Flipboard Drives User Crazy

by francine Hardaway on August 4, 2010

I speak from the user’s point of view. Even when i immerse myself in more gadgets or software than anyone i know in the outside world would ever adopt, i try to maintain that perspective. It is important for someone in the tech world, the health care world, the banking world, the startup world to look at things the way customers do. And those are my worlds.

So  few things get a second post from me, especially after I decide I don’t love them. That’s how most users respond. This sucks; i vote with my feet if i have a choice. I don’t even bother complaining, because my time is valuable. I just go away. If I don’t  understand how something works, I decide I don’t need it in my life. That’s how I looked at Flipboard. It was just another pretty face, but so what?

I had to give Flipboard a second look, not only  because Scoble keeps saying it has revolutionized media, but because the founders are serial entrepreneurs with serious disruptive technologies behind them (Mike McCune founded Tell Me, and I remember how I felt about that).

When I first looked at Flipboard, the content wasn’t what I wanted it to be. After five years of using Google Reader,  I have my feeds curated “perfectly,” meaning they tell me what I need to know and let me read in the subjects I want to know more about. And now Google Reader lets me share. It gives me choice. It isn’t pretty, but it works FAST.

When i first saw Flipboard, I was dismayed at the content. Not enough choice. Even after I connected my Twitter and Facebook accounts I felt that way. Why? Because my Twitter and FB friends don’t read everything  I read. I was dismayed at what crap some of them shared, especially the marketing gurus.

I still value professional curation. So even after Robert told me last night that I could add lists, Flipboard isn’t ready for me. Like Twitter and Facebook, Flipboard can give me discovery. But it can’t give me my morning “grounding” — what I think I need to know to meet today’s world. I can put my own lists in, but I don’t see how to add someone else’s list. Or a Listorious list. And my lists are limited to sources I already know.

This is because I grew up In the era of professional curation. I’m willing to accept the crowdsourcing of some of my news, but not all of it just yet. Either Flipboard has to give me much more control, or I will keep on reverting back to Google Reader.

I can see what Flipboard could be. But it isn’t that yet. And I am just a user.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

mterenzio August 4, 2010 at 9:54 am

Interesting. And if Doc Searls and others are right about VRM being on the doorstep, shouldn't it apply to what information we'd like as well as what we want to buy. In other words, we at least want to be able to turn the knobs and tune it in, even if the seek and scan are doing a really good job. How is your dog doing?

hardaway August 4, 2010 at 9:58 am

Dog is still barking and blogging:-) and yes, Doc has tuned me into VRM very finely, and I am wildly ranting about how companies treat customers and gadgets/apps treat users.

Francine Hardaway, Ph D

Vietnam Property Holding August 4, 2010 at 7:53 pm

I haven't seen Flipboard yet, because of so much popularity with Facebook and Twitter. I guess, I will see it for myself and what we can do with this one. Thanks for a very honest review on Flipboard.

Vietnam Property Holding August 5, 2010 at 2:53 am

I haven’t seen Flipboard yet, because of so much popularity with Facebook and Twitter. I guess, I will see it for myself and what we can do with this one. Thanks for a very honest review on Flipboard.

Henk de Kruyff August 31, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Will apps replace the web browser? Will it be the end of quality content on the web? A difficult question to answer I think!nnhttp://www.noisepollution.nl/?p=2287nn – Henk

hardaway August 31, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I hope not, but that’s what Wired thinks:-) I think HTML5 will come alongrnand save us.

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