Mygazines is a place to browse, share, archive and customize unlimited magazine articles uploaded by you, the Mygazines community. We at Mygazines take great pride in providing a platform for people and businesses to share articles and magazines in an interactive and fun format. Mygazines is not just for magazines - you can upload catalogues and product brochures too! So don't hesitate - start sharing - it's free!I took a closer look at mygazines.com and saw that users had actually scanned entire magazines and had uploaded them to the website where other users could easily search, find, and read popular magazines within a slick Flash-based viewer. Immediately, I was struck by two things:
1) Mygazines.com reminds of Napster, the on/off again notorious mp3 sharing site that single-handily transformed the way music publishers and musicians distribute their artistic work and, in turn, inadvertently gave birth to legal music download services such as iTunes. With magazine and newspaper publishers scrambling to secure readership in this digital age, I sense mygazines.com could be the 'Napster' that they need. I defend this view with the second thing that struck me: Mygazines.com's simple and intuitive viewer.
2) While the website is still in beta, and in some parts, particularly search performance, the beta label really shows, I am nonetheless impressed by the Flash-based viewer. The Flash-based viewer is very intuitive with a clean navigation bar set on top featuring such tools as comment, favorite, email to friend, and social bookmarking in addition to stardard page turning and searching features.
As I flipped trough the magazines, using the keyboard's cursor keys and "z" to zoom in, I thought about the digitization work I had done--that we as a community have done--and wondered if we were delivering our scanned content in a simple and intuitive manner?
Personally, I have scanned historical photographs of all sizes, scanned and indexed textual documents, but rarely have I felt I had given the end-user (i.e. the expert researcher, the novice researcher, and everyone in between) a satisfactory tool to comfortably read and enjoy the hard work I had put in digitizing these materials.
Since we are scanning photographs, let's give the end user the feeling of fliping through a digital photo album. Since we are scanning text, let's give the end user the feeling of reading a book or report. Maybe those viewing tools already exist (and maybe I am showing my ignorance) but I am far too familiar with sites employing static jpeg image scans that are fine but cumbersome.
Now I am no copyright expert, but I am also no dummy. There is clearly something fishy (i.e. illegal, wrong) with mygazines.com and its user base scanning magazines in their entirety and uploading them for others to view for free.
Again, reminds me of Napster - but look what Napster did for the music industry. Mygazines.com is clearly breaking some rules, but I noticed it is extending its hand to the publishing industry, perhaps in an effort to legitimize its service.
What's your take on mygazines.com? Check it out and let me know.
UPDATE 09/16: Read the press release on mygazines.com's launch.
UPDATE 12/22: Mygazines.com is closed. Must have happened a few weeks ago.