Saturday, August 22, 2009

Is Microsoft's Secret Weapon. They would probably be interested in the clickable printernet.

By now everyone has heard the news: EveryBlock is now part of
from MediaShift Idea Lab .

from a comment in the thread to EveryBlock, and the General Public License
The Web site is owned by Microsoft and NBC, and the TV channel MSNBC is owned by NBC. And, yes, the Web site does serve as the Web home for its half-sister, MSNBC. But that doesn't mean they're the same company. also serves as the Web home of Newsweek, and has content from The New York Times, but they don't own each other, either. It is confusing: If is the Web site owned by Taco Bell, then you'd think that is owned by MSNBC, but it turns out not to be true in this case. The cable and TV companies have been separate joint partnerships from the beginning."

Number of Students, Colleges Using Flat World Knowledge Digital Texts Soars And the Really Good News for Print

The business rule of the internet is read for free, pay for print.
Number of Students, Colleges Using Flat World Knowledge Digital Texts Soars -
8/20/2009 4:01:00 AM - Publishers Weekly
: "Flat World Knowledge has announced that it anticipates that 40,000 college students at over 400 colleges will use its open source digital textbooks this fall. Flat World went live in spring 2009 with 1,000 students from 30 colleges using its offerings. Eric Frank, a cofounder of Flat World, said that while the company’s marketing efforts explained some of the jump, a lot of the increase came from word of mouth. “Adoptions kept increasing from May into August,” Frank said, noting that many of the orders came from faculty members with whom Flat World had no direct contact. “The orders could only have come from recommendations from faculty to faculty,” he said.

Under Flat World’s pricing/business model students can access entire textbooks for free online; pay $19.95 for a PDF download; pay $29.95 for a black and white printed version or $59.95 for a color version, or pay $39.95 for an audio version.
. . .

In addition to adding more students, Flat World is expanding the number of texts it offers. The company currently has 11 textbooks and will offer five new ones this fall and is expanding from its base in business and economics into new subjects such as sociology and psychology. Frank expects to have 25 texts available by next spring and another 38 in the pipeline. He said Flat World has not had discussion with traditional college publishers about working with them, but wouldn’t rule it out in the future. “I’m not sure which way things will go,” he said. (The majority of the Flat World team have backgrounds in traditional textbook publishing).

Frank is projecting sales for 2009 to be in the $700,000 to $750,000 range with roughly $100,000 worth of orders coming from college bookstores. He said the bookstores are working with Flat World to see what kind of role they can play in the Flat World model. Frank expects to add another 100 colleges to the company’s roster for the spring and about 10,000 students, but he believes a quantum leap will occur for fall 2010 when he thinks the number of students could be between 120,000 to 200,000.

Anyone know the ticker symbol for Vertis? They should be in my printernet portfolio.

Since the beginning of the year I've slowly assembled a group of companies that I bet are going to do be very well going forward. You can check the list in the sidebar. In the aggregate they've gone up about 37% since February.

If you look a little more closely, you'll see a couple of really big winners. McClatchey and Gannett.
MNI was .53 as late as May. At yesterday's close it was 2.08. GCI was 4.20 in May. It closed at 8.16. My bet was that the End of Newspapers was blabla. So far, so good.

My theory is that a printernet is starting to form. I keep looking for the backbone companies and the globals that supply them. Given the silliness of the end of print meme, there are some nice opportunities.

I have to believe that Vertis Communications, with Quincey Allen and most recently Michael Kurchasky, are just the right dna to get them into the game big time going forward. But, I searched Schwab for the symbol. Nada. Then I searched Seeking Alpha. Nada. So then I read about the 2008 bankruptcy. But still no ticker symbol.

I can call my broker on Monday, but he's always so busy. Perhaps a visitor could explain what I'm missing.

Friday, August 21, 2009

iPhones+Sirius = Anywhere, anytime radio. Radio = TV minus Pictures. Anytime/where TV needs Anywhere/time Print. Go Printernet!

Sirius XM's Game Changer About to Rock --
Seeking Alpha:
"I can now report that Sirius XM’s game changer is about to rock. Sources familiar with the situation are now confirming that this Wednesday, August 26th, Sirius XM will be unveiling the iPhone/iPod Touch accessory docks that I speculated about three months ago. Sirius XM will be hosting a special invitation only media event in New York that day to show off their new products to be available this holiday season. The invitation reads: “View the new lineup of radios and accessories from Sirius XM for the home, office, vehicle and beyond.” Satwaves received a press invitation and will be covering the event live as permitted."
Full disclosure: No position SIRI.
Long Printernet (CGX, XRX, EK, OCENY, RICOY, RRD, MNI, GCI )

A quibble with Frank Romano. It's not digital relativity. It's evolutionary string theory.

Since won't post their videos at YouTube and I'm much too lazy to figure out why they play on every computer but mine, I was really happy to get my Frank Romano fix in Australia via the UK from Pro Print.

Click on The theory of digital relativity to read the whole thing. Of course, it's worth a click. In the meantime, here's my quibble.

Frank says :
"Digital disruption
What can be digitally originated, integrated, communicated, stored, retrieved and metamorphosed, will be. The Theory of Digital Relativity is not based on evolution; it is based on revolution."
I say:
Einstein was right, but never got to the Theory of Everything. Now it's all about string theory and evolution. So . . . it is based on evolution. On the other hand, dinosaurs seem to have evolved into birds. Good to be bird. Sucks to be a dinosaur.

How to sell clickableprint and printernet publishing when the fact is that print is not sold. It is bought.

The reality is that print is not sold. It is bought. The best a printer can do is stay top of mind and be ready to respond ultra-fast to any information request. Then just answer the question and try to stay top of mind. It's much more like fishing than hunting.

When you look at it this way, the most important question is Where to fish?

Here's where I think the best places to fish for people who need clickableprint.

Look for local media companies that do newspapers+cable channels+radio. Or perhaps the oufits that do just cable+radio. They won't have the legacy mindset about newspapers.

Local cable and radio live on local advertising. Local advertisers love local Print.

If anyone wants me to play this out, just comment as "anon" click the "follow by email" and I'll be glad to collaborate to get the right product at the right price for the right person.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The real reason textbooks are hosed. It's at about 26 minutes in.

Tough Love in Grand Rapids. This time it's Ikon.

Got this from Wade at He said, "They dropped the relationship gig and did what was right. Great job Muskegon." The school board probably loved their vendor of many years. But this is not personal, it's business. It should be a clear lesson to those that think a "relationship" is a defensible advantage.
GR firm wins Muskegon school district's copier bid
by Local reports | The Muskegon Chronicle
Wednesday August 19, 2009, 4:04 AM

MUSKEGON -- A Grand Rapids firm has won a bid to sell $191,000 in new digital copiers to Muskegon Public Schools. IKON Office Solutions submitted the low bid of $190,950 for 45 copiers, that also scan and fax documents directly from computers.

The bid came "well under budget," said Gary Privasky, executive director of administrative services and finance for Muskegon Public Schools. The multifunctional copiers were included in a $12.5 million bond issue approved by voters in May.

Office Machines Co., a Muskegon vendor with which the school district has done business for "many, many years," submitted a bid that was $38,000 higher than IKON's, Privasky said.

The district will save maintenance costs by switching to fewer digital printers connected through its computer system rather than a bunch of smaller printers, said Superintendent Colin Armstrong.
Full disclosure: No interest in Xippa.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The correct way to use twitter for enterprise. Do what Bloomberg does.

Consider these two tweets. The time of this post 9:25 Am EDT
ToughLoveforX It would be cool to have links to the web embedded in tweets from BSurveillance. #SURV 10 minutes ago from web

BSURVEILLANCE To check out #SURV podcasts: or find them on iTunes under podcasts-business news...clips from #SURV on 2 minutes ago from web
If you think you are too busy to do this, consider that BSURVEILLANCE is doing a radio show at the time this exchange took place. My bet is that years of looking at Bloomberg terminals gave them the practice to figure out multitasking for grown ups.

Are MindFire and Mimeo the new business of Print? + Smart QR means a smart printernet.

Print manufacturing is ignored by Wall Street, but pretty well understood. MindFire and Mimeo are loved by private Wall Street but not much understood. Mimeo seems best of class for corporate communication collateral. Mindfire seems best of class to do the analytics that are created by clickstreams on the web.

Put smart QR produced at arbitrarily massive scales at production speeds and Mindfire could supply the analytics from clickable print. If they grow their SaaS model, it means that every printer would have the opportunity to deliver customer analytics.

CMO's need and will pay for customer analytics. Given that analyzing data is an art supported by a science, I think it will be protected from becoming a commodity, at least for a while.
MindFireInc Makes the Renowned Inc. 500 List -
from WhatTheyThink:
"Irvine, California - MindFireInc, the leading developer and distributor of on-demand cross-media communication software, has again been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in the United States, making the prestigious Inc. 500 list for the second year in a row. MindFireInc ranked No. 24 among the top businesses in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Ca. region, and was the 20th fastest growing software company.
Full disclosure : No interest in Mimeo, Mindfire or CodeZ QR.

The newspaper printernet gets to Tasmania.

The internet is anywhere, anytime TV+telephone. The printernet is anywhere, anytime Print. The efficiencies come from eliminating transportation costs.
The Australian prints in Tasmania for first time
"News Limited’s national newspaper The Australian has been printed in Tasmania for the first time in its 45-year history.

The first locally-produced edition rolled off the presses yesterday at the company's new $32 million printing facility in Hobart's Technopark, which comprises a KBA Comet press.

The state has been subsisting on editions air-freighted from Melbourne since the newspaper's inception in 1964, with newsagents now able to offer home delivery due to an increased four hours' lead time on shipments of the newspaper. The savings made in removing air-freight from the supply chain will also lead to a reduction in cover prices from $1.90 to $1.50, according to a report in The Australian."

Go Andy Jones! Go Xerox XGS (UK)!

Education, health and government are the sustainable growth markets going forward. XGS in the UK gets it. That was my story in 2005 and I'm sticking to it.

NHS Trust turns to Xerox for patient record digitisation |
"Tim Sheahan,, 17 August 2009

Xerox has secured a £12.8m contract with Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to handle both the digitisation and complete management of its health records.

The 10-year managed service contract, which involves sixty NHS staff moving to Xerox in a TUPE agreement, began at the beginning of August.

As part of the deal, Xerox will scan all patient records using its intelligent character recognition technology that will allow the documents to be accessed through an online portal.

In doing so, medical staff through the trust will be able to view the records that contain patient information such as administrative and appointment data.

Andy Jones, director and general manager of Xerox Global Services in Europe, said its management service "is a reliable and trusted outsourcing solution that will help the Trust to realise genuine operational benefits and innovative new ways of working".
Full disclosure: Long on Xerox

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

OutputLinks says versioned newspapers is an idea whose time has come. I agree, but . . .

Publisher's Note:
Although not exactly an HVTO topic, we feel that this personalized newspapers article may be a preview of things to come as document consolidation and cost reduction considerations drive companies to consider utilizing delivered newspapers and periodicals for delivery of transpromo documents. Imagine personalized rather than generic ads and maybe even your utility bill in your mailed Wall Street Journal or Fortune magazine. Could it happen? Anything is possible with print.
Andy & Julie Plata, Publishers, OutputLinks
Here's the but. . .
The real opportunity is for clickable versioned, not personalized, newspapers. The high margin value of a newspaper is as token of membership in a community of interest. An audience of one is not a community. Audiences of 30, 300, 3000, or 3,000,000 can be a community. A classroom and a school are communities. A linkedin group sometimes becomes a community. Twitter and facebooks have a gezillion communities.

It's just like T-shirts for rock bands. Or golf shirts. Or baseball caps.

The "clickable" part is to generate searchable clickstreams that can evolve into Google Ad Sense for the real world. The mass market lives in the real world.
Versioned Newspaper Trials in USA and Europe:
"The concept of a newspaper with stories selected just for you may sound far-fetched but it’s an idea whose time has come.

Just imagine how it would be to get your morning paper without all that real estate stuff. How much more interesting it might be if it were just about local news and sports. Or finance news and international stories. Or women’s news. Or motor cars. Even celebrity gossip.

Trials now being conducted in the USA and Europe suggest that, within the next few years, that idea may become commonplace as the newspaper industry seeks new ways to remain relevant in the face of encroaching online news delivery. . . .

Andy Tribute on Mimeo ( HP+Goldman Sachs) and How I learned to stop worrying and love the commodity

In 1964, Stanley Kubrick released "Dr Strangelove or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb." In 2005, I wanted to write "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Commodity.' The editor at WhatTheyThink at the time, called it "Escaping the Commodity Trap." A more appropriate title would have been "Embrace Your Inner Commodity."

At any rate, todays report by Andy Tribute on Mimeo has me feeling that I had it pretty right back in 2005. Andy's full article is behind a subscription pay wall. Some snippets follow.
"August 18th, 2009 -- . . .
since few companies that call themselves printers ever make it on any list for rapid growth there must be something special about Mimeo. Also very few printing companies have a list of investors including venture capital, private equity funds and innovate leaders in high technology

. . . Adam Slutsky, Mimeo’s CEO who joined Mimeo three years ago from the movie industry said, “printing is a huge market that nobody has transformed and it is really interesting to do

. . . To show this approach is successful Mimeo has over 8,000 active accounts and more than 20,000 users. One could say it is perhaps the VistaPrint for the corporate markets where the demands are more critical than for the consumer markets and the document offerings more complex.

. . . It is interesting that this growth (36% CAGR for the last eight years) without getting involved in variable data printing (just launched in July 2009) or transactional or transpromo applications. It has a limited amount of digital photo printing. Its business is simple document printing
My favorite:
The main business applications can be classified into three business areas. In sales and marketing it is seen as sales collateral, brochures and newsletters. In human resources, internal training manuals, policy manuals, orientation guides and handbooks. In operations, reference guides, user manuals and specifications.
Sales collateral, brochures and newsletters, internal training manuals, policy manuals, orientation guides and handbooks, reference guides, user manuals and specifications are all commodities.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Yes. Print business has been bad. But Pointing to a week economy is just blablabla. And EK v XRX v HP

Nice story at with figures from all the global showing that business was bad last year.
Commercial print industry feels headwinds -
"In case after case, companies have pointed to a weak overall economy as the culprit."
Give me a break! Lower top line is very sensitive to a weak economy. But lower bottom line is the result of a weak economy and a too slow to respond top management. It's just like teachers blaming bottom of the pyramid high school kids for their low test scores. And both deserve the same response.

"You get paid the big bucks to get through the hard times, not to reap the benefits of the good times."


Executives from local commercial printing companies came to the Woodcliff Hotel and Spa in Perinton last week for a sales pitch from Hewlett-Packard. The W7200 installed at Mercury Print is one of only four in the field now, and the only one operating in North America.

California electronics giant HP hopes to change that soon.

Its W7200 is intended for roughly the same customers as Xerox’s iGen line and, to an extent, Kodak’s Versamark inkjet presses, said Steve Odoniou, associate director of InfoTrends’ On Demand Printing and Publishing Consulting Service.

Those three companies dominate a key part of the commercial print segment — roll-fed or cut-sheet digital presses that can do 1 million to 10 million pages a month. While Kodak has about 20 percent of the market and Xerox has 35 percent, HP has nearly 39 percent and growing, Odoniou said.

Google finds the business model for anywhere, anytime TV. Now Printers have to find the business model for anywhere, anytime Print.

Google: How One Wedding Video Shows YouTube's Potential -- Seeking Alpha
"It appears that Google Inc.’s (GOOG) biggest loss-leader is turning profitable – and it is one wedding video that perhaps best shows YouTube’s potential.

In less than a month since being posted on July 19, 2009, the user-generated video had nearly 20 million views, or about 830,000 per day. In less than a week it had more than 10 million hits. And the “JK Wedding Entrance Dance” video continues to show strong viral growth. It is also likely generating revenue and profits for Google given related advertising and music purchase links, according to Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney."
As of this morning, the Anywhere, Anytime TV below earned over 20,000,000 viewers. The production cost and the distribution cost was zero. It's impossible to calculate the ROI, given that the denominator is zero.

Note that the story is authentic. Note also that it's about love and joy. The evidence says that means that effective communication with the best ROI needs to be authentic and if possible it should be about love and joy. Our agencies are great at manufactured love and joy. It's the authentic part that is so hard to do.

That's why the Christian Science Monitor needs clickable print published on the printernet.

Internet = anytime, anywhere TV. Printernet = anytime, anywhere Print. QR codes connect the two.

At Tunicca Pre-media, Gary George is tinkering with the technology to come up with a model for Anywhere, Anytime Print. It's the most advanced thinking on the subject I've seen until now. The subject at hand is newspapers delivered in kiosks.

The same mashup of technologies works to connect MPS to PSP's to produce clickable postcards, 3 hole punched "thinking sheets", and newspapers to supplement and ultimately replace textbooks in K -12 education. As in any discussion of TV, Print and the Internet, it's not an "either/or" multiple choice question. It's a how will they fit together in different ways at different times essay question.

In today's New York Times there is a front page story describing the shape of education reform.
Obama Pushes States to Shift on Education
By Sam Dillon
Published: August 16, 2009

Holding out billions of dollars as a potential windfall, the Obama administration is persuading state after state to rewrite education laws to open the door to more charter schools and expand the use of student test scores for judging teachers.
it should be clear by now that the old way doing the education business are going to change dramatically in the next few years.

I'm right that anywhere, anytime print will drive better education and if I'm right that accurate measurements - including, but not limited to text score results - are going to evolve much more quickly than we've seen in the recent past,

the need for anytime, anywhere print is going to increase dramatically.

That's why my IRA is focused on the global Print companies. It's also why I wish that Kodak and HP would spin off the Print pieces of their business. Maybe it's why the IRA has been doing ok since February.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The digital textbook issue finally gets to the New York Times. Clickable print can bridge the digital divide.

On August 9, The New York Times published In A Digital Future Textbooks Are History. This Sunday the Letters to the Editor are responses to the article. It's a teachable moment that allows compare and contrast. Some snippets from the story and the letters follow.
“A large portion of our kids don’t have computers at home, and it would be way too costly to print out the digital textbooks,” said Tim Ward, assistant superintendent for instruction in California’s 24,000-student Chaffey Joint Union High School District, where almost half the students are from low-income families.
If the global spent their advertising dollars talking to school administrators instead of printers, Tim Ward might understand the new power of internet connected Print. (Clickable Print)
Textbooks have not gone the way of the scroll yet, but many educators say that it will not be long before they are replaced by digital versions — or supplanted altogether by lessons assembled from the wealth of free courseware, educational games, videos and projects on the Web.
Assembled is not the same as read. It is even further away from being "food for thought."

In today's New York Times, Letters to the Editor column various readers weighed in. Some selections and my not so humble opinions follow:
Printed books are a huge expense to students, serving as bread and butter to them and foie gras to the publishing industry. Fewer books and photocopies might also mean more trees left standing.
Yes . . . to the expense.
. . . but not for long, for the publishing industry.
. . . to the business of saving trees.
As an author of academic textbooks, I lament the trend of replacing textbooks with a panoply of digital materials. Textbooks provide students with an integrative framework with which to view a subject area. They offer viewpoints and ideas, as well as frameworks to understand the ways in which ideas collide and meld together in a multitude of ways.
Not so much . . . The inconvenient truth is that textbooks provide benefits mostly to teachers, not students. Curriculums, in the sense of a guide to what to do next, come primarily from textbooks. The other benefit of textbooks is that they supply the quizzes.
Textbooks frequently supply students with the facts that are consensually accepted by a discipline, thus offering a needed corrective to the cacophony of opinions appearing on Web sites.
No . . . Given how fast science and current events change the textbook is no longer the best way to deliver the "consensually accepted by a discipline." Knowledge is moving too fast. The textbook process is too slow.
Textbooks also teach students the methodologies of an academic field that help them separate out the artistic, historical or scientific wheat from the chaff, a necessary ingredient in an educated person’s repertory.
Yes, but. . . Textbooks are only the codex form of Printed Knowledge. It is the fact that knowledge is fixed on Print that creates this value. Appropriately designed leaflets, postcards, and newspapers would be better, faster, simpler and cheaper.
The Internet may provide an “infinite” stream of knowledge, but I’ve always found it comforting to know that, in a given course, the material one must retain is contained under one hefty (yet finite) binding.
Yes, but . . . What happens if the binding in question is a looseleaf instead of a smythe sewn hardcover.

If Print is connected to anywhere, anytime TV through TinyPurls and Smart QR it creates clickstreams that can be searched and analyzed for information exchange. Education informatics is possible when there is naturally emitted information exchange data that can be searched and analyzed.

Now more than ever it's important to get rid of the "Print is Dead" meme and replace with the "Clickable Print is the Next Big Thing" meme.