Turning to the Flipboard
The first major social media iPad app, Flipboard, has had a very busy first week (it aggregates online content based on social networks). A post by Robert Scoble explained how the Flipboard works while liberally listing its current limitations (none of which prevented him from proclaiming that it 'will shake the media world for quite some time'. The Business Insider provided a technical look at how Flipboard scrapes content and also led the discussion about the legality of its content model. Gizmodo also asked 'Is It Legal?' but included the disclaimer that Flipboard usually only displays introductions before providing a link to the content on its proper host.
Content issues notwithstanding, Flipboard proved so popular that it crashed its own servers within days. It isn't the first content aggregator for the iPad, Pulse was out first. The difference is that Flipboard uses content recommendations from the users social networks as opposed to RSS feeds (which it may add itself in the future). While Flipboard does use algorithms to rank content it isn't the leader in that field and some bloggers are pointing to SwiftRiver as an example of how semantic and veracity algorithms will eventually offer a much improved social reading experience.