Does Flipboard introduce the future?

I am overwhelmed by Flipboard. Which might be the best and most innovative thinking in regards to media I’ve seen in a very long time.

This is flipboard:

The reason for my amazement is two fold, both argued in a former post:

    1. I think this is from Clay Shirky: The perception of news is changing from something distributed through newspapers and news bulletins to something found on Facebook. People now view checking out what their friends are doing as newsworthy and as “news” as the formats pushed by news media.


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    . In the next iteration of publishing, anyone or thing distributing information is a publisher. At the same time the sharer becomes as important as the content itself. How does the business model change when content and distribution becomes two separate businesses?

So the question would be, why didn’t this come fro The Guardian, The New York Times or Wired? Are they avoiding mixing their own content with democratized content because of a perceived brand implication? And does Flipboard represent ONE interesting direction to the media as a distribution brand, not just a content brand? (As more and more of Facebook’s content is being enjoyed off-site, why can’t be the distributer of this content?)

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  1. October 3

    I am personally a big fan of Flipboard, simply becuase it changed my way of consuming information. It can perfectly fill the gap between traditional and electronic media, and the way it presents information is generally much better received by the average person (I wrote about this in one of my blog posts ).

  2. October 3

    Hi Gabriele, thanks for chipping in so quickly.

    Thanks for the link, and a very interesting angle. I think this paragraph summarized it best for me:

    “In the process of translating something natural (reading a newspaper) to its electronic counterpart (an application to read news), did I abstract too much (example, the cold list of news items)? Is there a way to represent things more naturally (example, the visual representation of the newspaper)?” –

    Personally I often find digital ideas try to mimic reality by just blindly copying stuff from existing technologies (like TV or newspapers) and then adding the mandatory conceptual hyperlink at the end – and by that fail to see the completely different contexts for use.

    In a quote by Erin McKean she comments on online dictionaries as only copying the negative properties of the paper based dictionaries, and none of the good.

    At the same time there are people like Donald Norman who suggests that every time a new technology comes along, we forget everything we know and start from scratch. The “browsered” Internet is a perfect example of this, still in the stone ages when it comes to understanding the effect of visual communication on the human eye and brain.

    In my mind we need to translate the positive things that we already know, and understand how this applies in a completely new context – and then invent and design the bits that are missing in order for us to get where we want to go.

    And Flipbook has done just this – perfectly.

    Thanks again for your thoughts, and post.


  3. October 4

    I am incredibly impressed with Flipboard. The UI is very intuitive and navigating around the virtual magazine is smooth and responsive. The recent updated version has added better offline browsing, but I think that could be improved further.

    For international flights, it would be great to choose to download the last six hours-worth of content for browsing in the plane. I found video content often didn’t load correctly until the recent update, but now this has been addressed and improved. For a free product it’s great. It shows what can be achieved for future free and paid applications that combine and distribute content to users.

  4. October 4

    Hi Robin
    Thanks for your comments. I do agree with you in regards to the possible improvements in offline browsing – would really appreciate the 6h functionality you suggest.

    Right now I’m testing out different stuff, and suddenly see a completely new use for twitter lists. Having to create them on my account just to have the best “publications” sorted and imported into Flipboard


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