Sunday, January 04, 2009

Haymarket, in print and online

Coming back to study print after the break. It seems likely that Haymarket and other publishers will face some starker choices in how they respond to online and how they present this. Printweek 19th December has a very short piece on the Web-to-Print webcast - - really just a link to the website. But it is a fact that the webcast happened. I found it a day or two late because I was using Firefox. Assume Microsoft for this purpose. But it did work eventually and the point about the timeliness of Web-to-Print was well made.

There is less about Web-To-Print as such in the predictions section of Printweek (2 Jan page 14) but Barney Cox mentions "efficient online infrastructure to receive jobs". Although Jo Francis refers to the printing industry and "the image of a blighted, apocolyptic wasteland" there is not much about the context of online growth as a component of communications.

The January Printing World has a report on stats from Heidelberg's Print Media Academuy showing that advertising on TV scores badly for "intrusiveness" and that print scores well for "seriousness"- dependability and quality of information. The conclusion is that "online clearly has some way to go to gain credibility and trust as an information source."

However a different view could be based on Haymarket decisions as explained by Alison Carter in an Editor's Letter (p3). While news analysis will continue in Printing World the actual news items will in future be available only on Also "the print community will be serviced through the website's interactive forums." My guess is that the quality of the information will be fairly high.

In another blog about the Guardian I have started to use the term "editor brand dissonance". This is where the editor brand loses some strength as the audience cannot cope with the contradictions. In the case of the Guardian they make strong claims online about support for web culture, while in print the professional writers continue to be less than polite about bloggers and citizen journalism. Just my impression of course. Your experience may be different.

Anyway the point is that I cannot see how Haymarket could continue indefinitely to move publishing online while continuing an editorial about the lasting strength of print. Part of the muddle is what is meant by "pre-media"? With the latest Creative suite for example an InDesign page can be saved as Flash. So what sort of people will be doing this?

My own summary of 2008 has one main point. This was the year of the Web-to-Print drupa. This may become clearer over time. Simon Nias writes (page 16, Jan 2) that the story he would like to write about in 2009 would be that JDF is "finally embraced by everyone". As far as I can remember there was almost no mention of JDF during the webcast on Web-to-Print. For most people there will just be a database somewhere in the cloud behind the browser. Someone in production will understand the JDF but it is not going to be a recognised word like to Google.

Resolution for the next drupa - spend more time in the innovation parc. Meanwhile try to follow the links online.


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