Tried & Tested 3: Joomag
If I can’t have it in print, then I’ll have it in digital form. I’m talking about having my own photography magazine. And I did just that with an online magazine creator and publishing tool at Joomag. This is as close as you can get with a cover, pages and content similar to a printed publication. You can have it published online, and you can even download your magazine in PDF format and have it printed. This is an assessment in the one-week time I created a magazine and tested out the site.
1. It is interactive. You can have an engaged reader or audience by having interactive elements such as videos, music and sound. You also flip the pages like you do in a real magazine (it is based on flash). There is the option to view the magazine full screen or to zoom in at whatever size and area of the page.
2. It has lots of templates for you to choose from both for the cover and inside pages. It’s just a matter of replacing the images and texts in the templates with your own and lay them out following the template grids and guides, or experiment and mix it out with your own lay-out.
3. With a single account, you can make as many issues or as many magazines, books, albums or catalogues that you want. And you can add as many pages as you like. Just be sure you don’t run out of materials to put in.
4. Your magazine is embeddable and linkable. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, social media sites, blogs, forums and other websites.
5. There is the basic free membership which for my purposes is good enough. You get a professional editor, embedding function, and features for adding video and audio.
1. The paid subscription is rather expensive. The Silver, Gold and Platinum membership unlocks full features offered by Joomag such as tools for branding, selling, ads-free viewing, support for iPad, HTML5 for mobile and multi-user accounts. This is all good if you are in pursuit of commercial and business goals.
2. Using the professional online editor requires some background in page-making, topography and lay-out. I’m familiar with desktop publishing softwares but still grappled initially when I went to do the online magazine. I’m acquainted with the various tools and environment but couldn’t seem to find an “undo” or “go back” button hence for every mistake I did I had to start again from scratch. The trick is to minimize making mistakes (helps to have a lay-out drawing on paper and determine first where to put titles, text body and images), do one element or page property at a time, and save the page as often as possible (you can go back to continue editing where you left off). Don’t let this deter you from working on your creation. Everything can be learned, with patience and determination. You can start out by creating a simple, uncluttered lay-out then work on more edgier designs in your next issue.
This blog now has an interactive digital magazine version. Each issue comes out every month and revolves around a theme. Junsjazz Images & Inspiration Issue #1 (December 2012) which showcases sunsets and sunrise images, was published and went online yesterday. For me this is a milestone, being able to share my works using today’s evolving technology in a soon-to-be paperless world. Note: be sure to put on your headphone when viewing the magazine. Enjoy!