I have some pretty good friends. In this case, my friend and fellow consultant Jesan Sorrells introduced me to Flipboard… even if it took me a couple of months to go back to. I’m not sure why I was curious, but eventually I was, and man, I’m glad I went to the site, set up my account, and them added it to both my smartphone and my Nook.
In essence, Flipboard is kind of a news aggregator and RSS feed reader. When you sign up, it already has a couple of things for you to look at, such as news stories. You get to select specific subjects, some which the program will recommend to you once you select a couple of things, and then you’re pretty much ready to go.
Once you start reading different stories, if you want to share them in different social media formats you can set up your devices with your usernames and passwords to those sites you want to share to. If you use an alternative application to access those sites, you have the option of selecting them without having to worry about signing in (I use different apps to access Twitter for instance), but you can go either route. After that, the process is easy to do.
For the longest time, that’s all I was using it for. Then I was talking to my buddy Yasmin Shiraz, and she clued me in on many other uses for the program.
For instance, the RSS part. I now follow a few blogs, including my own (I want to see what others see), because you can add the RSS feed on either your devices or the Flipboard website. If you wish, you can also comment via the platform, although when you’re done you’ll have to back up a couple of times to get back to Flipboard if you’re on your device. No biggie there.
It’s the magazines feature that makes you a publisher of another kind. Not only can you decide on subjects you want to read, but you can decide to create what they call “magazines”, which are categories of things you’re interested in that you either want to share with others or save for yourself to access whenever and wherever you wish. You can always delete what you decide you don’t want anymore, which is a handy feature if you put it into the wrong magazine. You can also leave a note on whatever you save in a magazine. Why would you want to do that?
Because you can subscribe to other people’s magazines, and they can subscribe to yours. That’s the fascinating part if you ask me. I’ve subscribed to Yasmin and Jesan so far, and as I find other people I’ll probably subscribe to them as well. If you look to the right —-> you’ll see where you can subscribe to my magazine. That gives you access to any magazines I’ve created, and then you can set up your own magazines as well.
You can also comment on whatever I share on my magazine, which is pretty cool, which includes my own blog posts if I happen to pop something in one of my magazines. I won’t abuse it, and so far I haven’t seen many other people abusing it also by putting all their own content into a category. But I will do it from time to time; after all, I write most posts about things I’m interested in, so why not share more right? 🙂
One last thing to share is a link to a browser plugin they call Flip It, which gives you the ability to add any article you see to your magazines by clicking on an app that you can have located on your toolbar. I believe it works for all browsers, but you can check it for yourself; it works great on mine, as I’m on Firefox.
The best way to show you how this stuff works is to share a couple of videos with you. The first is a very brief introduction of what it’s all about:
The second is how to create and use magazines:
Trust me, this is pretty cool. Now I have something to do if I’m away from home and have some time to kill. Check it out, check me out, and create your own magazines.
By the way, you didn’t think I was going to forget to pimp my latest book Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy did you? If you haven’t heard about it, check out the link. If you have, check out the link and think about buying the package… 😉