Joining Team Flipboard

I have a compulsion where I’d like to be one of the first to share the news with others, either as a writer or a curator. It’s what drew me to first blog here, for Bub.blicio.us (thanks to Brian Solis), then professionally for The Next Web and VentureBeat, along with joining social media and using apps like Pocket and Flipboard. While I’ve spent time writing about the news, I’m going to try my hand at something slightly different — taking an editorial approach and curating the news while helping readers find the signal from the noise.

Starting next week, I’m joining Flipboard full-time as a technology editor. I had been working for Flipboard in a similar capacity since earlier this year, but after collaborating with the team, we decided that things were too perfect and opted to make it a more permanent thing.

From user/observer to builder

What makes Flipboard special for me is that I’ve been a long-time user of the platform. For those unfamiliar, it enables you to generate your own digital magazine based off of what you’re interested in, no matter how niche of a topic it is. You can go as broad as “technology” or granular as “artificial intelligence”, “cryptocurrency”, or “venture capital”. Think of it as creating a customized magazine rack you’d find at a newsstand on the street or in an airport kiosk.

You could use Flipboard as a means to aggregate articles you’d want to read later, but I use it as a way to curate news that I think others would want to pay attention to. It started with my main magazine FYI which features all the important technology-focused news you may have missed throughout the day (e.g. funding, acquisitions, app updates, and breaking news). Magazines I’ve created focus on world events, U.S. news, business, media issues, blockchain, and long-form feature stories you’d typically read on Sunday mornings over coffee.

Sure, I can share stories to Facebook, Twitter, and other social apps, but with the way I’m consuming news, I risk alienating people with things they may not care about. That’s why I turned to Flipboard as the mechanism for sharing everything I’m passionate about. What I enjoy about Flipboard is that it’s a functional bucket for everything I’m reading and think people should like and that it “gets” me — serving up articles it thinks I’m interested in.

Flipboard chief executive Mike McCue at the company’s new office in Palo Alto, Calif. on May 12, 2016.

But I’m more than just an active user — I’ve spent time covering Flipboard as a reporter, interviewing executives there including CEO Mike McCue, building a rapport that has allowed me a closer look at what the company’s doing. All of this has influenced my decision to become an employee, hopefully allowing me to contribute in some way to the product and help make it even better.

In an era where it’s easy to call something “fake news,” I view my mission at Flipboard at highlighting meaningful articles that convey the truth about what’s going on in the industry. If you’d like to know more about how the company views quality journalism, I recommend reading my interview with Mike McCue:

We want it to be the go-to place for what you’re passionate about and show multiple perspectives from people that are just as passionate, if not more. We want people to get a full roundup of perspectives and then, if they want to see more, click-through.

What will I be doing?

Although Flipboard uses algorithms to show you articles you might be interested in, the company does have human curators to spotlight really important news. As an editor, my job is to do just that but specifically around technology, a subject I’m really obsessed with.

Throughout the day, I’ll be curating important news around technology into a selection of magazines created by the company:

  1. Top Stories in Tech: Think of this as Techmeme, but instead of listing all the articles around a particular topic, we surface the one that’ll give you the most details around the news.
  2. Follow the Money: A collection of articles around funding, acquisitions, hirings/firings/layoffs, and more.
  3. Tech Podcasts: The latest episodes of your favorite tech-related podcasts, such as Recode Decode, Wired’s Gadget Lab, This Week in Startups, shows from the This Week in Tech network, Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, CNET, GeekWire, The Wall Street Journal, and many others.
  4. Reviews: Want to know what critics are saying about the latest gadget or software? This is where we curate detailed reviews on phones, headphones, laptops, games, smart devices, and apps.
  5. Longreads: Looking for more detailed reporting or the latest expose in tech? This is the magazine for you.
  6. Breakthroughs: This magazine highlights frontier and moonshot technology news. Whether it’s rocket launches, advanced computing, biotechnology, or anything else — this is where you’ll find news about it.
  7. Strategy: As the name implies, this is non-news, but offers strategic perspectives for entrepreneurs and aficionados looking to step up their game.
  8. Opinions: This magazine curates opinions from influencers, thought leaders, and journalists, offering a perspective on the day’s news.

Beyond the aforementioned magazines, I’ll also be curating news around special events too, such as Google I/O, WWDC, Mobile World Congress, and more.

My hope is that I’ll also be able to work more closely with publishers to help produce quality magazines and build better relationships. If you’re an editor, social engagement manager, or writer interested in leveraging Flipboard, please reach out as I’d love to chat more about how we can work together. Whether it’s for a major conference (e.g. Code Conference or TechCrunch Disrupt), event (e.g. CES or SXSW), or you simply want to assemble one for special reports, then let’s talk.

If you’ve written a great exclusive, feature, podcast, or story you think should be flipped into a tech magazine, feel free to send it my way (assuming I haven’t seen it) and I’d be happy to take a look.

Non-journalists in tech: I would like to also hear from you about things you’d like to do on Flipboard and if you’re actively using the app, it would be great to know that too and get you more involved!

Basically, please keep me up-to-date on all things tech because I want to know about it. 🙂

Will you still be writing?

I will not be writing for Flipboard — the company does not do original content, so please don’t pitch me to cover your news. If you do, please note that it’ll be for my own blog as a private citizen. I may flip the resulting article in my own Flipboard magazine, but that’s the extent of my involvement.

That’s it for me! Happy flipping!