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With public beta, Glossy.io to make magazine stories more discoverable

Media giant Hearst is backing a new platform for browsing digital versions of magazine content. The public beta from Dumbo-based Glossy.io launches Sept. 19.

Ken Grant performs during his pitch.

Glossy.io was born of two New York institutions: Parsons School of Design and the NYC Media Lab. For an added degree of confusion, the startup is based out of Dumbo’s Made in NY Media Center. (Editor’s note: the names of these two media groups confuse us to no end. The confluence of the two here has us like http://imgur.com/EMrknJP)

Founded by several members of the Parsons community with support from media giant Hearst Corporation, Glossy.io is meant to make premium content now found only inside glossy magazines more easily discoverable and shareable online. Currently, the site only displays Hearst content.

On Sept. 19 the site will completely reboot with a public beta, at the NYC Media Lab annual summit.

The site aims to showcase unbundled content from major publishers, giving users a new way to explore professionally-generated content. You might find something from Seventeen and Esquire right next to each other, if the site’s algorithms see some sort of common thread between the two.

David Carroll, one of Glossy.io’s four cofounders and its CEO, wrote:

Bottom line, there is no place to explore 100% professional editorial content. On Glossy.io, everything you look at is created by editors and journalists, and visually connected to content across massive publisher portfolios. The browsability of magazines really has not yet been successfully translated to digital.
For example, it’s Fashion Week. There’s no place to gather the history of Karl Lagerfield’s career in a click across the fashion media archive. You could Google it, but you’re going to sift through a massive amount of garbage in order to collect what Glossy.io gives you in an instant, right now from Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Cosmo, etc. and then allows for automatic and powerful collection, curation, and sharing features that are uniquely compelling.

Right now, the image-oriented front page of Glossy.io primarily takes you straight to the article pages of the participating magazines. If the use case is proven, the team may develop some sort of format to also display the full piece on Glossy.io, but that remains to be seen, Carroll said.

“Glossy.io is built on modern Web standards and frameworks,” he added. “We are eschewing proprietary platforms in favor of the Open Web because we believe the industry needs to unbundle and adopt Web Standards to move beyond legacy distribution. Because of this, we are building on the MEAN stack  (MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node).”

For now, the site is built to be responsive across devices with no immediate plans for building a native app.

To get a sense of how its creators think about how the site should work, check out this video they made, using a paper prototype from images and text cut from magazines:

Companies: NYC Media Lab / Made in NY Media Center / Hearst
Series: Brooklyn

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