Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A big hello for the Wish Fairy

At both Seybolds in Amsterdam there was a session with the wish fairy, a mythic being able to focus group directions through the medium of Stephan Jaeggi. One thing that came up twice was the price level of Adobe LiveCycle. Somehow the early adaption levels that cut out most of the potential seem to have continued indefinitely. That was what was thought then, some time ago. Meanwhile not much has changed. So do we still believe in the wish fairy? Of course we do.

By the way, Google Apps has gained some credibility by offering to charge for support. Collaboration is possible through Google Docs and there is a save to PDF option. I find it useful to save as an Open Doc and then create PDF in Open Office. Online there is no clarity about the right margin or page breaks. There are circumstances in which LiveCycle on the server would offer benefits, but cost can be limiting sometimes.


PDF University, links please

Round about now the PDF University will open in Miami.

Here in the UK the word "university" is closely guarded by the Privy Council so the number of new universities is limited. For example the NHS could not have a university by that name. However, this may not mean that the existing universities have made a thorough study of a technology such as PDF and the implications for the organisation of education. For one thing that may involve forms of action and they tend to give emphasis to theory.

Anyway, back on topic, my point is that today I know nothing about the content provided in Miami. In the good old days of Seybold most of the Powerpoint would leak within a few days. Less so towards the end, but usually anything interesting was made available.

On Friday, Jim King - a PDF Architect for Adobe - will talk about the future, including Apollo and Mars. Personally although I sometimes look at Flash I am mostly interested in text and static images within a document. So Mars is the most interesting feature yet in Acrobat 8. Meanwhile Flash seems to take up most space in the Adobe mindshare machine.

So if anyone feels authorised to blog some details from Friday, please add enough tags for the spiders to find you. Chances of you finding this blog? Let us be realistic. But somehow things do work out eventually.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Significant moment in the image of print

Something seems to have happened in the way that print is presented or thought of. This comes over through print journalists as they are still the main voice of print. My guess is that something was said at Davos, judging from the online accounts around the Guardian though nothing turned up in print so it is impossible to evidence anything.

Maybe by coincidence a couple of views turn up in Printing World and Printweek. The Editor's Letter (Printing World Feb) starts out with the news that "Adare now calls itself a marketing and corporate communications provider, not a printer or print manager." Barney Cox finishes with an opinion on whether the industry should continue to use the word "print" as a name. "Much as it pains me to think of firms making less of the fact they print, if it helps them make more profit through the way they and their clients think of them it's the sensible solution."

This still leaves some need to describe what else is on offer. The London College of Printing has had a name change to "Communications" but it seems to me that this has yet to be explained.

Then in Printweek (15 Feb) Lawrence Wallis has implied that the change around DTP is now over. The printing business has now integrated with "other areas of trade and commerce". Nothing about declining standards or how new technology will never actually function, topics that appeared quite often in Printweek during the period under discussion. My only reservation about his view is when he claims the "new methods have resulted in a substantial degree of deskilling." Even the people using Photoshop Elements and Word for Windows have some sort of skill. And the pre-press wizards who cope with the results have new responsibilites for learning support.

Also the DTP that followed from the 1970s was mostly about page makeup, not publishing. It is the web that makes it possible to publish from one desktop in a way that reaches any audience with an interest. Of course this can be quite a small audience but I have got the hang of linking to YouTube so the potential is now there for any blogger.

The remaining mystery is why Haymarket do not make more of Brand Republic, apparently the only website that is much promoted. There is still much emphasis on printed magazines, to a confusing extent in the marketing area in my opinion.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Guardian praises paper

A Guardian editorial today praises paper and pours scorn on the idea of a paperless office.

However there is one concession from a bookish view of the world. Although it is claimed that "the combination of electronic databases and cheap and powerful printers, scanners and copiers has meant that today's offices and desks are covered in blizzards of the stuff", it is also stated that "paper's status has been downgraded in the process."

My guess is that the same is true of newspapers and online information such as news. Paper will never go away but communication involves a combination of media. The term "blended learning" instead of e-learning is a useful precedent for working out how paper fits with new media. The Guardian may have thought about this more than is obvious from the printed version.

Monday, February 05, 2007

the Constant Observer: Editing for We Media Miami

the Constant Observer: Editing for We Media Miami

The link above came from another blog. We Media seems to be looking more at blogs. Today's Guardian media pages has got the Jeff Jarvis text on YouTube missing from last week but still not much about Davos other than a quote from Larry Page that newpapers have a future. So that's alright then.