Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Online Publishing: Issuu

Web 2.0 has changed the way that ordinary people look at the Internet. In the times of Web 1.0, the Internet was read-only, static, authoritarian: and most importantly, it was only the people who knew how to who could upload and share their information online with others. This has of course changed with the advent of Web 2.0 and a more collaborative, user-generated content web. Along the years, a number of online media repositories - some of course more popular then others - have sprouted on the Internet: for example, YouTube and Vimeo for online video sharing; SlideShare for presentations and documents; Picasa and Flickr for sharing photos, etc. The list is ever-growing, and the trick is to find something that not only works well for you, but, in the case of educators, works well in the classroom as well. Today I am going to take a look at Issuu, an online service that allows for realistic and customizable viewing of digitally uploaded material, such as portfolios, books, magazine issues, newspapers, and other print media.

Getting Started

The first step is, of course, registration: log onto and click on Sign Up Now. It will allow for quick and easy registration, and then it will immediately allow you to find other users in your contact list who are using Issuu as well. This will allow even easier sharing of your documents with your friends. You will also be asked whether you want to view the introdoctory videos to get you started: here is the very first one which I have embedded here:

Uploading Your publications

Uploading a document on Issuu is relatively as easy as adding or sending an attachment by email: simply click on the Upload Document icon on the top right hand side of the screen, and then on Browse to choose your file. You will also be prompted to enter the title, description, keywords, and to choose a URL for your file. You can also select the document type, the recommended audience, language and target area. Other settings include whether or not the document will be public or private, and whether comments or ratings are allowed. Only after those details have been set will the system allow you to upload your document (which it does rather speedily). After uploading the document, you will be taken to My Library.

My Library

My Library is the place where all your uploaded documents will be featured. They will appear on
virtual Shelves and you will be able to organise and move your documents around on the different shelves.

The menu on the left hand side of the screen will help you to organise your work, and your friends' work, in a way that is easily recognisable for you. This is because Issuu, being a document repository and social networking site, allows you to add "friends", join groups and follow other people's updated publications. There is also a handy internal mail which you can use to communicate with your Issuu friends.

From your library, you can also grab the relevant links and embed codes in order to be able to embed the document into a website. In order to do this, follow these simple instructions:

  1. From your Home Page, click on My Library.
  2. Choose from your shelves the document you would like to work with.
  3. Click on Embed on the top right hand side of the screen. Choose the type of code you want to work with - HTML, Blogger, Wordpress etc.
  4. Scroll down and customise other settings, including layout, size, colour and theme, whether you want icons to appear on screen, whether your publication will be flicking automatically from one page to the next, etc. As soon as you are happy with your settings, click and copy the Embed Code itself from the top right hand side of the screen.
  5. Paste the Embed Code onto your blog or website.
Below is a simple tutorial about My Library, and how to organise your publications and embed them onto any website:

Visitors to your website will be able to either flick through your publication on your very website or blog; or else they can choose to be re-directed to your Issuu profile, and look at your other work, too.

Your Friends and Other Publications

The scope of Issuu is not only to upload your favourite publications for ease of sharing: you will also be able to browse through what other persons have uploaded. Publications are categorised and tagged for ease of reference. You will be able to browse through educational, inspirational, and many other types of publications by clicking on the Publications tab on the top left hand side of the screen. By adding your friends as contacts, you will be able to follow what they are uploading themselves and communicate with them through the internal emailing system.

To start using Issuu, go to and create an account. Get publishing :)

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