Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sharing is Human - The App Accessory You Need .@zite .@flipbook @googleplus


No matter what app you're using, if you can't SHARE from it, it's not worth the trouble. That's why I almost threw Zite out, even though I read it daily. It's why I dumped Flipbook for Zite in the first place. I wanted to share what I was reading, as well as curate the content, at the same time.

In fact, being able to share from my Android phone or my iPad is so incredibly important that if I can't do it easily, then the app just isn't worth having. Cory Doctorow touches on this in this excerpt from an entry on Gizmodo:

...look at that Marvel app (just look at it). I was a comic-book kid, and I'm a comic-book grownup, and the thing thatmade comics for me was sharing them. If there was ever a medium that relied on kids swapping their purchases around to build an audience, it was comics. And the used market for comics! It was — and is — huge, and vital. I can't even count how many times I've gone spelunking in the used comic-bins at a great and musty store to find back issues that I'd missed, or sample new titles on the cheap. (It's part of a multigenerational tradition in my family — my mom's father used to take her and her sibs down to Dragon Lady Comics on Queen Street in Toronto every weekend to swap their old comics for credit and get new ones). 
So what does Marvel do to "enhance" its comics? They take away the right to give, sell or loan your comics. What an improvement. Way to take the joyous, marvellous sharing and bonding experience of comic reading and turn it into a passive, lonely undertaking that isolates, rather than unites. 
Fortunately for Flipbook and Zite apps, they allow me to "read it later" and save content to Pocket, a wonderfully easy app for reading stuff later. What's even nicer about reading an entry saved to Pocket is that it strips out extraneous junk (advertising, other stuff) and lets me send a "pure" copy to Evernote, not unlike what Evernote's Clearly Chrome/Firefox addition does for your web browser on a computer.'s human. Or put another way, to share is human:
That irresistible impulse to post, to tweet, to “like” has evolutionary roots that far precede the advent of social media. Consider something that’s known as the “communal sharing” norm. In an environment of scarce resources (ie, the one that prevailed for most of our history), every existing resource has to be shared with others. In this environment, what I find out isn’t my exclusive prerogative – it’s actually common property, in case it can be beneficial to someone else. There’s a bear in that cave; these berries may kill you; I found a stream of water in that direction. All important information to pass on and the quicker the better. After all, the bear may wake up or the berries may end up in someone’s mouth before we’ve had a chance to share our wisdom.
The facts may have changed, but the immediacy seems just as real now. It’s hard to shake off the feeling that people are somehow missing out or worse off if we don’t communicate what we’ve seen –and communicate it at once.

How are you sharing what you're learning with the people you want to nurture? Here are my top sharing tools no matter what the device:
  1. - This is my top sharing device. I sort content I read, whether I'm on Android, iOS, or a computer into Notebooks, then share the RSS feed from those notebooks. 
  2. RSS Feed - All my RSS feeds for 20+ notebooks are shared via Twitter, Facebook, bad Google Plus can't handle incoming sharing via RSS feeds--using the following two tools:
    1. - This is my new favorite RSS feed tool since DLVR.IT limited the number of free RSS feeds shared to various services to 3, although they were gracious enough to grandfather my 10-15 RSS feeds that I'd established under their free service.
    2. Pocket - What an easy tool to share content to from various devices. I've setup an IFTTT recipe that anything I archive--and only stuff that I archive--goes to I can put something in Evernote, but filter content relevant to my LinkedIn account to just specific stuff (e.g. edtech and leadership).
  3. Apollo browser on iOS - This versatile iPad browser (free) makes sharing a joy and easy to do, allowing one to send web-viewed content (unlike Safari and Chrome) to Evernote, Pocket, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and many other social media sites.
A quick complaint about Google Plus - Some folks have stated that it's a good thing that Google Plus doesn't allow sharing via RSS feed. Otherwise, they assert, we'd end up with a lot of junk and spam in Google+ streams. The truth isn't so black and white.

As web-based tools evolve, it's incredibly easy to share some things via Facebook (e.g. Fitness notebook in Evernote ONLY goes to Facebook because my audience there is family and friends), (e.g. edtech and leadership content only), and Twitter (e.g. a wealth of various resources). The truth is, Google Plus is falling short of services like Twitter and others--even though I love Communities--because it doesn't allow for finely-grained sharing that humans are able to do.

Of course, I'm sure that Google Plus will allow RSS feeds eventually...and that the justification of an absent ability to share via RSS is just so much sour grapes.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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