We noted in Traditional publishing welcomes the iPad the game changing nature of the new platform arrival. And anyone who has been using the iPaD in its first few months will know how true this is – in our own case a recent family holiday being punctuated by family rows about access to the device leading to the implementation of a booking system and contemplation of a second device purchase!
Now comes a genuinely game changing and serious application to sit on the new platform – one that will flip the whole publishing model across a spectrum of different types of publishing. Whenlaunched some weeks ago, its servers crashed trying to keep up with the demand for downloads. A viral marketing case study if ever there was one, since this is a small start-up in its first round of funding – albeit one with “track” since CEO Mike McCue sold his previous start-up to Microsoft for $800m.
Flipboard – and it has to be seen to be appreciated: download for free at– puts previous social networking dashboards and RSS news aggregators into the shade in terms of presentation. It has yet to achieve their access to a multiplicity of sources since it is initially wedded to filtering your Facebook and Twitter feeds, along with a variety of their own pre-determined “tiles”. But that will come in time.
Flipboard does a number of really smart things and then renders them in the ultimate “iPad cool” presentation. First it not only filters all your (as an example) Twitter or Facebook feeds. But it then goes in and lifts out a proportion of the referenced text (or video or photo etc). It provides a further click through to the full text. And here is the “cool” killer piece: it renders these 1000s of feeds into an attractive magazine format where you can zip through your information as you would have done with your favoured B2B or professional publication of yesteryear. Further algorhythms rank and order the feeds, thus adding further value to the filtering process.
Flipboard is not alone in this game – Padpressed and Posterous are other applications which take the presentational newspaper and magazine visual mode and apply it to social network streams. (Or launched this week - stay with it folks! - Wowd is another one). Nor is Flipboard perfect. We have a list of client requests already for feature improvements - chief among these a desire to move away from Flipboard pre-built “tiles” to more bespoke publisher curated source lists.
But it does represent a game changing "flip" to our landscape (or do we mean portrait view?) , on a platform that is already changing the way we use media.
Shane O’Neill Associates is already advising a number of B2B and professional publishing clients on how to harness the power of these new applications to their own specialist community marketplaces – for more information please contact