Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

My Printer-Based, Personal Daily Magazine

What about if I could have a nicely printed and bound daily personal magazine of everything critical that went though my computer each day?

Photo credit: Keith Stanley

I was thinking of this on my way back from the office, as being stuck in an underground train or in an orange colored bus, I certainly enjoy giving a look at all the things I have printed during my day at work and to start thinking about my upcoming challenges.

These normally include several email-based newsletters, exchanges with colleagues that contained extended references or stories to read, contracts or other commercial proposals to evaluate, technical profile and spec sheets for new products or services and more.

Fact is that when the time comes to get out of the office, what I can bring with me is a small pile of paper print-outs that get inserted into my computer bag in the best way possible.

So I said:

But what if I could have a software/appliance that allowed me to check mark (or uncheck) any items that I did want to have in my daily magazine, and at the end of the day, printed out a nice, properly bound edition of my own interests, maybe with a good table of contents, and category dividers thrown in as a plus?



While many companies and PR agencies have been doing this for ages, the overall process has been traditionally one of a manual process in which relevant press stories were cut off and pasted into a daily press collection.

But my personal daily magazine is not about who is talking about me. It can include that info too, but it goes beyond it by providing me with a physical, organized anthology of the relevant stuff I want to take away from my office.

I don't know about you, but even having this small bound magazines automatically labeled with their dates and key content titles (each document, email, web site, PDF has a title that can be used for this) is by itself a great helper in organizing things better. Papers that travel back and forth from the office have a very hard time staying in their proper category and not ending up in a pile of things labeled "to be further looked at".

With this imaginary device, I would have not just a pile, but a chronologically organized stack of mini-daily-magazines. One per day. Certainly easier to scan and to retrieve old items I maybe looking for by simply looking at the cover of each, which would report the date (or date-range), a ToC and maybe relevant associated thumbnails to any item who had any visual component.

Tell me how easy it is to make sense again f those growing piles of paper printouts you see accumulating everywhere.

But say you wanted to find and organize together all items that had to do with a certain company, topic or project. You could even manage that. If the tool was smart enough to gradually create a well-organized database containing all info pertaining to the items that made to my magazine lots of more thins could spin off from there. For example, it would be then possible by simply checking folder origin, dates, title and content, just like Picasa does with image tag info or a smart Copernic Desktop or Yahoo Desktop Search can do, for this new tool to easily assemble for me, upon issuing a simple query, a mini-magazine on just about anything that has been going through my computer.

The mini-daily-magazine could be even shared with close contacts and colleagues by way of an automatically generated RSS feed that included all required attachments as enclosures.

Once this content gets automatically into an RSS feed, it stops being imprisoned by the application or tool that created it and becomes re-usable and accessible everywhere, from my smartphone to any computer connected in an Internet Cafe.

So my team could receive electronically my personal mini-daily-magazine and even print it in full if necessary.

When I am on holiday, I can search, browse and bring together that content from anywhere I am. Any collection of stories and items that went through my printer is now easily accessible for me from anywhere. I can receive it as an electronic feed or as a file that I can print (the binding is really only a consumeristic final touch; though having a $10 ring binder for mini-dailies wouldn't probably be that bad of an idea either.)

What do you think?

Who do I need to talk to: HP or Microsoft?

Readers' Comments    
2005-12-01 08:00:15

E Dante Hamilton

Hi Robin. What you describe actually does already exist to a degree. It's a piece of software and you can download it from the Internet. Becuase it's Windows-based, and I am Mac, I have no idea if it works. Here is the link to the website:

I am launching a personalized newspaper in print and that's why I know about this software. I have no connection to the company whatsoever, just a huge database of knowledge on personalization efforts in the realm of periodical publishing.



2005-10-20 17:32:48

Colors and Prints

Thats a great Idea..

2005-04-06 15:45:15

Tony Holland

I was so excited- I thought you knew of such a service.

HP did have printer page news thing, but it was really not any good - this idea is a fantastic!

2005-04-05 15:25:54

Marc Cenedella

HP actually had this service back in 2000 / 2001 -- you told it what webpages you wanted and what time you needed it printed, and boom! you woke up in the morning with your personal daily paper.

2005-03-31 09:53:22

John Evans

The corollary to all that is the re-emergence of author-control over book production and distribution. A combination of RSS, with formatted text capability, and On-Demand printing techniques will allow authors to sell their books directly to the home or office. This would cut out so many middle-men it would transform the book publishing world.

If you take Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" as an example: this sold 25m copies in cheap, unadorned paperback, ideal for plain-binding distribution. In future, the big publishing conglomerates may become packagers of coffee-table tomes and illustrated texbooks, while a return to the Victorian "penny dreadful", with its plain brown paper-cover, may be the norm for text-only fiction.

"Author-control" is the new buzz word, as I've been evangelizing on my blog: SYNTAGMA (

Thanks for the information,
John Evans

2005-03-31 06:09:31

greg Burton

Well... neither HP nor Microsoft. I think Xerox is the way to go here... weird, huh? This magazine's production comes in two parts - the aggregator and the production device. Xerox has the tech for on demand printing, collation, and binding. Embedded firmware that could handle something like rss with enclosures and css formatting could handle the hardcopy end of it. A personal unit would be good - networked would be better.

On the computer side, a "send" addin that installs as a printer driver, or in the standard file menu. It allows you to add document items to a queue, or possibly multiple queues (my magazine, department magazine, project magazine, etc.) Build optional folksonomy tagging into the driver, as well as categories.

Arrange your magazine like a real mag - front of the book,correspondence, back of the book. Specify your own categories, and tag across categories.

Integrate a desktop search into your magazine choices, so you can pull related items together later and publish as a booklet.

Build Steve Gillmor's attention into it, once attention has something. Use it to add inferential content in limited amounts to keep your magazine fresh - you won't know everything that's in there until you read it.

Back to the printer portion - the real kicker here is if it's networked and uses a standard, you can start producing on-demand narrow niche magazines and paper blog aggregates.

Combine that with something like nowpublic and produce edited local inserts or standalone magazines.

There's way too much here, so it's probably a really good idea :)

posted by Robin Good on Wednesday, March 30 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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