Wednesday, August 30, 2006

 

Kodak, Coupons, Groundhog Day, an ad:tech Rant, and Free Software! (Who Could Ask for More?)

Kodak story in BusinessWeek: "Kodak Rewrites The Book On Printing: Its new inkjet technology could revolutionize the industry -- and revive the flagging icon"
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_36/b3999087.htm
Do we really believe that printing or commercial printing can "save" Kodak? I doubt it. I have no doubt that the printing division will become the best performing Kodak division, but the weight of the failing operations will cancel out the good news, just like it has at Xerox, as the b&w business declines, cancelling the strides in color they are making. XRX may be past that point now, however, where color growth and profits may finally be big enough to withstand the b&w drag. Kodak is probably not at that point yet, and look at how many years it has taken XRX to get there. These kinds of things take twice as long and cost twice as much as most people think... or hope... or want.
Anyway, the story says that its ink jet goes at offset speed, which I calc'd from their notes as 2,000 feet a minute, which of course many offset presses passed a while ago. It makes no mention of the width of the device; it's number of pages per minute, of course, that really matters in the "spec wars." (Spec wars get really silly after a while; the question really is whether or not it produces saleable materials at costs and prices for which buyers are willing to pay and producers are willing to adopt).
Funny how this Kodak story appears just after all of the industry analysts and writers had a shindig in Rochester last week.

ad:tech will be in New York City in November
Sessions schedule: http://www.ad-tech.com/conference-ny.asp
Exhibitors: http://www.ad-tech.com/exhibitors-ny.asp
Sponsors: http://www.ad-tech.com/exhibitors-ny.asp
Speakers: http://www.ad-tech.com/speaker-ny.asp
Special Google events to help adwords users maximize their results: http://www.ad-tech.com/events.asp
With all those advertisers, ad agencies, new media folks, media analysts, and publishers going, it's a sure bet that printers would flock to this event... nope! Well then, the people whose job it is to promote print would be there... NOPE! Well... uh... then for sure someone would represent print on a panel... NOPE!....
We deserve what happens to us, then, don't we?
"Hold your friends close, hold your enemies closer," is the famous line from The Godfather, Part II... unless you're the printing industry. Our motto must be "let your enemies take away your customers without a fight."

I've mentioned the book The Long Tail in the past, and I will be writing about it somewhere soon. But this short article was in today's Advertising Age e-mail called "Three Ways to Ride the Long Tail."
http://adage.com/article?article_id=111501
where the book falls short is in giving marketers a playbook
...in a Long Tail world, reach has entirely new meaning. Many niche sites, for example, can't hold a candle to the traffic at the head of the media curve. However, what they do have going for them is credibility. If your brand is mentioned five times on a site that your 20 most influential customers trust, that's gold.
...sometimes the Long Tail doesn't flow down into the niches you care about most. Marketers should play a role in funding the development of communities that give these birds of a feather places to flock together. ...Demand that your media partners help you find ways to build your brand through niches

Article about publishing magazines in China
http://www.forbes.com/2006/08/25/idg-china-magazines-mcgovern-cx_lh_0828idg.html

Printed coupons... are still doing well!
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/30/technology/30coupon.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&ref=technology&pagewanted=print
Hey, this is a great story for the.... uh.... forget it.... sorry....

Good (but long) article about market behavior that discusses forecasting, decision-making, and the use of information, with the nice twist of comparing it to one of my favorite movies, Groundhog Day. Highly recommended, and stick with it... that's the article... the movie is easy to stick with, probably Bill Murray's best role.
http://www.mises.org/story/2289

Soon I'll be publishing a long post about free software and even my Linux experiences.... but this is too good to pass up. Since school is starting, it's time to get everyone back in gear and term papers will be starting soon. Sun Microsystems to the rescue... StarOffice, their full-featured version of the beloved OpenOffice, is available free to students and educators. Say no to buggy Microsoft Office!
http://www.sun.com/products-n-solutions/edu/solutions/staroffice.html

Comments:
Yeah - I'll be turning in my thesis in some format I am not sure will look good on my professors version of MSO.

Come on get real Joe! There is a reason 95% of the people use MSO. It's because everyone can open the same document and it will look about the same. It won't have a bunch of weird special characters and artifacts that StarOffice put in.

Don't get me wrong I wish there was competition. But if I was your customer and you sent me some unknown file format that when I did manage to get it open it looked all messed up I would not be impressed.

Oh an they stopped support the Mac years ago.
 
the latest version of OpenOffice on which StarOffice is based has some of the best conversion I have ever seen, and I've done TONS of document conversions over the years. I use SO/OO for virtually everything I do (my favorite for something quick is AbiWord). The key thing with SO/OO is that they save in MSO format if you want them to, and you can default the program to do that all the time if you wish. So it's not a question of saving in some "unknown format" at all. Also, OO supports the Open Document standard that MSO will be supporting as well. As they say, your documents will outlive your software, so this is really important in the long run.

There is a Mac version of OO. You can take a look at it by following the links to this story at http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/index.cfm?NewsID=15712&Page=1&pagePos=2 .

I'm being quite real. I use MSWord 2000 when I have to because it's the only version that consistently works. I really wanted WordPerfect to work for me, and while I liked it for writing, its conversions to Word formats were not good. I've never had problems with "weird special characters and artifacts" on OO, especially after version 1.5.
 
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