In what we think is a publishing first (we are definitely claiming it until someone proves otherwise), The Friday Project launches a book this week that has its own dedicated Flipboard feed.
Allow me to explain.
Flipboard is this great iPad app that allows you to view any Twitter, Facebook, news or RSS feed as an interactive magazine. It looks cool, is fun to use and genuinely changes the way you read material online. But then you know all this as you are modern and forward thinking and already have the app on your device, no doubt.
Since I downloaded Flipboard last year, I became convinced that there was some way of making use of the technology to enhance books. Flipboard has already changed the way I read blogs and other online content, could it change the way I read traditional books as well? I spent ages trying to think up a clever and convoluted strategy but then it dawned on me: KEEP IT SIMPLE.
21st Century Dodos by Steve Stack is a book that takes a look at the many inanimate objects, traditions, cultural icons and other stuff that is in danger of becoming extinct. Everything from VHS tapes to rotary dial telephones, Concorde to handwritten letters is given a suitable send-off in collection that doesn’t really take itself too seriously.
A special Twitter feed, @DodoFlip, has been created from which the author will tweet all manner of links, videos, pictures and articles that readers of the book will hopefully find interesting and entertaining. He won’t be tweeting marketing puff, links to reviews, or quotes from celebs saying how great the book is. This isn’t a publicity tool. He will instead be trawling the web looking out for content that relates to the topics the book covers, content that can bring some of those topics to life, and sharing that with readers. So far he has included over 50 pieces of content ranging from vintage TV commercials and BBC News articles to still photos of early teletext pages.
You can just follow @DodoFlip through Twitter as normal and click through to the various links Steve shares. But if you follow it on Flipboard you end up with an extensive multimedia magazine, and here’s the cool thing, completely free. It compliments the print edition of the book and adds so much more.
Steve explains the concept in the introduction to the book, so readers are encouraged to get on board from the moment they start reading.
And the fine people at Flipboard like the idea as well. They feature Steve as a Cool Curator in the Content Guide on Flipboard and will be recommending 21st Century Dodos to their users.
This is an experiment, obviously, but one I am confident will work. And when it does I’d be delighted for the idea to be stolen by other publishers for a whole host of more high profile books.