TNW València is officially sold out 🇪🇸 We will see you in 3 days

This article was published on February 2, 2008

Issuu: is this really publishing 2.0 style?

Issuu: is this really publishing 2.0 style?
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
Story by

Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

Issuu offers people the possibility to publish their own illustrated magazine. It’s just a matter of spending some time on a pdf file – so start working on your Indesign skills – and uploading it to their beta site. Issuu then publishes your magazine with a slick tool and makes it findable by archiving it in categories like fashion, architecture, arts and.. sex. Yeah sorry, I couldn’t help noticing that the founders aren’t afraid of really explicit sex magazines.

Users can then tell their friends about the magazine they’ve created and embed it on their blog or social network profile. Not that they necessarily need to, since the founders of Issuu also want their service to be a ‘creative community’.

Sounds all pretty publishing 2.0-like, but is it really?

  • Yes, it is, because: Everybody can upload pdf-files and gets a really fancy tool to show it. I must admit, the interface looks awesome.
  • No, it isn’t, because: Web 2.0 is also about finding stuff, just ask David Weinberger. And an online pdf file sounds a bit 1.0 to me. You can’t link to a particular article and people can’t tag a page on or Fleck, or comment wherever they want. And don’t even think of embedding a YouTube video. It reminds me of the newspapers in the early years of the Internet who just published their articles on-line and that was it.

MagazinesYet Issuu is a good stepping stone for everybody who wants to get used to on-line publishing. Think of the people who hardly know what a blog is. They might like the idea, since it reminds them of a ‘real’ magazine. After this getting-used-to-process, they can switch to WordPress with a magazine-style theme. So they can experience the REAL benefits of publishing 2.0 style.

So imagine that this large group of people who wants to get used to the web starts using Issuu. Then the service might get really popular. However, I don’t think that it will ever become a successful community. Because, in the end, the sex magazines will flourish and frighten other visitors – that, for example, publish magazines about wine from Tuscany.

Not that the founders probably mind, since sex has never been bad for advertising revenues. Yet if they really want a lively community, a ‘safe mode’ is a must. A 50-year old lady who uploaded a magazine about interior design, doesn’t want her tennis friends to stumble upon a porn magazine.

Get the TNW newsletter

Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.