Saturday, July 11, 2009

Joshua Cohen, Joel Rogers + Beacon Press need to talk to Oce, HP, AlphaGraphics. It's about versioned newspapers and High School Ed

Dear Mr. Cohen and Mr. Rogers,
Thank you for editing The New Democracy Forum.

Dear Beacon Press,
Thank you for publishing it.

Here's why.
This morning I had some time to pick up the news-on-paper version of the New York Times. A headline caught my eye and I scanned an Op Ed called Trial By Firemen. The online version is here. Based a quick read/scan, I saw that we shared opinions on problems with standardized tests. My eye slid to the bottom of the column. The words pointed to a book called "Who's Qualified?" that has a 2001 pub date. So, I took out my Kindle and about a minute later I started reading the book for under $7. It was a quick read, about 2 hours.

Then I went back to the web to search a bit more. I found these reviews at Google Books.
Kirkus Review says:
A brief exchange about how best to ensure that all Americans have access to the most coveted schools and jobs.Guinier (Law/Harvard Univ.; Becoming Gentlemen, 1997, etc.) and Sturm (Law/Columbia Univ.) open this slender volume with a not-so-modest proposal: silence the critics of affirmative action by reforming the way that we determine who is "most qualified" for advancement without sacrificing diversity.
. . .
Having advanced their proposal, the authors invite responses from various academics who pinpoint the weaknesses of the author's naïve suggestions.
In my opinion, whoever did the Krikus review has it completely wrong. I tend to agree with
Cahners Business Information (c) 2001
In this bracing look at ways to create equal opportunity in education and jobs, Guinier and Sturm, law professors at Harvard and Columbia, respectively, argue that affirmative action is usually grafted onto a fake meritocracy, resulting in an artificial trade-off between merit and justice.
When I next have the time, I will compare and contrast the two reviews to figure out what I really believe.

"The authors invites responses from various academics."
First, the essay by Susan Strum and Lani Guinier, laying out a clear, well supported argument.

Then, essays that agree, amplify and disagree.
Stephen Steinberg, Derrick Bell, Howard Gardner, Mary C Waters and Carolyn Boyes-Watson, Claude M Steele, Paul Osteramn, Maureen A Scully and Deborah M. Kolb, Michael J Piore, Peter Sacks, Peter Cappelli.

Finally, a closing essay by the authors that respond to the issues in the other essays.

Inviting responses allows for compare and contrast. Compare and contrast allows for clarifying ideas. If compare and contrast happens in Print media, it is accessible to high school kids. The best print media in terms of speed and price are newspapers.

Oce, HP and Screen technology does very small runs of newspapers.
A 24 page tab newspaper version of this debate would do wonders in any high school english, history or civics class. Given the new print technology, it is cost and time effective to do many small runs of a newspaper with content appropriate for various specific audiences.

This is the first essay collection, I've seen, that allows "compare and contrast.' Intelligent people looking at the same public problem from completely different points of view. But it's too hard for a high school kid to do compare and contrast either on line or on a Kindle. Compare and contrast is for Print. New ideas come from compare and contrast.

Imagine the conversations this could start among high school teachers and their students.

There is a win-win-win exchange in here somewhere

Maybe it looks something like this:
1. Beacon Press gives the rights to use the content in exchange for advertising the rest of the series.

2. A global subsidizes the production costs to do a couple of experiments to measure the results in homework compliance and attendance.

3. If the evidence comes out as I have strong reason to believe it will, the school systems might decide to get this, instead of one size fits all textbooks. If Public Health and Government can be convinced to place ads, the whole thing is at least self supporting. It might even be a profit center. In any case it would be free-to-the-school. Right now our schools desperately need free great teaching material.

Beacon Press wins because they get no cost marketing. The global wins by showing what is possible with their equipment and having samples for their sales people. The kids win because they use their time to talk about things worth talking about.

All it needs is for someone to send the email. Then someone else to answer the email.

The Quad City Times gets the QR code thing. Wait until they found out about information rich QR codes.

Picked up from Twitter:
AugmentedAdvertRT: - News: Access more with QR Codes - Quad City Times
From the Quad City Times:
Access more with QR Codes:
". . . For example, Honda and Subaru both have put QR Codes in magazine ads for their autos of late. When you see the barcode (and it looks nothing like the barcodes you're used to, as you can tell from the one pictured in this Quadrant), you use your phone's camera to take a picture of it. Doing this will launch the QR Code and take you to a wonderful word of further advertising enhancement. Seriously. We're not making that up. Bands have been known to use them to give away free songs.

So, here you go. At the top of this Quadrant is a special Quad-City Times QR Code. Download the software to your phone and be prepared to be wowed.

What will be waiting for you on the other side? Well, to entice you, you'll see a Quadrants video that lists the three finalists for the Quad-Cities Signature Dish Contest. That's right, this QR Code will tell you the finalists in the competition for the area's best pork tenderloin."

Paul Foszcz and ManRoland has it almost just right for Print 09. And a new business model for trade shows. It's about metrics and clickable print.

from Patrick Henry's Report at WhatTheyThink:
. . CEO Vince Lapinski, who also reviewed the technologies that MAN Roland will discuss—but won’t necessarily display—at Print 09. . .
Paul Foszcz, marketing manager, observed that in these recessionary times, “far fewer printers will be investing in equipment” and that most will concentrate on optimizing the capabilities they already have.

At Print 09, manroland will try to help printers do this by offering them an array of advisory services that it bundles under the name “Printvalue.” The booth also will feature an exhibit called the “Value Added Printing Tunnel” to drive the value message home.

Here's what I mean by a Clickable Club Card

The Front of the Card:

Picture and all the contact info of the opener person.

The Back of the Card:
QR code generator

To take the suspect/prospect to the Video

Which gives them This Data
15 hits from

Which points the ManRoland Hunters to Communities of Interest

Then the ground game ensues and eventually a couple of sales.

The trade show new business model
The value of a trade show to an exhibitor is some buzz, some leads and eventually enough sales to justify the expense of going to show. Before the possibility of tracking real time exchange data it was hard to figure out which 50% worked.

What's new is that conversation exchanges can also be tracked. Once they can be tracked they can be put into a spread sheet. Once they can be put into a spreadsheet it's possible to get paid for the real value created.

So if a trade show is supposed to deliver leads and the conversations coming out of those leads can be tracked, charge for the leads generated! The good news is that exhibitors and the CFO's in the exhibitor's companies think it's mostly a waste of money. Meanwhile, there is so much energy spent on the opening of the show that there is little energy left after the show closes. But leads are only valuable when they are followed up right after the show.

The vendors blame the trade show, for "not being worth it." The trade show companies keep doing what made money in the past and keep cutting their margins with the idea that the problem is the price. But the problem is not the price. The problem is knowing, not just hoping, that the benefit is worth the expense.

What would happen if an expo company offered to facilitate the follow ups in return for $x per lead and $X+Y for a sale. The global wins. The ground force wins. The customer wins. Win-win-win is worth paying for.

Amazon: How to sell ads in Print books and eventually sell Clickable Newspapers instead of textbooks

First, no display ads. Then very few word ads. The outside two columns of the printed book should be embedded with information rich QR codes. Sooner or later, some of the great advertising agencies in the states will figure out how to do designer QR's. I saw at least one done in Japan. It doesn't work so well on the Kindle. But that's not really a problem because the Kindle is such an amazing reading machine, it's very easy to skip them.

But it Print the QR sits quietly on the side. Mysterious and accessible with the Smart Phone. By the time you have it ready to go, there will be a 3G and handsets can deliver personal TV.

So on the outside right hand column, you have stuff that looks like this:
QR code generator

That takes you to this:

A Killer App for Advertising Agencies + Monetizing YouTube: AA = the TV channel. Google = analytics.

The best short form TV is the great 30 second spots. YouTube is TV anytime. The Smart Phone is personal TV. Google already built the infrastructure. Apple hasn't yet come out with iTV and Amazon is all about the books and buying stuff.

So, start cutting out the middleman.
Why pay a gezillion dollars to buy eyeballs? You can spend a million dollars on the ads. Then a 1/4 million to gather the fans by paying close attention to the hits and whether you get a twitter buzz. Then another million outsourcing the data analytics to Google. 2.25 million is a lot less than a gezillion.

If you use information rich QR you can get back to using Print
Then you can give the CMO even better data than they get from the web. If Google builds the tools to analyze the QR derived data, the game is up. And you can concentrate on producing even more awesome videos.

Once you stop doing all the stuff you don't need to do, you can look at reinventing textbooks with clickable newspapers and tell some really important stories, 30 seconds or 140 characters at a time.

Still One More Killer App for Print Publishing. Ogilvy UK first out of the box. Coming to a Publishing Company near you soon!

An advertising campaign for the automotive company MINI. Where the user holds the ad in front of a webcam and sees an animated 3D MINI "pop-up" on the page.
Webcam + Computer = Smart Phone
Imagine a clickable newspaper instead of a textbook.

If it's an information rich QR it will allow the actionable intelligence for making decisions about marketing or education or health or government or . . .

More from Ogilvy at YouTube.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Why Dynamic QR codes are a game changer for Print: The high margin deliverable is the spreadsheet.

QR codes are nice. Invented in 1994, they are already sweeping through Japan and the rest of SouthEast Asia. The wave is now moving through Australia, the UK and Europe. As the titans of telecom and the internet compete, it is set to move quickly through the States.

The first QR codes took one from Print to the Cloud. But it was pretty much a one way street and therefore a dumb connection. Dynamic QR is a two way street. It becomes an information exchange. The user gets access. The user gives information about themselves. The depth of the information is limited by the users online open identity or previously given information.

That makes it possible to gather data at the granular level about motion through space. Granular level data points capturing motion through space and exchanges in time are hard data. That's why demography + genetics is how the social sciences get on the pathway to a hard science. See The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution.

Print and Smart Phones are the mobile media
Embedded GPS + Internal Compass + a camera + + + is turning the smart phone into a data point producer. While most of the buzz is from the user side, the monetizable values are either charging rent for the network and/or harvesting the data to deliver the spreadsheets (analytics) needed for evidence based decisions.

The dynamic QR code brings Print back into the game. In a one way communication world, Print in the form of a newspaper, a poster or a book was the most mobile information platform. The internet made the previously impossible, common place. Words, music and pcitures could move with real time speed at global scales. From an enterprise point of view was the new possibility of real time data harvesting. That could be transformed into actionable information.

In this environment Print retreated to it's place as a token of communities of interest, signage and posters in physical space and still the best medium for logical thought. But those are low volume business compared to moving and storing the world's information.

But now that all the pieces are starting to fall into place, Print is ready to re-emerge stronger than ever. The potential of Printernet Publishing gives Print previously impossible speed and scale. Dynamic QR codes create the rich pipes for real time granular data points.

The next frontier will be to assemble all those data points into actionable information. But that business is still being invented.

Jessica Ridpath and Health Care Professionals need to know about Clickable Print, Printernet Published

PLain Language For Health Care Professionals To Improve Communication With Patients:
"'Informed consent means people understand what they're agreeing to,' said Ridpath. 'But most consent forms are too complex for the reading abilities of the people they're supposed to inform.' A slam poet and language lover, Ridpath is the research communications coordinator at Group Health Center for Health Studies. She just published her first article in the July/August American Journal of Health Promotion
. . .

Ridpath worried that unreadable consent forms were hindering informed decision making—and raising risks for participants and research institutions alike. So four years ago she created the Project to Review and Improve Study Materials, or PRISM. Her article describes how PRISM evolved. First it was a short-term internal training initiative to boost consent form readability. Since then, PRISM has expanded into an enduring suite of hands-on resources. It includes a customizable training workshop and an editing service. Its centerpiece is a Toolkit that illustrates strategies for communicating clearly in written materials for study participants, such as informed consent documents, study invitations, letters, and information sheets.

The Toolkit is based on plain language . . .

Plain language means less bullshit and not acting like an asshole.

Social marketing is about word of mouth and community outreach. The same as it always was. The only difference is the tech.

Chik-Fil-A's Giveaways, Stunts Lead to Sales - from Advertising Age - News:
"Whether its through grass-roots marketing or giving away meals to customers, those stunts by Chick-Fil-A, a growing fast-food chain known for its lightly breaded chicken sandwiches, appear to be paying dividends. It's all part of a back-to-basics strategy that's also heavy on word of mouth and community outreach and it has Chick-Fil-A posting gains even as competitors with bigger ad budgets struggle with how much food they can offer for a dollar."

Are QR codes and AR a big deal? It depends who you ask.

MediaPost Publications
40% of "iUsers" Accessing Internet From Mobile More Than From Computer 07/10/2009:
"According to AdMob, there are many similarities between iPhone and iPod touch users in the US, especially in the demographic makeup of each group in areas such as age and household income. iPhone users are generally older. 69% of iPod touch users are between 13-24 years of age, while this same age segment represents just 26% of iPhone users. 31% of iPhone users are 35-49 years old, while only 12% of iPod touch users fall in this age segment. In total, 74% of iPhone users are over the age of 25, compared to 31% of iPod touch users."

Amazon &+ Google? Whoever wins, Clickable Print &+ Printernet Publishing is set to take off.

The customer experience:
Go to a show room (used to be called a store.) If you need it now, buy it and take it home. If you can wait a day or so, click on the dynamic QR code on the label and Amazon will deliver it to your home or office.

It's iTunes for stuff. I'm hoping they see iTunes for textbooks. I've been on that little soapbox since January 2006.

If I were a retailer, I would make an affiliate deal with Amazon sooner rather than later.
Amazon steps up mobile activities again with new store - Rethink Wireless:
"Online retailer Amazon has become increasingly active in the mobile space. Of course it has been selling phones for years, but now it is creating Amazon Wireless, a dedicated site optimized for cellphone purchase. This follows its launch of its own mobile service attached to its Kindle 3G-enabled ebook reader, and the release of Kindle software for other handsets such as the iPhone.

Amazon Wireless is currently in beta release in the US and is dedicated to cellphones and service plans. The site features more than 120 handsets from AT&T and Verizon Wireless, and before full launch, phones and plans from Sprint and T-Mobile will be added, as well as a range of unlocked devices, such as the Nokia N97 or Sony Ericsson Walkman 995, which are currently only available in the US without subsidy - but have still attracted a certain level of interest.

read the full story by clicking on the title.

User Network Economies need Network Business Models

It should work if they deliver what they say they are going to deliver, " finest products with the best possible support." Easy to say, hard to do. Doing wins over saying every time.
Graphic Supply Network Announced -
from WhatTheyThink:
"Graphic Supply Network LLC will focus only on introducing top quality brands into the supply chain – products that dealers and end users can feel confident will add value to their businesses and produce consistently reliable results. 'In this current economy, all of us need the finest products with the best possible support to survive and prosper. Getting the job done right the first time is critical to successful operations' states Jim."

Steve Greenbaum and PostNet Change the Rules for Franchised Print. No Entrance Fee for Conversions.

PostNet Launches National Franchise Business Conversion Program -
from WhatTheyThink:
"PostNet, which offers an array of high demand services and products tailored to meet the needs of business owners and today's busy consumer, currently has more than 400 locations across the United States and over 850 stores worldwide"
Once they all work by the same standards on the same job "850 stores worldwide" becomes another PrinterNet. Maybe they will get the Google job to promote Chrome OS with clickable postcards? Or maybe Alpha or CGX?

Here's what might be the game changer:
By converting, new franchisees will not have to pay an initial $29,000 franchisee fee and PostNet will make an upfront investment in training and support.

Networks grow with standardization. As it was with the Internet, so it is with the Printernet. It's happening in Seoul.

Hopefully the printers in Euromerica will take notice. The economic engines are in Asia. It would be a pity to get left behind.

The Seoul Summit to promote printing standardization in Asia -
from WhatTheyThink:
"Designed to promote printing standardization in Asia, The Seoul Summit 2009 is due to take place in Seoul, Korea, on the 23 and 24 July. It is the first conference of its kind to be held in Asia. Over the two days a host of high profile global industry experts will speak at the event in order to explore, debate and share their knowledge about the issues surrounding the ISO 12647-2 standard, which was developed by the ISO Technical Committee in 1996."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Real Opportunity for 95% of Printers and Newspapers

I found this at twitter:
CircleReaderRT @indieboundpaige Don't be fooled by "local-washing" - national corporations co-opting the idea of "local"
Then I followed the link to:
The dirty tricks behind local-washing:
How national corporations are co-opting the idea of "local
"Then I read the article, and found this:
"If you encourage people to shop at a big-box store that takes sales away from an independent business, you're just funneling more dollars out of town, because, unlike chains, local businesses buy lots of goods and services, like accounting and printing, from other local businesses."

So if local printers and newspapers could get in front of this energy, volunteer and lead the communication on local it would help other independent businesses, themselves and the communities in which they raise their children.

Win-win-win! is always a good value proposition.

Do you think Printers have a hard time with commoditization? Consider the design studio.

Advertising Agencies Being Shafted by Low-Bid Process? - Small Agency Diary - Advertising Age:
"Mind you, we weren't offended by the fact that these services went to RFP; we've been working for this company for over nine years, and we have been through the centralized procurement cycle before. But this time it was different. This time it was fully automated -- no personal contact, just data into a machine. And this time it wasn't an RFP for creative production (the routine cycles of content updates and template building).

This time, they needed strategic web consulting and design services -- not exactly a commodity, at least in my mind. And they needed these services line-itemed out by role, by hourly rate (reduced by a required percentage below any prior rate we had given them). The rate reduction was required for continued consideration in the RFP. Samples of our 'strategic web designs' and documentation of our processes had to be submitted into this implacable piece of RFP software."

Vertis and Michael Kucharski need to know about clickable Print and dynamic QR codes

So, today this came up on the Google search. Michael Kurchaski left XRX to join Quincy Allen at Vertis. All good. Now Team Ursula can focus on enterprise MPS and sell some boxes and toner.

The cool thing for XRX is that they have a huge lead in education. Education, more than anyone else, needs clickable print, with dynamic QR codes, and printernet publishing.

Let Vertis do the commercial piece or partner with them to fix high school ed.
Build on what they will build by focusing on Google Enabled MFPs and Open Source MPS. They sell their stuff. XRX sells their stuff. With a little bit of luck, we can get attendance and homework compliance at bottom of the pyramid High Schools fixed better/faster/cheaper. Once attendance and homework compliance improves, everything else will improve much faster. Until it does, all the blablabla in the world is not going to help innovation to scale.

That gets to win-win-win. And everyone can have a nice day.

On June 8, Vertis issued a PR release that is quoted below:

Baltimore (June 8, 2009) - Vertis Communications, a premier marketing services provider of targeted print advertising and direct marketing solutions to America's leading retail and consumer services companies, announced today that 18-year Xerox veteran Michael Kucharski has been named senior vice president and general manager of Vertis' premedia and technology groups. These critical divisions provide premedia and digital solutions that streamline and increase ROI for clients' advertising production, media planning and placement, interactive marketing and creative services. In addition, the group delivers prepress solutions for consumer packaged goods companies.

"I have great confidence in Mike's leadership skills and ability to deliver technologically advanced, market-making products and programs to Vertis customers," said Quincy L. Allen, chief executive officer for Vertis Communications. "I grew to know Mike well while working with him at Xerox Corporation. His vast knowledge of sales, marketing, operations and strategic planning enables him to bring a unique vision to Vertis' premedia and technology groups. Because Vertis is focusing on enhancing our clients' multi-channel communications, Mike's experience in pioneering workflow business solutions will be instrumental as we execute our go-forward strategy on behalf of customers."

Vertis is the natural first mover on Printernet Publishing and Clickable Print with dynamic QR codes. If fixing high school by reinventing textbooks as clickable newspaper product gets on their radar, we're halfway there.
Vertis Communications is a premier provider of targeted print advertising and direct marketing solutions to America's leading retail and consumer services companies. Vertis delivers marketing programs that create strategic value for clients by using creative services, proprietary consumer research, database targeting and digital technologies, premedia and media placement services, combined with its world-class printing expertise. With more than 100 locations in North America, Vertis' extensive suite of services includes advertising inserts, direct mail, out-of-home displays, newspaper special sections, POP, marketing collateral, online interactive and multimedia. For more information, visit

Best Buy and/or TiVO; Manufacturers? Retailers? Media Channels? Yes.

The reality is that as the physcial space gets smarter ( QR, AR) the media loses it's monopoly on getting information to the consumer about their products.

It's why WalMart has their own TV network that is delivered in the stores. And today we read that Best Buy will advertise TiVO in the store and TiVO will advertise Best Buy in the living room. My bet is that will make it better/faster/cheaper and more data rich to lower the all-in cost of getting the stuff they make/distribute/sell to the people who will buy them.

That's why Print was never broken. Advertising is broken. The good news is that Tivo could use a clickable TV Guide and Best Buy could use clickable counter cards. And the smarter the physical space has to be, the more everyone is going to need clickable Print in phsyical space.
Best Buy Is Forming an Alliance With TiVo -
"SAN FRANCISCO — TiVo, the Silicon Valley company that popularized the digital video recorder, and Best Buy, the national electronics chain, are forging a broad partnership.

On Thursday, the companies plan to announce that Best Buy will heavily promote TiVo products in its 1,100 stores in the United States. TiVo will develop a version of its set-top box, to be sold in Best Buy stores, that will let the retailer advertise its products and services to TiVo subscribers on their home televisions.
. . .
As part of the deal, the companies also said that Best Buy would finance an effort to bring TiVo’s software and search tools to Best Buy’s own brand of consumer electronics, like its Insignia high-definition TVs.

Facing fierce competition from and Wal-Mart, the Minneapolis-based Best Buy wants to extend its relationship with its customers outside of its stores. It has steadily expanded its Geek Squad customer service operation and last fall acquired the music subscription service Napster for $121 million.
. . .
TiVo said it planned to make the Napster music service available to TiVo subscribers on their televisions.

Google needs printernet published clickable postcards to speed adoption of Chrome OS

I found this at twitter:
PatMcGrewBest new way to make an internal sale /Seth's Blog/ - How do you get your boss to approve something, the ...
Pat usually tweets interesting stuff and today was no exception. The tinyurl goes to Seth Godin's Blog. Worth the click. A great way to break through the noise is to make a video instead of a power point.

Exactly! That's just one of the many reasons why clickable newspapers will be much better/faster/cheaper textbooks.

But that fascinating part is watching the video made by Google. Only 8% of the people they spoke to knew what a browser was. Evidently the blabla on the internet is a niche audience. If some genius printer with a way to get to Google's ad agency could offer them 10,000,000 clickable postcards, that were geo targeted with dynamic QR codes, I be they would buy them.

Why wouldn't they?

GPS + Compass are needed for AR. + QR adds anywhere, anytime. That's great news for Print. And some good news for Google.Not so good news for Apple.

Better Choices Through Technology
read the full article at GOOD:
Last week was huge for a young technology called “augmented reality”—and that’s important even if you’re not a nerd, because it should revolutionize the way we approach social causes. Sure, many current examples of augmented reality are trivial, but hear me out.

Augmented reality allows you to see, in real time, data about your surroundings. It’s different from having the internet on your phone—you don’t actually have to look anything up, and you don’t actually have to know exactly what you’re looking for. Augmented reality is more like a having a sixth sense—and a seventh and eighth sense—that makes data a natural, passive part of how you see the world.

So how does this work? Last week, a Dutch company, SPRXmobile, introduced the first-ever augmented-reality browser platform for a smartphone.
. . .
"Things really start to get nutty when you factor in another technology, QR codes. These function like barcodes that your cellphone can scan. You’ve already seen the codes popping up on shipping labels and such. Phones with QR-reading functionality will follow soon—in fact they’re already common in Japan (of course). When you snap a picture of a QR code, the image directs your phone to download information set by the code’s designer.

What if all the food in your grocery store was marked with a QR code—you could compare the carbon footprints of two batches of produce. Builders could use specialized apps inside a Home Depot to figure out how materials choices might translate to energy savings."
Dynamic QR codes are not yet on people's radar. Dynamic QR creates the data that can be harvested going forward. Remember that the high margin deliverable for a business is a spreadsheet, scatter plot, and data visualization.

Here's the good news for Google, not so good for Apple part:
So far, the app is only for phones running the Android operating system but it’s coming to the iPhone soon as well. (That’s why it was so important that the newest model, the 3G S, included a compass.)
So if Android gets on every non iPhone faster than 3G S scales, it means back to fighting for market share. Apple has the upper hand for now. They'll probably invent the next thing to keep their fans happy. But the clock is running. That's why corporate time is such a handicap.

Here's what it looks like on Android on T-Mobile. AT&T is going to have to respond. My bet is lower prices on iPhones and less of a cut to Apple in the next contract.

In the video, they aren't using the QR codes. When it gets on their radar, they will know it means Augmented Reality from the living room or the classroom. That's what I meant be eliminating the constraint of space.

They probably aren't even thinking of dynamic QR codes. That will give the spreadsheet to the CMO to give to the CFO to give to the CEO to ok the invoice.

Versioned newspapers, clickable print and geo targeting

Interesting post at Nieman Journalism Lab describing the business plan of Talking Points Memo, an online only web news service. Definitely worth the click from the snippet.

Geo targeting means Print and mobile phones. Dynamic QR codes connect the two and allow for data harvesting.

Note in the snippet below, Politico earns it's profit with a Print edition.

TPM sees room for growth through geotargeted advertising
read @Nieman Journalism Lab
"Those ads would be geo-targeted specifically to readers in the D.C. metro area, where TPM says it is widely read by Democratic staffers and others who will control the White House and Congress in an Obama administration. “There’s a huge advertising market that is trying to reach D.C. eyeballs right now,” Andrew Golis, deputy publisher of TPM Media, told me in a phone interview. “And certainly we can charge a premium to reach those eyeballs.”

The strategy takes a page from newspapers like Roll Call and The Hill, which have small but highly valuable circulations in the capital. More recently, Politico has found success, though not yet profitability, by distributing a print edition that pays the bills for its popular website."

Why being a printer is better than being a "service" provider from Jeff Immelt and Dr Joe Webb

See snippet below from the FT for excerpts from Jeff Immelt's column and excerpts from Dr Joe Webb's column at

It all depends on what you mean by "service." There is personal service. There is business service. Print can be both. Photobooks are personal. Business cards are a business service.

Print thrives as a business service.
Business services make it faster/better/cheaper to make stuff. It is about making tools that people can use to make/distribute/sell stuff. The better/faster/cheaper people can make/distribute/sell stuff the less resources it takes.

The less resources it takes, the more we have left over to provide for our children and have a nice day. Everyone on the planet wants to provide for their children and have a nice day.

The health business makes stuff in the form of healthier people. The education business makes stuff in the form of people who can elegantly solve life problems. The financial business makes stuff in the form of credit that keeps the whole thing going. The consulting business makes stuff in the form of tips and tricks that make it easier for other people to make/distribute/sell stuff.

Print thrives as a business service. Job one is for the craftspeople and engineers. Print stuff has to be better/ faster/cheaper to make/distribute/sell. That's VistaPrint. That's Transcontinental. That's That's Apple and Google.

Job two is to keep on the look out for the new ways that Print can work in harmony with other networked communication to help more people make more stuff. That's the innovation part. It's not about "educating" people about what they should do. It's about supplying the tools that let them do what they already want to do, only better/faster/cheaper.

I think I'm trying to say the same thing that Dr Joe Webb said in this mornings, Dr Joe report. It's behind a Premium Subscriber pay wall, but some snippets below:
Many times, the reporting procedures for data are to blame for the confusion.

the number of freelance graphic designers was 20% lower than the number of people employed by design firms. Today, there are 40% more independent designers than there are employees in design firms

The pressure to outsource is mistakenly considered an effort to reduce cost, or a surrender to competition. There is more than one kind of outsourcing. The one that never gets any news coverage is when it is an effort to employ skills that cannot otherwise be accessed.

Value added” comes from the capabilities that your business has in reducing a client's long- term costs, or in your ability to increase their long-term returns

Those nine dreadful words, “Print can be a legitimate spinoff from the Internet,” came to mind as I looked at's offering. They had figured it out. They made print a spinoff, and it was a new service.

A reminder that content is still growing comes from recent employment data. Both publishing (excluding newspapers), agencies, and designers have been increasing their hiring for the past few months. They would only be doing that if they had more work than they did before. This foreshadowed some of the increase in print shipments a few months ago.

Exactly! Same story, different words. Below are the excerpts from Immelt's column.
Innovation can give America back its greatness
From the

"Over the past few decades, many in business and government bet that the US could transform itself from an innovative, export-orientated powerhouse to an economy based on services and consumption – and that we could still expect to prosper. For a time, it looked like a can’t-miss bet.
. . .
The challenge ahead is not impossible. The first step is recognising that we cannot simply go back to the way things were. This downturn is not simply another turning of the wheel but a fundamental transformation. We are, essentially, resetting the US economy.

An American renewal must be built on technology. We must make a serious national commitment to improve our manufacturing infrastructure and increase exports. We need to dispel the myth that American consumer spending can lead our recovery. Instead, we need to draw on 230 years of ingenuity to renew the country’s dedication to innovation, new technologies and productivity.

GE plans to help lead this effort. We have restructured during the downturn, adjusting to market realities, and have continued to increase our investment in research and development. We are reinvesting in American jobs in places such as Michigan and upstate New York. We plan to launch more new products than at any time in our history.

One place where GE is reaping the benefits of this strategy is our plant in Greenville, South Carolina, where we make turbines for gas and wind power generation. We are now selling their products around the world. In fact, their biggest customer is Saudi Electric Corporation . . .

The rest of the column is here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Google is officially in the Cloud OS. How will IBM respond?

The margins in enterprise software are going to be very, very squeezed. What happens to the investments in time, focus and printed collateral? It's going to get much nastier, much faster than was once believed. The margins in netbooks? You think it's think now, consider when Chrome OS is offered to Acer, EeePC and Leveno, much less big smart phones.

Is the printing machinery business starting to look a little better?

Official Google Blog: Introducing the Google Chrome OS:
7/07/2009 09:37:00 PM

It's been an exciting nine months since we launched the Google Chrome browser. Already, over 30 million people use it regularly. We designed Google Chrome for people who live on the web — searching for information, checking email, catching up on the news, shopping or just staying in touch with friends. However, the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web. So today, we're announcing a new project that's a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It's our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be."

Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies. And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform.

Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems. While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.

Ricoh, XRX,HP, etc.etc. Are you Google compatible? Sharp is. and Touchsmart schmouchsmart.

So the big deal about TouchSmart is that it allows the user to get to the web at the box. No doubt it's nice. But a little late to game. Sharp has Open Source smart boxes in the field today. I assume, but don't know for sure, that most everyone has a smart box MFP. I assume, but don't know that at least some of them are Open Source.

If the value is the network, then Independent MPS should sell the network. The problem is that the money exchanged for that network access is $50 per seat. But it's not enough margin to make a living but itself. Once you add in placing boxes and supplying paper and toner, you can make a living.

The easiest network to sell is Google Apps. If independents become Google Apps resellers, they get a bit of compensation going in. And Google does all the support!!

Plus you can expect that there will be constant seamless upgrades @ $50/seat going in and $0 going forward expense, how hard could it be to sell.

Re the trusted brand part.
Who do you trust more to run your Cloud? Google or Xerox or Ricoh or Sharp or Kodak or Oce or HP or IBM or Amazon?
My answer would probably be Google or Amazon. But Amazon doesn't have Amazon Apps.

Plus figuring out the benefits of Google Apps should be easy. They already have a couple of million non enterprise people using it everyday. GMail is way cool and easy. The Google Wave is a big deal. Chrome is going straight up against MSFT for the netbook OS. to be released for real in 2010.

Plus every IT geek thinks Google is the Holy of Holy. That means it's going to be really hard for them to treat the "copy person" with the normal disdain. Especially when the end of the road is to get the Enterprise out of the IT business, which will make every C level person on the planet smile and smile and smile.

Meanwhile it means that the printers can focus all their energy on nice margins in innovating printers and get out of the organizing busyness business. The margins are just too low with massive scale. It's not pretty, but there it is.
Open Systems Architecture | Sharp OSA | Sharp:
"It is designed to let network applications control the MFP through bi-directional communication. This allows users to interact with business applications directly from the front panel of the MFP.

Best Development Platform
By bringing the point of customization closer to the customer, the Sharp OSA Platform enables Sharp, its channel and program members to quickly bring solutions to market that tightly integrate Sharp MFPs with software applications. More importantly, it offers a degree of customization that allows Sharp MFPs to better address unique customer needs. This seamless integration promotes more streamlined customer workflows and business processes."

Why the'Printed Blog' Failed, IMNSHO

It's not that Print is dead.

It's because the overhead was too high, too fast. Instead of trying to scale to attract investors, it might have made sense digging deep into a community of interest. Then getting enough local ads to support the costs. Use digital printing to keep the paper printing costs aligned with the revenue.

The rules of funny money is convincing a VC to buy you time to get to scale. The rules in the absence of funny money is to be profitable from day one. The amount of profit doesn't matter. If the product works it will grow. If the product grows it will earn a revenue stream. If it grows alot, the revenue stream could be substantial.

If the funny money hadn't disappeared in Q4, Printed Blog probably would still have the time to fine tune the model to get it right.
Printed Blog,' Curiosity that Piqued Newspaper Industry Interest, Folds:
"CHICAGO The future folded Tuesday. If, that is, the future of the print newspaper was indeed The Printed Blog.

In an announcement, the Printed Blog's creator and one-man financier, Joshua Karp, said the newspaper had failed to attract outside investment capital and needed to be shut down immediately.

While the Printed Blog apparently could not attract money, it definitely attracted newspaper industry interest. Before a single issue appeared, it was the subject of articles worldwide, from The New York Times to the Irish Times. With just three issues under his belt, Karp talked seriously to E&P about establishing editions in South Africa and Fairbanks, Alaska."

Oops: Google v MSFT for OS of the mobile web.

Google's new operating system to take on Microsoft "CALIFORNIA (AP) — Google is developing a new operating system for laptop computers in its boldest challenge yet to Microsoft's control over people's computing experience.

The new operating system will run through Google's nine-month-old Web browser, Chrome, according to a post late Tuesday night on the Mountain View-based company's Web site.

Google plans to introduce the operating system during the second half of 2010.

The new operating system is being designed for 'netbooks,' a low-cost, less powerful breed of laptops that is becoming increasingly popular among consumers primarily interested in a having a computer to surf the Web.

The Chrome browser could threaten Microsoft's Windows system, which has been running most personal computers for the past two decades."

Score for HP: HP Inkjet Web in France

But check out the range of equipment min the snippet. It's clear they are not a one supplier shop.

The value is the network, not the standalone box or in one vendors "solution." . It doesn't matter whether it's a network of people or machines or both. The value of the network is proportional to the square of the number of nodes.

Can you imagine the going forward value of the printernet?

CPI to install HP Inkjet Web in France as Clays integrates digital lines | "CPI has said its new HP Inkjet Web will now be installed in France. . .

Antony Rowe now has two fully operational Xerox Sedona webs, going on to triple shift shortly, giving us all the digital capacity CPI UK needs at present."

At the heart of the system, set to be installed at Bungay-based Clays in September, is a Kodak Versamark VL6000 black-and-white inkjet printing system linked to a Muller Martini Sigma automated binding line.

The two ma­­chines will effectively operate as one unit. Book covers will be produced offline using a HP Indigo 5500, with inline UV coating . . .

St Ives also has the option to upgrade to Kodak's Prosper range, which uses Stream inkjet technology, subject to performance.

The new rules for investing when the funny money disappears, IMNSHO

IMNSHO = In My Not So Humble Opinion.

When funny money explodes bets can pay off, until they don't. When funny money implodes, it's time to get back to business. The pundits are all excited about the fact that "consumers" will not be able to borrow funny money. And thus "this recovery will not be like the other recoveries." Yes, and thank goodness.

American consumers will no longer finance global business. It was sort of nice while it lasted. But the unnatural stresses lead to unnatural growth. Think Cancer or weeds.

The American President has said we are moving away from an economy based on maxed out credit cards, real estate as ATM machines and under priced energy. America will harness its innovation in the form of human capital to make more stuff. Some of the stuff will be physical. Some of the stuff will not be physical. But new stuff means new wealth on the ground. It is sustainable, if held in check. Think healthy organisms and tended gardens.

Anyway, here's what I found at Seeking Alpha this morning. The last column in the chart are dvidend yields.
From Seeking Alpha
Furthermore, despite all the gloom surrounding the stability of payments, investors who are sticking to a sound strategy of diversification, dollar cost averaging and dividend reinvestment are still enjoying increases in their dividend income.

I believe that whether the bottom has been hit or not astute dividend investors should seize the opportunity that the current bear market offers. I ran a screen on the S&P Dividend Aristocrats index to identify attractively valued stocks using the following criteria: (source Yahoo Finance)

1. Dividend Payout Ratio is less than 50%
2. Price/Earnings Ratio is less than 20
3. Current Dividend Yield is at least 3%

Abbott Labs


AFLAFLAC Inc.Insurance3.8%


CBChubb Corp.Insurance3.6%


DOVDover Corp.Machinery3.1%


EMREmerson ElectricIndustrial Equipment4.2%


JNJJohnson & JohnsonDrugs/Consumer Prod.3.5%


MHPMcGraw-Hill CompaniesPublishing3.1%


MMM3M CompanyConglomerate3.4%


NUENucor Corp.Steel & Iron3.3%


PGProcter & Gamble Co.Consumer Products3.4%


SWKStanley WorksTools


VFCVF Corp.Apparel4.4%





It's not InfoPrint. It's iCandy that can catalyze IBM+Ricoh + InfoPrint

From yesterday on Twitter.
I said
@jamois Imagine if Print globals did the same thing. Ricoh Innovations + InfoPrint + Ikon. Jst 3 people. No mttgs.
He said
jamois@ToughLoveforX yes it would make for an interesting relationship. :)
I said
@jamois I would love to hear what they say. Copiers+MPS+QR+Commercial Print. Maybe someone will set up a blog, so I could lurk and learn.
Why iCandy? Because they have the time and skill set.
The hardworking folks at IBM, Ricoh/Ikon and Infoprint are already much too busy doing what they have to do. For the stars in each of those spaces it's already more than a full time job. Collaboration only works with stars. What is called collaboration, whether in a school or a business without stars is usually just more waste of time for people who don't have anyh time to waste.

Based on what I've seen on Twitter, iCandy is embedded in the social media. As far as I can tell their job is to explore the world to find communities of interest that can take advantage of the inventions coming out of Ricoh Innovation. So far, I have not found a similar group at HP, Xerox, Oce, Fuji, or any other English language sites on the web. (It feels like there are conversations in German. I'm sure there are many more conversations in Asian languages, but I don't have access to those.)

The QR code community is not talking in English to the Print community. The Cloud Computing community is not talking to either. Augmented Reality lives in cell phones and telecom. Telecom doesn't think about print.

My hypothesis is that in this case 1+1+1 = 300.
Creating the link between the two mass media - Print and TV - will explode learning, in High Schools and in every organization and community. Deepening the link between the three mass activities - Entertainment, Work and Shopping - will energize commerce which will lead to the rate of improvement that the world so much needs, right now.

Sooner or later it will happen.
What I'm seeing is IBM v Google v Amazon as the 800 lb gorillas in the Cloud.

On the ground it could be Ricoh + IBM.
HP will try to go it alone, with Canon behind the scenes. Xerox will try to go it alone, with Fuji in the background. Amazon will try to go it alone by printing themselves. Google will stay in the Cloud and be open to all comers. Most likely Oce for books and newspapers. If Kodak makes it through the next couple of months, it could be Google + the Creo part of EK for the offset piece. If they don't, the Creo piece might do it while the Kodak piece regains it's focus on the consumer and storing and delivering images.

And behind it all will be the Telecoms and cell phone manufacturers.

2D scanning on Android + T Mobile. and "Desktop color will never be good enough."

Android is the free Google OS that is T-Mobiles response to AT&T + iPhone. Cryket is
Android Application Browser: Now you can keep up with new T-Mobile G1 apps from the comfort of your desk!the site for Google Mobile Apps.
The application is free.

I've heard most printers say "Nobody uses QR codes. The market isn't there." Back in the day I heard printers say, "Desktop color will never work" or "PDF-Only can't work for a customer submission requirement." My personal favorite is that "typesetting will never be replaced by amateurs on the Mac."
Cyrket - Barcode Scanner:
Scan barcodes on CDs, books, and other products, then look up prices and reviews, or search for a word in a book and find where it occurs. You can also scan QR Codes containing URLs, contact info, calendar events, and more. NEW: Fixed contact sharing, improved QR Code decoding, and added Chinese translation."

Google Aps for the Education Cloud. Connect it to the printernet and it all changes . . .again.

The fact is that print is the mass media in most schools, most of the time. When collaboration is in the Cloud it's easier to publish that information in Print.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Independent MPS: Google is in with both feet. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

IMNSHO (in my not so humble opinion), the opportunity for Independent MPS is to resell Google Apps as part of an MPS solution. Everyone understands the cost of email. Lower it to $50 a seat, get a commission, and install the boxes. They will save enough from the enterprise computing to make the invesment cost of the MFPs to disappear.
Google Apps Premier Edition Gets Key Improvements from
"These latest moves show Google Enterprise's increasingly pragmatic approach in selling its software to enterprises, even if that means making it work with legacy technology, says Gartner's Cain. In May, Google added a connector that wedded Gmail with enterprise BlackBerry e-mail clients. In June, it announced that enterprises who purchase Gmail can enable their users to access their e-mail via a Microsoft Outlook client on their Windows Desktops.
. . .
Enterprises have appeared to take notice. Google recently landed a new customer in Fairchild Semiconductor, which recently migrated more than 5,000 users to Gmail in just three weeks. According to Google, the company will see a projected savings of $500,000 a year. In June, JohnsonDiversey, a cleaning supplies company, moved 12,000 users over to Gmail.

According to Cain, Google's ability to respond quickly to customers has stemmed from its cloud computing model. Google delivers software by hosting the applications and having customer companies (and their employees) access them via a web-browser. Google updates its software using an agile development model, making changes frequently and rolling them out to most customers. This differs from on-premise computing, a model used by many incumbent software vendors, where changes happen in yearly (or multiple-year) periods.

Independent MPS: Google and Microsoft need you.

As it is for printers, so it is for Google. The best way to get new business is to pick up the phone. The money sentence:
Google have yet to get back to me with information or details… or a reply for that matter.
If you don't have time, let Independent MPS resell it for you. No doubt the good ones will answer the call. Plus they need a way into the education cloud. And then need a way to deal with internal IT geeks.

From ZDnet:
Universities are increasingly moving away from in-house email and communications systems, and moving towards externally hosted systems. While that may have sounded like utter garbage and geek speak, it means universities can’t afford or cope with their own email systems, so they’re letting Microsoft and Google do it for them for free.

For free? Yep. Absolutely free. What to Google and Microsoft get out of it? Very little; if anything it actually causes them to lose money, but it really pisses the other one off by getting an upper hand over the other one.

I’ve been hounding my contacts at Waggener Edstrom for weeks now in an attempt to gain access to the software, to experience first hand how it works and what students are to benefit from it. My contacts prevailed and yielded a test account.

Google have yet to get back to me with information or details… or a reply for that matter.

The high margin deliverable is the spreadsheet (analytics)

It's true for Google, Amazon, RRDC, CGX, XRX, EK and anyone else in the "media" business. It's what you can learn from the network. Not what you can tell the network.

Here's the money sentence:
He's employed contractors, but with the new funding, he expects to hire full-time programmers and improve his computing infrastructure. Also coming is analytics. 'We will be offering that sometime here soon,' Gilbertson said."
And some background for context:
from CNET
URL shortening is hot--but look before you leap

Growing like weeds
URL-shortening services are abundant and becoming more so. They're usually designed with a priority on minimum character length, not easy reading:,,,,", Cligs, and TinyURL.

If you want to see dozens more, Mashable has a long list.

And the traffic they handle is large. On a typical day right now, is used to create 5 million to 7 million shortened URLs each day, and it handles 25 million requests to expand them--and the growth rate is at a breakneck 5 percent to 15 percent week over week, the company said. Snipurl has delivered 53 billion since its inception. And TinyURL has a database of 293 million URLs.

: "So what's new now? First, Twitter, and second, shortening URLs is becoming an actual business--notably at present through the addition of 'analytics' features that can let those who use the service see data about how many people clicked on links, when, where they're located, and the Web page where they found the shortened link.

TinyURL's funding today primarily comes from advertising on its Web page, but that's changing, said founder Kevin Gilbertson. 'I'm working on something else that should increase that (revenue) quite a bit,' Gilbertson said. He declined to share details at this stage beyond saying, 'It will not change any functionality.'

Amazon v Google v IBM and Clickable Print. Must read from Media Post

It's Google v Amazon v IBM for control of the Cloud.

As of today, it looks like Amazon + Sprint via Whispernet. It's Apple + AT&T via iPhones. Verizon + RIM via Blackberry. 'It's Google + Nokia, Samsung + et al. via Android.

Now we read that Amazon is getting ready to deliver contextually accurate ads in ebooks on the Kindle. We further read that "Tracking the ads would rely on bar codes or another type of numeric code placed on the ads. I would let advertisers know that people saw the ads and want to know more."

So how far away is this from free-to-the-reader of books? The step to free-to-the-school textbooks or versioned clickable newspapers seems a natural.

The most likely driver will be Amazon and/or Google. They could deliver through Oce, Xerox, Canon or KM, using a printernet publishing model. A less likely driver might be IBM. But they seem to trapped in a blind spot in regard to print. Perhaps it will be Google + CGX + Alphagraphics. Or the really long shot would be HP and Indigo. But HP is probably to busy being busy to focus. By the time they turn the ship around, the market will be full of early adopters and first movers.

Kodak? If they could free up the Creo offset part, bring in the newspapers and build on the connection with KM they are the dark horse.

Only time will tell, but I've copied the most of post from Media Post. It is, in my not so humble opinion, a must read.

One co-inventor, Udi Manber, left Amazon for a gig as VP of engineering for search at Google. Filed December 2006 and granted last month, the patent would give consumers who purchase a print book an electronic copy of the physical version, too.

Two additional patents filed by Amazon, published July 2, describe incorporating targeted advertising in on-demand generated content. These patents, filed in Dec. 2007, provide an example for advertising on Kindle.

The patents clearly note that Amazon would insert advertisements throughout the ebooks, from the beginning to the end, between chapters or following every 10 pages, as well as in the margins. A cross-reference feature would add annotations, supplemental reference materials, and illustrations, as well as the ability to print on-demand paper copies in PDF and other format files. Kindle relies on Sprint to download content to the reader.

Slawski says Amazon's patents claim several advantages to serving up ads to consumers. One such benefit considered has been a lower price for the book if the consumer agrees to view advertisements. On page 12 in the novel that describes a restaurant, for example, Kindle would serve up an ad on food or dinning in the margin. If the novel takes place in Europe, the advertisements might relate to European hotels and resorts. For those who have a profile, the ads could also tie into that information.

Tracking the ads would rely on bar codes or another type of numeric code placed on the ads. I would let advertisers know that people saw the ads and want to know more. The code might associate the code and the ad with a specific consumer if the person logs into the profile page. The patents also describe interacting with the ads to get more information.

Advertisers would need to provide additional information to Amazon, other than the ad, so it is shown in places relevant to the person ordering the book.

Worth Watching: Telecoms Face Antitrust Threat

Antitrust means lower margins.
Telecoms Face Antitrust Threat -
"The Department of Justice has begun looking into whether large U.S. telecommunications companies such as AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. are abusing the market power they have amassed in recent years, according to people familiar with the matter.

The review, while in its early stages, is an indication of the Obama administration's aggressive stance on antitrust enforcement. The Justice Department's antitrust chief, Christine Varney, has said she wants to reassert the government's role in policing monopolistic and anticompetitive practices by powerful companies."

Somebody needs to tell these folks about clickable print, printernet publishing and QR codes.

Harris Connect Selects Acuity Mobile to Develop Harris Connect Mobile:
"About Acuity Mobile

Acuity Mobile is a leading provider of mobile marketing content delivery solutions. Acuity Mobile's Embedded Mobile Advertising Platform (eMAP) is a patented technology that enables Spot Relevance(TM) - the ability to deliver targeted marketing content to the right person, at the right time, in the right location. eMAP technology is used by carriers, advertisers and content owners to ensure that relevant content (ads, offers, traffic, weather, etc.) is delivered directly to mobile users based on their interests, time of day and geographic location. The technology behind eMAP was first developed in 2000 and patent protected since 2003. Acuity Mobile harnesses the power of mobility to improve content delivery for marketers and their consumers. For more information, please visit

About Harris Connect Founded in 1963, Harris Connect is the leading provider of affinity marketing solutions including alumni and member publications that range from directories to coffee-table editions to commemorative books; research services to update email, phone and mailing address information; online communities and applications built on the Facebook platform; and now mobile marketing strategies, as well as programs designed to produce non-dues revenue for their clients. Today, Harris Connect serves more than 4,000 clients worldwide. The company is headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia with offices in New York and Texas.

For more information about Harris Connect Mobile, go to For general inquiries, send an email to or call 1.800.326.6600

Color cube, color cube, who's buying how many Color Cube?

Today anon said

They are not competing on price either at present the price point is twice that of Canon and Ricoh!

Michael J said...

That's a problem for X. I assume the sell has to be the Lifetime running cost. While that is the sensible way to to think about it, it's going to be very hard to get too busy being busy people on the ground to have anything more than a "how much is this going to cost me now" bubble in their head.

I'm waiting for the next earnings call to see if any of the "analysts" can get hard information about firm orders or installs. If the numbers are good, X might have a winner. If not, then not so much. It could be a Betamax v VHS situation.

Here's the way I see it
The margins are the network, not the boxes. Networks increase their value in proportion to the square of the number of members. MPS is creating and selling networks. The metric for MPS is long term cost savings. The initial investment is handsomely paid back in forward-time. The challenge is that it is very hard to get a customer out of now-time into forward-time.

If Com Doc can sell into forward-time it should work. If independents are incented to incorporate the Color Cube into MPS that should work. But, if not, the Color Cube could turn out to be great technology that doesn't scale fast enough.

If Xerox releases Erasable paper as a sweetener to a Color Cube centric MPS deal, I think that would most definitely work. Erasable paper forces the customer to think in forward-time. Once there, the discussion is much easier to have.

It will be interesting to see how Canon and Ricoh, et al are responding on the ground. The reality is that the window will be open for a bit, but only for a bit. If Canon and Ricoh can duplicate the reduced toner prices, their lower cost of entry could win the day.

If Fuji gets into the game with both feet, all bets are off.

Maybe PGAMA will take the lead in fixing high school with Print?

Time Printers' President Elected Chairman of PGAMA
- from WhatTheyThink:
"Columbia, Maryland- The Printing and Graphics Association MidAtlantic (PGAMA), a non-profit trade association for local printing firms and related businesses, appointed Al Maddox, Jr. as Chairman of the Board effective July 1. Mr. Maddox is the first African-American Chairman for the local trade association, and is also the first African-American to hold the title of Board Chair for any printing industry association in the country.

The President of Time Printers, Inc. in Baltimore, MD, a family-owned company that has been in business for more than 55 years, Maddox has served on the Board of Directors at PGAMA since 1999."

Re fixing high school
Job 1 is to improve attendance. Job 2 is to improve homework compliance. Once Job 1 and 2 are done, High School will be on the road to fixing itself.

Back in the day when I was working in a bottom of the pyramid high school we did an experiment.

1. Students were given personalized note pads. Their assignment was to stop for 15 minutes every day and write or draw what they were feeling or thinking about that minute. Every day they tore off a page and handed it in.

Week one: about 30% handed in the assignment.

2. We printed out an full color 8 1/2 by 11 chart and handed it to each student and posted on the bulletin board. Each student's name in the right hand column. A check mark if they handed it in.

Week two: about 45% handed in the assignment.

3. We repeated step two with the additional words that said, "Anyone who does not hand in three assignments will fail this course and have to repeat it." We also added words that said, "Please enter your parent/guardian's contact information, including mobile phone and email address. Then take this chart and have your parent/guardian sign it and return to class."

Week 3. About 10% returned the sheet signed. Homework compliance was over 90%.

Ah, the power of transparency and the power of Print.

Score for Transcontinental! Tell the SF Chronicle about clickable newspapers. It should be a win-win-win.

Transcontinental starts printing the San Francisco Chronicle - from WhatTheyThink:
"MONTREAL -- Transcontinental today began officially printing the San Francisco Chronicle daily paper at its brand new 338,000-square-foot plant in Fremont, California. The Monday, July 6 edition is the first to come off the presses at the plant."
No doubt the better color and better paper is very cool. But color might turn out to be a necessary but not sufficient condition for a newspaper's success. The business about being more of a magazine ish format will also help. The ability to do marketing collateral for newspaper advertisers is very very cool. Of course the regional commercial printers are going to get very nervous, but that's life in a competitive world. They have their problems. The Chronicle has its problems.

In my not so humble opinion, it would be very cool to get the whole QR code thing on the radar of the business people at the Chronicle. The data harvesting potential is just what the doctor ordered to get that revenue stream back.

It would be ultra cool if the Chronicle combined their long tail of content, editorial skill, and deadline driven culture with Transcontinental's long tail of super efficient manufacturing ability. Then they, instead of or with RDA, could produce Clickable Newspapers or Clickable My Weekly Readers replace textbooks in California.

The newspaper wins.
Transcontinental wins.
The kids win.

Triple wins usually get to "why wouldn't I do that?"

Xerox Offers Premier Partners Free Premium Membership to WhatTheyThink . Nice.

Xerox Offers Premier Partners Free Premium Membership to WhatTheyThink
"“Premium WhatTheyThink membership provides a great opportunity for our members to keep their entire staffs aware of the news, trends and expert opinions that are shaping the industry,” said Gavin Jordan-Smith, vice president, Premier Partners Global Network, Xerox Corporation. “With the slow economy accelerating the pace of change in our industry, a well-informed staff is a strategic asset.”"
The high margins are in the network. The boxes are commodities. Print is a commodity. Everything else, but the network, is a commodity. Commodity is a good business. But it is low margins, large scale. The marginal cost of the network is low. If you can sell access, it's high margin. If you can't sell access then go with read for free, pay for stuff.

WTT has been around for years. They have aggregated an audience that is all things Print in the United States. The marginal cost of that audience should be close to zero. On the other hand the cost in time, focus and dollars of growing that network is considerable. But now it has reached critical mass. To get easy access to all that print content is now worth $200 per year to a significant number of people.

As a web presence, the cost of the delivery infrastructue should be very low. That's using commodity tools to create something out of nothing. Very cool.

WTT in clickable print, printernet published
If WTT sold the license to Xerox? Oce? Kodak? HP? or all of them, to publish points of interest in Print, then the globals would have a constant supply of marketing materials that could be sent to their customer's customers. Plus it's a lot more likely that everyone at the PSP would become part of the conversation.

If they added dynamic QR codes into the mix, every designer would think they are way cool. "Way cool" is what attracts prospects. It's much cheaper then sorting through suspects.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Reader's Digest Association: A Clickable My Weekly Reader is a killer app.

Reader's Digest Association Sells Assets of Gareth Stevens Publishing - "Gareth Stevens has been a unit of RDA's Weekly Reader Publishing Group, which had announced plans to focus exclusively on its core Weekly Reader brand."
Consider clickable versioned newspapers as the replacement for one time-fits-all textbooks. It's a longish argument, but let's say for now I'm pretty right.

So, a WR teacher goes to a website. Pulls the content she needs for next week. On the following Monday, the school gets 400 copies of a 24 page WR . 30 for class number 1, 30 for class number 2, etc etc etc.

The trick is that it's about Middle School and High School, not elementary school. The other trick is that with QR codes, it's a seemless connection to TV. Everybody loves TV.

Plus it's the fastest way to find out if something is interesting-to-me. Then Print is the best way to compare and contrast to learn more about interesting-to-me.

Then both are the best ways to do it again and again.

Go Reader's Digest! The 50% who don't finish High School are waiting for you.

This sounds nice: Printing Industries of America and manroland elevate partnership

My question is "Do printers have to pay for the knowledge earned?" If it's free to printers it's very cool. No doubt, PIA has to earn some money. So make a deal with a University to get the cover to sell certificates BA, MBA?

Selling certs to kids is an easy business. Selling anything to printers is a hard business.
Printing Industries of America and manroland elevate partnership
"The Future
Printing Industries foresees collaborative research and training that includes manroland’s and Printing Industries’ areas of expertise, such as stochastic printing on webs, benchmarking of materials, the minimization of piling, and optimization techniques for consumables."

InfoPrint could be the engine for Ricoh+IBM

Print is always where the rubber meets the road.

The knowledge, in the form of data, that is generated on the web is trapped on the web until it emerges in print. The fundamental problem is that print and TV are the Rodney Dangerfields of the 21st century communication ecosystem. They "get no respect."

The very fact that TV and Print are mass media makes them uninteresting to intellect workers at the top of the various pyramids. Since the discourse is controlled exactly by those intellect workers it's easy to understand why cell phones + web 2.0 gather all the buzz. It's undeniable that the path from buzz to money is pretty clear. What is often ignored is that buzz is a very, very high risk business. That's why the rewards can be so great.

Infrastructure is a boring, lower risk business.
Print and TV are the endpoints of the communication infrastructure. When they go mobile that means there will be more of both. A good example is when Print invented paperback books. The greater the mobility, the more the endpoints (paperback books) penetrated the mass market. Mobility has always driven mass markets.

Augmented reality (AR) is probably where this is going. It can be usefully framed as personal TV on a flat screen. The Kindle and kindle look alikes can be seen as mobile "print" for readers. Neither are mass markets. They might be some day. But for a long time the amount of buzz will be completely disproportional to their effect on life in the real world. As smart phones become mobile, personal flat screens, web search will stop being the cool thing. As it already has for the younger smart phone generation, it will become merely a fact of life. Facts of life are infrastructure. Infrastructure is good business for globals.

In the real world, TV and Print are the only push media.
The web, for all it's wonder and complexity, are pull media. Pull media is optimized for search and exchange. Push media is optimized for unexpected interesting information. Learning most often happens when a teachable moment opens the mind for unexpected information that can be judged interesting. That means Print. That means TV.

Ricoh, IBM, InfoPrint
Ricoh and IBM are both 8000 pound gorillas. IBM in the cloud, Ricoh on the ground. Ricoh keeps coming and coming. The Ikon purchase and subsequent attack on Canon was masterful and very expensive. IBM is in a fight for the Cloud with the other 8000 pound gorillas, Amazon and Google. Both still have not unlocked the value of InfoPrint.

Ricoh Innovation Labs at iCandy are all about the cell phones and QR codes. But I don't see QR code dna being inserted into the game changer it could be in Print piece. IBM innovation in the Cloud is all about the infrastructure. Traffic, health and energy seem to be top of mind. But no focus on improving public education.

InfoPrint grew from line printers. Their dna is about organizing communication for presentation in Print. In the old days it was about statement printing. Today it's about "transpromo." But as the tech has changed, they've been building on their tradition of industrial strength logistics and "good enough to get the job done." They are executing industrial strength experiments in analyzing and gathering the data. At the end of the day, the deliverable with reasonable margins is the spread sheet. InfoPrint is learning how to deliver better and better spreadsheets every day.

Marketers need spreadsheets to satisfy their supervisors. Everyone in every organization needs spreadsheets to satisfy their supervisors. When the cells of those spreadsheets actually point to the mechanisms that affect the real world marketers can sell more stuff. Selling more stuff in the States is a low margin business.

Educators and health professionals need spreadsheets to help people get smarter and healthier. No matter what happens to the business cycle, the need for people to get smarter and healthier will experience secular growth. Their are problems about the cost of monetizing meeting that need. But that's why a business is a business. They figure out the schemes that monetize real value creation.

The irony is that the globals still think that they create the value in the form of services and boxes. Yes, but there are every lowering margins. That's the infrastructure business. It's a low margin web scale business.

The high margin, human scale business is delivering the content and harvesting the behavior to create the spreadsheets by analyzing what happens when other people's content is delivered. That means Print and TV. Once dynamic QR codes that can carry more information than a pURL are put in Print that means a connection can be made from Print to TV onto a flat screen. The flat screen can be on a smart phone, a tablet, a computer, in the classroom or in the living room. The Print is always in the user's immediate real world environment.