Will printing drive new business to Scrapblog?

One of the loveliest social media startups I’ve run across in the last few years is Scrapblog. I say lovely because it’s well designed and design itself is a core value of the service and the user experience. Users create multimedia collages with Scrapblog, then share them with embed codes, just like you share YouTube videos. It’s social, but really it’s an online platform for personal expression – a digital sketch pad. Founder Carlos Garcia and crew built the service as an online metaphor for scrapbooks, an offline hobby that involves real books, photos, mementos and glue – with a huge following in the crafting world.

Scrapblog was way cool when it launched two years ago – but completely missed the boat in one respect. It was pure digital, built for people who enjoyed social networks, copy-and-paste codes – and sitting in front of computers. That’s like building a virtual knitting experience to make digital sweaters. Online knitting communities and blogs are huge – but they’re all about knitting with real wool and needles.

So now, 18 months after they landed VC funding, Scrapblog is getting real. Now you can print your scrapblog collages and share them in customized books. I mean real books – the kind you can wrap and give as a birthday present. Scrapblog has developed an audience and business through partnerships with other companies that want to provide its tools – fans of the TV show Ugly Betty could make Ugly Betty montages, and this summer the photo sharing site Photobucket integrated Scrapblog features. But it’s hard to see those kinds of deals sustaining Scapblog-the-business. It’s easy to see margins from real-world products creating real-world cash flow. So it’s nice to see a business model emerge for Scrapblog.

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