HP's Tabbloid Turns Feeds Into Personalized Magazine

Tabbloid is a long-overdue service that takes your RSS feeds and converts them into a neatly laid out pdf files that are emailed back to you at a desired frequency. It's not perfect, but it's the best I've seen so far and there's an API. By Hewlett-Packard, a company that once branded Print buttons and makes blogs printer-friendly. Next, they need to team up with Adobe and insert some pdf ads.

Update (Dec 10): To respond to Max's thought that "converting RSS into PDF won't sell any more ink" in the comments section: if this thing takes off and people start printing their RSS feeds, HP with its 45% share of ink market will be the first to benefit. It's pretty much like the Michelin guide the company created to get people to drive more and replace tires sooner.

-- Your personalized printed newspaper (Oct 2005)
-- Dutch blog content to be turned into newspaper (Jan 2006)
-- Guardian: Print Your Own Newspaper (June 2006)


  1. I love seeing HP create utilities that have value for their customers without over-branding and over-marketing them! Instead of yelling at their customers, they help them, and build trust that leads to long term sales. It's not going to deliver a short term spike in traffic, but the long term building of brand trust will reap many more rewards than a short burst of advertising ever would. http://thefutureofads.com/2008/11/10/tabbloid-helps-hp-sell-ink/

  2. Thank you, and nice meeting you.

  3. I love this blog and post, but really question why it seems automatic to suggest ad insertions at the end? This whole thing is a value-added ad for HP! It also shows that media can survive even after traditional ad-support fails.

  4. Mainly because it's a blog about advertising.

    On the other hand, inserting ads doesn't seem theoretically inconceivable.

  5. What buggers me is the useless nature of this type of service.
    Who and why would want a PDF for an RSS?
    What can you do with it?
    Print it?
    YOu can't resize it, it wont fit on a small screen, won't re-format, it won't do anything except for printing itself exactly the way it looks.

    Thanx goodness Adobe stayed away from the web in the early days or you would read this comment in a PDF reader :-)

    HP's track record in web 2.0 projects isn't good. Where is there "print this blog" button? How many blogs were really printed?

    What about their 1 y.o. acquisition tabblo.com?
    Dead in the water. Almost. The traffic is on a downward spiral.

    So, converting RSS into PDF won't sell any more ink.

  6. I don't find this particular service (Tabbloid) flawless, but I would love to have a solution that groups and prioritizes posts in my feeds (Techmeme-style) and then creates a PDF that I can print out and read on the train or in the bathroom or whenever. I wouldn't even mind having ads in the file, especially if they are relevant. This kind of product I would enjoy much more than a pre-packaged newspaper I find on my porch every morning, and of which I read maybe 40%.

  7. It is a utility tool that serves its purpose. having let you customize is to suit your info needs, I believe is makes you read most of the stuff because you know that you need it since you have decided what it would have as content.


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