The idea behind dandelion distribution is simple. Imagine thousands of dandelion seeds being spread by the wind. Of these, only a few may ever grow into dandelions, but that’s enough. As it relates to e-books, dandelion distribution happens when reproduction and distribution are so cheap as to be virtually free. This idea is encapsulated in the book Spreadable Media by Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green, and it was also discussed at length during one of the keynote sessions at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference (February 12-14 in New York City).
Panelist Cory Doctorow (more on him at Craphound.com) suggested that book publishers consider replacing their traditional “mammalian intuition” (i.e., the idea that each book is precious and must be protected by any means) with “dandelion intuition” (where it is acknowledged that any individual book has a small chance of success and therefore the strategy should be designed around spreading as many ‘seeds’ as possible). This concept goes against traditional publishing logic, but so did a lot of other ideas at the conference.
In this video I discuss a set of print samples from Graph Expo 2010 and explain how they relate to the following trends:
Formats larger than 12 x 18
Cut-sheet color products using chemical toner
Effects that go beyond CMYK
High-speed color inkjet printing on coated paper
Color inkjet envelope printing
I hope you enjoy the video. If you have comments or questions, please let me know. If you have innovative samples you’d like me to see, please send them to: Jim Hamilton, InfoTrends, 97 Libbey Industrial Parkway, Suite 300, Weymouth, MA, 02189
This is a remarkable point in time to reinvent the cut-sheet production color digital printer. Why? Inkjet technologies provide a compelling opportunity to increase speed and format, offer additional flexibility through differentiation (4+ colors for MICR, gloss or matte coating, spot color, or other special effects), while lowering running cost. We’ve seen an inkling of this in A3 format with the RISO HC5500 and ComColor products, but I believe there is a significant opportunity for a larger format product. Read more »