A ‘social magazine’ delivers news
you choose, and then some.
by Nathan Halverson
FACE TIME: Doll got his tart working at Apple.
For more than 100 years, people read the news by flipping
through a newspaper. They learned that the important news was
on the front page, sports had its own section, and if a neighbor
were arrested for driving under the influence it would be in the
police blotter column.
But within a few short years, the Internet tore that model to shreds.
Evan Doll is one of many entrepreneurs hoping to establish
e;cient new routines for how people consume digital news.
Doll, ’03, co-founded Flipboard, an iPad application for information presentation. Apple named Flipboard the best iPad application of 2010, and Time magazine ranked it among that year’s top
technological advances. Reviewers praise its thoughtful layout,
vivid reproduction of photos and easy-to-read text.
“ We like to call it a social magazine,” Doll says. “The amount of
stu; people are sharing is
ridiculous. Flipboard helps
you sift through and find the
Flipboard, which was
made available for iPhones
in December, creates a per-
sonalized virtual magazine.
SANTA ROSA PRESS DEMOCRAT/ ZUMAPRESS.COM
In addition to summoning
the content a user requests, it presents news articles based on
what the user’s friends are sharing on social sites such as Facebook and Twitter. “We can’t say with absolute certainty that these
are the most relevant stories to you, but we can take a pretty good
shot at it,” Doll says.
The outcome is akin to a personalized Vanity Fair, with serious
news combined with flu;er social matter. In addition to its aggregation of established content providers, Flipboard’s virtual magazine can pull in Facebook photos uploaded from a friend’s baby
shower or college graduation party.
Not everyone is a fan of tailoring the news to each reader. Eli
Pariser, author of The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding
From You, worries that news personalization leads to people
increasingly being presented only certain perspectives—that is,
opinions they already agree with.
‘The amount of stu; people
are sharing is ridiculous.
Flipboard helps you sift through
and find the good stu;.’
N;;;;; H;;;;;;;; is a freelance reporter in San Francisco.