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Ubiquitous PDF Tools: MagCloud

April 02, 2009

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The folks at Hewlett-Packard have recently launched a hip way to turn your PDFs into magazines via MagCloud. It's still in beta, but I predict it's well on its way to becoming the hippest way to publish your own magazine.

As a journalist, I might almost note the "MagMen" at the helm were a tad too casual in their About page descriptions, but Web 2.0 is all about the transparency so I have to applaud their prosy verve.

My favorite bit comes from Udi Chatow, Strategic Advisor, "Udi is part ninja warrior and part mensch." I think that's what we all want in a Hewlett-Packard guru.

I also like Derek Powazek's bio, "Derek lives in San Francisco with his wife, two nutty Chihuahuas, a grumpy cat, and a house full of plants named Fred."

Now back to MagCloud and its functionality. It's pretty simple. If you can upload a PDF, MagCloud can print it, mail it and manage the subscription base for you. Yowza, it even offers a shopping cart for folks to purchase your magazine. See this link for more in-depth directions on how to get started.

It's free to sign up and the MagCloud user-interface is relatively simple and clear. If you use Adobe InDesign they even provide a template to help you get started. For more advanced users they offer an ICC Profile to help you soft proof your document for the HP Indigo press.

The "MagMen" do a pretty good job of keeping updates on their blog for users so check it out too. I think these folks need to start Tweeting too.

Here's a recent Magcloud-produced magazine.

And in light of all the newspapers going out of business, I urge you to be a rebel and create your own publication! As the MagCloud folks quote, "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." (A.J. Liebling)

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