Hewlett-Packard has a new online service, MagCloud, that hopes to be the “vanity press” of  the “nichey, maybe weird-at-first communities” that always seem to want their own magazines (remember all those high school freaks and their “zines“???).  Insult taken, thanks!  But whatever, this is exciting!  

 From the Times:

With a new Web service called MagCloudHewlett-Packard hopes to make it easier and cheaper to crank out a magazine than running photocopies at the local copy shop.

Charging 20 cents a page, paid only when a customer orders a copy, H.P. dreams of turning MagCloud into vanity publishing’s equivalent of YouTube. The company, a leading maker of computers and printers, envisions people using their PCs to develop quick magazines commemorating their daughter’s volleyball season or chronicling the intricacies of the Arizona cactus business.

“There are so many of the nichey, maybe weird-at-first communities, that can use this,” said Andrew Bolwell, head of the MagCloud effort at Hewlett-Packard. Samir Husni, a journalism professor at the University of Mississippi who plans to use the technology in his classroom, said, “We’re not talking about replacing the Vanity Fairs of the world. But it’s a nifty idea for a vanity press that reminds me of the underground zines we had in the ’60s and ’70s.” 

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