On-demand Free Paper Using Convenience Store Web-Print Service


A Japanese blogger @error403 ran an interesting experiment on digital but still paper publishing over NetPrint.
NetPrint is a service by which you can print out your computer documents at your nearest Seven-Eleven store in Japan. We covered the service in 2008. You may upload your documents/images to the service, then receive the printed copy on multi-functional copy machine at any Seven-Eleven. You need to type a key number to receive your documents.
Error403’s Era Tsuushin(Era Newsletter) the first edition was announced around 18:30 on October 23, there he tweeted to his followers that anyone can receive the newsletter with 20 yen (26 cents) and the code “79510527”. The concept is “a classroom newspaper”, which you might make at elementary school.
Then, this experiment was buzzed on Japanese Twittersphere quickly. After few hours, there are a lot of Twitter reports of people getting the newsletter printed in everywhere around the nation with photos [J] (except few prefectures where no Seven-Eleven runs business).
After 24 hours, Error403 tweeted that 1,270 copies are printed [J]. He did not pay any yen, just upload the file and tweeted the document number. Although he also did not and could not receive any yen from it, it is still good for people who have something to be read even for free.
The NetPrint service is not supposed to distribute newsletters/magazines but to print papers for people who can not use their own local printer. However, the mix of paper and network-service seemed to attract many tech-savvy people. Many online news sites reported this experiment.

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