Update on my free Flipboard magazines
It’s rare that I think of something as really a new type of content.
Twitter was that, certainly. Those 140 (or fewer) character tweets created a different medium, and that shapes what’s in it.
I also feel like Flipboard magazines are a new way to express yourself…and I’m surprised at the success mine are having!
The main idea is that you can use the
app, which I read every morning anyway on my
to “flip” articles into a magazine of yours, which you make available to other people for free.
You can also get an extension for Chrome which allows you to do it with websites (most of my flips come from things I read in the Flipboard app…except in the case of one my magazines, which I’ll explain below).
It’s really about your curation…your taste and editing skills.
You put in what you think is interesting, or what you think other people will think is interesting.
You generally don’t write anything additional about it, unless you are using the browser extension. In that case, you can add a short caption about it (which you can not edit later, by the way).
I’ve been on Twitter since December of 2009, have 3,490 tweets at the time of writing…and 300 followers.
I started my first Flipboard magazine not three months ago…and have 1,105 readers!
I’ve also flipped 2,411 articles in that time.
Does that mean that Flipboard is more influential than Twitter?
Nope…I’m sure the highest profile Twitter accounts do a lot more than the highest profile Flipboard magazines…but for someone like me, who isn’t going to be a top echelon person in either place, Flipboard is working comparatively very well.
You get a lot more as a Flipboard reader, since you get full articles to read (you may have to click a link or two after seeing a good summary and perhaps an image, but it’s easy).
I thought I’d give you a rundown on my magazines and how they are doing (at time of writing…it changes rapidly).
I’m going to do this in order from the biggest number of readers to the smallest number.
The Measured Circle
“A geeky mix of pop culture, tech, and the weird world”
- 716 readers
- 2,088 page flips (by other people of my article choices)
- 1,102 articles
This one is inspired by my blog, The Measured Circle. The blog has never been very popular, and unlike this one, I don’t write in it (on average) every day (I sometimes go a week).
It is eclectic, but you’ll see a lot of things on geek topics, tech, and “weird world” (“Bufo’s Weird World” was my first e-zine, back before we called them blogs).
I’d say its primary purpose is…fun!
To give you a sense of it, here are the most recent ten articles (and their sources):
- Han Solo in Carbonite Life-Size Figure Giveaway (Sideshow Toys)
- ‘Lost’, ‘Stargate Universe’ actors among 14-person cast of Wachowskis’ sci-fi Netflix (Entertainment Weekly)
- The Convenient Monster: Nessie TV Cryptofiction Reviewed (Cryptomundo)
- James Randi: An Honest Liar (Cryptomundo)
- 9 Extremely Impractical Marvel Illustrated Swimsuits (Topless Robot)
- Things We Saw Today: Tiny Captain Marvel Cosplay (The Mary Sue)
- It’s Kristian Bruun, Graeme Manson and John Fawcett from Orphan Black (Reddit)
- Tech Wars…1913 style (I found this article at the Library of Congress)
- Clone Club, Prepare for Tonight’s Orphan Black Finale With These Beautiful Episode Posters (The Mary Sue)
- The Eight Funniest Recurring Themes in the Original Star Wars Trading Cards (Topless Robot)
ILMK (I Love My Kindle)
“The long-running blog about the world of e-books and publishing, which is one of the most popular blogs of any kind in the Kindle store, brings you related news stories”
- 385 readers
- 14,860 page flips
- 1,083 articles
This one is based on my blog, ILMK (I Love My Kindle). They aren’t the same, though. I write original material in the blog itself. I told myself that I’d average 1,000 words a day, and I do. I write a lot of different things, often providing analysis and opinion.
For the Flipboard magazine, none of that happens…you just get articles from other people (unless I flip one of my own in there).
It does allow me to do some different things.
For example, I can more easily flip ten different articles on a new piece of Amazon hardware into the magazine than I can link to them in the blog. Linking in the blog takes some work: it’s simple to flip (just a couple of clicks or taps).
There are also times when something is too short to warrant a full post in the blog. Those types of things go into my Round-ups, but I don’t do those every day.
Another thing? I do a lot more images in the magazine: it’s just more compatible with it. My blog is read on non-Fire Kindles, and images are tougher there.
- What’s Next for E-books in Libraries? (Publishers Weekly)
- A book that watches you – it’s not a concept any longer (video) Ebook Friendly)
- Audible Summertime BOGO Sale (Books on the Knob)
- It’s All About Storytelling (Publishers Weekly)
- The World is a Book – A4 Travel Quote Print. Father’s Day Gift. Gift for Him. (Etsy)
- Reading to a child (cartoon) (E-book Friendly)
- Literature is the agreeable way of ignoring life (Pinterest)
- ILMK Reader Hero #3: Spencer Collins
- Book Community Board (Pinterest)
- The publishing industry isn’t dead – but it is evolving (The Next Web)
As I look at those, I think that E-book Friendly may have posted some of the others as well. What can happen is that I run into a bunch of them from one source in sequence…that’s making this one look a bit less source diverse than it actually is. That is a great blog, though, and I do recommend it.
The Weird Old Days
“Has the world always been weird? These news stories from the 19th and early 20th centuries bring you tales of lake monsters, the Hollow Earth, ghosts, and more! Edited by Bufo Calvin, of The Measured Circle blog. Note: these articles reflect the culture of their times. As such, they may use terms and concepts which some modern readers will find offensive”
- 50 readers
- 257 page flips
- 177 articles
My original idea on this was that I was writing a book made up in large part of public domain newspaper articles. I was writing pieces to provide context, both because I wanted to do that, and because it would enable me to sell it in the Kindle store (they require original material…nothing purely public domain…that was a policy which evolved over time).
It’s a labor of love, for sure!
I find it fascinating. I’m very interested in how people think about things, and how that has changed over time.
At this point, I’ve been using the Library of Congress’ fabulous “Chronicling America” resource. The negative to that one is that the pages don’t display very well on smaller screens. However, you can click to display the page as a PDF, and that can work quite well.
You also do have to read through the newspaper page to find the article…I also think that’s fun. 😉
I do feel like I’ve made some real discoveries: I just posted one that is about an apparently hoaxed photograph of a UFO (airship)…in 1897!
- “Was All a Fraud” (Baxter Springs News, April 17, 1897) (that 1897 UFO photo hoax)
- “Was Not a Sea Serpent” (The Fulton County News, September 15, 1907: a photograph allowed a scientist to identify the creature as a “thrasher” shark)
- “Hooray! Hooray! Sea Serpent Here” (The Washington Times, June 12, 1907)
- “Red Sea Serpents” (Deming graphic, March 10, 1905)
- “Legend of the Great War” (The Mahoning dispatch, August 26, 1921: about the Angel of Mons…the “Great War” is World War I…there hadn’t been a II yet)
- “WILD MAN OF BORNEO DIES AT 92 YEARS” (Hopkinsville Kentuckian., June 4, 1912: while the “Wild Man of Borneo” appears to have been a pretty standard and recognized acting part in traveling shows, this one presents them as real. Interestingly, they are described as “small”, which would better fit modern reports of some island hominids. The fake ones tended to be big bruisers)
- “Wild Man Flees to the Capital: Cop Nabs Him” (Lincoln County Leader, November 29, 1912: this is another one which is presented as real)
- “MODERN WITCH: Visits a Farm and Whole Family is Driven Mad” (The Semi-Weekly messenger, July 21, 1905)
- “MACHINE BESTS MEN IN GAMES OF CHESS” (The Sun, June 28, 1914)
- This one had a few articles…one on a cigarette smoking sea serpent, another on a captured lake monster (Los Angeles Herald, September 9, 1906)
Again, this one can go in “flaps” of one topic, because my search sometimes leads me to related articles. I think this gives you some idea, though.
Doc Savage Fanflip
“Doc Savage, the forerunner of Superman and Batman, has been one of my fictional heroes for a very long time. Thanks in part to Doc, I try to better myself to help others, and to do so with “…no regard for anything but justice.” A “fanflip” is my new term for a Flipboard magazine by a fan, dedicated to one topic. I will bring you not only Doc Savage news, but Doc stories and resources from around the web. Think of it as a scrapbook with news.”
- 27 readers
- 172 page flips
- 49 articles
I look for interesting things on the web about Doc. If Shane Black ever gets out the Doc Savage movie, this may get more popular, but I’m happy to ferret out the oddball bits and pieces.
- Doc Savage Paperback Book Covers by James Bama (The Golden Age Site)
- Doc Savage (Flickr)
- Doc Savage (Flickr)
- Why You Should Care: Doc Savage Edition (Crave Online)
- Doc Savage Casting Call (IGN)
- Doc Savage Magazine Volume 4, No 1 (Flickr)
- Not A Grimm Vigilante Or Stranger From Another World – Chris Roberson Talks Doc Savage #6 (Bleeding Cool)
- Michael Uslan Talks The Avenger, The Shadow And Doc Savage – Justice, Inc. (Bleeding Cool)
- Superhero Doc Savage (WGNS Radio)
- 80 Years of Doc Savage: 1933 – 2013 (YouTube)
I’m also working on another Flipboard magazine, but I’m not ready to release it yet…it needs more content first.
These are not hard to do, and they aren’t taking significant time or creative energy away from my other creative work. I don’t get any money directly from them, although they might lead to more discovery of other things where I do.
Do you have a Flipboard magazine about which you want to tell me and my readers? Feel free to comment on this post.
* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.