Exploring Digital Magazines with Jsfone

When was the last time you went down to the music store to buy a CD, let alone a cassette tape or a vinyl record? When was the last time you dropped off a roll of film to be developed at your local photography store? When was the last time you actually bought a physical magazine? It’s obvious enough that digital has arrived and the analog equivalents are falling to the wayside.

If you’ve been thinking about publishing some content for your audience and customers, then you may be interested in developing an online magazine of your own. In today’s review of Jsfone, we take a look at how the site might help you along that path to digital publication and distribution.

Your Magazine, Now Digital

Many of us have read, purchased or even subscribed to magazines over the years. There are magazines for practically any area of interest and you could say they were the precursor to some of the special interest blogs that populate the Internet today.

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And while blogs, white papers and ebooks certainly have their respective places in the modern age of information overload, digital magazines can prove remarkably attractive for some readers. This is especially the case for reading on the go with a larger tablet device like a Samsung Galaxy Tab or an Apple iPad Air.

What Is This Exactly?

So, we arrive at Jsfone, a site that focuses specifically on digital magazines and their creation, particularly in relation to business publications. Right up top, we’re reminded that we can “read like never before” with “bonus videos, photo galleries and interactive content.”

Based on the large banner that is visible at the top of every page, it seems we are lead to believe that Jsfone contains access to “the digital edition of these magazines.” But this is not a repository of trade publications and digital magazines. The format of the site might also make you think that Jsfone is an online service to format and publish your digital magazines too. But that’s not it either. Does it offer an online magazine maker tool? Nope.

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Right away, the messaging and apparent focus of Jsfone can lead to much confusion. Things don’t get much better looking at the About Us page or the “What is Jsfone” section in the footer either. The “About Us” doesn’t tell us *who* this person is or *why* this site exists. The footer explanation is a broken paragraph that gets truncated prematurely.

It starts by talking about why a business may need to design and publish a magazine, but not what Jsfone actually is or does. It’s only after browsing through the site myself that I learned it’s really just a blog that’s meant to be a resource for people who want to publish a digital magazine.

How to Create a Digital Magazine?

Perhaps one of the most important sections in the Jsfone blog discusses how to use an online magazine maker. Based on this, we might expect to see some tutorials with step-by-step instructions.

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The post “How to Create a Magazine” reads as if it is written specifically with keywords in mind, not prioritizing creating actual value to readers. The material doesn’t have much in terms of grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, but it also lacks substance. It goes around talking in generalities without giving any specific steps or instructions for *how* to create a digital magazine.

We’re told that there is a difference between digital replica magazines (which are essentially the PDF equivalent of a print magazine) and interactive magazines, the latter of which can contain rich media content and interactive elements. That’s good to know, but with no mention of any software or services, or how to use them, a person wanting to write, edit and publish a digital magazine doesn’t know what to do next.

The hope is that as Jsfone develops and more content is posted, more specifically useful and applicable advice will be given. Hopefully, a step-by-step guide or tutorial is in the works. At this point, it’s not much more than fluff.

Not Yet Ready for Publication

If we think about Jsfone as a work in progress, we can be a lot more forgiving. All sites take time to build, so the alpha and beta phases should be treated accordingly. However, by the very virtue of ordering this review, we should expect Jsfone to be ready for the primetime. And it’s not.

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When you’ve still got default widgets with default text, when you’ve got incomplete footer text that gets cut off, when you lack a clear and obvious purpose that becomes immediately apparent for a visitor, you’re just not ready. The content needs more practical substance and all of these administrative and design issues need to be addressed.

Don’t start sending out that magazine until it’s fit to print.

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