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Aim, click, publish!

The Internet is exploding, with articles, blogs and even e-books. The pictures are getting sharper and brighter. And videos are mushrooming. Gagandeep Singh Sapra writes. Tech queries | Technology tip for this week

business Updated: May 28, 2013 10:49 IST
Gagandeep Singh Sapra

The Internet is exploding, with articles, blogs and even e-books. The pictures are getting sharper and brighter. And videos are mushrooming. There is a whole new culture in getting them from diverse sources and sharing them with people over e-mail and social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, which also provide you with interesting links from friends. In short, everyone can be a publisher of sorts now - or at least a smart curator.

You can do this smarter with the arrival of Flipboard, an application that helps you do all this and more. All you need is an iPad or an iPhone, an Android Tablet or an Android phone. At this point, this is not working for Windows or BlackBerry tablets.

The Flipboard app is free and so is an account that helps you use it. The app has been around for sometime, but finally offered an Android variation late last year. And more features have been added to make it cool.

So let's say you are headed for a holiday, and are up for planning one. This typically means combing the Internet, going through magazine sites or other web sites to look for the stuff you want. What Flipboard does is to help you collect the items that you surf and pick, and turn them into a format that is nice, attractive - and shareable.

When you start using Flipboard for the first time, it will ask you for your areas of interest, and after you create an account, it will ask you if you want to integrate it with your Facebook and/or Twitter feeds so you can get all your content here.

Once this is set up, your can build your own magazine-like display.

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Since we are considering travel as an example, let us say you are travelling to London. If you search for "London Travel" you will have a few suggestions pop up on Flipboard when you type this on a search bar on the app. This leads you to a collection of articles or magazines published by others. You can now surf or flip through them as if they were a catalogue. If you like something, you can press the "Like" button and/or share it on your social media network. Or you can email it to yourself.

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But the best part is the button at the bottom of the app that leads you to "Click Create Magazine" - that turns you into a publisher. You can choose up a name for a magazine, with a description and a category and decide whether or not to share it with others.

You can also use the app now to collect and publish stuff that you come across while browsing the Net. This is made easier by a "bookmarklet" for your browser that takes you to the sharing link ( https://share.flipboard.com ). You can press the share button on your browser when you are on a page and the stuff comes on to your Flipboard magazine.

You can also edit and share your magazine items from your PC. Head on to http://editor.flipboard.com , log in with the account you set up for Flipboard. You can see all the "magazines" you created here, add more content or rearrange items or share your magazine with a friend, family or group members so they can read it on their tablets.

If you like photographs on sites like Pinterest, Google Images, Facebook and on Flickr, you can send them all to a Photo Journal on Flipboard, and enjoy them at your convenience.

And yes, you can share videos as well. You can go to YouTube and curate your own collection of stuff like funniest animal videos and use the "bookmarklet" to take them to your Flipboard magazine.

Sky is the limit, and you are limited only by your creativity. If all you want is to read, Flipboard is good for stuff that has been already curated .

You can even go for special niches. For instance, there is Yanko Design, which showcases the latest in product and industrial design; iPhoneography, which compiles great pictures taken and modified on the iPhone; and Cycle Exif, which takes a look at both vintage and modern cycles.

With such variety on offer, whether you are a collector, consumer or publisher, Flipboard can help you go far.

Technology tip for this week