Innovation That Matters

Online magazine publisher for the masses

Publishing & Media

We’ve written on several occasions about Blurb, which offers the prolific content producers of Generation C high-quality book publishing. For those interested in creating a magazine, Issuu is a new site that converts users’ documents into interactive, magazine-style online publications that can be viewed directly in a web browser. Whereas most online publications today (other than websites and blogs) are still presented either as PDFs or other downloadable files, Issuu’s viewer features full-screen mode and vector graphics to create the online equivalent of a print magazine right from within a web browser. In addition to uploading their own PDF documents for publication, users of the site can browse the works of others and create their own personal libraries; through its community features, they can discuss and share what they see. It’s like a YouTube for magazines, and the result is what Issuu calls a “living library” of the best publications on the web—readers can gain access to zines that have a very limited reach, and micro-publishers gain access to a global readership. Which is what blogs already offer, of course. But some still prefer the look of a magazine. All content is hosted for free on Issuu, and once a document has been uploaded, it can also be posted in preview or full size on any website, blog or social network, including Facebook and MySpace. Michael Hansen, Issuu’s cofounder and CEO, explains: “We’ve been watching how B2B companies charge large amounts for putting documents online with less advanced technology than ours. We want to empower anyone, businesses as well as privates, to publish online using the best technology available. By making Issuu free and providing hosting and viral tools, we see no reason why great publications shouldn’t find the worldwide audience they deserve.” California-based Issuu just launched in February, but it already has an interesting mix of users on the site, including designers, editors, agencies and artists. It was also named a finalist in the SXSW Interactive Web Awards. One to adapt on a localized or niche basis? Spotted by: Heyk



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