Print-on-Demand Will Literally Save the Internet: SXSW Dispatch

By Jason Boog Comment

sxswfieldnotes.jpgThe literary world has spent years arguing about the quality, merits and authority of print-on-demand publishing. One writer has changed the conversation entirely–using POD to create souvenirs of our ephemeral Internet culture.

At the Maps, Books, Spimes, Paper: Post-Digital Media Design panel at South by Southwest (SXSW), author James Bridle (the writer who published a book of his tweets last year) explained how he used print-on-demand technology to create a personalized guide to the SXSW Festival.

Bridle included his conference schedule, maps, Wikipedia entries, restaurant information, and everything else he needed in a beautiful blue book–a fascinating idea for future conferences. Read more about the design of his SXSW 2010 Fieldnotes book here.

This GalleyCat editor was trapped behind a desk in New York City during another day of South by Southwest content, but we monitored the panel via our busy Twitter feed. Attendee Sara Williams summed it up: I totally get what James Bridle is going on about here — notebook or journal starts as tool, ends up as treasured memento.” Another attendee, Kevin Marks, summed up Bridle’s logic: “when we go through these changes in formats, old ones don’t die, they become useful in different ways, in new niches.”