Flipboard is a personalized, social magazine for online content. Currently an iPad app, it has completely revolutionized media consumption for me.
Media consumption workflow
Almost 90% of my online time is spent on iPad/Fliboard at home. My twitter, facebook and rss feeds all are rendered in beautiful magazine layout. Add the ability to share the content again via Twitter or store for later via Instapaper and I have the right workflow for media discovery and consumption on the iPad.
Rich media aggregators like Flipboard on the iPad are the harbingers of how online media should be presented and consumed.
Online News and Financial Research
This has been interesting to me since my day job is running a product business that helps research analysts produce financial research. There are many similarities between online news and social media feeds and financial research. There should be no reason why the same experience available for news via iPad should not be possible for financial research.
Of course reality is a little more complicated than that. Financial services firms are typically behind on the technology adoption curve. Research is produced using antiquated tools, stored in proprietary file formats and distributed in PDF.
What about RIXML?
RIXML, an XML standard, has been around as a structured way to publish and distribute research and the data elements surrounding it. But its adoption has been hampered due to complexity of specification, clunky authoring tools or reluctant businesses who don’t see sufficient ROI via this approach.
Whilst I have my own views on the utility of RIXML, I firmly believe a structured form of data exchange will benefit all parties concerned. Some of these capabilities, or consequences of using a structured data format in popular tools for research authoring from my firm and others.
But it is always a tough sell when talking about the benefits of serialization formats, metadata in general and adhering to a standard taxonomy and making the output available in a standardized format.
With Flipboard it becomes easier to sell the benefits of publishing content in standardized formats. Because without RSS feeds and standard ways of marking up and publishing content Flipboard-like experiences would be an impossibility.
Of course I do get that financial research is mixture of structured and unstructured data and there are a ton of cool things that can be done here to make the job of communicating and consuming insights a vastly superior experience to what it is now.
Drop a note/comment if you are interested to hear more or wish to discuss.