A couple of weeks ago I grabbed a few blog posts from the GOV.UK blogging platform and sent them to print.
We’re about a month away from the volume of blogging over there getting too big to keep track of. We need to explore different ways of collating that stuff for people, and I thought a ‘best of the month’ in print might be an interesting experiment.
It doesn’t work. At all.
The lag between sending something to print and getting it back – whether with Newspaper Club or Lulu or anywhere else – makes it way easier to put some distance between whatever creative spark prompts the work and the actual final thing. That distancing effect was even greater when I realised I’d fucked up the file before I exported it (the front page header was utterly wrecked).
Many pieces are too ‘of the moment’ and don’t stand up to a monthly schedule. The ones that do work well could actually just as well be collected in a year or so – it doesn’t really matter when.
Still and all, it’s a useful thing. What we did end up mulling over is how a PDF collection, or epub version, might work. Something not a million miles away from what Aly‘s getting people to do for the Transition readers, just downloadable. For people to ‘take offline’.
Basically, it’d be nice to get some of these stories in front of people in a format that doesn’t remind them of work. I like the idea of a few curators – for service managers, designers or delivery managers – picking their highlights and packaging up the URLs for people to read over a weekend, or on the train home.