Also at that time (or actually maybe all the time) I was reading a lot about “the death of the browser” (because nothing new can be introduced to the tech world without it meaning the death of something else). I was frankly having a hard time imagining how anyone was going to surf the web without a good old fashioned address bar and back button browser. And then, mostly because I had a new empty iPad and wanted to put something on it, I tried Flipboard.
At once, I showed it to everyone in the office and declared the death of the web browser.
What Flipboard does is turn a feed into a digital magazine. It breaks the information into different-sized panels, it pulls in photos where they exist in linked stories. It sometimes follows a link in the feed and renders that story within the app, so a single feed can produce a collection of content from a variety of sources. And the whole thing navigates with a very familiar and comfortable drag-of-the-finger magazine-style page turn.
And it’s free.
So there’s that. And I should qualify my enthusiasm by pointing out that the iPad still hasn’t really caught on with me. For the most part I remain a laptop person. But the reason I mention all of this is that The Rachel Maddow Show now has a channel on Flipboard. You’ll find it in the news category.
We took several of our Twitter feeds and blended them to make the channel. So you get whatever Rachel tweets through @Maddow, plus whatever comes through @MaddowBlog, which includes some links from this blog but also retweets and other links of interest. And we mixed in the @MaddowApp tweets, which ordinarily serve as a sort of real-time bibliography as you watch the show, but in the case of Flipboard (and the nightly links list) become a collection of source material for the stories covered on the Maddow show. And, because we wanted to see if we could get some more video in there, we added @MaddowAux, which is usually just meant as a means of alerting online viewers when the clip playlist has been updated, and in the Flipboard context can serve similarly, as a gateway to more show clips without dumping a stack of videos on you.
Again, this isn’t a giant Twitter feed, it’s an automated re-expression of all of that material in a magazine-ish iPad format.
The whole package is going to be a little thin right now because Rachel has been off and Laura (the driving force behind @MaddowBlog) has been off, so you might want to give it a week or so before you render judgment. And, if you’ll forgive my lapse into techwriterliness, even if you are already satisfied with your means of Maddow Show ingestion, Flipboard is still worth a try.