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Paper Monitor

11:00 UK time, Monday, 9 June 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Friends, it seems like yesterday that, with innocent joy in our hearts, we opened the Guardian and let out an excited yelp that, yes, yes, yes, the longed-for wallchart of butterflies plopped on to the floor.

Remember how we ran with boyish/girlish glee to show mummy what we had got? And how she said yes, we could put it up on our bedroom wall so long as we were careful not to get Blu-tak on the wallpaper?

Now of course times are harder. Colder. Rougher. More cynical. Mere wallcharts have long lost their power to delight.

No, what we need are wallcharts which fold into little unstapled booklets. And that's what the Guardian has given us today. They are calling it a "foldie" in the hope that it sounds cooler.

foldie.jpgOn Saturday the paper tried to make a virtue of triumph of hype over reality, by billing the arrival of the "foldie" on the front page, with a little diagram. "[W]e are introducing a revolutionary new format to the Guardian stable: the foldie. We will use this lovingly crafted device - sweated over by paper technicians and inky fingered printers - to bring you beautiful pocket-sized guides..." blah blah blah.

Three points.
1. Didn't realise the Guardian had a stable. Sounds quaint.
2. There's that "device" thing again (remember the Telegraph introduced a device which turned out to be a logo saying "Was Is and Will Be" without actually saying what was, what is and what will be?) When will the world of newspapers realise that devices need batteries??? Get with the plan, boys, it's not that difficult.
3. Those diagrams? Reminds Paper Monitor of the rather strange guide they had in the new but still rather strange Times2 last week on how to peel an orange, which was lucky to escape further note at the time.

Anyway, if the whole butterfly thing does strike you as being familiar, you're right. It was just two years and 23 days ago that the Guardian's butterfly wallchart was released into the wild. No doubt there have been developments in lepidoptery in that time, but Paper Monitor can't help but think that the only thing really joining the Guardian's stable is a format in need of a subject.

In any case, we don't like being left out. So your suggestions, please, especially if they are nifty non-proprietary photo editing software format, of how one might conceivably fold a webpage. Send via Comments below, or send images to the.magazine@bbc.co.uk with "Nifty folding webpage idea" in the subject line.

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