Author Archives: Michael Josefowicz

Mosaic to the Internet. Clickable Print to the Printernet


I wanted to get this on the radar of the print professionals on this blog. It would be very helpful to find out whether I am merely drinking my own kool-aid or have stumbled upon something useful.

To be clear, I’m retired and no longer in the game. These days I’m working on a non profit to find, fund and mentor proof of concept projects to demonstrate how Print can radically improve learning and high school education.

At any rate, following is a post I did at my blog. If you think it makes sense or is just blablabla please let me know. Best would be if there are parts that make sense and others that are blablabla. As a retired printer, I have a pretty thick skin. Plus it’s much easier to say what you think you see when you aren’t trying to sell anything to anyone.

1. Print and TV are the mass media.
2. The internet is to buy things,store, search and talk.
3. The business rules are buy, store, search, and talk for free and pay for stuff.
4. Print, t shirts, posters et al. are information rich stuff.
5. The printernet has the speed and scale that can bring Print back into the game.

Massive parallel local/global print manufacturing .
At the MFP or CRD or PSP or a gezillion PSPS.

Easy access to the internet

Clickable print(Print + 2d Codes + PC cameras or Smart Phones)
Easy access to the printernet

Some use cases:
Clickable maps connected to OnStar or Sirius Radio.
Clickable TV guides to find just the right video at just the right time.
Clickable club cards and postcards to support viral marketing.
Clickable club cards, postcards and flyers to support political campaigns.
Clickable newspapers to replace high school textbooks.
Clickable labels in museums and art galleries to find out more.
Clickable supermarket shoppers to carry through the store.
Clickable menus to get the ingredients and the chain of production of the food.
Clickable production machines to get the carbon footprints.
Clickable manuals for doctors, plumbers and electricians.
Clickable drug labeling to monitor compliance.

And my personal favorites:
Clickable curriculum guides to get just the right video on the flat screen in the classroom and then the kids watching the video on their smartphones and then the family watching the video in the living room. And then talking about it.

Clickable ID’s for High School kids to make it easy to send an SMS to mom when junior acts up. It will fix the “attendance problem” in about 2 weeks. It should fix the “stop acting like an asshole problem” in about a month.

Data points:
1. The new iPhone sold over a 1 million units in a couple of days.
2. Social marketing is marketing.
3. Whispernet + Amazon makes one button purchase of books easy.
4. Automobiles are connected to the Cloud.
5. Textbooks are disappearing from California.
6. The newspaper industry is coming back from the “end of the world.”
7. HP TouchSmart is connected to HP Apps.
8. The global economic engine is moving to BRIC and G20.
9. The person who sells mobile phones at my Costco referring to his cell phone with a 2″ by 5″ keyboard said, “This never leaves my hand. I spent last weekend watching the Mets on the flat screen and Family Guy on my phone. It was the best vacation I’ve had in a long time. I used it type my resume.
10. A couple of my high school students used their cell phones to write the essays that appeared at the class wiki.
11. Barack Obama is number 6 on twitter with 1,573,800 followers as of this morning.

Likely data points:
1. Apple will release a big iPhone which will be the killer app tablet computer.
2. Newspapers will find a business model enabling commerce in addition to advertising.
3. Legacy video will be tagged for educational uses.
4. High school education will get much cheaper, faster and better.
5. Newspapers will publish versioned papers for communities of interest.

Maybe future data points:
1. Android, Apple OS ,MSFT will compete to be the OS of the mobile web.
2. Smartphones, netbooks and X+whispernet will be the access points to the web.
3. Thirty second commercials will be harnessed to help fix high school education.
4. Clickable newspapers will publish versioned papers for the communities of learners, starting with high school, then moving to everyone.

Clickable Print + Printernet Publishing to Replace Textbooks?


On June 8 the Governor of California announced that the state would no longer purchase K -12 textbooks. On June 10, Adam Dewitz started a thread at Print Ceo Blog that has attracted 21 responses as of Sunday morning, June 14 . Clearly this is an interesting topic in our print centric world.

While many reactions will be more End of Print blabla, I would like to share a path that allows printers to benefit from the deep troubles in the textbook industry.

On the most theoretical level, the idea is to connect Print to Video to create a possibly new communication media. As a robust global distribute and print network becomes operational, there will be the scale to make this media channel interesting to global marketers.

When I was teaching at design school, they always told me it was better to show than to tell. So in that spirit, I ask you to consider the following clickable postcard. The same principle works for clickable A4s, printed in MFPs in school districts and clickable posters, signage and packaging, which are already being used extensively in Asia.

The Front of the Postcard

GOP Activist Makes Controversial Remarks:
Written by Robin Hinson
Saturday, 13 June 2009 22:48

Friday’s gorilla escape at Riverbanks Zoo prompted a prominent Republican to make some controversial remarks about First Lady Michelle Obama.

In an article posted on the website,, Rusty Depass, a former chair of the State Election Commission, commented on the gorilla escape on

The post says quote, “I’m sure it (referring to the ape), is just one of Michelle’s ancestors…probably harmless.”

ABC Columbia News attempted to contact Depass, but he did not return our phone calls.

The Back of the Postcard
created at QR code generator

The video

There are more examples of how this could work at my blog at Clickable Print + Printernet Publishing.

The Printernet meme may mean the end of the “End of Print” meme


The title of my most recent column at PBS/ is PressTerra Tests a Newspaper Printernet on the Iberian Peninsula. In that venue, the visitors are from the world of new media and journalism. On March 30, it was picked up by Andrew Piper, a media studies professor at McGill, at his Book Report blog. The visitors there are focused on the problems of authorship in a networked society. I’ve been using the thought model as I’ve been blogging about the possible effects of Xerox’s Color Cube at my blog, Tough Love for Xerox.
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Print is better than the web. Discuss.


I recently stumbled onto ed4wb. It’s a brilliant blog focused on education. In a post titled Insulat-Ed he presents a couple of info graphics to describe the shift in the education paradigm. The point is that a value chain model of education that evolved in an information scarce society is withering away in an information rich society.

With a little reframing, I think it helps clarify the mystery of how Print as a media creates value and where it sits vs the internet.

The two graphics are pasted below
Traditional Learning  Paradigm
Learning in a value chain economy

Clay Christensen has described how value chain commercial models are being replaced by facilitated user network commercial models. The graphic below gives a picture of a user network educational model. But I think it can be equally applied to emerging commercial models.

Networked Learning Paradigm

Learning in a facilitated user network economy

The circle created by the yellow circles can be thought of as a small group, a niche market, group of customers, a classroom, a retail store or a website. On a general level it might be described as a community of interest.  In the real world, communities of interest are always in motion. Members engage, disengage, and re-engage. The motion happens in time.

But an often ignored fact is that motion is movement through space. When I’m at Costco I want advertising. When I’m watching TV at home, I don’t. When “people like me” stop at Starbucks, it’s often a good time to read that brochure in the counter rack or glance at that paperback I’m carrying in my back pocket. When I grab a coffee from a street vendor, all I want is my regular and be on my way.

Space/time is a construct that tries to capture the reality that communities of interest move through time and space.  The area within the yellow circles in the second diagram might be thought of as a specific space/time. They say that marketing success comes from the right message to the right person at the right time.  I think that if you add “in the right form” and replace the “right time” with the right space/time, it helps clarify the role of print.

Print is the best media to insert information into space/time because it exists in space, but stops time. The internet delivers information on a tiny screen or a moving display. Print delivers information on as large a canvass as appropriate. But whatever the delivery format, it sits still. It’s much easier to consider information if it sits still. Compare and contrast is best in print. Compare and contrast is at the heart of logical thinking. Logical thinking is the hard part of learning.

As any magazine publisher can tell you, an ad in print sits still waiting until the user is ready to engage. The lowly postcard, refrigerator magnet or printed advertising specialty enters the users space/time that is represented by the circle of  yellow circles in the diagram. .

There is lots of blablabla about the speed of the web and twittering in cyberspace.  But what has been long considered the bug of Print may turn out to be its unique feature. Once the issue of speed of responsiveness has been solved with new digital and improved offset technology, customization of information has been taken off the table. Aside from motion, anything that can be delivered to the screen can be delivered in Print.

But, unlike the web,  once words and pictures are delivered in Print they can hang around long enough so that sooner or later they will be noticed. If it’s the right information in the right form for the right space/time, learning can happen and new behavior might emerge.

Is the ‘printernet’ a useful idea?


For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been playing with the notion that a good way to think about the global print industry is using the word “printernet” to capture what might be going on.

Yesterday, I got a chance to test it out in a more public venue in a column at The title, chosen by the editor, is ‘Printernet’ Vision Brings Custom Print Publications to Masses”

The general tenor over there is that Print is Dead, newspapers have to go online, and other internet bedazzled visions of the future of journalism. I’m posting here in the hope of getting some feedback from my esteemed colleagues in Print, where I don’t have to take a defensive stance proving that the sky is not falling and print is not dead.

From a PR point of view the notion is “Now that the internet is in place, the printernet is ready to emerge.’ That’s for the kids in school to get them to be excited about Print.

From the professional point of view,”. . . this so-called “printernet” can have the same benefits as the Internet — 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.”

My hypothesis is that one of the things that has kept us from seeing the emerging role for Print, is that we’ve been using old thought models that don’t capture a new environment. The facts on the ground are that the Eurocentric era of the global economy is coming to close and that new value in the form of previously impossible customer experiences are enabled by the network, not by stand alone printing companies.

While I was researching the column I came across in Germany. They’ve released Open Source software to automatically go from wikipedia pages to PDF,ODF, and XML. They are monetizing their invention by selling Wikipedia Printed books through their website. Just recently they’ve expanded from German to the other major European languages.

I think wikis have become the platform of choice for organizing content on the web., a start-up, says they are doing enterprise content management for over 200,000 businesses and 100’s of thousands of schools. Meanwhile, Newspapers and physical communities are organizing their content in wikis.

Given that my focus is high school education in the States, I think I’m seeing textbooks being replaced by WikiBooks and WikiNewspapers. The new experience will be cheaper, faster and much more effective in getting students to learn to love to learn.

I keep turning it over and over, and I can’t see why it wouldn’t work.

Any thoughts?