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Online content + printing press = customised newspapers FTW

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picture-382Following the success of AudioBoo, 4iP has unveiled another investment with the potential to completely change the face of mainstream media – though this time, it’s all about print. Newspaper Club is a tool to help people make their own newspapers using online content. The site’s in private beta, with a public launch planned for late summer.

Newspaper Club will let users tag online content, collect and curate the content they want and turn it into a really good-looking printed product. The team behind it, Russell Davies, Ben Terret and Tom Taylor, started development earlier this month, and are charting their progress in their hilariously frank Newspaper Club blog.

The idea is that any group of people with a shared interest can use rights-cleared content from the web and print it in a basic full colour newspaper format. 4iP’s Daniel Heaf says the ideal audience could be a group of birdwatchers, the residents of an estate campaigning for improvements, or a printed product rounding up the best of the internet. Ben Terret was instrumental in this last project, which could be considered as a prototype for the Newspaper Club concept.

The business model is based on taking a cut off the printing price as well as selling bespoke solutions to corporate clients such as the internal newsletter it produced for its first customer, the BBC. 4iP is also keen to combine Newspaper Club with its other initiatives such as Talk About Local to give communities a more effective voice both online and offline.

It looks like 4iP’s onto another winner with this model, which combines the collaborative lifting power of digital with the accessibility of a non-threatening tangible product. It also means that online content could find newer audiences among the 30% of people in the UK who don’t yet have access to the web, or the multitudes more who live by their RSS feeds but still take pleasure in handling printed paper.

Content junkies who live to bookmark, tag, annotate and share might see this as a retrogressive step — but until we have networked electronic paper as standard, Newspaper Club seems like the next best thing.

  • http://twitter.com/plc Peter C

    So not only do I have to manually specify the content, its then printed on paper?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan_Deamer/730675486 Jonathan Deamer

    It’s quite tempting to pick this idea to pieces – there are obvious questions anyone with half a brain will inevitably ask!

    But I think it’s really important to give concepts like this a go. No-one knows what’s gonna stick in the new economy/media (esp. print) world, so radical and potentially strange-sounding ideas are just as likely to succeed as any other. And isn’t this what schemes like 4IP are for?!

  • http://ithinkeducation.net/?p=4537 Links for 2009-07-02 [del.icio.us] « iThinkEducation.net!

    […] Online content + printing press = customised newspapers FTW Following the success of AudioBoo, 4iP has unveiled another investment with the potential to completely change the face of mainstream media – though this time, it’s all about print. Newspaper Club is a tool to help people make their own newspapers using online content. The site’s in private beta, with a public launch planned for late summer. […]

  • http://david-black.org/2009/07/03/links-for-2009-07-03/ links for 2009-07-03 « David Black

    […] Online content + printing press = customised newspapers FTW – TechCrunch UK "The idea is that any group of people with a shared interest can use rights-cleared content from the web and print it in a basic full colour newspaper format. 4iP’s Daniel Heaf says the ideal audience could be a group of birdwatchers, the residents of an estate campaigning for improvements, or a printed product rounding up the best of the internet." (tags: internet newspapers 4ip) […]

  • http://www.ukstevieb.com/2009/07/03/steviebs-shared-items-july-3-2009/ StevieB’s Shared Items – July 3, 2009 at Lost in Cyberspace

    […] Online content + printing press = customised newspapers FTWJuly 2, 2009 […]

  • http://blog.newspaperclub.co.uk/2009/07/03/day-20-one-third-of-the-way/ Newspaper Club - Day 20 – One Third Of The Way

    […] And we had a little flurry of publicity which has been exciting. News was beginning to leak out, unsurprisingly since we’ve been blogging, twittering, mentioned at conferences, linked to by nice people and generally Not-In-Any-Way-Secret. So Dan at 4ip decided to tell people about their investment and we got a very nice write-up on TechCrunch Europe. […]

  • http://20l.coolportal.net/wp/?p=671 myBlog » Blog Archive » Online content + printing press = customised newspapers FTW

    […] Original post:  Online content + printing press = customised newspapers FTW […]

  • http://www.broadstuff.com alan p

    Interesting play – but I thought 4IP was supposed to fund Public Service stuff. This is a straightforward push into a commercial sector, and is exactly what a lot of people criticize the BBC for…….

  • http://icontract.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/the-future-of-newspapers/ The Future Of Newspapers? « Alternative marketing thinking

    […] Comment! Will it all end up like this is anyone’s guess, but former advertising planner and blogger guru, Russell Davis and graphic designer Ben Terret did this little experiment out of London where they created 1000 copies of a “newspaper” out of blog posts, tweets and other stuff they found online and sent it out to people who asked for it. For free! The requests, apparently came from places as far as New Zealand. Now the idea is getting bigger. Along with 4iP, they are in the Alpha version of Newspaper Club. The idea is that any group of people with a shared interests can use rights-cleared content from the web and print it in a basic full colour newspaper format. 4iP’s Daniel Heaf says the ideal audience could be a group of birdwatchers, the residents of an estate campaigning for improvements, or a printed product rounding up the best of the internet. More on Tech Crunch Europe […]

  • http://dmediaprints.com brouchure printing

    its big time news paper and have more good informations thx it .

  • http://www.qprintpro.com web to print website

    Innovative. These are the types of web to print website ideas that printers will need to continue to evolve to stay in the marketplace.

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    Everything is very open and very clear explanation of issues. was truly information. Your website is very useful. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://offsetpressman.blogspot.com/2011/03/offset-vs-digital-which-is-better.html Offset vs Digital

    The only way newspapers are going to survive is by evolving with new technology.  There is simply no other way.  This is a classic example of what is possible.

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