I love Flipboard. I’m impressed with what they’ve done so far. But I want it to be better. Overall, I want it to be killer at highlighting the best content for me with as little manual work on my part. The key things I’d love to see Flipboard do:
Be my personal shopper & curator. The President gets a daily intelligence brief, why shouldn’t Flipboard users? There is more content on three of my favorite blogs than I will ever have time for. Help me filter. Curate it more for me and tell me what to read first. If it’s a rare day where time is in abundance, I’ll keep going. But on the 99% of days when time is scarce, I’ll thank you dearly for telling me what I need to know and sending me off.
Be the newsboy of the future with push notifs: Remember when they used to shout “Extra! Extra” while clutching a group of freshly printed newspapers? I don’t, actually. But I’d love it if Flipboard took a cue from corner newsboy here. When great content (which they know I like from my browsing history and possibly Pandora style feedback loop) comes out, I want to know about it. Send me a push notification. Seriously. If good content comes out, I want to know. Push notifs, when used right, are a great experience.
Be (even) more visual. Everytime I login to Flipboard, I want an on the fly, awesome looking magazine quality cover highlighting the top stories. How awesome would that be? I know Flipboard will have great content for me but I want it to sell the dream too. If I login each day to find one great article with magnificent visual presentation that would make an indelible impression (as opposed to just being a great way to read blogs).
Nix the photos only: Why is there a “photos only” option? Seems to muddle the picture (no pun intended) of delivering on the vision of a social magazine. I’ve seen magazines with lots of pictures but never one with “only” pictures. I can suffer through my FB timeline (or numerous other apps) if only photos is what I really want. Unless the usage data suggests otherwise, I’d nix it and focus on the true magazine.
Time sensitive (bonus): Detect patterns in readership (eg tech in the morning, economics blogs at night) and use that signal for curation. Doing this well will be really difficult and it’s definitely a P2 at best.