MagCloud is a simply superb idea from the HP Labs people. Upload PDFs of your content and these folk will turn it into a full colour, saddle stitched, 80lb paper magazine. In true print on demand style you set your selling price, and deduct the cost of production from that to make a profit (if you want one). It’s all done via Paypal, and distribution is through the usual postal sources, and it’s a fab fab idea. The service is very closed beta at the moment, but it’s definitely something to keep a watch on.
Now all this needs is a simple bolt-on PDF creator which can take RSS feeds maybe, and turn them into cool looking PDF magazine layouts and we could have specialist blogs moving en masse to the printed mag world. My my, now wouldn’t that scare the bits out of the Hearst, Conde Nast and Time Warner empires?
MagCloud is an HP Labs research project evaluating new web services that will provide small independent magazine publishers, online content owners, and small businesses the ability to custom publish digitized magazines and economically print and fulfill on demand.