Saturday, August 1, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Magic Bullet for Business Success. It works at every scale. Message of this video will change your life and strengthen your business. Building a Better Business by building a better world.

Clickable newspapers to help fix high school would make the world at the bottom of the pyramid a much better place.

Print's bug becomes Print's feature in a world of personal TV. More and more about versioned newspapers.

The latest in the thread at the Next Newsroom is getting to the point I'm trying to make.
Chris O' Brien said
@Stephen Quinn: You're exactly right. And I'm not going to argue that print is the future. It's not.
Then I said:
@Stephen @ Chris,
Just to get this on people's radar, I would argue that print that can produced economically for arbitrarily small groups of communities or interest and connect the real world to the virtual world through QR codes is, in fact, the essential part of the future from a business point of view.

It's a much longer story, which I will save for my blog, but the fundamental fact is that only print and TV are mass market push media. The moving forward development is personal TV on smartphones. QR codes connect Print to TV via smartphones. CodeZ QR and TinyPurls can generate the clickstream data that can produce viewer informatics which are the necessary guidelines for advertising decision makers.

At any rate, this post at the Sparksheet is worth a read. The point I'm trying to make is captured in the following:
Generally, readership studies have been done very badly in the newspaper industry and the magazine industry as well, because they tend to put a great focus on those people who aren’t reading. One of the biggest problems is that people who actually buy the newspaper, the core customers, don’t read 75 percent of the content.That’s costing companies an awful lot of paper, a lot of production, a lot of salary. And they need to figure out how to get rid of that stuff and replace it with content that readers are not able to get elsewhere."
What Robert Picard doesn't mention is that another way "to get rid of the stuff" is to produce versioned newspapers that have 24 pages of exactly what a community of interest wants, and very little of what members of that community of interest don't want.

The value of a print newspaper is to separate the signal form the noise. All of the properties that have been seen as bugs, become features when TV goes personal.
If I'm right, versioned clickable newspapers are going to have the high class problem of speed to scale. If I'm wrong, I'm only a blogger so what would expect in the first place.

If Kodak is telling the truth and I did the math correctly, versioned newspapers are going tip this year. And black only is good enough.

This morning, I got into a discussion over at The Next Newsroom.

The Next Newsroom Project
Building the ideal newsroom for the next 50 years

Chris O'Brien, project manager
O'Brien is currently a business reporter at the San Jose Mercury News where he has covered Silicon Valley for the past eight years. Over that time, he's written about everything from the dot-com bo... Read More »

Kathleen Sullivan, Chronicle alumni coordinator
Sullivan is a freelance writer and editor. After her 1988-1989 reign as Chronicle editor, she spent seven years in professional journalism: first as a courthouse reporter for the News Democrat news... Read More »

In the thread following Chris's post, I said,
Just one or two recent developments might give a taste of what I see as the next steps in the upcoming evolution. Kodak last week announced that their Prosper system will allow imaging of tabloid pages for .3 cents per page in black and white and 8 cents in color. Although it doesn't include paper, it seems likely to me that with the competition from Oce and HP (other digital press manufacturers), that publishers will be able to contract with outside printers to have 24 page tabloids printed and delivered for under 20 cents an issue in black ink only, with the marginal cost of color pages appx 10 cents per page.
I based my post on the thread started by Noel Ward at PrintCeoBlog. Called Kodak Raises the Bar. In that thread, I said
If I read it correctly a tabloid page in color would be appx .008 x 2 = 1.6 cents and .0015 x 2 for .003 per black and white tabloid page.

Then came this response:

By clifton on Jul 30, 2009 | Reply Michael, I work with the company/product. The math is .008 x 2 = .016 per page.

Is the math correct?
So .016 per page equals 1.6 cents per color tabloid page. Plus paper. Plus folding. That should mean that black only is .3 cents per tabloid page. Plus paper. Plus folding. And those are TCO costs that include financing the box, I think. Take the capital expenses out of the equation and the running all in manufacturing cost is very interesting.

At any rate, back at the journalists' thread, I said
The new thing is that these numbers would hold for 250, 500, 1000, 2000 + issues. That means that a 100,000 circulation news organization could publish 1000 papers each for 100 different "tribes" that are forming and dissolving in any community. To play it out, that means 1000 newspapers purchased, printed and delivered for about $200. With a rules based typography engine there would be essentially no further cost in design and layout.
And this is just at the very beginning of new ways to use print to earn some margins to keep the whole thing going.. I didn't want to start the discussion about CodeZ QR and reader analytics. Nor did I want to get into versioned 24 page. black only newspapers instead of textbooks. But if you follow this blog, you should know exactly what I'm talking about.

Full disclosure: Long on Kodak.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Amazon does IP protected. Google does everything else. The huge opportunity for POD. Go Oce! Maybe Kodak, too!

Oce seems to own the black only book market. Kodak Prosper might make a challenge with .0015 per A4 at production speeds. In any case, does anything more really need to be said?

Books to be stored in Google “cloud,” so any bookstore can sell a “Google edition” : By Noelle Skodzinski : Book Business:
"Part of Google's vision, he noted, is that the digital content for any book a consumer purchases would be stored on that consumer's “cloud library” (on Google's servers) indefinitely, enabling him to access that same content, at any time now or in the future, on any digital device as well.

This aspect of Google's vision seems to address many publishers' goal for the ideal digital rights management system—that consumers could buy a book (essentially buying the rights to access the digital content of the book) and access that content on any and all devices they want (from their mobile phone to their laptop to their e-reader) as well as print the book, if they want, etc."

What happens when tablet PC = Smart phone? Think Apple before Xmas 2009.

see the video at @ High Tech Classroom -- Human Factors Researchers Show That Tablet PCs Belong In Classrooms:
"March 1, 2008 — Human factors researchers determined that tablet personal computers can be used to aid students in classrooms. They offer a single platform that can include a student’s notes, textbook, assignments, and what the teacher wrote on the blackboard. Students are likely to be better organized and learn more quickly.

Class notes, textbooks, and lectures are all in one place for some high school students -- in their tablet personal computers or tablet PC's. But is this technology helping their grades? We uncover one surprising drawback. Reading … writing … arithmetic. It's hard to keep up, page after page after page. But now, what you see on the blackboard can be transferred automatically to this … an electronic notebook.

With the tablet PC -- class lectures go from the screen at the front of the room to each student's computer where note taking is a breeze. And textbooks are digitized right into the tablets. "My notes before were all unorganized and never knew where anything was and then when I got my tablet I could put everything in one document," says Kyle Barr, a senior at Bishop Hartley High School in Columbus, Ohio. "The technology we want to use for the students is to change the way they are learning and to maximize the educational process for them," says Ken Collura, an engineer for Diocese of Columbus schools.

These high school students have been using the tablets 24/7 for the past three years … at school and at home. Research shows most students like the benefits. "Instead of carrying around a big old math book and a big English book in between periods, you just carry your tablet around," says senior Lindsay Brown. Human factors researchers immediately saw the learning advantages. The tablet PC's allow more interaction between the teachers and students. Teachers can embed live web pages and live video into lectures.

Xerox: says "It's Copiers v Education. $9,000 per month for 5 years is a lot of teaching"

The monetizable value of a trusted brand is risk of failure insurance. People will pay to protect themselves from that risk. It's the truth behind that old saw about "Nobody got fired for hiring IBM."

As technology matures the risk of failure is less and less, the money can be better spent in other ways. The risk of failure in public education has always been huge and therefore the trusted brand, in this case Xerox, is worth the premium.

But that was in a value chain economy. The user network economy is now getting to the education sector. Risk of failure is managed by competition, not the Brand. The independents are going to make the more obvious every day.

First this tweet

@KBOI670: It's #xerox X vs Fisher's Dcmnt Systm in Idaho. Fisher''s = $32+K/mo. #xerox $45+/mo.

Then at the click:
Boise-based company, Fisher's Document Systems Inc., bid about $32,417 per month to provide copiers to Meridian schools in southwest Idaho for 60 months. Mahn says the district instead picked the Conn.-based Xerox Corp., which bid about $43,758 a month.

Fisher's Document Systems filed a notice of objection with the district Wednesday, saying administrators should have been more fiscally responsible with public money. District spokesman Eric Exline says cost was 1 of several factors that were considered.
Then this from
“The School District needs to take a step back and put existing relationships with their current vendors in perspective.

Its great that Ma X was the incumbent and must have had strong relationships with the school district, but those strong relationships also exist between students and teachers who now might need to be let go, if fiscal obstacles can not be overcome. $9,000 per month for 5 years is a lot of teaching.

Lets look at it a different way – one without the relationships with a current vendor.

It is very doubtful the school district would have said, we have a current vendor who is doing an adequate job but we want to go with a different vendor. It is very doubtful they would justify costing the community at least two teachers a year for the next five years to change vendors.

Copiers vs. Education - A simple decision when you put the relationships in perspective and do what is right for the community. The $9,000 more a month that the District is willing to spend will become more than $11,000 over the term of the contract if they do not accurately evaluate the copier contract structure and negotiate the proper terms and conditions. That is why Xippa provides the services it does to end users.”
The irony is that is that Xerox is uniquely positioned to to turn Copiers v Education into Copiers 4 Education. PARC + Xerox Foundation + Clickable Print + MPS = Science Education that is simpler and better than what is going on out there today.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Marketing is too important to be left to marketing people"

This is what I mean about marketing, advertising and lowering SAG.

Why Should GM Give Marketing Any Respect? -
from Advertising Age - Guest Columnists:
"In my estimation this move supports what Dave Packard of Hewlett-Packard once said: 'Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing people.'

It also reinforces what I consider a brilliant statement made by Bob Lutz in a recent interview with BusinessWeek: 'To spend $200 million on manufacturing, we have to get board approval with top management involved from an early stage. Yet we spend billions on marketing and delegate that to too many people at the lowest levels. It's insanity.' He's absolutely right. Top management has to be involved, and obviously with Mr. Lutz in charge they will be involved."

How Much Are Apple's 45 Million Users Worth? And the horizon for clickable Print.

To much to snippet. It's worth the full read How Much Are Apple's 45 Million Users Worth?
-- Seeking Alpha:
Here are the money phrases:
". . . the smart phone pie is falling into place . . .

. . .when everything falls into place and a ridiculous number of corporations jump on board with their own . .
. . . these devices evolving into our wallets, our cameras, our video recorders, our television, yes our phones, our gaming devices and who knows what else… always connected, always in our pocket. . .

All of this means personal TV. The simplest TV guide has always been in Print. It's much easier to use than a GUI on a screen.

TV is the best media to see things in a different way

At the middle scale (watch the video to see what I mean) is versioned clickable 24 page tabloids in black ink only.

The next time you hear, "Print is not green. The web is green." Get them to watch the video at

On the outskirts of Ghana's biggest city sits a smoldering wasteland, a slum carved into the banks of the Korle Lagoon, one of the most polluted bodies of water on earth. The locals call it Sodom and Gomorrah.

Correspondent Peter Klein and a group of graduate journalism students from the University of British Columbia have come here as part of a global investigation -- to track a shadowy industry that's causing big problems here and around the world.

Their guide is a 13-year-old boy named Alex. He shows them his home, a small room in a mass of shanty dwellings, and offers to take them across a dead river to a notorious area called Agbogbloshie.

Agbogbloshie has become one of the world's digital dumping grounds, where the West's electronic waste, or e-waste, piles up -- hundreds of millions of tons of it each year.

The team meets with Mike Anane, a local journalist who has been writing about the boys at this e-waste dump.

Watch the video at
FRONTLINE/World Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground

| PBS:

NY Times Editorial - "Google’s Big Plan for Books" and the opportunity for Print

Editorial - Google’s Big Plan for Books -
"Google’s effort could create new interest in millions of out-of-print books, which would be made available at no cost at public libraries. That means that a student at a community college or a freelance writer could access the same books as a Harvard professor."

Of course the Times seems to still be trapped in the blablabla Print is Dead, Old, Dying, Dinasour blablablabla. But do you think public libraries are not going to want to distribute print copies? Then consider teachers in high school, college or graduate school.

Signal v noise and you think what you think, because you see what you see.

Anyone else notice that Xerox closed at 8.21 yesterday?

In February it was 6.06. Imagine what might happen if the team gets SAG down to the WalMart benchmark of 16+%.

Go Ursula!
Go Xerox!
Go Print!

Disclosure: Long on Xerox.

Cary Sherburne says we need to replace "Web 2 Print." How about "printernet?" Consider HP + CGX + National Geographic

In today's WhatTheyThink, I found Cary Sherburne's column.

Web-to-Print: We need a new name:

"These days, however, what we were calling “Web-to-print” has morphed into something much more sophisticated and we really need a new name.
. . . . It is more about managing business communications or marketing collateral, which is likely to include some print.

In 2008, Graph Expo’s Must See’ems expert panel identified Web-to-print as number six in its list of the Top Six Survival Technologies for 2009. Number 1 was MIS, Number 2 was Information Technology as a core competency, and Number 4 was workflow."
My Quibble
The problem here is that printers cannot choose MIS or IT as a "core competency." It's like me "choosing" to make a million dollars. It would be nice, but choosing is only the necessary, but not sufficient, condition to make it happen. There is a well developed profession of trained, experienced experts who do MIS and IT. The idea that it is an easily earned competency makes no sense. Partnering with an MIS or IT outfit may be reasonable. But growing your own from a standing start is silly on the face.

At any rate, Cary goes on to frame the question about Web to Print.
In my mind, all four of these are tightly linked and almost need to be grouped as a must-have megasolution for the modern provider of printing services—or is it business communications services, marketing communications services, marketing services? It’s pretty confusing out there in this time of dynamic change.
The appropriate term in my mind is Printer. Printers have been around for 500 years. They improve every year. They weather every storm and come out better on the other end. The names change, but the job doesn't. As it says at the top of this blog. Printers print.

The rest of the column is a great quick survey of 14 of the 34 solutions to the web to print problem. I recommend the click.

And then the question:
As you read through what each of these does, you will see why we need a new category. Care to submit your suggestions?
My suggestion
Do what they did in Australia at PacPrint. Use the printernet idea to frame the discussion. Every printer is potentially part of a network of printers. A network printers supplies the speed and scale to compete against web media. No printer can do it alone but in a network, we can again redefine the industry and put Print in the middle of the game.

Add CodeZ QR codes and TinyPurls and Web2Print is complemented by Print2Web with a tool that generates click streams from physical objects. Click streams mean informatics. Informatics is the valuable commodity for every enterprise, commercial or non commercial going forward. That's the idea I've been trying to capture with Clickable Print.

One use case for Clickable Print, Printernet Published
Google and the other Internet titans are in a ferocious fight for control of the mobile web OS. Microsoft and Yahoo attacking search. Chrome OS attacking the desktop.

Consider the value created by 50,000,000 postcards printed and delivered in two days with a minmal carb on footprint. Each postcard takes the user to a video on the web. Some will get there by typing in a human readable URL, the TinyPurl. The really cool kids will just scan the QR and watch the video on their cell phone.

In either case, consider the clickstream generated by 50,000,000 potential clicks. Each click means someone is interested. By analyzing where and when the interested appeared, Google et al know where the interested live. If it's done with a little foresight by getting folks to opt in to receive postcards the connection with the interested is made.

Every marketing campaign needs to locate, nurture and help their evangelists. Locate them with clickable postcards. Nurture and help is for a later post.

In any case a little search and replace may help define what this market might look like. Every global brand needs the same thing. Every politician needs the same thing. Every education enterprise needs the same thing. Every health and government agency needs the same thing.

There are only two push mass media.
One is TV. The other is Print.
It's not web to print.
It's Print to TV.
1 + 1 = 3

Here's the HP + Consolidated Graphics + National Geographic piece.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Web is a pull media for a niche market. Print is a push media for the mass market. Media is not zero sum. It's the more, the more.

Online Media: Why Time Spent on Internet Is Leveling Off -
Advertising Age - Digital:

"NEW YORK ( -- Time spent with the internet, as it turns out, doesn't balloon indefinitely.

That might sound obvious, but this is the year web surfing leveled off at 12 hours a week after growing from less than six hours a week in 2004, according to Forrester's annual survey of more than 40,000 American consumers' self-reported media habits. The report, released Monday, also indicates relative stabilization in other media channels, most notably newspaper and magazine reading.

Ad Age:
For years we've heard prognosticators talk about the internet's virtually limitless growth -- and the byproduct of that, the shrinking time people spend with non-internet media. Do you think this "stagnation" challenges the assumptions many people have about how we're moving to an all-digital world?

Ms. Rousseau-Anderson: People aren't giving up traditional media yet. Again, it's all about specialization. So there is still a lot of room for growth, but people are going to seek content that specifically speaks to them. Understanding target groups becomes the key to that growth

Ad Age: Some traditional media have actually shown less decline than what one might think, from the headlines. People reported no change in their TV habits from 2004 to 2009; they reported a 6% drop in magazine reading, although it appeared flat over the past year; and while newspaper reading has dropped 17% since 2004, it appears flat over the past year.

Microsoft and Yahoo agree search deal. The Opportunity for MPS is Google Apps.

The rule of business in a user network economy is crush them, buy them or partner with them. It seems that Microsoft has moved to "partner with them." / Technology - Microsoft and Yahoo agree search deal:
"Microsoft and Yahoo agreed on Wednesday to an online alliance that could create a more formidable rival to Google in the search business.

In a joint statement, the companies confirmed the widely expected deal, which will give Microsoft a 10-year licence to integrate Yahoo’s search technology into its exisitng search platforms, while Yahoo will become the “relationship sales force” for advertisers for both companies."
The opportunity for MPS
Become the "relationship sales force" for Google Apps and help fix bottom of the education pyramid and all levels of the health delivery pyramid in the process.

It will drive the IT guys nuts.

Andy Tribute Weighs in on Kodak Prosper. My two cents is that "Good enough" now, Is better than "Better," later. Black ink only is good enough.

When Noel Ward posted at WTT describing the Kodak Prosper technology last Friday, it sounded to me that the tech was a game changer. At the time I commented:

If I read it correctly a tabloid page in color would be appx .008 x 2 = 1.6 cents and .0015 x 2 for .003 per black and white tabloid page. That translates into 24 page tabloid in black only for .072 plus paper and folding.

If those numbers check out I think it might open up a market for the versioned newspapers to eat into the high school textbook market.

I don’t know the pricing on the infoprint, hp or oce machines, but a selling cost of less than 20 cents a copy should find it’s place in the education marketplace.

Or my math could be wrong.

In today's WTT, Andy Tribute has a column entitled Kodak - On Stream to Prosper. Following are some excerpt:

Before going further with this analysis one needs to outline that Stream is a new technology for continuous inkjet printing, and that Kodak has been developing this new technology for many years. a brilliant concise history of the tech follows at the click
Here, I want to draw attention to two points:
The first of these products has now entered the market, this being the Kodak Prosper S10 Imprinting System. This is a monochrome only imprinting system with a print width of 4.16 inches, a resolution of 600 dpi and a running speed of up to 1,000 ft/minute
If this system were used to embedd TinyUrls and CodeZ QR codes into offset printing, no matter what the substrate, it brings Clickable Print to a mass market. It can be implemented now merely by joining well defined technologies in the service of a new capability for Print.
The next Kodak Prosper product will be the first press on this platform. This will be the Kodak Prosper Black Press and it is targeted for introduction in 1st quarter of 2010. This is a press targeted mainly at the book market with a print width of 24.5 inches that allows for three-up perfecting on 8 x 10 inch pages to produce 12 page signatures, or four-up perfecting on 6 x 9 inch pages to produce 16 page signatures
This might be real competition for Oce in large scale book printing. But will it be able to penetrate the installed base? My bet is that it's going to take lots of time and money. While the TCO of Prosper might be better now, there is little doubt that going forward Oce will continue to improve and thus lower operating costs.

In my not so humble opinion,
Kodak has to solve the Innovator's Dilemma. In successful large corporations, disruptive innovation can not grow because the culture of the company is focused on improving the product/services for their best customers. From what I read at Andy's column Kodak Prosper might well turn out to be a disruptive technology.

Christensen outlines case after case after case to demonstrate that disruptive technology has to mature by meeting the needs of a market of non consumers. For previously unserved customers, the choice is between nothing and a "good enough." The black ink only technology is good enough.

The non consumers for high school education are the drop outs and the adolescents incarcerated in the US prison system. There are few benefits that accrue to any one in the education industrial complex by serving this population, and thus there is no competition.

Color is allegedly important for advertising at the top of the pyramid .(Although I question the common wisdom after considering on the track record of Google AdSense.)

Consider clickable one color versioned print product and one color CodeZ QR in 4c offset to replace textbooks at the bottom of the pyramid. It might be just the revenue stream to buy some time. Also consider turning Prosper into it's own business unit. Give it the space to develop the business rules that make sense for a disruptive technology.

Full Disclosure: Long on Kodak.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

If transpromo needs awesome recomendation engines, the answer might be movies+a contest. Or call Gravity . . and lowering SAG

Imagine a recommendation engine for education. as in "if you liked reading this, then consider reading this." Or if you enjoyed working out this problem, consider working out this one."

In general a recommendation engine takes the form of "If you liked doing X, consider doing Y." That might turn out to be the operational definition of being a coach or a mentor.
Netflix Competitors Learn the Power of Teamwork -
from July 28, 2009:
"A contest set up by Netflix, which offered a $1 million prize to anyone who could significantly improve its movie recommendation system, ended on Sunday with two teams in a virtual dead heat, and no winner to be declared until September.

But the contest, which began in October 2006, has already produced an impressive legacy. It has shaped careers, spawned at least one start-up company and inspired research papers. It has also changed conventional wisdom about the best way to build the automated systems that increasingly help people make online choices about movies, books, clothing, restaurants, news and other goods and services.

These so-called recommendation engines are computing models that predict what a person might enjoy based on statistical scoring of that person’s stated preferences, past consumption patterns and similar choices made by many others — all made possible by the ease of data collection and tracking on the Web.

“The Netflix prize contest will be looked at for years by people studying how to do predictive modeling,” said Chris Volinsky, a scientist at AT&T Research and a leader of one of the two highest-ranked teams in the competition.

. . .

Software recommendation systems, Mr. Mackey said, will increasingly become common tools to help people find useful information and products amid the explosion of information and offerings competing for their attention on the Web. “A lot of these techniques will propagate across the Internet,” he predicted.

That is certainly the hope of Domonkos Tikk, a Hungarian computer scientist and a member of the Ensemble. Mr. Tikk, 39, and three younger colleagues started working on the contest shortly after it began, and in 2007 they teamed up with the Princeton group. “When we entered the Netflix competition, we had no experience in collaborative filtering,” Mr. Tikk said.

Yet based on what they learned, Mr. Tikk and his colleagues founded a start-up, Gravity, which is developing recommendation systems for commercial clients, including e-commerce Web sites and a European cellphone company.

The best and brightest from many disciplines joined together. The didn't deliver a paper or an approach or information. They solved a well measured problem at a total cost of $1,000,000. There was no additional overhead, health care or pension benefits.

That's just one way to get SAG down,down,down, fast, fast, fast.

More on the XRX Earnings Call when I get the chance. Short story..nice.

At Seeking Alpha the rule is "
You may quote up to 400 words of any transcript on the condition that you attribute the transcript to Seeking Alpha and either link to the original transcript or to
Here's the link to the call transcript. You can read the full thing over there if you like. Ursula gives a nice, clear picture of what it looks like from the mountain top.

Meanwhile, anyone notice that XRX closed at 7.93 yesterday.

Go Ursula!
Go Xerox!

And some of my not so humble suggestions from last Thursday to get the SAG down, down, down , fast, fast, fast , all the while increasing our ability to take advantage of the turn around when it comes along. It's about harnessing XRX dna on the loose, setting up PARC University and fixing high school education.

Full disclosure: Long on Xerox.

Nobody needs more data. Everybody needs more maps. Education needs Print2Web.

Spreadsheets tell you what was. Maps help you get from here to there. Spreadsheets capture a moment. Maps articulate a process. Education, marketing and managing complexity is all about process flow. Any baby boomer - once a hippie - will tell you that "You have to go with the flow."

The process:

The product:

see more at Maps of Science : Better Maps, Better Decisions

From Wired Magazine:
The pursuit of human knowledge has a shape.

By crunching data from more than a billion user interactions on scholarly databases, Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers produced a high-resolution map of the relationships between different fields of science.

They’re not the first to map science, though they insist that their map is best. Other topographers of knowledge, they say, aren’t up to date on what modern scholars search for, and rely too much on natural science databases.

(Maybe that’s why the Los Alamos map, published in Public Library of Science ONE , looks a bit like the Milky Way, while this lovely scientific paradigm map — a favorite of Nature and Seed magazine — looks like an amoeba.)

The Los Alamos team analyzed click streams from 23 databases — Thomson Scientific, Elsevier, Jstor, Ingenta and multiple campuses of the University of Texas and California State University — and mapped patterns of interest and cross-journal citations.

Education is not about training.
Training is about training. Education is about managing access to knowledge in the service of learning. High School education is in the service of High School kids learning.

Clickable Print + Clickable Web generate click streams.
It's not just Web2Print. It's also Print2Web.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why I learned to love twitter and a theme song for traditional newspapers

Here's the tweet:
scoopingthenews#musicmonday A little special song for newspapers in debt and on brink of closing
The video embedding is disabled so you'll have to go there.

OOPS! Auto Marketing: GM Shops Sweat . . C'mon globals tell'em about clickable print and printernet publishing and cell phones. Lutz will love it.

If you think you are a Market Service Provider or do Solutions Selling, why not give a call to every agency in the world that is going to make a pitch for GM's business? That would be a nice service to provide a marketer or selling a solution that someone could use this afternoon.

The latest YouTube videos for GM were awesome! With clickable print every kid in the States would love to watch them and others you come up with on their smartphones.

And even if they don't, you'll get "metrics" if you use CodeZ QR. And even if you don't, the suits on the Board of Directors will think Lutz is a genius.

And we all know that's what gets the deal in the end anyway.

Auto Marketing: GM Shops Sweat as Lutz Heads to Caribbean - Advertising Age - News: "DETROIT ( -- GM's new marketing top gun, Bob Lutz, met with the automaker's brand teams on July 14, spent 10 to 20 minutes critiquing the work for each brand and, in the words of someone in the know, 'crapped all over the advertising.' Then he jetted off to the Caribbean island of Montserrat on holiday, leaving some scared individuals in his wake."

An Evolutionary Approach to Print in the Communication Ecology

A gene in biology is like a meme in culture. They are both self replicators. Self replicators drive evolution. Looking at a communication ecology from the point of view of the meme is a good way to generate word/mathematical strings than can be disproved by empirical evidence. The essence of science is to produce disprovable symbolic strings.

The rule of evolution is random mutation, selective destruction under changing constraints of time and energy. The rule of communication is the more, the more.

"Evolves to a collection of," shortened to ETACO to make it easier to write, is the area where the mechanisms of evolution happen. Articulating the mechanisms of change is the key to managing unintended consequences, manage risk and create wealth.

Sound ETACO Words ETACO Sentences ETACO Memes ETACO Narratives ETACO Language Culture

This is NOT a linear process. It would be better visualized as cloudy sky or schools of fish rather than a spread sheet or functions in n dimensions.

Print evolution in media systems
In the beginning was the Word . . .King James Version, John 1:1.
A tool that speeds replication
True writing is only thought to have developed independently in four different civilizations in the world, namely Mesopotamia, China, Egypt and Mesoamerica, from Wikipedia
A tool that leads to a phase change in replication speed and scale
The history of the alphabet begins in Ancient Egypt, more than a millennium into the history of writing. The first pure alphabet emerged around 2000 BCE to represent the language of Semitic workers in Egypt (see Middle Bronze Age alphabets), and was derived from the alphabetic principles of the Egyptian hieroglyphs from Wikipedia
A tool that leads to a phase change in replication speed and scale
Around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg introduced what is regarded as an independent invention of movable type in Europe (see printing press), along with innovations in casting the type based on a matrix and hand mould. Gutenberg was the first to create his type pieces from an alloy of lead, tin and antimony – the same components still used today.[5]
The tool set evolves
The Gutenberg press was much more efficient than manual copying and still was largely unchanged in the eras of John Baskerville and Giambattista Bodoni—over 300 years later.[9] By 1800, Lord Stanhope had constructed a press completely from cast iron, reducing the force required by 90% while doubling the size of the printed area.[9] While Stanhope's "mechanical theory" had improved the efficiency of the press, it still was only capable of 250 sheets per hour.[9] German printer Friedrich Koenig would be the first to design a non-manpowered machine—using steam.[9]
The tool evolves again

Holistic Quantum Reality? No, I'm not kidding.

The link:

Vasudaiva Kutumbhakum

The Entire World is One Family

Here's why I'm not kidding:
The linked in profile of the founder and thought leader:
DK Matai is an engineer turned entrepreneur, value investor and philanthropist with a keen interest in the well being of global society. DK founded mi2g in 1995, the global risk specialists, in London, UK, whilst developing simulations for his PhD at Imperial College. DK helped found ATCA - The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance - in 2001, a philanthropic expert initiative to address complex global challenges through Socratic dialogue and joint executive action to build a wisdom based global economy.

Authority – DK is an authority on countering complex global threats; strategic risk management & visualisation; contingency planning; Information Operations (IO); electronic defence; biometric authentication; secure payment systems and Open Source hardened kernel solutions. He is an invited contributor to defence and global security analysis in the UK, USA, EU, Canada, Switzerland, Japan and India. mi2g intelligence has been cited by several government agencies including NISCC in the UK, FBI in the US and UN agencies in New York & Geneva.

Why hand held computers + clickable print will fix high school: 91% computer use less than once a week is not going to do it.

With all the blablabla and gezillion dollars allocated to computers in the classroom, consider this snippet from Time magazine.
from Mourning the Death of Handwriting - TIME:
"A study published in the February issue of the Journal of Educational Psychology found that just 9% of American high school students use an in-class computer more than once a week."
Then consider that high school kids at all levels of the pyramid are on their cell phones as much as they can be.

The issue is not how many computers the school district buys. The issue is how often the kids use computers. As smart phones morph into hand held computers the kids, not the school district will buy them. Whoever buys them controls when they are used.

The clickable print part is straightforward. Connect the hand held to the internet and use Print as the at hand table of contents.

Dr Joe Webb gets it right, again. Advertising needs mass media less and less.

The good news is that printernet publishing and clickable print is all about Massive Personalization. That's even better than mass customization.
Printing Industry News, Commentary & Analysis, Research and Consulting from WhatTheyThink: "...The whole point of new media is small ball. Quit playing for the three-run homer and amass the singles and doubles... 'the key thing is economics of scale is going to disappear. That's really what the issue is... instead we're going to go into the economics of re-aggregation... how do you get 10, 20, 30, 40 thousand people instead of taking in 250 million and making them into 12 and 30 million dollar segments. How do you re-aggregate one at a time into the tens of thousands?'

More XRX dna on the loose: Goodwill's new CEO has a familiar face and the opportunity for Vertis

Goodwill's new CEO has a familiar face:
"Tom Andrews, who previously lived in El Paso and was on Goodwill's board during 2002-2007, has left his job as regional manager of technical service for Xerox in Edmond, Okla., to take the El Paso position, Goodwill reported. Andrews worked 32 years for Xerox and covered Oklahoma, Kansas, western Missouri, and northwestern Arkansas in his last job for the company.
The reason I fell in love with Xerox, way back in the day, was the people who worked there. When a job at Xerox meant a life time career their people had the time and security to get better and better. The previous CEO started by selling copiers. The present CEO started as a summer intern. Even today I don't know of another global that has had two women in a row at the top. Plus the diversity of top management is still pretty amazing.

And of course, there is Xerox PARC. That was where the organization's dna combined to invent most of the tools that have driven the evolution of the media world we now live in. Ethernet, the GUI, postcript just to name a few. Then in the early 90's those tools came together in the Docutech and the digital printing revolution went mainstream.

But an organization that thrived in the 20th century is dysfunctional in the 21st. While it is still true, for a while, that in large organizations "nobody ever got fired for buying Xerox" that's coming to an end in the face of global competition. So the teams of people that lived in a protected environment find themselves in a ruthlessly competitive environment.

While Xerox reorganizes itself, those teams either leave or are "excessed" under the pressures of "Wall Street" demanding higher profit numbers, while disregarding the real measures of organic growth. Thankfully that is starting to change. Today's lede at Reuters was
* Q2 EPS 16 cts vs estimate 11 cts* Profit helped by cost-cutting, margin improvement * Q2 Revenue declined 18 percent * Revenue seen pressured in rest of year due to economy* Shares up more than 9 pct
Quincy Allen and Michael Kucharsky at Vertis
The XRX teams that find new homes have their unique dna's and 10,000+ hours of reflective practice. As Gladwell explains in Outliers, that's what you need to be great.

I bet XRX dna will be the kernels of the communication world in the 21st century. But to spread throughout an organization needs a minimum of three. Five is usually too many. Two is just not enough. If there is another one at Vertis, perhaps coming from inside the Vertis organization, my hope is that Vertis is going to scale clickable print help fix high school education and the health delivery system.

They'll probably also do well in marketing. While marketing is interesting-to-them it is not as interesting-to-me. The margins in marketing are just going to get smaller and besides most Americans don't need more stuff. They need more smart and better health.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"What happens when Verizon gets iPhone--as is widely expected in 2010?"

Probably bad news for AT&T. Good news for Verizon. Good news for Google. And very, very good news for clickable print (Print + TinyPurls + QR codes.)

The AT&T v Verizon story is in the snippet. The story for Clickable Print is that hand held computers (smartphones) will scale in the USA under conditions of open competition. The more hand held computers + built in video cameras, the more value created by clickable print.

AT&T CEO: Exclusive iPhone Deal Won't Last Forever - Business Center - PC World: "What happens when Verizon gets iPhone--as is widely expected in 2010?"
. . .
Exclusive handset deals are helping AT&T sign-up more new customers than Verizon, but exclusive probably isn't forever, admits AT&T's CEO. Post-exclusivity, AT&T's future doesn't look nearly as bright as its past. Verizon's lead looks solid.

Verizon said Friday it added 1.1 million customers in the second quarter. That's less than the 1.4 million AT&T reported a day earlier. However, Verizon remains the #1 provider of cellphone service in the U.S., with 87.7 million customers compared to #2 AT&T 79.6 million.

Much of AT&T's growth has come from exclusive deals with handset manufacturers, notably Apple for the iPhone and RIM for the BlackBerry Bold. But, those deals won't last forever, and then what?

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson yesterday told attendees at a Fortune-sponsored conference that iPhone exclusivity probably won't last forever, but refused to elaborate.

A graduate degree in education informatics at PARC University: A thought experiment

Here's the vision from the learning point of view:

Why Clickable Print will work better than textbooks at the bottom of the pyramid

Overview | Pew Internet & American Life Project:
"The picture changes when including access on a handheld and with the broader measure of wireless use that includes laptops and other devices. For each measure, use among African Americans matches or exceeds that of white Americans. Two measures of engagement with the wireless online – accessing the internet on a handheld on the typical day or ever – shows that Africans Americans are 70% more likely to do this than white Americans."

Wireless-handheld access
Smartphones are hand held computers. iPhone from Apple and myPhone from Google are just the leading examples. For high school kids, at all levels of the pyramid, hand held is the killer app because it allows them to spend their days hanging out and moving around.

New Google smartphone could be a contender

It's due to be on the market on August 5. Lots of cool features, but pretty much the same as the other iPhone copy cats. Here's what caught my eye.
New Google smartphone could be a contender:
"The myTouch sells for $149 with a new contract and T-Mobile customers can not only pre-order the phone, but also buy accessories. In case you haven’t heard, T-Mobile just inked a deal with Radio Shack, so you can also buy the myTouch and other T-Mobile products at various RadioShacks side-by-side with phones from other major carriers."

If Xerox PARC became XP University, they can offer an MS in Education Informatics

WGU college offers a BS degree in Health Informatics.
Health Informatics Degree
|Online Bachelor’s in Health Information Technology
| WGU College of Health Online:
"Our online health informatics degree will give you a tremendous advantage. The B.S. in Health Informatics combines concepts in healthcare, information technology, and leadership practice to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to be a valuable designer, developer, and manager of health information systems. You’ll become a unique asset in the high-demand fields of health informatics and health information management with the added credibility of two recognized IT certifications."
On 22 Aug 2008 this post appeared at a blog with this in the "about."
This site will explore how analysis of data, concepts, and ideas can inform the design and practice of education. Clarence Fisher, Alec Couros, George Siemens
The first post said,
In late 2007, Clarence Fisher presented a need that he felt at a classroom level: the ability to use data and information generated by his students in order to improve the quality of learning. In conversations with Alec Couros and George Siemens he expressed this need. After several discussions of the administrative and instructional value of education informatics, this site was born.
On the same day, this post
What are we talking about when we say “education informatics”??
Perhaps a discussion on what we mean by ‘education informatics’ is an important starting point. As a broad starting point, informatics is the analysis or science of information, exploring and exposing structures, connections, and interactions.

I view education informatics as the analysis of the flow of information and development of concepts and understanding during the process of learning. Informatics provide educators with an understanding of how individual learners develop their knowledge. For example, how does a critical concept develop in networks of learners? Is it due to the teacher/instructor’s facilitation? Is it due to learner-learner interaction? Does “understanding” ripple like a meme through a classroom? How can we evaluate the quality of learning by one individual in contrast to others? Or in contrast to stated course goals?
It usually only needs a team of three to get it done. All they probably need is some global to say let's really help figure this out. I bet that the really get it based on the video I found at Open Thinking and Digital Pedagogy, "the personal and professional blogging space of Dr. Alec Couros, a professor of educational technology and media at the Faculty of Education, University of Regina."

New Zealand has been doing the cool stuff first for a while. Estate agent QR code marketing.

"Cool" is what gets early adopters. The right price gets mass adoption. The monetization part is about metrics. That's why CodeZ QR or copy cats is such a big deal. To the extent that the path to monetization includes print, print becomes more valuable. As print becomes more valuable, margins increase.

In the video, is he holding a cell phone or a hand held computer? Maybe netbooks will be too big.
Estate agent QR code marketing:
"New Zealand based online estate agent have added QR codes to their property marketing materials. Print advertising, window cards and flyers will now feature a specific QR code for the property being sold and will direct the user to detailed information on the property as well as offering a virtual tour.

Some of the latest research from the Media Lab. If you've seen Minority Report, you already know where this is going. But watch the whole thing and you'll see where Print fits.