Question & Answer

Yesterday we got a fantastic comment from a Turk user. I have split the comment up into sections so I can respond to each suggestion one by one.

Comment: “Interesting idea, but of course people may keep a journal in a Word file, back it up on their usb key, and use desktop search tools so you need to add value beyond that.”

Response: Actually, we have learned that about 26% of journals are on Mac or PC. Even still, 13% of those surveyed said that they have lost a personal journal due to a computer crash. Pyxlin will be a solution for those who want to save the hassle of always making sure you have a backup of your journal on hand.

Comment: “…Ideally have some free-form layout like a DTP [Desk Top Publishing] package rather than fixed layouts.”

Response: When pyxlin is first released it will have some limited customization options. As time moves on pyxlin will give you more options. Even though pyxlin will give you the beauty of TeX typesetting, pyxlin is created as a journaling system not a desktop publisher. Comparing pyxlin’s DTP “free-form” abilities to InDesign, QuarkXPress, or any other professional DTP system, would be like comparing Google’s Picasa to PhotoShop. Picasa is a simple photo editing system that provides beautiful results to even the dumb people like me. To use Photoshop you will need to go back to school.

DTP is a different universe from word processing! If you think you can pick it up as you go along, like Word, you are wrong: graphic design is a profession which people spend 2-3 years at college learning about. “Having a go” with DTP is the biggest timewaster, for the smallest gain, that you can imagine in IT! – Newcastle University

Pyxlin on the other hand will be as simple to use as your handwritten journal, even more simple to use than MS Word yet resulting in a book as beautiful as one designed using a DTP system. We expect that those who love to use DTP systems like InDesign or QuarkXPress will continue to use them.

Comment: “…I’d suggest the journal be mirrored on 2 or more diverse servers so the service is NEVER inaccessible.”

Response: Pyxlin operates on Amazon’s server systems, S3 and EC2 (pyxlin is a BETA tester for Elastic Cloud 2). In normal people terms this means that your journal will be stored on one of the most reliable server networks in the world.

Comment: “…Also the facility to keep a copy of your journal offline on your own media so you have it always even if the journal hosting company goes bankrupt etc, which could be a concern losing my memories.”

Response: This is a great idea. Currently, the system is built to allow you to download a full-quality PDF of your journal at anytime. You can save this to your computer.

Comment: “…If you’re going to let people share portions with friends, the private sections should also be selectable for printing eg book with and without certain entries.”

Response: We have thought about this a lot. Because with pyxlin you will be able to keep multiple personal journals simultaneously, I recommend you keep two (or more) personal journals. One, that you can show off to friends right now. Another, that is just for you and your posterity after you die. And perhaps another, that has ramblings that you will never publish.

Comment: “…Ability to go back and modify or update entries for particular dates.”

Response: Your journal will be modifiable forever. You can even come back after you publish and reprint with something you just missed in your first printing.

Comment: “…Rather than a monthly fee, some ad content may be acceptable as a way to generate revenue. If I live for 80 years, an annual fee over that timeframe is a big commitment, so less likely to commit to it.”

Response: We are considering a less private ad based version of pyxlin. Regardless, we are looking into the idea of giving you a very secure, encrypted, option that will not include ads. BBC just reported that proper ad based systems, like Google’s, are not so private at all. We want you to know that your journal is yours.

Comment: “…An off line composing/viewing application which uploads a copy might work best.”

Response: This is a great idea. We may have to create a feature like this in the future. For now, you can just keep your journal on a word processor and then copy and paste when you are by an Internet connection.

Comment: “…Some reassurance about privacy helpful eg under what circumstances law enforcement may force access to encrypted private entries, for similar reasons which country are servers located?”

Response: We operate in the US. Here is our privacy policy.

Comment: “…Offer a range of price options eg hardback library bound or inexpensive binding like a “perfect bound” quality magazine like Custompc in UK which is similar size about 100 pages.”

Response: We are also looking into a perfect bound option. I will be posting on book quality soon. Great idea!

Comment: “…Rapid order turnaround. Realistic shipping options to territory outside USA. Interesting survey!

Response: Currently we can only have a bindery in the United States. There are two options for those outside the US. One, we can ship it to you and you just pay the shipping expense. Two, you can print it at a bindery near you. With Pyxlin you will be able to publish at any bindery. You don’t have to publish with us.

Thanks for the great comments!


June 4, 2007. discussions, features, journal research, typesetting, Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. Pyxlin » Blog Archive » No Ads or Spam replied:

    […] also responded to this comment about an ad based system in an earlier journal entry: “…Rather than a monthly fee, some ad content may be acceptable as […]

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