Are you familiar with Paper.li? It’s a Web service that lets you create an online newspaper from your favorite Web content (RSS feeds and social media updates). Well, Pressjack is very similar to Paper.li, except you can use it to create digital magazines instead of online newspapers.
Pressjack works by turning website URLs, RSS feeds, and even keywords into interactive magazines for the Web, tablets, and mobile devices. Let’s take a closer look.
You can try Pressjack instantly right from the home page, just enter the RSS feed that you want to convert. If you prefer to sign up first, you can do that as well. You can sign up by creating an account or by using an account you already have – Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. I chose to create an account first.
Once you create and verify your account, you can start creating your first publication; it’s a pretty simple process. You should already be on the “Create New Publication” page once you sign into your account (after verifying).
You’ll need to choose a title, add a logo, and enter your sources; you can add more than one source for your publication. For sources you can use RSS feeds, website URLs, search terms, and/or an email addresses associated with any contributor of your blog.
Since you can use more than once source, that makes Pressjack the perfect tool for creating niche magazines. For instance, you may want to create a publication about Technology, Blogging Tips, Social Media, Fashion, Music, Animals, or something else.
Before publishing your magazine, you’ll probably want to change some of the settings. You can change the properties, cover pages, and sources (if needed).
Under Properties, you can enable and disable individual features for your magazine: library, search, bookmarks, weblink, share, exit, print. You can also change the title and logo.
Under Cover Page, you can enable or disable a cover page for your magazine. If enabled, you can change the colors of your fonts and menus, add a special logo just for the cover page, add a description, change the date, and customize the effects of the image slideshow.
If you’re wondering about the slideshow, it’s actually for the background images of your cover page. You can use the default photos on Pressjack or use your own photos. The images will display as the background of the page, and they’ll also be animated in a slideshow fashion. It’s really cool effect.
When you’re done with Settings, click on the green “List of Issues” button to see your issue(s). Publishing your magazine is easy: just click on the “Publish” button to the right of your issue.
Once your issue is published you can edit, view, and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. If you see a little 0 (zero) next to your Issue Name, that means that there are zero articles in your magazine, so you won’t be able to view anything. You’ll need at least 1 article in your magazine, or else you’ll be stuck on the cover page without anything else to see.
The final result is a pretty simple digital magazine with a grid-based, responsive layout. You can click on an item to view it in full, and you can even see the comments for blog posts (if there are any). There are navigation arrows on both sides so that you can go back and forth between items in your magazine. You can also search through your publication, which is great for finding the content that you’re interested in most.
You can create issues for your publication whenever you’d like. Just click on the blue “Create New Issue” button to get started with that. The issue creator lets you manage your images and categories, change your theme, choose the articles that you want to display, move articles from one issue to another, and more.
You’ll need some articles in your first issue to begin with, which I didn’t, so I wasn’t able to play around with this feature.
Along with being able to create a digital magazine, Pressjack includes a couple other great features like:
Pressjack is easy to use, quick to set up, and works without much effort. The user-friendly interface makes it easy to customize your magazine, and even easier to view it on any type of device. Plus, you just have to love the social integration, which helps to spread your magazine on the Web.
There are a lot of different possibilities for a tool like Pressjack. You can use it to help publicize your own content, or you use it to keep up with content related to your favorite topic. Whatever you decide, it’s clear that Pressjack is a great tool for the job.
Charnita is a full-time freelance writer and blogger with 3+ years of experience, and also the owner of SocialWebTools.info. She's also an early adopter who loves trying out new social media tools along with Web and iOS (iPad) apps. Feel free to connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.