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How to make a newspaper out of blog entries
January 14, 2009 10:03 AM   Subscribe

How to make a newspaper out of blog entries. Ben Terrett and Russell Davies explain how they turned their friends’ (and strangers’) blog posts, Twits, and Flickr photos into the thousand-copy broadsheet Things Our Friends Have Written on the Internet 2008.
posted by joeclark (23 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is awesome. And I love the term "fanufacture."
posted by Pastabagel at 10:25 AM on January 14, 2009


I'd certainly like to read a paper copy of everything Mutant has written here on the financial crisis over the last year.
posted by sdodd at 10:28 AM on January 14, 2009


Interesting, but I got more sucked into The Design Disease, which was linked from the story. Maybe because of the pictures, and I somewhat wish I had that disease.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:31 AM on January 14, 2009


After hearing for years that the internet will be the death of print, I find something both hopeful, sad and maybe even slightly naive about a project that taps the tools and machines of newspapers to commemorate the words of the web.
posted by janet lynn at 10:44 AM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just started reading Here Comes Everybody this week. In terms from the book: As an accident of history and technology, we have until now considered broadcast communication (TV, newspapers) as public and permanent while personal, ephemeral communication is point-to-point (face to face, phones, etc). The Internet is (in some cases) personal but broadcast, which is strange to us. (Which is why people, like me until recently, don't understand Twitter.)

This project exploits that temporary confusion, by putting personal communication into an obsolete broadcast format.
posted by DU at 10:55 AM on January 14, 2009


Next up: Printing out all their emails, stuffing them into envelopes, and mailing them via the USPS.
posted by Johnny Porno at 11:00 AM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


That is pretty cool.

I would love to see a broadsheet or magazine edition of MetaFilter.
posted by grouse at 11:03 AM on January 14, 2009


an obsolete broadcast format

Dear Sir,

I bought and read a newspaper today while having a coffee - rather enjoyed it actually. As I had no electronic media on me, it was the ideal format. All the more so when I spilled my coffee on it, mopped it up and continued reading.

Yours etc,
posted by rhymer at 11:17 AM on January 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Considering Gannett just announced that its employees must take one unpaid week off in order to avoid further layoffs, the newspaper business is quickly going this way anyway.
posted by ornate insect at 11:39 AM on January 14, 2009


Seems like a small cool idea that then expanded into a big dumb idea.

"We've got to fill these pages with something - how about Twitter posts from a person pretending to be a space robot from 8 months ago?!?!"

"I like it. Stop the presses! I mean, start the presses!"
posted by Paid In Full at 11:47 AM on January 14, 2009


They have it backwards. Someone should tell them.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:54 AM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Secondly I wanted to avoid looking it like a newspaper that a designer had been let loose on.

FYI, there are different types of designers, with different specialties. A good publication or newspaper designer nows the value of words and giving them space to breathe
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:29 PM on January 14, 2009


Long live print! Wow awesome post!
posted by Hands of Manos at 12:31 PM on January 14, 2009


I've been seeing this pop up on blogs and I love it - as a once-off, as a playful thing made beautifully. The image on Noisy Decent Graphics of the paper running through the press is one of the most heart-stoppingly lovely things I've seen in ages.
posted by carbide at 12:46 PM on January 14, 2009


newspapers ---or anybody thinking of starting one--- should take notice.
posted by liza at 12:47 PM on January 14, 2009


FYI, there are different types of designers, with different specialties. A good publication or newspaper designer nows the value of words and giving them space to breathe

I thought that was what he was getting at, no? The things where you can see the Heavy Hand of the Designer, with the Lush paper shown being a perfect example, aren't letting anything breathe.

Maybe the clean, orderly stuff reads like that for other people. I work for someone who bemoans their hard-won design decisions being invisible because they're too clean, and I guess I switch off the design twitch when there's nothing wrong, just room to take in the content...and maybe wonder about the typeface/material/etc a little lot.
posted by carbide at 12:51 PM on January 14, 2009


newspapers ---or anybody thinking of starting one--- should take notice.

Ok, how much you pay for something like this? Would have ads in distract you? Would they distract if they cut down on the cost? How often would you buy it?

If you're a writer, what sort of compensation would you want from an ongoing newspaper such as this.

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea and it's great to see how they did it, but am I curious how much cost and how long it took to do. There's a lot of steps between a one off and regularly published newspaper like this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:54 PM on January 14, 2009


And it doesn't seem like it contains the most important element of a newspaper: original reporting that isn't based on cannibalizing actual news sources like newspapers and wire services.

The problem with newspapers AFAIK has nothing to do with design and everything to do with how to afford to pay people and make a profit when ads go elsewhere.
posted by Maias at 1:02 PM on January 14, 2009


Very cool stuff. I spend most of my day staring into a computer screen. I have started reading more magazines because my eyes hurt towards the end of the day. I was going to try and make some point about mainstream media, but maybe I just need some glasses.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 1:05 PM on January 14, 2009


I think this is a really cool idea, one of those novelty things that people keep on their shelf for a few months. But as a newspaper designer, their newspaper makes me die a little bit inside - I never thought I'd say this, but it almost has too much white space (especially around the headlines). I would actually go as far to say that they didn't really create a newspaper so much as a magazine printed on newsprint. I did appreciate the baseline grid reference, though - baseline grids save my life every night.
posted by kerning at 1:48 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Seems like a small cool idea that then expanded into a big dumb idea.

"We've got to fill these pages with something - how about Twitter posts from a person pretending to be a space robot from 8 months ago?!?!"


Eh, it's really not like that at all. We have the actual hard copy here at home, and it's filled with good stuff, half of which I've seen before and am happy to see again, and half of which I hadn't seen (or quite frankly, had the patience to read online- somehow a hard copy makes things that seem interminable on the screen actually much more palatable).The entire block of Mars Lander twitters on newsprint is actually a lovely thing- it has a bittersweetly anachronistic feel, like Shackleton's diary.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:31 PM on January 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Secondly I wanted to avoid looking it like a newspaper that a designer had been let loose on.

Fuck yes! Anyone who considers themselves a 'designer' first-and-foremost¹ needs to be taken out back and shot. Design is not a fucking profession.

1 and not an author, editor, manager, warehouse guy, gardener, or whatever
posted by blasdelf at 7:43 PM on January 14, 2009


They have it backwards. Someone should tell them.

Right on, fcm. I came rushing in here to post my version: Now if someone could only make blog entries with the information value of a newspaper, we'd be getting somewhere.
posted by Miko at 8:19 PM on January 14, 2009


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