It’s 8:30 in the evening, and Teppo Hudson and Rainer Geselle, the two-man team behind Publishzer, have been hunched over their computers for the past nine hours. I know this because I saw them when they walked in this morning; ArcticStartup shares an office with them in downtown Helsinki. I may be too close to cover them completely objectively, but hear me out. This week Publishzer has publicly launched their invitation only service, The Fashion Mags. It’s looking hot, and may change the way millions of readers consume and interact with fashion blogs.
“Honestly I think the way blogs are designed looks horrible,” says Hudson, the business guy behind Publishzer. He pulls up a local fashion blogger’s site, and scrolls through the big pictures, tiny bits of text, and more pictures of cute outfits and fluffy things. “Pictures, text, pictures, text… it doesn’t look good,” he says.
To change up this dynamic, they’ve built an drag-and-drop platform to allow bloggers to easily create their own magazine-inspired layouts, and then embed them into their blogs. Creating these mags requires a blogger to drag a pictures into their “Mag” editor (automatically taking links to the content), then adjust to pre-defined sizes and snap them wherever they want. Text can be added and adjusted in the same way, and Youtube or Vimeo videos can also be thrown into the mix.
An example mag embedded with one of their bloggers can be found here.
The team has been keeping an open line of communication with fashion bloggers while developing their product over the past year and a half, and have discovered that bloggers are looking for both a nontechnical way to create unique content, but also new revenue paths.
So to help themselves and their bloggers to monetize their content, The Fashion Mags currently offers in-Mag tagging (much like Kiosked or ThingLink) to allow bloggers to tag the items they’re wearing and send readers to an online store. Their database supports 7,000 brands, 800 online stores, and 2 million products at the moment.
“With a cleaner design, content is more interesting, people engage with it more, and advertising within the content is received better,” says Hudson.
Right now The Fashion Mags is now public in the sense that their invited bloggers can use the service at will and embed these Mags on their site. Will the Mag editor ever be open to the public? Hudson says he’s not sure at this point in their development.
By limiting this product to the fashion blogging market, they can spread their reach to millions of readers and consumers. But once they tap the power bloggers that drive the majority of the fashion blogging traffic, it will be easy for them to reach 80% of their market. Hudson doesn’t want to speculate too much at this point in time, but the Publishzer technology could also be applied to other sectors, like travel blogging, real estate, as well as applying new revenue mechanics to fashion blogging.
Regardless it’s a nicely designed product, which is why we selected it with the “Best Design” award at the Arctic15 and made it as a finalist at Decoded Fashion London. It’s pretty amazing that only the two idiots we share an office with built it, and I think it’s got potential. The Fashion Mags is bringing fresh design and new revenue paths to an industry that is relatively underserved with technology, considering how much purchasing power it controls.