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Internet's Impact on Publishing

Beretta, Giordano

HPL-97-33

Keyword(s): World Wide Web; Internet; publishing; media; printing; color hard copy; hypertext; epistemology

Abstract: In 1990 the first monochrome print-on-demand (POD) systems were successfully brought to market. Subsequent color versions have been less successful, in my view mostly because they require a different workflow than traditional systems and the highly skilled specialists have not been trained. This hypothesis is based on the observation that direct-to-plate systems for short run printing, which do not require a new workflow, are quite successful in the market place. The Internet and the World Wide Web (W3) are the enabling technologies that are fostering a new print model that is very likely to replace color POD before the latter can establish itself. In this model the consumers locate the material they desire from a contents provider, pay through a digital cash clearinghouse, and print the material at their own cost on their local printer. All the basic technologies for this model are in place; the main challenge is to make the workflow sufficiently robust for individual use.

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