Friday, February 20, 2009

Maybe this is the Next Big Thing

read at newsbreaks,infotoday,com
A New “Gutenberg” Site Launches as an Ebook Resource:
"A new ebook resource has launched with a familiar sounding name— ( It bills itself as 'a central resource for ebook lovers, ebook newbies, and the ebook industry.' Note the .com domain—it is important. The site is not linked in any way to the well-known Project Gutenberg at or to,, or (the Project Gutenberg Consortia Center). . . . the new informational site run by marketing consultant and executive producer Chris Andrews, who made his name in the CD-ROM and streaming media businesses.

. . . on Feb. 9, 2009, officially launched as "a new central information resource and social network for the ebook community." At the launch, Andrews also announced an agreement with the Gutenberg Museum for a special section on that will pay tribute to the history and culture of the book.
. . .
The content from the Gutenberg Museum should be added to the site soon. The site offers a weekly email update. Andrews has also built a social network on Ning for ( There’s also a Facebook discussion group designed to generate buzz (, which currently has 118 members and 10 discussion topics.
Read for free. Pay for print. Sell stuff that people will buy. Give the stuff that people want, but will not pay for. Nurture the social networks to form tribes. Invent stuff that tribes will buy. Sell stuff to the tribes using the web.

Why wouldn't this work for newspapers?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Next Big Thing for Editors and Journalists

read at Etaoin Shrdlu:
How will smaller news staffs cover the giant stimulus story
"Before long, hundreds of billions of dollars will flow out of Washington and wash across every community in the country. This stimulus spending represents an unprecedented response to an unprecedented crisis, and defines one of the biggest stories of our generation.

How can today's news organizations possibly cover it adequately? Even if news staffs were growing, they'd be hard-pressed to keep up with the dozens, perhaps hundreds of projects that will affect individual communities. Even knowing where to look will be bewildering.

I think the new web service for journalists called Publish2 can improve the coverage – and, in doing so, help journalism and the country.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Publishing Centers and Pockets of Social Capital

Back in days, I was part of a team that did a start up called We enabled student publishing with what was state of the art technology in 1998.

That was then. This is now.
Software that cost many 100's of thousands to build then, are readily available now. Very expensive sales channels then, have been eliminated by the Internet now. Then, back in the day, just as the pieces were coming together, came the stock crash.

A Publishing Center is the 2009 version of a 1998 idea
All the technology is now in place. The only missing pieces are editors and designers. With the addition of that human creativity - but not any new technology - student publishing can evolve into excellent student publishing.

This is what I mean by creating pockets of social capital:
We are proud to already have a partnership with the School District of Palm Beach County called the Oce Future Authors Project, now in its fourth year.

Every summer, we gather a group of middle and high school students for a free eight-day writing workshop taught by licensed language arts teachers and professional authors. Writings produced by the students during the workshop are then digitally printed on Oce equipment. The formal book is then unveiled at a commmunity-wide book signing event attended by local community leaders, politicians, school officials, teachers, parents and other family members. We also invite the media.

The public-private partnerships does fill a void in the District and demonstrates what great education opportunities can be created for students, despite budget cuts and a challenging economy. Local companies, such as BankAtlantic, as well as the Lawrence Sanders Foundation have joined the effort to help cover the costs of the teacher salaries.

comment posted February 16, 2009 at Tough Love for Xerox.
A Publishing Center would turn this experience from a once-a-year event into the normal way of doing the learning business. Consider how this might scale if struggling regional and community newspapers added a Publishing Center to their normal ways of doing business and reinvented textbooks by inventing textbooklets.

textbooklets here for newspaper people. .
textbooklets here for printers and their vendors

Monday, February 16, 2009

Newspapers and textbooks. . or should it be Textbooklets

Newspapers are trapped by the idea that the only way to go forward is advertising. No doubt local advertising in Print and/or on the web is the at-hand solution to the "sky is falling," "Print is dead" conventional wisdom.

But once this all settles down, the newspaper companies left standing will need additional revenue streams. They should consider looking at the textbook, or better the textbooklet, business. The textbook business is due for reorganization, sooner rather than later. Every community is focused on the education of their children. The investment in education will only increase for at least the next four years. At the same time the pressure to do more with less will continue unabated.

One way newspapers can fit into high school education
My other blog, Tough Love For Xerox is focused on the Digital Print Output Industry. It's what most people -not in the trade- think of as Print on Demand. But POD is just the very tip of the iceberg. In today's post over there, there is an issue that might be important for newspaper publishers and editors, over here.

The context is a continuing discussion about textbooks. Yesterday, I found a February 14th post at Jim Burke's blog. He lays out the optimal teaching-English-High School-classroom experience. Today, I posted how digital Print might enable that experience, today.

The point for newspaper editors and publishers
From Tough Love for Xerox.
1. The article they read might be from that day's San Francisco Chronicle, downloaded for free as part of the digital version of Newspapers in Education program.

There are 9 more points at Reinvented Textbooks: Jim Burke's Use Case.
Versioned Print newspapers could be delivered directly to classrooms. Maybe three times a week. Edited with the classroom experience in mind.
My Weekly Reader for High School, on steroids.

Printed either in the school or the district. It would be Printed locally, distributed locally, edited in the Cloud, and contextually accurate for that community. It might have a "News in Brief" for international and national news, and two feature stories about that community. It could be newsprint product or a textbooklet.