Monday, August 2, 2010

An Idea: Digital Sharing of NewsPapers

Last year I wrote an article, an idea in fact, called it the NewsTouchPaper. Although I don't find it very difficult to develop yet lots of devices that appeared in year 2009 and 2010 have actually replaced that idea such as Kindle and IPad.

Few weeks back I was in Starbucks sipping my Espresso and reading the newspaper (the classical paper one), a thing most people still do. I found a very interesting article, so I needed to share it on Twitter and Facebook. Of course it will be so easy if I was on a computer or a tablet. Elmohem I had to take a photo of the article upload it and then Tweet.

Here where all the light bulbs start flickering on my head, thought I would share few with you.

1. ReDesign the NewsPaper so each article is accompanied with a Short URL version of the same article (e.g. which points to the NewsPaper digital version of the article, this way I can easily type it in my BlackBerry and post it.

2. Another idea is to use the same concept, but instead put a QR Code (This is also a great QR code generator by Michele Smarty so people with SmartPhones can "Scan" the code and get a URL to the particular digital page or even better get a compressed digital version of the article that can be uncompressed and shared easily.

3. More fun? Make this URLs centralized for all newspapers in Bahrain so people can actually visit the site from the short URL, sign in with their twitter and facebook account and comment.

Even more fun? Create an application that does just that allowing more seamless integration.

No need to spend much, we just need some regulation and a good leadership to achieve this (note I didn't say management)


  1. You raise an interesting issue, as usual, Hussein. Let's rewind the clock:
    - newspaper type was created in Caxton's time to fit as many words per page as could fit, since paper was expensive and printing presses small
    - that stays to this day on regular and tabloid newspapers, with added photos to jazz it up

    Do we need that type today tho? While flicking pages in iPad (I don't know, I only saw demos online) may feel like the real thing, paper is passé however much I like it - even tho I still have to print out manuscripts to spot typos
    - but publishing houses are dropping like flies, as no-one will pay what the Springers of the world will charge

    I use Yahoo or Google news aggregators, I used to read precursors of it on my PDA a decade ago in fact. I also changed my blog fomat, so only the latest one is complete, and the rest are intros with "read more".

    I also talk to Journalists who are epxerts @ putting the word out. I ran a class with CBC's Des Kilfoil two decades ago, as miscast news actually bankrupt a company in Calgary, Canada. Now I follow Sian Williams on BBC's (COJO) College of Journalism, search her on:

  2. Thanks Andrew,
    as you said Newspaper been there for ages
    yet its difficult to replace them for no apparent concrete reasons

    we have better storage? better display (E-INK) and far easier navigation yet people prefare the old ways..

  3. Indeed, perhaps its the 'feel good' factor, or a sense of safety and filtering in days of the internet (whose blog do you trust, and how many countris will filter web content due to cultural or security concerns). To contradict a US sales pitch from the Old South (Salem cigarettes), "you've NOT come a long way, baby".

    Did I tell you this story in Bahrain, which I visited when I lived in the US? I see this Rolls Royce pull up next to my taxi, and I thought the chauffeur took a break at the read light reading the paper. Imagine my surprise when the light turned green the car left with the 'chauffeur' still reading! It turns out BH is right-hand drive, and it was in fact the front passenger reading the paper!

  4. hahahahahahah no its the first time i hear it

    you thought he was a ghost LOL


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