glossi: the good and the bad…

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there are those of you who are already familiar with the digital magazine publication tool, issuu. issuu allows you to take your .pdfs, presentations, documents, etc. and turn them into digital e-zines. winner of the webby and one of time magazine’s top apps of 2009, there hasn’t been a contender until now. glossi is an online app that allows you to easily create digital magazines on-line using either their pre-formatted templates or customization which is perfect for users without access or knowledge of layout software. currently in beta mode, it’s an invite only app but i found no issue with getting on board and getting started.

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overall the interface is relatively simple and the layout controls are pretty intuitive. once you begin your glossi, there are two main tabs one of which houses your page layout:

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and the second, which houses your clippings allowing drag and drop resizing within your document:

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for the design challenged, there are many templates available for that ready made newsstand look and some good how to videos available for help and tips in bringing your vision to life.

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of course there are a slew of fashion magazines, homages to personal hobbies, actors, film, etc. but there are folks who are using glossi for more personal creative purposes.


writers like margaret atwood are using glossi to publish advance chapters of an upcoming book to titillate prospective readers. fashion designers like brian atwood are showcasing lookbooks of upcoming lines. amateur chefs and photographers are among those using this tool to market and brand themselves with optional links to transport users to online shops, websites, blogs, etc.

the bad? well, for those of us desiring to reach a broader audience there are the usual promotional tools like facebook, pinterest, twitter, tumblr… but, when it comes to utilizing the embedding feature say, here on wordpress, you can kiss that option goodbye. unfortunately wordpress prefers that we all utilize the same code for security sake and thus strips away any of the coding used to embed your final glossi in your blog. this is a complete drag if you’re concerned about branding and keeping your shop, blog, lookbook, etc. all under one digital roof. another serious downside is that although they say your images can’t be taken, i found it relatively easy to click and save so i think this might have been a huge oversight.

also, there is a tablet app which is more like a digital reader which i find to be slightly redundant but is still handy as a library to house your favorite glossies. again, it’s a little useless as you are unable to actually create/edit a glossi using the app. for those of us who like to be able to work mobile, this tethers you to a desktop. as the site is still in beta mode, i’m hoping this will be worked out opening it up to more users.

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there are ways around the embedding issue such as creating a media link which takes you to where your magazine lives on the glossi site. not as lovely as embedding into the blog but a solution until wordpress comes up with its own answer to the magazine format. what do you think, fellow bloggers? will you use it? hit me up if you do because i’d love to check it out!