I’ve got a long and storied history with Twitter. At first, hated it. Then loved it…and recently have been somewhat ambivalent.
Personally I think the short form blog, which is what Twitter is, appeals to some of the very things that are wrong with modern society. It’s designed for the ADHD generation, feeds the growing cults of personality, and in general, is a prime expediter of the dumbing down process. The whole thing was designed to be scanned, not read, a very fact against which the writer in me is compelled to rebel. Beyond that, I attribute it to the ongoing decline of blogs and blog commenting.
That was until I saw a new app for the iPad called Flipboards (free). This app takes your twitter and facebook feeds, as well as just about anything else RSS and on the fly retrieves the summary data from the links which are embedded and constructs an online newspaper format for you to read it in.
So now, instead of reading a limited 140 character post, with an unintelligible shortened url, the app pulls down all the content, pictures and all and creates a very user friendly representation of the data.
That’s the point at which the world changed…
Now instead of this:
I get this:
(Sorry for the blurry photo – it’s actually visually stunning, but I had to take the pic with my iPhone in my dark cubicle and with my hand tremor in full force today, that’s as good as it gets)
Overnight, that makes Twitter (and Facebook) a crowd-sourced news clipping service which brings me all the news that’s fit to link.
Oh, and by the way, RSS is dead as a reading format. It’s now a cross-site content transfer language.
Try it, I think you’ll be as blown away as I am.