Clickable Print + Printernet Publishing to Replace Textbooks?

By | June 14, 2009

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, www.fitsnews.com, Rusty Depass, a former chair of the State Election Commission, commented on the gorilla escape on www.facebook.com.

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

http://tinyurl.com/qgfwe
qrcode
created at QR code generator

The video

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

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6 thoughts on “Clickable Print + Printernet Publishing to Replace Textbooks?

  1. Michael Jahn

    @ Michael Josefowicz,

    Why is it that when I read this I keep thinking about a desperate Kodak Photo CD pitch ?

    It was fun to watch a slide show with the same low quality images we used to see in grade school – with the tone prompts that may have been placed there to remind some of us of the days when a cassette tape had tones in the narration to tell the ‘system’ to advance a slide (pity one or two slides were neither upside down and backwards) – I still was left scratching my head (just like a monkey would I guess !).

    Okay, so – your vision is that the news (the PRINTED news) – or maybe PRINTED books – would come to me with these little barcodes – and if I wanted to learn more, I could whip out my iPhone camera, capture that bar code, and it would send me to some web site or You Tube ? And I would watch it, well, on the iPhone then ? So, I would need still need some digital capture device AND a ‘linking’ system AND a way to then view the content BESIDES that physical document ? Why not just deliver it digitally with a hyperlink then ?

    And then, this comment;

    “Clearly this is an interesting topic in our print centric world.”

    I do not live in a print centric world.

    I am reading this blog on my laptop. I had no reason to use my iPhone to take a picture of that silly barcode just to take me to some web site, even it did work – but I KNOW that was not your point.

    Your point would have been really expensive to make, actually.

    You would have had to build a prototype, print it out and test it.

    You would have had to get the database of addresses from What They Think of the folks who read digital Nirvana (not sure if they have that list parced out) and de-dupe it.

    You would have to print your post card and pay for the postage.

    3 or 5 days later, perhaps 7% of the people might actually look at the postcard, and lets see, may 2% might actually know what to do, even less would have been actually able to do it.

    I might like to point out that if they had the required technology, they probably would have prefered to have done all that using the method we are using here on Digital Nirvana, that is, open the blog post a read it, which also provides an opportunity where we could comment.

    The Clickable Print approach is a far more expensive to get a far less amount of people to distribute ideas.

    The people who build and distribute textbooks for the K-12 crowd are doing so to save money. They will quickly do the math and realize that clickable A4s is more expensive then proving each kid with a Kindle-like device, and les time consuming.

    This Clickable Print idea has as much a chance of success as Photo CD did, and it will fail for many of the same reasons – they are stop gap ideas with the life span of a fruit fly.

    This idea people wishing and hoping to re-invent print somehow so it becomes re-useful in a category is as loony to me as trying to bolt on windshields and bumpers to a horse so it might remain attractive to some people considering moving to replacing theirs with automobile.

    This is an Occam’s razor moment.

    That does not mean it will not become widely accepted and wildly popular, so, I guess I better send you a check so I can own some of your Printernet Publishing company stock !

  2. Michael Josefowicz Post author

    Michael J ( that would be you)

    First things first. I am happily retired and do not plan to get back in the game. Too much hard work. It’s a young man’s game. So save your money on investing in my Printernet Publishing. Now if someone else wants to do it, they should go with mazel.

    “Okay, so – your vision is that the news (the PRINTED news) – or maybe PRINTED books – would come to me with these little barcodes – and if I wanted to learn more, I could whip out my iPhone camera, capture that bar code, and it would send me to some web site or You Tube ? And I would watch it, well, on the iPhone then ?”

    Yup!

    You say ” So, I would need still need some digital capture device AND a ‘linking’ system AND a way to then view the content BESIDES that physical document ? Why not just deliver it digitally with a hyperlink then ?”

    Yup. That’s the smart phone and a database that lives in the Cloud. Happens all the time.

    You say “I do not live in a print centric world.”

    Fair enough. I do in the sense that first I think Print is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And most of my professional colleagues are all about the print piece.

    You say ” to take a picture of that silly barcode just to take me to some web site”

    I think you may have a case of “people like me” blinders. According to surveys, 50% of smart phone users in Japan do this regularly. But they have a much better mobile web than we do. I’m betting that when we catch up, we’ll do pretty much the same thing.

    you say “You would have had to build a prototype, print it out and test it.”
    The prototype is the content of the website printed on a postcard. FYI, anyone is free to take anything that appears on that site and print on 100 postcards to see if it works.

    you say “You would have had to get the database of addresses from What They Think of the folks who read digital Nirvana (not sure if they have that list parced out) and de-dupe it.”

    Nope. If I were in the game, I would print it for 100 of my customers to gauge their reactions. If they seem to think it’s cool, I would do it again.

    You say “I might like to point out that if they had the required technology, they probably would have prefered to have done all that using the method we are using here on Digital Nirvana, that is, open the blog post a read it, which also provides an opportunity where we could comment.”

    Nope. Digital Nirvana attracts a global community of a couple of hundred, maybe a thousand people. The good news is that they are experienced and professional. They pull this conversation from the Cloud. The web is great for pull. But it stinks for push. Clickable print is a way to do pull AND push.

    You say “The people who build and distribute textbooks for the K-12 crowd are doing so to save money. They will quickly do the math and realize that clickable A4s is more expensive then proving each kid with a Kindle-like device, and les time consuming.”

    Nope. In addition to the hardware cost, how many Kindles are going to get lost and/or stolen and/or broken or “I left my Kindle home.” It’s a logistic nightmare. The other problem is that Kindle is still to small for compare and contrast. Learning to think is all about compare and contrast. It’s a Kindle or iPhone or Blackberry and/or Clickable Print. Not instead of.

    You say “This Clickable Print idea has as much a chance of success as Photo CD did, and it will fail for many of the same reasons – they are stop gap ideas with the life span of a fruit fly.”

    Nope. There are only transitional technologies. Different ones will work in combination with different other ones in different places at different times. The photo CD? Maybe too early? Maybe it just didn’t play nicely with the other tech. Back in the day, I did a 128 page Auction Catalog using photo cd. About 600 photos. Worked great. Then we did a bunch of books for Abbeville. Same thing. But then something cheaper, better and faster came along. It always does.

    You say “This is an Occam’s razor moment.”

    Now, we finally agree. The simplest way to get information into a classroom is print. If you don’t believe me, ask any teacher you know.

  3. Michael Jahn

    “Now, we finally agree. The simplest way to get information into a classroom is print. If you don’t believe me, ask any teacher you know.”

    Hey, it may be the simplest, but it is NOT the least expensive method !

    http://brianbridges.org/

    This is an Occam’s razor moment.

    I have no idea what this means – “The other problem is that Kindle is still to small for compare and contrast. ”

    Compare and contrast what ? Two Books ? Who needs that in a classroom ? I specifically mentioned that it may be a Kindle like device, not exactly and certainly not limited to the Kindle.

    This is a done deal anyway.

  4. Michael J

    So I went to the link. When he says “Digital textbooks are a Disruptive Innovation, and as such, they will both create new companies while destroying others. The FDTI, in my opinion, is a wake-up call to the textbook industry that their world is about to change and that it’s time to chart a new course.”

    But that’s not about print. It’s about a textbook industry that makes a living in an protected market, behind a wall of IP. That’s the part that is no doubt going away.

    But the real question is:” What is the best form to deliver that digital information to the student and the classroom? My answer is sometimes on the screen, sometimes on the cell phone, but mostly in print.

    Re Compare and contrast. There are lots of educators who say that the essence of learning is to compare and contrast two situations. Sorry that the reference is a little obtuse, but it would clog up this thread to really get into it.

    As for a done deal, we’ll have to wait and see.

  5. Mark Flanders

    Greetings,

    Thanks for dukeing it out Mike Js. Makes for interesting reading.

    The scanable code in print is worthy I think. It may have possibilities in a modern world where electronic content is both overwhelming and, perhaps, controlled by some authority…Imagine our friends in Iran manually exchanging cards with codes which link to free media, perhaps through secure or hidden channels.

    I think the future includes more than pure digital solutions. I imagine “High-tech/Low Tech” where technology serves when it works, and people still live in the real tactile world as well.

    Print is Dead! Long live Print!

    Mark Flanders
    Printer

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