A better mobile eBook reader?

It’s been a while since I took a look at what’s cool in the mobile eBook read­er space, as I’ve been quite sat­is­fied with my cur­rent read­ing apps (GoodRead­er for PDFs, Stanza for ePubs) and their use with Cal­ibre (a must-have eBook lib­rary man­age­ment pro­gram).

So today I’ve installed Read­Mill — a ‘social’ eBook read­er that works with both open ePubs as well as open and DRM pro­tec­ted PDFs (a val­id Adobe ID is required). The blurb from the developers states:

Read­mill is a unique ebook read­er that lets you read share and dis­cov­er great books. Avail­able as an iPad and iPhone app, Read­mill works with ebooks in ePub and PDF format. It’s all about shar­ing what you read, and all of the high­lights and com­ments you make between the pages. It’s also a great place to dis­cov­er new books through friends, and find out what’s most pop­u­lar in your social graph. Wel­come to a world of read­ing.

So I’m just get­ting star­ted with it. Feel free to check out my Read­Mill pro­file https://readmill.com/bradblog and fol­low me.

I’m think­ing the Read­Mill exper­i­ence will be sim­il­ar to GoodReads, but will update my exper­i­ences here as I use it more.


Hashable is shutting down

Long time Twit­ter ‘access­ory’ Hash­able is finally out of beta, and clos­ing down effect­ive July 25th 2012, accord­ing to an email I received late yes­ter­day:

Dear Hash­able Users,

We regret to inform you that the Hash­able mobile apps and Hashable.com will be shut­ting down on July 25th. The ser­vice will be unavail­able after this date.

While we are still very pas­sion­ate about mak­ing bet­ter con­nec­tions and meet­ing new people, the time has come for us to focus our energy else­where.

Some of you have stored valu­able inform­a­tion in Hash­able, and we want to give you the oppor­tun­ity to save that data for your own records. If you’d like to receive a file with your com­plete his­tory, please log onto Hashable.com, nav­ig­ate to the “Pro­file” tab, then to the “Your His­tory” sec­tion on that page. You can down­load the file by click­ing “Export full his­tory to .csv” and accept­ing the dia­log that pops up.

We are incred­ibly grate­ful for all the people we have met through Hash­able. Thank you for all your sup­port, and we hope to con­nect with you again in the future.

All the best,
The Hash­able Team

As it says, mem­bers can down­load and archive their data stored in Hash­able by fol­low­ing the instruc­tions.

Love Skyrim? Love creative music videos? Then this video’s for you!

So, I’ve been watch­ing the amaz­ing work of Peter Hol­lens for a while now, both through Empire Aven­ue and his You­Tube chan­nel. And this Skyrim theme cov­er is some of his best. And yes, I’m writ­ing about it because it hits a few areas for me, multi-voice tracks, video gam­ing, soundtracks. Oh, and it also has the amaz­ing viol­in work of Lind­sey Stirl­ing. Nuff said. Watch and enjoy!

I’m Moving to Empire Avenue!

This likely won’t come as a shock to many of you; I’ve been invited to go work on Empire Aven­ue.

Of course, I said yes.

Start­ing Thursday, Septem­ber 1st, my role will be, as with any star­tup, kinda fuzzy to begin with. Offi­cially I’ll be the Dir­ect­or of Social and Com­munity Man­age­ment. In real­ity, I’ll be blog­ging, work­ing with the vari­ous com­munit­ies, and help­ing the team get things done. Whatever those things may be. Clean up after the Squir­rel, you know.

What I’m leav­ing behind
For the last five years, I’ve been a Web Con­tent Spe­cial­ist and Web Busi­ness Ana­lyst with the Alberta Motor Asso­ci­ation.

It’s be a great time with a mar­velous people and a great employ­er who’s allowed me to make mis­takes, grow, and test the cor­por­ate waters with innov­at­ive social media exper­i­ments (hello @AMARoadReports)!

If you’d like to check out the pos­i­tion I’m leav­ing, here’s the link to the offi­cial post­ing. And I’d be happy to dis­cuss the role, or the organ­iz­a­tion should you have any ques­tions — email me (bradblog@gmail.com).

The Future
Well, as I said, it’s going to be kinda fuzzy. Empire Aven­ue is a star­tup, and as such, there are lots of cool things that we’re doing, and that can be done! And in my work with com­munity, I’m going to be work­ing with and ask­ing a lot of ques­tions of *you*.

So, what can we do, togeth­er, on ‘the Aven­ue’, hmmm? Let’s find out!

Many flavours of RSS readers for iPad

title.jpgEarli­er today Feedly was rein­tro­duced to the iPad iOS world with sig­ni­fic­ant buzz — Robert Scoble pro­filed the read­er (check the video below).

One of the not­able things about Feedly is its HTML 5 base — which allows the major­ity of func­tions to be device agnost­ic (Android, Win­dows Phone, etc).

But on iOS devices, there are a num­ber of RSS read­ers that have made names for them­selves, and are hap­pily co-exist­ing on my iPad.

All of these read­ers, in some way, tap into your vari­ous social media streams, as well as an exist­ing Google Read­er account — which is cool, as you can use the power of Google Read­er to man­age the feeds, then simply con­sume the con­tent on your mobile device as is con­veni­ent.
Photo May 03, 12 25 25 PM_480.jpg

Some are my daily use RSS read­er, and oth­ers, while inter­est­ing, just haven’t man­aged to keep my atten­tion.
Here’s a few of the ones I like, and why:



Cur­rently my daily use news read­er, grabs con­tent from your Twit­ter stream, your Google Read­er RSS feeds, and your Deli­cious book­marks.

Zite gives you a very clean and pol­ished inter­face con­sist­ing of algorith­mic­ally-selec­ted stor­ies from your con­tent feeds.

Inter­est­ingly, you can rate and share the con­tent. As you do this, Zite ‘remem­bers’ the con­tent you’ve rated and will get smarter about dis­play­ing con­tent to you as it learns. After a few weeks, you’ll have your own tuned and per­son­al­ized digit­al magazine made up of the con­tent you like to con­sume.

The only down­side? The danger of too much ‘same­ness’.  I do occa­sion­ally like to read out­side my reg­u­lar pat­terns, and I fear Zite will not expose me to some new and inter­est­ing things by only show­ing me more of what I like and review. Time will tell.



Ini­tially my reg­u­lar read­er, now it’s down to about once a month. Nice dis­play, nice meth­od of read­ing, but not good enough to keep me com­ing back. Zite has replaced Flip­Board as my ‘visu­al’ read­er.



The 500lb gor­illa of RSS read­ers — quickly and effi­ciently man­ages your con­tent. Dis­plays RSS feeds cleanly and allows you to eas­ily browse your feeds. Simple and eleg­ant design has kept me using this as my reg­u­lar RSS read­er when I want to drill down to see what con­tent I’ve missed from a par­tic­u­lar source.



I have a love / hate rela­tion­ship with Pulse. Nice dis­play. Easy to use and share con­tent. It’s my Num­ber 2 RSS reader…except when it crashes. And it has, usu­ally once a ses­sion when I use it, which is becom­ing less fre­quent.



An odd one that has stayed on my device, for the time being.

Sim­il­ar to Pulse in lay­out, but not quite as effi­cient in hand­ling feeds, at least from an end-user per­spect­ive.



The new kid on the block. Ties in to Google Read­er, has a nifty swipe-sens­it­ive inter­face to flip pages, and a very nice look and feel.

I don’t like the way the con­tent is locked in a ver­tic­al ori­ent­a­tion (por­trait mode)…and am some­what con­cerned as a blog own­er that they’ve blocked out an area for insert­ing advert­ising in my blog con­tent stream — yes they ask you to ping them if that’s your con­tent stream, but what if I don’t — will they insert their own advert­ising on my con­tent?

Regard­less, Feedly is new, and has my atten­tion for now — time will tell, espe­cially as it grows on oth­er mobile plat­forms.

Your turn — what mobile RSS read­er is your daily go-to read­er, and why?

Oh, and here’s that Feedly video I prom­ised :smileyhappy:

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What is it about a Moleskine?

ms1.jpgIt’s a note­book, plain and simple. A very well-made note­book, to be sure. It is, per­haps, a premi­um note­book (which would jus­ti­fy the price). I know, I have one. And it’s quite nice.

Yet, Mole­skine is also a brand that brings a lot of emo­tion and sen­ti­ment to the humble note­book. Note­books are about remem­ber­ing things, writ­ing them down to have later — and the Mole­skine brand is based around the concept of being the best note­book you can use to remem­ber. Just check out this descrip­tion from the Mole­skine website’s about page:

Mole­skine was cre­ated as a brand in 1997, bring­ing back to life the legendary note­book used by artists and thinkers over the past two cen­tur­ies: among them Vin­cent van Gogh, Pablo Picas­so, Ern­est Hem­ing­way, and Bruce Chatwin. A trus­ted and handy travel com­pan­ion, the name­less black note­book held invalu­able sketches, notes, stor­ies, and ideas that would one day become fam­ous paint­ings or the pages of beloved books.



Today, the name Mole­skine encom­passes a fam­ily of nomad­ic objects: note­books, diar­ies, journ­als, bags, writ­ing instru­ments and read­ing accessor­ies, ded­ic­ated to our mobile iden­tity. Indis­pens­able com­pan­ions to the cre­at­ive  pro­fes­sions and the ima­gin­a­tion of our times: they are intim­ately tied to the digit­al world.



A lot of fam­ous people use(d) Mole­sk­ines, and a lot of people wax elo­quently about the vir­tues of the note­book.

And now, they can do the same about the free offi­cial Mole­skine app, for iPad and iPhone / iPod Touch:

The offi­cial Mole­skine App for iPhone and iPad allows you to express your cre­ativ­ity through text, images and sketches. Pick a clas­sic Mole­skine note­book paper style, cre­ate a new thought and start to type or draw choos­ing amongst dif­fer­ent col­ors and sizes. Once you are done with your thought, you can store it on your device and make edits whenev­er you want.


  • Pick a Mole­skine note­book paper style: plain, ruled, squared
  • Write and edit a text note
  • Sketch­ing tool
  • Insert and play with your per­son­al images
  • Cata­logue as many memor­ies as you want with a full range of cat­egor­ies
  • Play with images provided by Mole­skine
  • Geo-tag each note cre­ated and cre­ate a vir­tu­al map of your memor­ies
  • Share your notes with friends through email or social net­works

Of course, the Mole­skine app is also a mar­ket­ing tool to get the Mole­skine name on your iOS device, get you com­fort­able and famil­i­ar with the Mole­skine name, and pre­sum­ably get you curi­ous about the actu­al paper note­book.

Mar­ket­ing aside, the app is a fairly good note­book app, with some inter­est­ing fea­tures. And it’s free, so what have you got to lose — maybe it’ll work for you, as the ori­gin­al note­book worked for Hem­ing­way, back in the day.
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