Review: Zeen, personalized magazine
Today we tested Zeen , a service as we told you pretend to be the new Paper.li, and comes on the heels of Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, founders of YouTube. The service is in closed beta so you have to ask for invitations to use it, but is expected to open soon. We wanted to get ahead and do a little analysis, that we offer as soon as we received the invitation. Began.
The registration process is very simple. The service is still in beta, but if you’re lucky and conseguis an invitation, simply confirm our email address, something that obviously also happen when the beta is opened or when the final version is released. Once inside follow a little wizard where we can connect our profiles on Twitter or Facebook for example to take them as sources of our magazines or directly share them on social networks.
The first thing we encountered when entering Zeen is our profile, which we can complete even if we added, for example, our Twitter account, this will already have data like bio or avatar. Then two options: Add a new issue or create a new magazine, and is that by default we have a magazine and created our own name we start failing publication. For example, we have created a new magazine called Review, and we did follow the wizard.
The first is to introduce the name of the magazine, of course, and as soon as we’re going to cover creating. Here we can choose a type of default layout and color scheme. Styles include predefined categories such as music or professional and are basically different provisions to give one or another aspect to our magazines.
Each issue or issue of a magazine can have its own title, which you see immediately below, and of course the corresponding cover. It is noteworthy that Zeen is a totally closed system to the cloud, so choose one’s home looking at the form and uploading files from your computer. This has its advantages and disadvantages, of course.
The heart of every magazine, and the sense of being of the same, are certainly the content. And that’s the point. Once we have the cover, we start to add content, which are on different pages of the magazine. At any time we add a new page for a total of 20, and they have many options to choose from. These are the sources of our content:
- Google Search – Links that came from searches
- Links – Links you to enter manually
- News – News taken from Google Search News
- Images – Images from Google Image Search
- Videos – Videos taken from YouTube searches
- RSS – an RSS feed column systems to manually enter
Also we import content of our profiles on social networks Facebook and Instagram, and add tweets removed from Twitter.
The content selection is again simple, perhaps too: Just one click on the picture, tweet or want to add content to be created in the page you are editing. Once this is done we can choose a page style, such as adding descriptions to the photo you just added, or opinions about what we publish through the right column.
Our copy has 5 pages, one with a photograph, one with a tweet, direct link, and finally a video
The table of contents or index combines the different pages that have been added, and actually have access to the once we have created the cover. However, we wanted to leave for the end because all we can do is add a description: The table of contents alone is filled fueled by the contents we have contributed to our magazine. This is a very good idea that the index is actually a slide show or thumbnails page where the reader sees at a glance the contents that interest you. Very graphic, as it surely hit most of our content is multimedia and expect a lot of images and videos.
Within minutes we created a magazine that we share with our potential readers, which can easily be done through the share button Mostara us three choices: Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
Comparing with other services Zeen
The main services that come to mind when you talk and use are of course Zeen Paper.li and Flipboard. The first, because it focuses on the same idea: to create a magazine that collect interesting content that we face to our contacts offer a single place to read all. The idea is not new, and indeed a website or blog can serve, but the difference is that to start a blog probably need a little learning and probably longer. Zeen is simple with a few minutes to share a collection of content.
Compared with Paper.li, Zeen is a much more graphical and easier, and more personalized. We are those who add the content, Paper.li can search on a term, a source-in fact up to 25 different per newspaper / magazine-but Zeen specifically allows us to select what we want to share.
With Flipboard really no comparison. This cool application and service we can read our own magazine but a magazine created for us. Zeen us journal authors to share with our fans or contacts. It makes little sense to read our own magazine because we ourselves have created and we should know its contents.
Finally I want to compare Zeen with a service that although in principle not devised I do think that it has become something like: Google+ . Google + is a social network Facebook-style that allows us to publish any content. Personally I use it to share content that I find interesting, and although you can put Facebook in the same boat, it is usually used for social interaction with people around us, so known. So, Google + may well be our “personal journal”, a completely valid option and different, but at the end of the day serves the same purpose: the dissemination of content.
Zeen delivering what it promises. This is a site from which you can easily create your own newsletters, compilations of content, and anything you can think of, all with 20 pages in front and with enough customization options. However, the fact that from the beginning to give him enough hype to personalization has left us wanting more. And, basically, what we can do is choose a style, which are quite similar to each other, and a color scheme that today we can customize to 100%. Wish there were more options in this regard.
The idea is very good, but what I said at the last point may be a disadvantage for starting this new startup. While I should not have many problems with Paper.li, whose approach is quite different, we must not forget that social networks are used to share content, and these may actually be the enemy to beat (an impossibility). In particular, within the same, I see a lot of sense to use Zeen except if you usually try to publish the same content on Google+. Forgetting a bit of this, I have to say about the purpose and the result, the creation of magazines could not be easier.Tags: Review, Zeen