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Issuu Makes Online Publishing Easy, Attractive

Posted on 2.18.2008
Issuu has a goal to make online publishing simple, attractive and easy to share. Not only can you create interactive, great looking publications but you can join a growing community, explore their online library and share your documents with your own, established community.

Take a PDF, upload it to Issuu and they will convert it into an online magazine with page-flip capabilities, zoom, full-screen viewing and more. After you upload your PDF you can publish it immediately to a host of social networks and blogging sites, as well as get some code to embed on any site. Your new magazine will also be available on for public viewing, where there are a host of other documents to browse in categories ranging from Academia to Tech and Travel. You can also create a profile, add friends and spread your publication to others.

But Issuu is just getting warmed up. Already an impressive service, they look to keep innovating. Martin Ferro-Thomson, Co-Founder and Communications Manager at Issuu took some time to answer a few questions we had for him:

When was Issuu founded?

Issuu was started in 2006, with just a few guys with a lot of ideas. We were funded in January 2007 and started developing, launched in public in January 2007 and now Issuu is in beta with many plans for the future. We have a handpicked and extremely motivated team, without a doubt the most talented people I've ever worked with (and yes, we're hiring to keep up with the booming interest).

What are Issuu's goals?

To make online publishing as simple and easy as possible; both for companies, advertisers and certainly average people like you and me. We want everyone with a message to be able to get across to the right targeted audience, no matter where in the world that audience might be. And we want to empower anyone to publish in style using the best technology out there!

Who do you find are the most frequent users of Issuu?

Anyone! Businesses want to use us because we have the best online viewer technology on the market (vector gfx and full screen mode). Creatives love the viewer too because it's beautiful and they can connect via our community. Everyone else just thinks it's exciting to join this living library where you can find so much interesting stuff you never though was out there - and in a format that really is something people have been craving for: easy, intuitive and gratifying.

What are some future plans or upgrades for Issuu?

Watch the blog
. And believe me, it's going to be a great year to watch out for Issuu. We have only just started rolling out the basic features and we have an extremely exciting road map with lots of new and innovative features that we've worked on for years now - and of course by listening to our top-notch members (thanks!). Editor's note - Issuu is promising some great features but understandably prefers to keep things under wraps for now. See a recent press release from their blog and an example of Issuu's capabilities.

Now, a couple of limitations that we mentioned previously:
  • Zoom feature: When zooming in on a document, the default means of navigation is by simply moving the mouse - there is no clicking involved. While it's nice to easily move a page around, it's also a little distracting, even disorienting. My hand usually rests on my mouse - so even the slightest movement moves the entire page. Clicking on the hand icon at the top of the page turns the feature off, but not all users will notice this. Also while in zoom mode, you lose the page-flip effect when clicking to get to the next page.
  • Embedded links: Right now you cannot embed links into the PDF files. It would be a nice feature to have.
I've tested Issuu. At first there was a problem uploading the PDF. But after emailing for support (and a rapid response) the problem was solved. It appears I simply needed to install the latest Flash player. After that, it was easy. I'm impressed ... and looking forward to Issuu's continued progress.

Issuu has been nominated as a finalist in the SXSW Interactive awards, from hundreds of applicants. If you like what you see, you can vote for Issuu here.

An example of an Issuu file and choosing to embed the magazine

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