Publishing Strategy

greenlight magazine Issuu Demo

Isuu (pronounced just like “issue”) is a social publishing platform that seems to aspire to be the Youtube of documents. Its strengths include an attractive interface — it converts PDF documents into a surprisingly readable digital editions — and easy-to-use widgets for document sharing and embedding. Its weakness is its production interface, which has serious limitations. First, documents can be either public or private. A private document can be later made public, but a public document cannot be “unpublished” without deleting it. Second, and more seriously, you can’t update a document without deleting and replacing it. Any links to the document or embedded versions of the document are broken. According to a representative responding to a user’s question on the Issuu blog, the company plans to fix this. A blurb on Issuu’s “About” page also indicates that the service is still in beta stage, so we can anticipate that it will change and grow.

Update: Can’t keep up. Issuu now offers Business-class features, and “Platform” capabilities that enable you to customize and program the viewer, and use a new search API. I see Issuu gaining momentum, and customers. I would hate to be competing against them.

Updated 3/5/2009