Flipboard turns social network content into a virtual magazine
The latest hotness wandering around the blogs is this iPad app called Flipboard, which turns your favorite social network content into an easy-to-read magazine-styled layout. It does look good -- the idea is that pictures and text are all pulled in from various social feeds, and then assembled together by the app to make a full-color, full-featured magazine that you can flip through instead of pulling up various feeds and/or running a bunch of different clients. We saw a similar app at WWDC this year that pulled content from RSS and styled it in a magazine fashion.
Personally, I'm not entirely sold -- I have the same problem with this app as I did with RSS readers for a long time, which is that I like to see content in the format it's generated for. If someone likes something or posts a link on Facebook, I'd rather see what it looks like in the same space they created it for, not crammed into an app's magazine-style formatting. You may make the argument that information is increasingly growing context in-sensitive, and you'd be right -- I do use an RSS reader now, after many years of trying to read blog items on their own blogs, and social networks are growing more interchangeable as they fight to find their own spots in your attention.
Flipboard may work well (and at the low, low price of free, it's hard to argue against at least trying it out, though word is that the servers are hammered at launch), but I think there's still something to be said for seeing your tweets in your Twitter client and your friends' pictures on Flickr. I'm not quite ready to completely separate all of my social network content from its original form quite yet.
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