Between 2007 and 2013, I was a daily user of Google Reader. I checked it as often as my email. And like many Google Reader devotees, I grieved deeply when Google axed the service last year. I decided to move to The Old Reader, which was designed to look and act like an earlier version of Google Reader. Life was good. I was happy. Then The Old Reader told me they were kicking me and the other Google Reader transfer students off their service, though it turns out I missed the message where they changed their minds.
I rather reluctantly moved to Feedly. I had tried Feedly before, but I didn’t like that articles disappeared as soon as I finished reading them. Once I figured out how to make my feeds display in a list format, both in the app and on a desktop, Feedly grew on me. I stopped looking for other options for keeping up.
For Thing #4, I tried both Flipboard and Zite, other options for keeping up with information and news on the Internet.
With the feature of creating and sharing your own “magazines” of content, I can see the appeal of Flipboard for people who enjoy using Pinterest or who follow a lot of visually-rich websites. You can add subscriptions for your favorite websites, blogs, or social media accounts. You can also follow magazines that are put together by users. When you find articles of interest, you can add them to your own magazines (like pinning something on a Pinterest board). I also appreciated the ability to send article to my Pocket app (an app where I save things I want to read later). Everything that you follow has it’s own spot in Flipboard, and when you open it, you can page through the content like the magazine, with a picture, title, and short snippet.
Using Flipboard for Libraries
I also found an example of a public library using Flipboard. Des Moines Public Library has two magazines they’ve put together, collecting book reviews and fun articles for their patrons.
This got me thinking about other ways libraries could use Flipboard. Off the top of my head, here are some ideas I thought of:
- Public libraries could put together make magazines with seasonal how-to articles (e.g., get started gardening for spring) or resources connected with a program
- Reader’s Advisory–Put together a magazine of staff favorites/reviews or readalikes
- I wonder if Flipboard could be used in conjunction with RSS feeds from journals for academic library patrons.
- If you have a lot of online content (tutorials? blogs?), you could use Flipboard to put together a magazine as a library guide
While I can see the attraction of Flipboard and think it would be a great tool for curating content to share with library patrons, I personally would not find it useful for keeping up with information. I’m not a particularly visual person, and I prefer to browse my RSS feeds in a list. My goal is to keep up fully with a set of websites and know that I’ve seen everything they’ve recently written. I also like being able to combine them into categories (e.g., sites about libraries, funny websites, friends’ blogs) and tell what I have and haven’t looked at, which Flipboard does not allow. For keeping up, I find that using Feedly and Pocket together works well for me.