I am not much of a social media user/consumer. I don't have a facebook page (never say never) and though I am an avid consumer and tweeter, I haven't been on Twitter all that long either. So an application that takes all of your social media feeds and consolidates them into one interface, using a pretty intuitive and well known metaphor would not be something that would typically grab my attention. But that's exactly what has happened. Not because of what it does today, but what I hope it will do in the future. The interweb is all a twitter (pun intended) with the new iPad application called Flipboard, . http://www.flipboard.com/, which was announced today. So I had to go look for myself to see what all the hubbub was about. I actually don't own an iPad (or any apple products) so I can only go off of the various demos that I've seen. I like this product. I think it is VERY innovative and has alot of potential, but not for the things that it does now. Let me explain.
If you own an iPad and use Facebook and Twitter and I'm assuming other social media feeds coming soon probably, then I think you would want to get this free application. It takes all of that content; the photos, the wall postings, links etc and presents them in a magazine UI metaphor, without you having to do any programming or layout work. Pretty cool. But if you are not a social media heavy user and/or don't own an iPad (aka me) then you won't be so excited about it or at least you would think. But here's the catch for me... I want a Flipboard for all of my work content. I want to aggregate my email, my sharepoint stuff, my docs, my excel spreadsheets, my project schedules, tasks and issues/risks -- all of it -- into Flipboard type content I can consume as I go about my day at work. Why limit your product to only the consumption of social media content?
For example, I'm a realtor. I need to look at emails coming in, setup appointments with potential buyers (and sellers), file escrow paperwork, check the status of a loan from the bank for a client, check new listings on the MLS... why couldn't I put all of that into a Flipboard type magazine for me to consume? For other realitors at my company to consume?
Or I could be an executive at an organizaion, let's say that makes widgets. I need to (again) check emails coming in, look at my calendar for meetings, etc., I need to check the quarterly departmental budgets an expenses, review a press release, look at a balanced scorecard dashboard of other metrics for my department or organization, check stock on inventory, approve some purchase orders, meet with the board of directors taking notes the whole way.... it could go on and on. Wouldn't it be cool that instead of having to open up all of these applications to do the tasks that I'm describing that instead I had a Flipboard for my company that contained all of the information "feeds" that I would use based on my position and what I've "subscribed" to from my IT department?
The Flipboard company bills itself as a social magazine, but I hope it won't stop there. I hope that it will open up its interface so that the types of content that I've just describe... work stuff... can be added, that company-centric Flipboards can be created for the information feeds that we deal with at work.