POD - print on demand publishing

I've been thinking about different publishing & distribution methods and as it often happens the conversation appears on a site or mail list around the same time. early in feb, the node-l (node-London) promo emails starting making the rounds of the net lists. it sounds like a great collective of grassroots, funded & professional new media organisations based in London. (read through the list of projects on their site!) initially I was thinking this would be great to have internationally or at least in Australia / New Zealand as well - node-b (brisbane), node-s (sydney), node-m (melbourne), node-a (auckland) or node-au (australia) & node-nz (new zealand). another section of their promo which caught my eye was the POD - print on demand. I followed the links and discovered the mute site is based on CiviCRM which is an offshoot of Drupal (basically it's Drupal with a nice installer and some extra custom themes). Drupal's my favourite CMS as anyone who knows me would know - this site is done in drupal. (finally upgraded to latest version, but haven't had time to add more features yet). anyway, the POD concept is quite cool. people could make their own custom pdfs. researchers could pdf their reference articles for research. endless possibilities. I might try out the 'save to pdf' feature. on the Stealth message board I frequent, Mark was talking about new concepts & suggestions for Stealth mag, so I posted the below message. there's heaps of other options but not sure if he's wanting to go the online publishing method. I think it would work well in conjunction with the print mag and he seems quite busy these days & it sounds like he has to do most of the work which would be quite a lot of work.

more to think about and research though!


More bout NODE.London:

NODE.London [Networked, Open, Distributed, Events. London] is committed to
building the infrastructure and raising the visibility of media arts practice in
London. Working on an open, collaborative basis, NODE.London will culminate, in
its first year, in a month long season of media arts projects across London in
March 2006. http://nodel.org/

Media Mutandis: A NODE.London Reader:

A survey of media arts, technologies and politics which aims to provide a critical
context for NODE.London's activities as an evolving media arts production and
infrastructure-building project. A 1000 publications will be printed initially and
sold at a low price at the events of the March season. Contributing authors and
artists include: Armin Medosch, Simon Yuill and Chad McCail, Adam Hyde, Sabeth
Buchmann, Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett, Michael Corris, Matthew Fuller, Graham
Harwood/Mongrel, Richard Barbrook and Neil Cummings.

The publication is engineerd via the Print On Demand system by NODE.London partner
OpenMute. It will be available as a printed and bound volume, a PDF document on
the publication website (url tbc) and the texts will be made available in
formatted versions individually for editing and recompilation by readers, who can
either order a printed and bound version of their selections through Print On
Demand or simply print them off at home. Readers can also become 'agents,' or
distributors - please see www.metamute.org for a fuller explanation of the magic
potential of POD.


here's a few ideas - not sure if they're inline with what you're already planning or if aren't feasible due to financial or time based reasons. plus some could be used in conjunction with the existing print mag

- website with back issues, and online, searchable articles available to subscribers via login. preview to visitors to the site
eg http://mitpress2.mit.edu/e-journals/Leonardo/ or http://salon.com/ (not hip hop related examples, but they have a good rep and product also)

http://undergrowth.org/ is another aus project I was working on. they have a pdf mag and have just upgraded their site and are trying out the collaborative publishing features (so the load is shared & streamline the process - has workflow, different approval levels, notification + heaps more)

- rich media pdfs - eg embedded quicktime video in pdf (large file size). pdf-cast the pdfs (even just back issues or special releases)

- podcast / videocast - audio interviews, video mag (including still images/photos)

- POD - print on demand distribution.
their site is currently using drupal CMS which can do all the above also - I use drupal also. highly recommended. I'm not sure what your printing costs are currently but the ones they quote seem reasonable. though it's colour cover with b&w pages for the book, but there'd be other publishers out there which might be more suitable.

eg a couple of example scenarios:
1. website contains articles in secure part of site (or open depending on how u want to model it). site member tags articles they want to include in their personalised book. they hit the POD-me button and a custom pdf is created for them to download.

2. website contains pre-edited versions of the mag. the site member creates their order then a copy of the book is printed on demand/ad hoc. you already have the number of copies required for existing subs so can arrange for them to be printed. it might not be too hard to setup an sms or email subscription order so if a person saw an ad or flyer or poster or whatever, they sms/email a special account (or you) and their order is placed. use paypal or bank transfer etc or existing payment options.

- standalone stealth cds with pdfs on them for music shops. or interactive so they open the webpages if u are networked.

I'm suggesting online content /distrib as it's usually quicker to publish and easy for contributors to help with. perhaps do a 'special print edition' or annual book with collection of articles etc like the disrupt guys. it costs more to buy and comes out less, but is fat and full of articles and there's info on their site in the meantime. so it's like the collectors version compared to the ephemeral version

> so it's like the collectors version compared to the ephemeral version

by this I don't mean the current stealth mag is ephemeral - I mean the online content if this type of scenario was used. eg news/events/msg boards/short articles

::: location: