I'm an avid Flipboard user. Together with e-mail, RSS via Newsblur, and NextDraft, it makes up my everyday breakfast reading. You'll notice that Facebook and Twitter are missing from that list; that's because I rely on those apps to notify me of any events from my close friends or interactions with me, and otherwise consume their output within Flipboard itself - or via Siftlinks.

I saw this interesting article by Matthew Ingram.

In a nutshell, some publishers see Flipboard (and to a lesser extent Currents, which isn’t as popular with users) as middlemen that piggyback on their content and siphon off value — including a relationship with readers — that would otherwise go to the publisher.

I couldn't disagree more. The entire premise of being against aggregators like Flipboard is that without the level of disintermediation that the aggregator inserts in the relationship, we the readers would be spending our time directly on the originating sites. This is simply not the case. I don't have time to open up 61 browser tabs - that's how many RSS feeds I have in Newsblur, without even counting Flipboard - and check each one for updates, and filter any updates for relevance and interest.

I have honed ("curated", I suppose, although I dislike the associations of that word) my Flipboard sources and RSS feeds so that I can usually open those apps and have interesting content surface for me. The key point is that this is not restricted to sites like GigaOM or The Economist, which each get a dedicated section in Flipboard. I also get to see all sorts of content from outlets that I don't subscribe to, that has been shared, retweeted or commented upon.

The key thing is that I am also extremely likely to share or retweet that content myself, because I'm already in Flipboard and it's easy: it already has the ackles to all my social accounts, so it only takes a couple of taps plus the time to pare down my comments to 50 characters or so. This provides the source with traffic, and high-quality traffic at that because it comes from a personal recommendation, rather than fighting for precious pixels on the home-screen or trying to get newsletters through spam filters or whatever other way of attracting off-site traffic.

The likelihood of me spontaneously visiting Talking Points Memo, whose editor triggered the linked GigaOM piece with his anti-Flipboard comments, is vanishingly small. However, if someone I follow tweets something of theirs, there is a good chance I will engage, and I might even browse around their site a bit looking to see if there's anything else interesting.

As it is, though, feel free to build a wall. The thing about walls, though, is that they keep people out.

Image by Charlie Foster via Unsplash