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Flipboard 1.0 not so great
By Dave Winer on Sunday, August 01, 2010 at 9:53 AM.

A picture named disneyPad.gifI finally have been admitted to Flipboard, and have had a chance to try it out. permalink

First the conclusion -- eh -- not so great. But maybe if they move forward in an interesting way, this version can be the foundation for something that leads the market in an interesting direction. But right now, I don't plan to use it, and I don't think very many people will use it, after the initial rush has died down. permalink

Caveat: I could be wrong and I know it. My first reaction to Twitter was much the same, but I ended up being a devotee. I also initially misread desktop publishing. I didn't think anyone would want to do it. I've been wrong many times. So don't take this as a pronouncement, rather it's an opinion. :-) permalink

Basically, Flipboard is a client for Twitter and Facebook. It doesn't show you all the posts, it has an algorithm that somehow ranks them and mixes up the order.  permalink

Perhaps it considers the number of followers someone has as more significant?  permalink

They appear to have two ways to display a tweet.  permalink

1. If it contains a link, they load the page it points to, run it through Readability to get the core content, extract a picture or two, and lay it out in an attractive way. They only show the first few paragraphs, then link to the full story.  permalink

2. Otherwise they show the tweet in a full-screen mode, much the way Twitter shows it when it's displaying a tweet on its own page.  permalink

Since it only runs on the iPad, at least now, it has to compete with my current means for reading Twitter on the iPad, which is (I know it's boring) in Safari. It works pretty well. I don't see why I should launch Flipboard to read articles I could just as easily read by clicking on a link. permalink

A picture named flowers.gifIf Flipboard, in a future version, allows me to push content into it via RSS, without going through Twitter or Facebook, then I've got an incentive to use it, and I probably will. This is something neither Twitter or Facebook does. Also, as a developer, and freedom-loving user, I am willing to invest alongside any company that's willing to help me be free of big companies. But this could just as easily be one of the other client developers. No special reason to look to Flipboard for this. Maybe they'll do it, but given the inbred nature of Silicon Valley, they probably won't. permalink

The other hope is that Flipboard offers publishers a way to use a higher-level rendering capability to make their collections more useful to readers. We're waiting for someone to do this. Again it could be Flipboard, but it could just as easily be someone else. permalink

What they've done is captured a lot of attention. That may be a good thing, or as Rex Hammock points out, it may just alienate the publishers, who ultimately they need cooperation from.  permalink

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