Issuu is a neat little service that lets you turn your PDF — a multiple-MB boring memory hog file — into an interactive, intuitive flipbook that you can host online and share with others. Examples here, here, and here.
On the site, users select a file, give it a title, an e-mail address, and upload. The flash-based interface then turns the PDF into interactive flip-book and lets you share it with its unique link. The site lets you explore through the user-uploaded documents with a section for magazines, design-related things, and photography, and connect with other members who use the service. You can also manage an online library by signing up.
Document sharing services, including DocStoc, Scribd, and edocr, have been getting a lot of attention over the last few months — and with the premise of being a “YouTube for documents,” their usefulness has been growing. Issuu, however, differenciates itself by focusing on the publishing aspect and aiming specifically at digitzing print publications. As their elevator pitch goes, “Issuu is the place for online publications: Magazines, documents, and stuff you’d normally find on print. It’s the place where YOU become the publisher.”
A neat thing about the service is the sharing aspect. Users can customize their Issuu and post it easily to Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, Blogger, Friendster, Typepad, LiveJournal, and of course, embed it to their blogs via HTML (embedded on the right side is a sample Issuu.) Users can also comment on and bookmark the Issuus — a useful feature for people involved in design-related fields.
The startup was founded back in February 2006 by a group of five people — including CEO Michael Hansen — and raised a venture round in February 2007 by Sunstone Capital.