The importance of putting “print” on the web

Print is very Old World.

It’s painful to say, especially for someone who loves so much Old World print (some of which goes by the name of “Tolstoy” and “Dostoevsky”).

One way to bridge the divide between Old World and New World is to put your “print” on the web. E-book readers like the Kindle do this, of course, and you can do it too, by putting your formerly print materials (catalogs, brochures and other marketing collateral; white papers; press releases) up as digital content or as downloadable PDFs (still digital, but printable).

In the immediate future, all print is going to be print-on-demand, just like those PDFs. One little-known fact: many of the books ordered now through Amazon are print on demand; these titles get printed after Amazon takes the order and processes your credit card. Looking forward, this is better for all of us: no warehousing for Amazon, no unsold books to mulch for the publishers, no trees pulped for no reason. The day is not far off when these mini print factories are found inside every bookstore and, ultimately, in every home and office.

In the meantime, you don’t need to wait for this development or for flying cars and four-course meals served as a tiny pill, a la “The Jetsons.” You can put your “print” on the web now. That’s what we’re doing (check out the Free Fresh Thinking box on our site), and it’s what others are recommending too.

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