Photo atrributed to Eivind Z. Molvær (cc)
I have been dipping my head into various design blogs whilst perusing some of the more sophisticated iPad RSS apps which have the ability to turn multiple news sources into a consistent news resource. Like the Twitter Times for example, which turns your twitter stream into a newspaper. I love the Pulse reader on the iPad and most recently have been hooked on Flipboard which makes Twitter and Facebook streams appear as a dynamically generated social magazine. These apps had me thinking, what if blogs amalgamated to create a true social magazine (of sorts), and if they did, would it be useful?
Outside of Word Of Mouth, there are few (if any) multi authored UK based food blogs around, which resemble say Serious Eats, and I wondered if the esteemed bloggers would ever band together to write ‘columns’ on a larger scale, unified platform.
So I stumbled upon The Newspaper Club while browsing through Mag Culture and thought it was an interesting service which grants self-publishers another outlet to get their stuff printed in a professional capacity. Basically, they print bespoke user designed newspapers, and they achieve this by making use of the downtime of newspaper printers. I think it’s a grand idea, just thinking of the sheer permutations of creative projects which could utilise such a service. Some examples already printed: A newspaper of wedding photos; magculture created a ‘paper’ edition of his archives to coincide with his blog turning 4 and a paper which chronicles the conception of The Deptford Project.
Needless to say, the scope to lay down all kinds of crazy ideas is large, but entertain the idea of printed blogs for a moment. Let’s say a weekly edition, pulling together a raft of bloggers whose content vary from one to the other, a mix of recipes, opinion, debate, trends, travel entries, photographs and reviews. As blogs are seasonal with their content, the newspaper format just seems to fit well with it, the paper in this case, replacing the internet as its platform. Mostly, it would be an outlet to showcase the pure creativity of blogs, completely unshackled from the rules of old media.
By definition, most bloggers are hobbyists afterall (who mostly create content for nothing but pride and adulation), so there isn’t a scope of failure surely, it’s just another means of getting eyeballs on said content. The cost of printing is anywhere from £1 to 30p depending on the print run (for colour), and I guess it is only fair to pass the cost on to the reader. With more and more sophisticated RSS readers hitting the market that are capable of dynamically compiling social news, it would seem only sensible to see some kind of tangible manifestation of the digital social age, that is driven by the community in it’s entirety.
I know right, when the print world is turning digital, and here I’m suggesting internet spawn go the other direction… but I love print, books and magazines and it is my belief that it will never die. The same way film will be around forever.
Would it work, would it fail? Well, I don’t know. But what I do know is that there is something unique about holding the written word in your hands and that feeling is something the internet cannot translate, yet. Who would get more satisfaction out from this: the blogger seeing his stuff in newsprint, or the reader buying a compilation that is instantly superseded by its online counterpart the moment it is released. What do you think? Mere mindless rambling, or worth your thirty pence?
All text and photography on this blogpost is copyright and belongs to Kang Leong, LondonEater.com. If you repost this without my permission, bad things will happen. So please don’t do it.