Monday, August 18, 2008

No more blog printing from HP (NYSE HPQ)

In an email that showed up in my inbox late last Friday afternoon (not my favorite time to send or receive emails, at least those I hope will be read), the message from HP (NYSE HPQ) had a subject line that was intriguing, "Changes to HP Blog Printing".

Well, in a case of classic marketing-speak, HP's "changes" actually only involve "discontinuing" their blog-printing service. (The entire message from HP is included below.")

I've documented the development and decline of the barely-year-old HP blog printing effort, including with "TechCrunch getting Hard Copy?" from last July, implementing it on my blog, but then noting that none of the extensive list of HP-generated blogs ever picked up the service, and TechCrunch quietly dropped their print buttons some time back.

A couple of highlights from HP's message? I like this one: "To ensure your blog readers continue to have a positive experience on your blog, we ask that you remove the print button". I have gone ahead and removed the print button from JimLyonsObservations.com, though I wish that was all it would take to "ensure" my readers have a "positive experience" here! Ah, life would be so simple!

And sadly, the message is "signed" by "The HP Blog Printing Team". Does this mean they're history too? I hope not...

We are contacting you because our records indicate that you are currently using the HP Blog Printing service on your site. At this time, we want to inform you that HP will be discontinuing HP Blog Printing, effective Sept. 15, 2008, in order to invest resources on more expansive web offerings such as Smart Web Printing and the Tabblo Print Toolkit, a suite of developer tools for making websites more printable. Like HP Blog Printing tool, Smart Web Printing and the Tabblo Print Toolkit are free offerings from HP and are solutions designed to provide flexibility and choice when it comes to printing from the Web. By focusing efforts on these technologies, we’re finding new ways to provide our customers the freedom to control and print the Web content they desire in a convenient manner.

To ensure your blog readers continue to have a positive experience on your blog, we ask that you remove the print button that links to HP Blog Printing from your site prior to Sept. 15, 2008, when the tool will officially become unavailable. Please visit the following websites for step-by-step instructions on how to remove HP Blog Printing from your site: http://developer.tabblo.com/HP_BlogPrintRemovalInstructions/Blogger.pdf

If you have any questions about this change, please contact support@smartwebprinting.com

We appreciate your understanding during this change, and value your participation in the HP Blog Printing program. We are continuing to invest in and expand solutions for the most optimal web printing experiences. Tools like Smart Web Printing www.hp.com/go/swp) and the Tabblo Print Toolkit (http://developer.tabblo.com/index.php/tabblo-print-toolkit/ are designed with consumers—your blog readers---in mind for more efficient and convenient printing from the Web.

Thank You,
The HP Blog Printing Team

5 comments:

Antonio said...

Hey Jim,

The "HP blog team" is corpospeak for people on my team, and rest assured they are all still here and working on projects that will help to improve the printability of the web in a more meaningful way than Blogprint did (stay tuned).

As the guy who had to make the hard decision to discontinue this product, I think I am in a good position to say that we are not in any way de-committing to the stuff that you and I have talked about (and you have blogged about), but are instead beginning to cull out the experiments which are not working so that we can dedicate those resources to those that are.

Samuel Driessen said...

Jim, I'm writing about it tomorrow. I'm disappointed about HP's decision. The tool was very nice. So, what are you going to use now? Do you know of any options?

max said...

It was a stupid idea from day one. Who and why would want to print a blog as a book?

We had a run with similar project - print-post a photo from an online news website as a postcard.

There are 2 reasons people would print a photo as a postcard:
1. they are on the photo to send to mates
2. there is something political on it and they want to piss off someone with their message on the back

Jim, can you give us an insider how many times your blog was printed as a book?

Samuel Driessen said...

@antonio: Please take a closer look at this service. It isn't a stupid idea. And it's not (only) about printing your whole blog. It's also about helping readers to easily print one or more posts for easy reading. Even ReadWriteWeb added a print service too their blog recently. And they're not dumb.

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