

Mr. Welch is paying more than $2 million for a 12% stake in Chancellor University System LLC, which is converting formerly bankrupt Myers University in Cleveland into Chancellor University. It plans to offer most courses online.

. . . Investor groups led by Mr. Clifford bought those three institutions out of troubled situations and converted them to primarily online universities

The Association of Retired Xerox Employees might consider printernet publishing some clickable postcards.

It was seeing a letter that was quickly deleted from a Xerox company blog about exactly this issue that got me into blogging on January 1, 2009. The post is titled, This isn't the right thing to do. Today, over a 1000 posts later, I discovered ARXE at the end of an article in today's Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Go ARXE ! Xerox, it is now time to focus on this and get it fixed.
The Association of Retired Xerox Employees:
"Buy our ARXE approved merchandise and show your feelings about Xerox senior leadership and their unreasonable behavior toward you. You contributed to the long term success of the company and now that you have retired, your benefits that were a promise made over your career at the company are being arbitrarily put at risk.

Become part of an Association of Retired Xerox Employees ongoing nationwide protest of our company’s unjustified elimination of financial support to Flex plan retirees age 65 beginning 2010. Tell the world that Xerox is no longer a great company with high integrity, and is being led by a self serving management team that has little consideration for its employees, past and present."

The front of the postcard:

Pick one:


The Back of the Postcard

A tinyUrl or QR code to some really funny, but get-the-message-across, videos at YouTube. Think John Stewart, not Walter Cronkite. Until someone makes the video, then

My speculation about #HPReveal

As usual, I found some interesting info at Jim Lyons Observations: It seems that HP is having a big deal live streaming PR event today at 12:00 EDT.

Mystery printing announcement from HP #HPReveal:
"It all started with a tweet Thursday evening, from the 'HP_IPG' (that's the 'real' Imaging and Printing Group's Twitter name), simply stating 'Something is brewing around here...'. Now the mystery is filling in, with more tweets from HP and Porter Novelli account holders, all with a little speculation from industry pundits."

My speculation is that HP will release a line of netbooks/laptops with Android as the OS and it will have a print button that goes seamlessly to HP Printers. I'm hoping, but not expecting, that HP Printers will include commercial printers who are running Indigos.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Wikipedia Adding Video: One more piece in place for clickable print.

Wikipedia getting video! Oh boy.
//from Current TV:
"Wikipedia, the free web-based encyclopedia used worldwide, will be adding video to their online repository in a matter of months. When the new system launches, you'll find a new button labeled 'Add Media' on Wikipedia articles. Upon clicking this, you'll be prompted to search through three online repositories for relevant videos which can be added to the article. You can even select particular portions of the video instead of embedding the entire clip.

According to news breaking at Technology Review, this video upgrade will be made available within two to three months. At launch time, Wikipedia will provide access to the following online video repositories: the Internet Archive, which contains 200,000 videos, Wikimedia Commons, a resource maintained by the Wikimedia Foundation, creators of Wikipedia, and Metavid, a source for Congressional hearings and speeches."

Xerox Advertising Agency: Talk to the suits, they just don't get it.

Back on January 26, I did some blabla about the Xerox YouTube channel. At the time I said,
Find the 5 most creative people at our agency. Get them to do some very cool 2 minute videos about Xerox, Xeroids, PARC, Dubai, Rochester, MFPs, Igens, etc.etc.
On May 20th, you posted a cool video. As of this morning, it got 40,793 views. Given that there are no new ideas, I assume this has been kicking around the agency for months before January 26. My best guess is that finally someone got someone in Stamford or Rochester to lighten up.

Just in case Clickable Postcards are not yet on your radar . . .
It's drop dead easy. Front of this card is
The very information meant to inform us is actually making us STUPID! It's affecting millions of business people. Is IOS affecting you?"
Back of the card is a tinyUrl + a QR code and a tag line with the local printers web site address. Marketing material for the printer + building the brand for corporate.

If it takes too long to get the suits to schedule a meeting . . .
call Printable Click New York.

They'll produce a couple of million postcards, get them distributed all over the country in a couple of days. If you give them the list of premier Partners, they'll do the personalization and drop ship.

Of course it would be a lot cheaper and easier to printernet publish (distribute and print.) But while they sort that out, Clickable Print New York could get the postcards on the street the day after you post the video at YouTube.

I can't see how a couple of million postcards doesn't get 40,793 views to at least a couple of hundreds of thousand. With the videos I know you can do, I can't see any reason why you couldn't get up to a couple of million. If you put up some of the awesome 30 second spots you've done over the years, it should be easy.

If you need to see a sample done by this non designer, I posted one called Help Xerox Video Go Viral..

InfoPrint: Talk to the IBM people. They don't understand how Print fits in.

Technologists have a blind sport when it comes to Print. If you can get it on their radar, more Cloud computing in schools + more clicks for Infoprint.

There has never been a better time to make our education systems, both here and around the world, smarter. School and higher education systems are straining under budget cuts. The demand for knowledge workers with specialized skills is growing by 11 percent a year. Many jobs will require lifelong training and a continuous updating of skills. And the education industry has grown increasingly complex and difficult to quantify, as students pursue a variety of alternative learning paths.

One of the challenges is that our education systems need to be more, well, systemic. In the U.S., there are 15,000 individual school districts and over 4,000 higher education institutions, most with their own goals and management processes. In China, there are nearly 500,000 primary and middle schools, many responsible for managing their own infrastructures. These redundancies have created tremendous inefficiencies, ballooning costs and silos of resources.

The good news is that there have been advances in education technology—cloud computing, open source systems, virtualization, analytics—that can help our education systems refresh outdated infrastructures with new functionality. They can become more interconnected, instrumented and intelligent. In a word, smarter. And it is already happening.