All comes to an end, and so does Analogy / our time at the Publishing Lab.
With the ‘last sprint’ in its final days, we have reached a point of reflection.
Over the past months we’ve been working on a continuously evolving project that started from the question:
‘What are the possibilities for new revenue models for publications after the advent of crowdfunding, Bitcoin, p2p and sharing platforms?’
This question has been keeping us busy over the past months, and with only days left, here it is, a recap of what happened over the past semester:
After the first few days of being introduced to our research question, we soon came to the conclusion that there was going to be not much incentive to solve the problem of sustainablity in publishing by focusing on higher revenue as an outcome, or final goal. We decided (after some soul searching, of course) to work on another aspect of the process of publishing, namely the labour and costs put into creating a final object, which can have an influence on the final revenue, through the way it influences the distribution of “profits” and/or payments within, so to speak, a classical type of publishing model.
It became clear to us that the so-called traditional process of creation and distribution within the publishing industry and that its costs may be cut by finding alternatives. This insight became the foundation of Analogy.
While traditional workflows take lots of time in copy editing, design and content creation, we wanted to aim at something that would lift some of that weight (in time and money alike) off of the shoulders of our client. We were also particularly interested in the way the costs coming with a publication were configured, seeing a huge lump of money disappearing into complex distribution chains was another point where we saw a challenge.
We carefully considered what position, approach and tone we could have at this event.Simultaneously we tried to create a bigger picture around Analogy as a brand and image analogous to today’s symbol of innovation & success: the start-up.
Initially we took some time to figure out how to make our outcome as ‘easy’ as possible to use and by that we mean our system should be designed once and be able to function in all kinds of forms from that point onwards. Ideally, it is a modular system from which you can handpick the pieces you want to use, thus minimizing the time and money that will have to be spent on setting up an entirely new publishing setup.
After this analysis we came up with a system that would suit the Moneylab event best.Many hours of conceptualizing, pitching and developing later, we came up with a final setup for their event, described in the video beneath:
By referencing Google, etc. and borrowing their strategies, we wanted to provide a somewhat cynical commentary about the perils of their approach. Therefore, we consider our project both a functional system and a speculative statement.
Through these analogies and through building a brand that hints at successful and future-proof platforms, Analogy can not only present itself as a multi-layered project, but also help potential clients proclaim themselves as innovative, trail-blazing publishers in the same way as tech giants do.
As mentioned before, our ideal is that Analogy can grow into a even more modular system, that helps saving time and money by outsourcing the likes of authors, editors and distribution chains for whoever feels the need to. Currently we’ve created documentation surrounding how the existing blocks work and shared all our code plus documentation on github.