Your Own Edition

Create digital journals with Living Junction

The problem: too much news. Not enough time. Some people do, and share it via Twitter, Facebook, etc. But it’s nowhere near the pleasure to read a magazine or a book, even on an iPad. And going through your entire Twitter timeline is painful.

The solution: a simple newspaper creation tool for anyone to build its own magazine, and share it with its followers. Aggregate content from social networks or create your own, add pictures and a bit of editing, and you’ve got a great magazine you can distribute to anyone accepting to read it (the traffic is not included…).

Who is this for?: hard to tell yet! But curating news is a big trend, and doing it in a more regular and pleasant way than a twitter feed or a Pinterest account, with also more different possibilities, should attract users. Amateurs and pros.

Visit Living Junction

Integrating medias, such as YouTube videos or your own FB pictures is really easy, Tumblr way.
It makes the creation of graphic and well designed pages much more simple!

There is too much you can do. No need to have all the possibilities a real editor offers : the font, the color, the size, for each element of the magazine…
Creating a magazine takes time, and we’d love to see templates and pre-designed pages to do it a lot faster. Sometimes, constraints are good, they enable creativity!

U.S.E.’s take on it

Self edition, or curation, are growing markets, and completely automated technologies like Flipboard or Paper.li are not fullfilling all the needs.

Individuals and pros might very well need for a tool mixing social curation and self edition. And Living Junction may be one of them, especially if they improve the possibility to integrate contents and links from social networks, maybe in a semi-automatic way. Like selecting a few links from your timeline, and sharing them in your LJ magazine.

Out final take :

  • No way this will work
  • Not betting on it, but the start is interesting
  • Need a bit fixing, but the path is clearly good
  • Where do we sign to invest ?

Our grade

7/12

First published in the newsletter #24, on July, the 12th, 2012

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Hire an assistant

Get everything you need to blog, when you blog, with Zemanta

The problem : writing a blog post is not the hard part! But exploring sources, getting the links, finding the right picture, that’s what takes most of the time of bloggers.

The solution : integrated through a browser plug-in into most famous blogging platforms (wordpress, tumblr, etc.), Zemanta brings your own sources and content ready to copy/paste into your next post. No more need for 12 open tabs, or loosing half an hour getting the source of this picture right.

It also gives you suggestions of links (related contents) and pictures, and it can create automatic links to Wikipedia or other trusted sources to improve your post.

What’s their business : It looks like Zemanta plans to offer better tools to bloggers, so that they can sollicit them for advertising or brand-related contents. Not a bad strategy, althought it requires a sales network as wide as their plugin is used.

Visit Zemanta

Connect your Instagram and Flickr accounts to Zemanta, and you’ve got your pictures right here, next to your blogging interface!
It’s a huge productivity bump for every blogger.

The sources and features are limited to Zemanta’s partners.
It’s probably the right business approach, but bloggers could ask for more, and try to find a better assisting tool.

Publish in one snap

Create a page and just share it.
That’s it with Checkthis.

The problem: you have a question or a post, but you don’t have a blog (or you lost your password), you don’t want to put it on Facebook, and a tweet is too short. How can you easily set up a page to share it with the world?

The solution: they call it “between nothing and a blog”, and poetry aside, that’s not far from reality. On Checkthis, you can publish your content in 2 clicks and get a unique link to spread the word, like this one.
It’s all about publishing content with Efficiency and Rapidity. So easy to use, self-evident and with such a great UI (User Interface) that you wonder why this did not exist before.

The bonus: basic templates let you choose if you want to publish a text, a product, a question or an invite. Basic needs. Basic solution.

How far can it go: pretty far if Checkthis becomes an habit for publishing perishable content. But how often do individual publishers (who already have blogs, highly followed twitter accounts, a tumblr and so on) will need this kind of page?

Visit Checkthis

You can set up a “due date” to your post. After one week or one month, it will entirely disappear from the web (theorically, at least).
It’s definitely like posting a poster in the street or handing out fliers for your party: who keeps that?.

With only four basic types of content available, you could feel frustrated if you want to publish a few pictures of your party, or anything else not fitting in one of them.
Fans of personnalised backgrounds or account parameters configuration might feel disappointed.

Take back the Control

With pult.io, your smartphone turns into an advanced remote

Who still watches TV without a smartphone or an iPad in its hands ? Probably not you, anyway. But didn’t you feel frustrated by all the cables and configurations you’d need, just to show everyone on a big glossy screen this cat/skater/singer YouTube video you just found ?

Here is when you’ll be glad to know pult.io ! Access it simultaneously from your phone and your screen (TV or computer), enter The Code, and BAM !

Project your last vacations pictures from Flickr, your obviously brilliant slideshow from Slideshare or your favorite shoutcast on this other screen, directly from your phone, without any more configuration (meaning headache) required !

It sounds like a good trick and, in a way, it is. Whether it’s to show something to your mom or to your boss, it’s an elegant and simple way to use a screen bigger than your phone’s. This has no price (I mean, literally).

Visit pult.io

One 4-letters code to plug into your phone to connect it, and nothing more ? No cables, no airplay, no bluetooth ?
No way !
Actually, this is a great way.

Less useful with a computer screen than a TV. But how many TVs are in fact connected ?
Last time we checked, not that much…

Speak every language

The media europeans build themselves

For a first delivery of our newsletter, we could not get passed it. Not really a startup, and not exactly new either, but a common european vocation imposed it.

Did you know there is a truly europeanmagazine ? It is called Cafe Babel (no relation to any church, we’ve been told). It’s a magazine, it’s a community, it’s available in five different languages, how more european could it be ?

Organized as a network in several cities, with writers, editors and readers sharing news and mixing it up, it covers cultural and social events from all over Europe.

As in any magazine, you can obviously find news, but with a european twist you can’t probably find anywhere else. You’ll dig up news in south Italy or eastern Europe you never heard of on your favorite TV channel. The bonus ? The story is written by someone who can explain the context and the details you would otherwise miss.

Visit Cafe Babel

The site is available in 6 different languages (english, german, french, spanish, italian and polish), with minor differences, thanks to dedicated translators. That’s not something you see a lot in the media landscape.

 As a community-based media, recent news are not the focus.
You’ll find more of “long tail news”, sometimes lacking a bit of editorial direction.