I mentioned Blurb back in this July post. According to this Wired News article, Blurb is apparently going to invite 600 bloggers for a free trial of their blog-to-book conversion service. The blog-to-book service might wind up becoming the ultimate in vanity publishing, but I wonder if there’s another related service they should consider offering: blog-to-PDF.
Despite my best efforts with RSS feeds and other approaches, I have to admit that there are times when I’d like to catch up on a blog or discover a new one but I just don’t have the time. By “time” I mean time in front of a computer with an Internet connection. However, there are plenty of times when I’d welcome a nicely formatted hard copy of a blog that I could read on a plane, for example. Maybe I’ve just been doing too much flying lately... Then again, I often print out news items from the web so I can read them later at home – after working in front of a monitor or two all day I often welcome the chance to read a few printouts instead.
What if Blurb created a little plug-in that could be featured on any blog, you click on it and you’re asked what date range you want a PDF created for (e.g., posts and comments from July 1 through today) and it pulls it all together in a well-formatted file? The first question of course is “how would Blurb make any money off this?” Answer: They could place advertising throughout the PDF. Then it’s like reading a blog that’s formatted like a magazine.
I don’t see myself paying $30-$80 for the hardcover, dust-jacketed blog-book they’re offering, but I’d definitely use the PDF service described above.