Friday, December 11, 2009

An academic, relatively boring, description of the Printernet

The Printernet is the Cloud based network that connects printing enterprises around the world.

It is massive parallel manufacturing with standards-based interfaces, real time production information and easy access for everyone. Each printer — the combination of the machinery and the intelligence that manages the machinery — is a print output node. Each node is both part of the network and self-sufficient. When the nodes are working together mass customization of print product becomes commonplace at previously impossible speeds and quantities.

The Printernet has three moving parts; the OEM, the OPM and the VAR.

The OEM manufactures, distributes and continuously improves the machinery and supplies necessary to print. The OPM - original product manufacturer uses the machinery and adds the intelligence and supplies to manufacture print. The VAR works with the end user to select the most appropriate products and software to create a new value for the customer. The customer supplies the energy, usually but not always, in the form of money, to power the whole thing.

Managing the network falls to the UNF - the user network facilitator. This function is primarily self evolving, but as the network matures will be increasingly taken on by formal organizations and enterprises.

The Battle of the Titans is for the number 1,2 and 3 UNF positions.

Like all resilient networks each level is self sufficient
A printernet can have a self sufficient presence in a school building or a school district. The UNF/VAR is the MPS. The OEM are the MFP manufacturers. The MPS chooses the most appropriate hardware and software for that specific local situation. Each is different in the details. Each is the same at the conceptual level. Print from the Cloud is enabled at the desktop, the workgroup or the CRD within the organization.

The new experience occurs when the school based printernet is seamlessly connected to commercial printernets. At that point production equipment is clipped on as a print output node - an OPM. That allows yearbooks, student newspapers and textbooks to be pulled from the ground and delivered in print in very close to real time.

The local commercial OPM is connected to a regional printernet. Newspapers can accumulate content in the Cloud on an ongoing basis consistent with the way that events occur in real time. When interest based communities form, the appropriate content is pulled from the Cloud and print manufacturing occurs to satisfy that particular interest. The VAR are the reporters and editors. Their job is know which slice of information is interesting to what group. They use their experience, website + transinfo analytics and web 2.0 to identify and anticipate the emergence of communities of interest.

The regional printernet is connected to the global printernet. From the Cloud the physical location of the OPM is irrelevant. Space and time disappear as a limiting factor on distribution of print product. Anyone, anywhere, anytime can originate content. Any OPM anywhere can manufacture the print product that captures that information. VARs are distributed all over the planet. Pulling just the right content in just the right format at the just the right time for just the right person.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stop the Drama. Newspapers should forget about "breaking news". . . or is that breaking noise.

Originally Posted Thursday, February 26, 2009

This morning I found a post by Martin Langeveld, over at Nieman Journalism Lab. It's in the form of a "MEMO TO: Steven Swartz (CEO, Hearst Newspapers) and Dean Singleton (CEO, MediaNews Group):" It's most definitely worth the click.

But there was one sentence that I want to highlight here.
They should drop all breaking news and focus on analysis and features.
And then I said,
Do you have any thoughts about the viability of a daily edition, that might look like:
12 to 24 page tabloid that sells for $.25

(Charging something is the only way to get news stand distribution and to get a clear signal to supply the feedback to the publisher on the content.)

Page 1: a summary of the latest buzz - “the breaking news” similar to the News In Brief the WSJ runs on the front page. Global, National, Regional, Local. One column for each.

Page 2 &3: Five part feature story. Pt 1 on Monday,Pt 2 on Tuesday, etc Full five part available to read online on Monday.
Also offered as to download to a Kindle for $2.00 and available as a reprint in paperback form using Print On Demand technology for $4.50.

Page 4: Heard around the local web.
Given that almost every community now has a good number of local conversations, the content is there. This would be “he said, she said” and “if you want to add your two cents, here’s the URL”

The rest of the 12 -24 pages would be local ads, at low enough prices that local business could afford. With a frictionless sales process.

The daily tab could be printed in versioned editions, different neighborhoods getting different news in briefs. Local would be neighborhood local. Or beat local as resources allow.
And then Martin said,
Yes . . . Could be free, could be $.25, published Mon-Fri. In reality it’s a niche publication which constitutes a totally different read from the weekend paper.
Then I said,
Thank you for the response. Always nice to feel one is not merely drinking one own’s Kool-Aid.
Not running after the breaking noise is the game changer.
Once journalists get out of the buzz business, and leave that to TV and the Internet, they can get on with the real purpose of journalism, to entertain, educate and inform. Plus people can get smarter, instead of more confused. Plus newspaper companies can get back to the business of selling joint print/web ads to local business and harvest the web data to develop new products to grow their business.

"Breaking news" requires sound bites. Sound bites are pernicious becuase they seem to describe some slice of reality. But they don't. That's why they confuse, instead of clarify.

It is the "financial meltdown" instead of a reorganization of the global financial system. It's the "stimulus", instead of the Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The Federal Government buying convertible preferred bank stock is "Nationalization."

Drama used to sell newspapers. But real people don't need drama about government and policy. Drama is fine in the context of reality TV, celebrities and talking heads. It is worth considering that the President's nickname is No Drama Obama. It seems to be working pretty well for him so far.