Like most things, ideas or visions need time to mature, gain momentum and have the vision crystalized by others that review that idea. So firstly, many thanks to 3 such people who over the last 2 days have helped give the idea more shape and draw some attention to it, many thanks to Michael Josefowicz, Jeff Lazerus and Peter van Teeseling for providing dialogue that has fuelled this next entry into the Tunicca blog.
Right the first topic to add to the Newspaper Kiosk idea has to be how we can actually produce the pages fast enough to ensure the consumer, commercially available products are hard to come by currently that will print 4 colour in a small format, but my old friend Andy Fraser found this one, Memjet, small enough to have a few of them in my newspaper kiosk to ensure that your personalized paper is available in seconds. This is with exploring what companies like HP, Canon, Oce etc etc might have to offer, infact these companies would actually have the manufacturing might to produce the whole kiosk unit…. News corps watch out!
But what about the way to identify who you are in order to get your personalized news out, well I’ve been thinking that a prepay card as is being used by the Evening Standard in the UK is a little clumsy as it would require a card reader, although having a manual login process via the touchscreen offers a backup, the whole kiosk revolves around speed and the ability to get that personalized news out in a matter of seconds, so how about RDIF technology, maybe embedded into a key-fob? Ok, yes the infrastructure to actually do that is now getting beyond the original scope, but since this is going to be so disruptive to the newspaper industry anyway, why not go full pelt into it and ensure that you use technology fitting to the solution.
So how about the ordering of your preference of news, Peter showed me how the Dutch website Sync.nl uses a target and tag cloud to decide how much of a subject you wish to receive, as the subject gets to the outside of the target the words point size decreases. Nice idea! Sync.nl actually uses a relatively small target, and with news being so diverse and the ability in our system to use specific search terms as well and that it is easy today to add all sorts of dynamics to data mining we could add some sliders around the target to control them.
So one last technology to add to this equation is what the HP company already offers in the form of Tabbloid, this provides the ability to source your news from RSS feeds at a schedule of your choice and format them into printable format… What’s different from this than say Google Reader? well the fact that it formats it into a presentable format that you can print and take with you is a plus for those who want to take their favorite feeds on the go.
Collectively with all of the innovating websites out there, a lot of what is required for this vision is there, they just need to be bought together. It’s clear that paper based news is far from dead, but the way it is delivered needs to evolve with the consumer demand for the way it wants to be read. With the massive question mark over the value of advertising and if there is a true conversion into cash for the investment into the current publishing model, the ability to deliver focused and relevant advertising based on the subscribers demographics could provide a new lease of life and revenue for both advertiser and publisher.
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