With advancements in technology, we are starting to see reading material convert over to the web and digital format more and more. Take books and magazines for example, for the first time this past year, Amazon outsold ebooks over actual physical ones. That right there goes to show you that publishers and consumers are starting to embrace the digital market and see the need for it.
Over the past several months, I have started to see some cool web apps that let you create content online and share them with the world. For example, the one that I am looking at today, called Glossi, lets you create your own online magazine. After getting to use it for a little while, I found that this can be used for both professionals as well as amateurs alike.
Creating Your Own Glossi
Glossi gives you the opportunity to create and design your own online magazine that you can put on the web and they make it pretty easy for you to do. When you first get started, they give you a generic layout with a title page, a couple of pages for content, and a back page. You can definitely add more pages if you want, but they at least get you started.
As you decide what to put into your Glossi, they make it very easy for you to add both text and pictures. With text, they give you a pretty good text editor with lots of features that can help you stylize your words how you want to. Text can also be added just about anywhere on the page by easily moving around text boxes to where you want them.
With pictures, you have two options to choose from. You can use the stock photos that Glossi provides you, which to be honest, are not that great. You can also upload your own photos or provide a url of a picture and use them in your magazine. I would really like to see Glossi produce some better stock photos for you to use, maybe even use it as a revenue stream. If you plan to upload a lot of images, Glossi gives you a way to organize them by folders, which is a nice feature to have.
Publishing and Interacting With Others
Once you are done creating your magazine masterpiece, you can now publish it so that others on Glossi can see what you created. You are given a url that you can use to share with others and it looks like there is a feature to make your magazine private that is coming soon. As with most things that you publish, you can share what you created on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google +, and Pinterest. You can also embed your Glossi into a website by copying the code that they give you.
When it comes to interaction on the site, there is plenty of it. On the front page you will see all of the Glossi’s that you follow. You can “like” someone’s magazine and as you view it, you can also share it to the sites I mentioned above or also embed it elsewhere. I thought it was strange that you could embed someone else’s Glossi, as that sounds like you are almost stealing their content. As of right now, there is no way to comment on someone’s magazine and maybe that is something they are going to add later.
Finding content to read is also very easy to do with Glossi. There are a wide variety of categories that you can choose from to search for magazines that you may be interested in reading. You can also see them based off of how popular they are or by date. With this, I wish there was a way to save a magazine for later reading. As I was glancing through and came across ones that were interesting, I wanted to just save it so I could come back to it later.
Anyone Can Do This
What really interested me about Glossi is that although it is somewhat meant for magazine creation, it can be used for a wide variety of things. You can use it as a blog, a diary, practically anything you can think of where you want to create content for people to either read or view pictures of. Best of all, they make it so that practically anyone can make something using this web app. I really liked that it was flexible in that if I was a serious content creator, I can design some quality online magazines to share, or if I just was a guy who wanted to share pictures of his baby with everyone, I could do that as well.
Overall, I really liked using this and found it very intuitive all around. As with any beta app, there are some kinks in it, but nothing that makes it unbearable. It was a little slow for me, but I didn’t find anything else that was terrible about it. I would love to see the ability to add video content as I think that would be a good feature to have.
Glossi is currently in beta and you have to sign up and wait for an invite. Mine came in about two days, so they are letting people in on a fairly good rate. It will be interesting to see where this goes from here on out. On the one hand, I can really see something like this working for those that want to create good content, on the other, I question whether this can compete with the big print companies that are already investing huge money into great online content. It would be cool to see if Glossi can gain enough traction to where authors can start possibly selling their content on the site as a one time fee or subscription service. For now though, go and check it out and start having fun creating and designing your very own magazine.