Friday, October 21, 2005

Personalized news in print

Anna-Maria Mende at the Editors Weblog reports that a startup in Germany will be attempting to print individually customized newspapers on demand.
The idea is to offer articles from different newspapers and magazines in one newspaper. On a website the reader chooses in the evening what he wants to read the next morning. The order goes to the printing house where the individual papers are printed.
The claim is that digital printing is fast and cheap enough to make this practical. That would be pretty interesting if true.

This kind of mass customization -- creating unique items on demand like custom clothing or logowear -- is fascinating, but there are some things you can only do online.

There is no way to do a truly personalized newspaper in the physical world. With a physical newspaper, there is no way to learn what articles individual people find interesting and change their front page in real-time like Findory does. Some opportunities only exist in the online world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, besides that the print industry as such and in specific the newspapers struggle for every single reader (or desperately should, see Bill Gates at and therefore take any chance to follow up developments already taken place in the net, I doubt that a significant number of users are willing to spend a buck or two a day for this too interactive and devided -by-night service. As a regular reader commuting every morning, I'd rather select from some 6 or so basic choices like "politics and economics yes, sports no and weather on top". I'd like to select it at a touch screen in my kiosk at the station, put a quarter in the slot, buy a cup of coffee, and take out freshprinted news.