Postagram sample (courtesy Postagramapp blog)

Postagram sample (courtesy Postagramapp blog)

Travel is a great fit for social media and mobile communications (especially social photography like Instagram) but what about preserving those pixels in hard-copy form? What about “collaging the physical and digital worlds,” as Ryan Bigge discussed in one of my favorite SXSWi (South by Southwest Interactive) sessions this year, “Creating Great Analog Souvenirs For a Digital Era.”

Ryan talked about the growing popularity of saving bits of our digital world as analog items; he also has an interesting physi-digi Tumblr blog.

There are several examples of tools that straddle the digital and analog air gap, like Polaroid camera printouts of your computer screenshots, and Ryan’s own creations “Txt2Hold” and “Tweet2Hold” which preserve either a text or tweet in a PDF that includes different colors based on the text/tweet sentiment (using Lymbix software) and is printed with directions for origami folding.

Right now Txt2Hold and Tweet2Hold are only used as an expo installation at conferences, but there are three other services I can think of that make physical-digital travel souvenirs that you can actually hold, and they’re all tied to photography:

**  Postagram lets you mail a physical postcard with a photo from your phone, Facebook, etc. I use it all the time to send thank you notes. You connect a credit card to your account to cover the modest cost of a couple of U.S. dollars, and you do need to know the recipient’s snail mail address (in the U.S., Canada or Europe.)

**  Cocoagraph makes chocolate gifts out of photos, resulting in …. of course …. “have your travel and eat it, too.”

**  Casetagram makes custom cases for iPhone, iPad and some Galaxy devices out of Facebook and Instagram photos. A certificate to make a case is a good gift, too (note that Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and graduation are coming up soon.)

Every once in awhile, you could take a flash drive of photos in to have them printed, if you REALLY want to go retro!

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