Read a little. Learn a lot. • Tightly-written news, views and stuff • Follow us on TwitterBe a Facebook FanTumble us!

22 Feb 2012 16:17


Tech: Storify comes to the iPad: Full story curation, at your fingertips

  • “Whether you’re at a conference or at home … you now have storytelling at your fingertips.” Storify co-founder & CEO Xavier Damman’s totally psyched about bringing his popular online story-telling tool to the iPad. While Storify, which pulls content from a variety of social networks, does not contain all the functionality of it’s Internet-based counterpart, the team at Storify is confident that they’ve successfully migrated the core Storify experience to iOS. The team also added an additional function not found on the Storify website: The ability to tweet, inside the app, while creating a story. Have you tried it yet? source

03 Sep 2011 13:50


Tech: CurationSoft: The latest tool on the content curation block

  • We have to parse through a lot of content quickly. So do lots of other people. In an influential post we like citing, Robert Scoble once put this point into strong emphasis, calling it a “billion-dollar opportunity.” Content curation’s biggest problem is that it always takes a lot of steps, and the app that figures out how to simplify the process is going to win. We’re, specifically, the target audience for this, so we have a lot of thoughts on the matter. The closest right now is Storify, though we’ve seen a lot of competitors show up with the express purpose of wooing Robert Scoble. The latest? CurationSoft. This Adobe AIR app allows you to easily drag-and-drop content from YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, or various blogs into your browser in a platform-agnostic way, which is pretty much its best trick. (Tumblr? Google Plus? WordPress? Works the same way.) From there, we worry a little. You can only do a single search at once, which seems like a step back in the age of multi-tab Twitter clients, and the pricing seems a little off ($40 for a single-user license? For just a year?) We think the idea is good, but the execution needs polish. Would like to see where this app is a year from now. Robert Scoble’s billion-dollar opportunity is still out there, kids. source

23 Sep 2010 21:31


Tech: Guy behind Instapaper ditches Tumblr to focus on his OTHER hit service

One of the guys who made Tumblr also made Instapaper, which we use to pre-curate our articles. Once a side project, now it’s a full-time gig that’s already profitable. source

04 Apr 2010 10:39


Tech: Early thoughts: The iPad as news curation tool (is it worth it?)

  • Our take? It depends on the app. Right now, the iPad does three things really well. It allows you to surf the Web at nearly the same clip as a laptop, it rules at non-Flash video playback, and it allows you to read the news better than either a newspaper or Web browser. For a 1.0 product, this is polished. But we’re journalism nerds that read a lot of links, so let’s focus our appeal. How is reading and curating news on this thing, anyway? (Hint: Pretty good.)

First: What a good news app needs

  • one A simple format that makes it easier, not harder, to read the news. It’s not a newspaper or a Web site; it’s a little of both
  • two An easy way to share content – you should be able to copy quotes, tweet links, and e-mail articles to a friend (or yourself)
  • three A solid offline reading mode – these apps need to be able to work without a wi-fi connection nearby; all of the apps had this

Second: The best news apps

  • best The Reuters app is
    easy to scan, and
    best-formatted for
    the iPad. It’s also
    the one that tried to
    look least like a
  • great The USA Today
    app has a mix of
    strong readability,
    easy organization,
    and smart uses of
    swiping. It’s nearly
    as good as the
    Reuters app.
  • eh The New York
    app isn’t
    bad, but its body
    type isn’t on the grid. The Wall Street Journal app tends to overreact
    to tiny movements.
  • wtf The Associated
    app went all
    scrapbook with
    their format, which
    is OK – for a
    scrapbook. For
    reading hard news,
    it’s very annoying.

Third: Twitter on the iPad

  • Best balance Twitterrific was designed for the iPad the way that one would expect someone to use an iPad Twitter app. The use of Twitter lists, for example, makes for great news-reading. Less is more in this case.

  • Most complex TweetDeck could stand to be a little less complicated right now. It loads too many windows at once and comes across as a bit bloated and overwhelming. A bit more interface furniture to clean up the look would help this greatly.

  • Best mashup As many people know, the EchoFon/Firefox setup is hard to top for reading linked tweets, and TweetBrowser goes a long way to replicate that on the iPad. Only issue: We wish we could hide the feed in the horizontal format.
  • » One side note: Webkit’s skills at rendering the Twitter web apps are mostly pretty good. The web version of Hootsuite is actually better than the iPad-native version of TweetDeck on the iPad. Threadsy also works great, as does the Web version of Seesmic. You’ll have to use a two-finger swipe to navigate, though, which can be cumbersome.

Overall: What did we think?

  • » What we like: It’s a good reading format, and Safari could handle nearly everything we threw at it (except the TinyMCE rich-text editor, which means it sucks for blogging because WordPress uses that). The format is awesome for video and music. Once Hulu and Spotify get apps on here, it’s seriously a one-stop shop. Also, being able to load articles on the device and take it on the wi-fi-less D.C. Metro was downright perfect.
  • » What we don’t like: It can be hard to hold the device upright, especially if you’re not sitting at a table. It’s strange that Apple didn’t consider putting a kickstand on the back. The keyboard is usable but not heavy-duty. Apple should consider putting in (or allowing) additional keyboard setups that make it more usable for typing in HTML. Right now, it’s a serious chore.
  • » What we want to see: Surprisingly, we don’t miss multitasking on the iPad – it actually wasn’t noticeable for most apps. But we think someone needs to create a single app that mixes social media, web browsing and blogging/word processing. TweetBrowser gets the first two down, but WordPress‘ app isn’t designed for this at all. We smell opportunity (eh, Tumblr?).

18 Mar 2010 22:39


Tech: Mashable’s Pete Cashmore unveils more details on the new Digg

  • Curation, personalization, centralization – Digg wants to be your hub again. For a couple of years, Digg was THE place to go to hear what’s hot, as well as a solid way to drive traffic to your site. Nowadays, it’s a total niche and it’s hard to get your articles noticed in the abyss. Facebook (especially) and Twitter work way better. Mashable’s Pete Cashmore, in his column for CNN, talks a little more about Digg, whose new social buttons his site is testing. It sounds like Digg’s at least trying to get their mojo back. But will it work? Let’s just say we’re excited to see it. source

15 Feb 2010 09:11


Tech: Facebook’s starting to eat some of Google’s traffic-directing lunch

  • 13% of all Web traffic to major portals comes from Facebook
  • 7% of trafficcomes from Google; eBay is better, even! source

23 Nov 2009 22:34


Tech: Robert Scoble calls web curation a “billion-dollar opportunity”

  • Here’s a test. Take a tweet of mine in your favorite reader like Seesmic or TweetDeck, click a single button on your iPhone and then type or leave some audio right underneath that Tweet and click another button to post it. Hint: you can’t. That, to me, is opportunity.
  • Super-blogger/tweeter/nerd maven Robert Scoble • Discussing one of his super-brilliant ideas – real-time Web curation. He suggests that people should be able to take what’s put in front of them and organize and add commentary to it simply. And it needs to be simple like and well-integrated with Facebook and Twitter. We couldn’t agree more. (Disclosure: We’ve been using news-specific curator Publish2 of late to post on ShortFormBlog, and it’s a pretty good link-organizing tool for journalists.) source