Create Your Own Digital Magazines With Glossi
By: Jennine Jacob

Glossi.com - OntheRacks
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When I was in High School, I wanted to create magazines. More like fan ‘zines with a photocopied issues with handwritten and typewritter’d text and collaged images. At first it lead me to a career as a graphic designer, but then eventually realized what I loved was creating both content and designing it too.

As much as we love blogging, one thing is for certain, the layouts can be relatively boring. Each post usually entails a series of images with text beneath them or vice versa. It’s very much a product of scrolling. One thing that’s missed is the playfulness you can get when designing on a page in the book format. Each has their limitations, but each has their advantages.

For those of us who want to tell a story, maybe make a special edition gift guide or lookbook, programs like Glossi make it easier than ever to achieve great results with little design knowledge, and technical know-how. I’ve spent years working in InDesign (my go-to program for designing presentations like our Media Kit and booklets like the IFB Conference programme) and am quite critical about the flexibility of design programs.

Screen shot 2013-02-19 at 11.21.27 AM

Glossi runs in Flash on your browser, so you don’t have to buy software to create these magazines. With it you can upload all your own images, insert text boxes, design elements, and even create your own design elements (if you know how to create a transparent background for a GIF). I was quite impressed by the design elements and the per-designed page options, which don’t try to overload too much text on a page, being sensitive to the web audience, which is one problem many of these “online magazines” tend to do, squeeze as much content as a print magazine on a page. Content consumption doesn’t quite work like that on the web, which is why you need to be sparing with how much content you put on a page.

Another Way to Monetize & Drive Traffic

You have your regular posts, but what about creating special editions? With Glossi you can sell ads, use affiliate links, and direct images and text back to your site. Glossi is building up their community on their website, so people coming to Glossi.com will be able to browse Fashion Magazines and discover new voices (you). The advantage to this, is you can highlight your best content of the month, like the OnTheRacks Glossi above and have it be discoverable for people who want to consume fashion content online.

Create Presentations

One of ways I’ve used Glossi is to showcase a lot of photos and text in a presentation format for the web. I’ve found it’s useful for creating beautiful presentations in an easy-to-use way. For one example is the IFB Conference wrap up, we had hundreds of images and needed a way to showcase them so it made sense, and wouldn’t bore everyone to tears. This was really helpful in that.

 

Final Thoughts

I really liked the Glossi interface, and the sharing  capabilities are  really an added bonus to the way content is distributed today. They’re a new platform, so it will be interesting to see how they grow. However my one gripe about them is that the “embed” feature just takes the first page, and you can’t actually flip through the Glossi on your own website. I would like my readers to consume my content on my site, so making a true embed would be a fantastic option, then we would use the Glossis in more of our posts (as slide show plugins can get finicky and slow down the site).

That said, I think it’s a great step in developing online content. Sometimes you need to tell a story that can’t be scrolled.

 

Disclaimer: Glossi was a sponsor of the IFB Conference, but this is NOT a sponsored post. They had no say in the content of this post.

Comments

  1. I LOVE this idea! I am not knowledgeable in software such as InDesign and have been wanting to do a magazine layout type post for a few weeks now. This would be great except for I too wish that the embed feature allowed for the Glossi to be viewed on your own website. However, this is still a good start!

    ArteresaLynn.com

  2. I love this idea! I definitely want to use it! I was just thinking last night, I really wish I could just start a magazine and bam-I see this on the site! I am very happy that you posted about it and I can’t wait to get an invite to start! :)

    Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Avatar of Allison
    Allison says:

    I first heard about Glossi in December and started using it right away. I would definitely recommend it. It’s very easy to use their templates, or you can created graphics in photoshop (which is what I do) and then upload them and paste them in.

    Here’s a look at the Glossi’s I’ve made: http://glossi.com/asimplestatement/#!/glossies

  4. just registered:)
    and yes i agree, its better if we can embed it on our blog

    http://iamturquoise.wordpress.com

  5. Avatar of Tara
    Tara says:

    You just made my LIFE!!!! This is what I want to do!!! I keep trying to create magazine style layout posts. Thank you. Looks freakin amazing.
    http://goldandstudded.blogspot.ca

  6. Avatar of Seppy
    Seppy says:

    What a great idea! An easy way to spruce up some blog posts..! I am definitely going to sign up and try it out ! Thank you!

    http://www.seppysmontreal.com

  7. Anastasia says:

    I agree with you about the embed feature! I tried it out a few weeks ago and was surprised that the embed code only posted the cover and a link. The knowledge base on the Glossi site said it should embed in it’s entirety, so I thought I’d somehow screwed up my copy/paste. :)

What do you think?