Flipboard

  • Flipboard continues to be a blogger’s best friend

    Bloggers in general read a lot of stuff. A LOT. When we’re not reading other blogs, we’re flicking through Google+, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, or have our noses in a good old’ fashioned book. It can all get a bit overwhelming at times.

    This is one of the reasons I adore the Flipboard app. It’s an iPhone, iPad and Android app that collates all the content from your various social accounts, and puts them together in a flippable magazine format. I’ve written about Flipboard a few times in the past, so I won’t go into too much detail.

    There have been two interesting developments with app this week. They’ve added Google+ and YouTube functions, so you can view both within the magazine format. I’ve been hoping they’d add YouTube for a while, but Google+ is a real catch for them – Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are still waiting to add that to their streams, so it’s impressive for a relatively new company to land such an opportunity. It’s a smart move by Google too. Interaction levels are low on the network, but targeting a group of switched on social media types, like Flipboard users, could be key to getting things moving again.

    Are you a Flipboard fan? What do you think about these two new additions?

    p.s I seem to be having some problems with YouTube on there at the moment, but they’re usually pretty quick to iron out any bugs.

  • Flipboard finally arrives on the iPhone

    This morning, I woke up, checked my emails and then opened the Flipboard app on my iPad to catch up on my favourite online spots. If you’re not familiar with Flipboard, it’s an app that brings together all the updates from your Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Tumblr, Instagram, Google Reader and from all your chosen websites and RSS feeds. Aside from being really useful, saving time and giving me a quick overview of everything at once, it’s also beautiful to view and use. As the name would suggest, you can ‘flip’ through pages, making it perfect for the iPad’s large screen. From within the app you can share content on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or various other accounts, email it to a friend, save it to read later and comment on a blog post or status without leaving the app. You can even post a status from within the app to your favourite sites. Additionally, viewing your Instagram feed is a joy in this app.

    Flipboard comes to the iPhone

    Have I sold you on it yet? Excellent, then you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s finally launched on the iPhone too. It’s been reworked for the small screen, so you ‘flip’ downwards rather than across. Most of the same features are there though – sharing, commenting and reading. The only think I can’t seem to do now is send a standalone tweet through it, but I tend to use Hootsuite for that anyway. This app syncs with the iPad version if you have it too, so you won’t find yourself re-reading old content.

    If you struggle to keep up with your Google Reader, I’d urge you to download this app as it makes it so much cleaner and easier – especially in terms of commenting (particularly with truncated feeds).

    I’ve put together a little gallery below of how various parts of it look, but it’s worth downloading it from the iTunes store (it’s free!) to try it first-hand.

    Are you a Flipboard fan?

    p.s Don’t forget you’ve still got a chance to win a gift from the Fairy Hobmother!

  • Summary RSS feeds: Do you click through? (Poll)

    How do you keep on track of all your favourite blogs? Email? RSS feed? Chances are, most blog fans will be reading them in something like Google Reader, which gathers together all the updates from your subscribed blogs. It’s quicker, easier and simpler to read that way. It should look something like the image above.

    If you’re a blogger, you can choose how your blogs displays in someone’s reader. Some people prefer to show the entire post, while others prefer a short teaser, to entice the reader into visiting the blog for the full content.

    Personally I read blogs through Flipboard (which you can see an example of on the left, with a lovely post from Temporary Secretary), which allows me to read a full post, comment and share without leaving the app. But when I solely used Google Reader, post summaries were a little annoying. I rarely clicked through, unless the content was particularly interesting or I wanted to leave a comment.

    But I see the benefits of only using a summary too. It can encourage more people to visit your site, meaning page views should rise along with comments.

    I’d love to know what you think though, in the poll below.

     

    [poll id=”2″]

    I’d also love to hear from those who use summary RSS feeds. Do you find you get a good click through rate? Is it better than when you display the full RSS feed?

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  • Five ways to blog daily

    It seems like a post pops up in my Google Reader every week raving about the benefits of posting on your blog every day.  And I completely agree with them. During the 30 Day Blog Challenge (which you can see here), I saw my traffic and subscribers rise substantially.

    But posting every day is hard. I write for eight or nine blogs, and I post on half of them daily. On top of that, I work three days a week as a social media and web co-ordinator, so finding the time to post daily on my own blog tends to slip down on the priority list.

    However, I’ve been working on a few ways to increase my posts on this site, at least to several times a week.

    Build an online scrapbook for ideas

    I often come across a post, image, infographic or video that I’d love to feature on the site…then forget all about it a day later. Now, I use Read It Later (a toolbar addon that allows you to save a page quickly to read later) and Springpad (to grab all sorts of urls and media for later use). This way, I save time and collect lots of potential post material.

    Both of these tools have iPhone apps too, and Springpad also has an iPad app.You can also view your Read It Later items on the personalised magazine app Zite for the iPad, and save items from Flipboard onto RIL.

    Calender for WP:RADIOWP, July 2008
    Image via Wikipedia

    Create a scheduled spreadsheet

    Popping all your posts into a spreadsheet is a bit like unloading your brain into something a little more organised. You can see what you need to publish that day, which gives you goals and targets to work towards. If you’re using WordPress, the WordPress Editorial Calender is brilliant for this. Otherwise, a simple Google Doc/Excel doc will do the job nicely.

    Set themed days

    If you find you’re lost for inspiration sometimes, it’s worth having themed days for your blog posts. For example, every Friday could be the day you do a mini-summary of your recent blog posts/activities, and Silent Sunday is also a popular theme (and quick too!)

    Posts don’t need to be long

    For ages, I’ve been fighting the mindset that a good post has to be a long post.  But some of my most popular posts are simple infographics, videos and images. Variety is key, so a mix of long and short blog posts makes your content look interesting and stops you going a bit mental about the idea of writing a 500-word post every day. You might also want to consider video blogging.

    Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
    Image via CrunchBase

    Write on the go

    Most of us have smart phones now, and with tablets becoming more and more popular, there are more opportunities to write on the go. Even if you don’t have the tech, you can still jot down any ideas or draft posts when you’re on the go. This is one of the few reasons why I like getting the train – it’s the perfect time to write a distraction-free post.

    Do you post every day? Any tips you’d like to share?