What I’m Reading: Research Assistant Elizabeth McCullough

Nobody promotes their magazine on Flipboard quite like former Jeopardy contestant Elizabeth McCullough. On Twitter, McCullough is a master of the pleasantly provocative tweet—”Rough news cycle, huh? Here’s a hamster!”—that directs readers to her magazine, The Internet Flâneur.

“I’m just strolling around the internet, gathering the best of what I find and sharing it,” says McCullough. A professional writer and editor, McCullough—who holds degrees in psychology and counseling— is also a research assistant for business thinker, social scientist and The New York Times best-selling author Daniel Pink. In her free time, she manages one of the world’s most comprehensive literary blogs, Book Balloon.

In short: McCullough loves information. As for what kind, suffice to say her insatiable intellect is without prejudice. Feeling quite confident that we’d learn something new, we asked her: what are you reading?

I subscribe to many, many newsletters and site feeds that I skim just about every morning for articles related to my interests and projects: writing, politics, literature, and creative nonfiction and journalism. Previously, when I found something quirky or moving or really well written, I’d share the link on Facebook. I’d get the occasional comment from a friend saying, “You always find the best stuff,” which was gratifying. One day, a friend from Charlottesville, Cindy Maisannes, suggested I give Flipboard a try.

I’ve loved magazines since I was old enough to hold one. My mother and father subscribed to several, including National Geographic, Field & Stream, Readers Digest, and the classic women’s magazines: Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Ladies’ Home Journal. My dream job would be reading vintage magazines all day long.

So when I realized that Flipboard was a way I could make my own “magazine” and share it with my friends, I was hooked. My favorite part is choosing the cover image. I know the rule of thumb for a successful magazine is to concentrate on a hot topic or niche interest, but my mind doesn’t work that way. That’s why I called my magazine “The Internet Flaneur”—I’m just strolling around the Internet, gathering the best of what I find and sharing it.

The Internet Flâneur by Elizabeth McCullough

Here’s where it gets a little embarrassing: I don’t have an iPad, which I understand is the ideal platform for using Flipboard as a feed reader and a porter to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. So I’m not getting the full effect of one of the things Flipboard does best, which is graphically organizing information into streams.

For profiles, human interest stories and creative journalism, I subscribe to a mix of classics and new web-based media: Longform, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Longreads, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Hairpin, Washington Post and The New York Times.

Art and photography, i.e, eye candy: Recaptured, Photos Futuristic Explorations.

For fun: Laughing Squid, Ministry of GIFS and, of course, LOL Cats.

If I run across a good magazine on organization or writing, that goes in the mix as well: All Things Productivity and On Writing & Publishing & Everything.

It’s so easy to flip, flip, flip through the articles until one catches my eye. Flipboard creates a very comfortable reading format for all kinds of articles. I really appreciate that, because given the amount of time I’m online, my eyes get tired fast.

~ShonaS is reading “The Shot

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Share to Flipboard From Within iOS 8

Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 8, is available today, and with it comes a more convenient way to collect what you love in a Flipboard magazine. iOS 8 introduces a number of new features, including Extensions, a way for apps to work better together within Apple’s ecosystem. On Flipboard for iOS, that means you can now add articles and photos to your magazines—without even opening the app.

When you’re browsing articles on Safari, tap the iOS Share icon to see Flipboard as an option (tap More in the menu first to activate Flipboard). You can then select a magazine you’d like to add the article to, as well as write a comment on the story. This share-to-Flipboard option is also available in browsers like Chrome, and other compatible apps. (If you don’t have any magazines, you must create one in Flipboard first. In the app, tap the “+” icon on any article, image or video to begin, or see our tutorials page for more basics.)

You can even add your own photos to magazines. From the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad, tap the native iOS share icon to find Flipboard.

We’re especially excited about this feature, as it was one of our most frequent requests from our community. Here are two ideas to get you started on magazines that include your own photos.

1. Sean Hagwell Studios by Sean Hagwell: For artists and photographers, create a portfolio of your own work.

2. Adventures of Pika the Flipdog by Dave Huynh: Make an ode to a beloved pet.

After you’ve made a magazine you’re proud of, don’t forget to share it with friends and family! Go to the cover of any magazine and tap “Share” to email or send it to your social networks.

Happy Flipping!

~Flipboard Team

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Focus on the Shot: Flipboard’s New Photography Magazine

It took three decades for Joseph Nicéphore Niépce to take the world’s first photograph: a black-and-white grainy image of his country-home courtyard, in 1826.

The photography world has rapidly developed since that maiden image, “View from the Window at Le Gras,” was shown, and now includes everything from Papal selfies to images from space. But in some ways, professional photography is as complex as ever. Deciding what type of gear, technique or software to use can daunt even the most avid camera enthusiast.

That’s why Flipboard’s photo editors, Steve Fine and Gary Hershorn, are teaming up to provide the ultimate take on all things photography: The Shot, a Flipboard magazine updated weekly. The magazine opens with Spotlight, which profiles professional photographers and their work. Additionally, each issue will feature the best photography from the Web and Instagram, along with behind-the-scenes reports from the photo wire services. Fine and Hershorn, storied photo editors from Sports Illustrated and Reuters, respectively, will also highlight the best galleries and images from publishers such as National Geographic and the Guardian and from among our users’ photo magazines. Finally, they’ll share articles about the best gear, tips and tricks they find.

Tap the cover the below to get started and hit the follow icon to never miss an update.

~NajibA is curating “Neat Stuff

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The Week in Review: Tech Giant on Stage

It was the event we’ve come to expect from Apple: a crowded dark room, a dramatic stage, a detailed presentation and the unveiling of new products (in this case, the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Watch and Apple Pay).

“For us, it’s never been about being first. It’s been about being the best,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told The New York Times. “And I think we just launched the Apple Watch that is sort of in a category by itself that will redefine what people expect of products in the category.”

The hours-long event in Cupertino, California, left company fans enthused, gave more fodder to critics and once again thrust the company and its CEO into the national conversation.

“Cook is finally getting Apple moving forward again in a big way and taking some different paths,” Walt Mossberg of Re/code wrote after the announcement. “In fact, it’s hard to remember when Apple, at least in recent years, has entered two big new product categories on the same day.”

But consumers will have to wait a bit longer—until September 19—for the iPhone 6 and until early 2015 for the watch.

Until then, let Flipboard magazines meet your news needs about Apple and its competition.

Apple by travisdefilippo: Tuesday’s announcement was the latest in a string of high-profile unveils. Read the latest news in context.

Tech News by Kenan Usta: Apple is one business of many that make up the tech industry. From Google and Microsoft to Reddit and Tinder, find information on your favorite company.

Silicon Valley by Ann Bradley: Explore the inventors and business people of the Valley.

Apple by Kirk Brauer: Technology is what makes Apple possible. This magazine digs into the inventions and tools.

Google by Tin Tiger: Keep track of the latest developments from Google, including Google Glass, Google Play and Chromebooks.

Steve Jobs by Walter Jr Kryemadhi: Steve Jobs created an iconic company before his death in 2011. Remember his legacy.

~Gaby S is reading “Classical Music

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Help Is Here!

The Flipboard community is growing, and we want to know: how has your experience been so far? Had any problems? You might not be alone!

You can now get help right on Flipboard. In case you still can’t get the answers you seek, our Community Support team is happy to answer any questions you might have.

For starters, click the gear icon to access your Settings, then click “Help & Feedback.” Here you’ll find frequently asked questions and useful tips on how to customize your Flipboard.

To save yourself some time, try using the search feature to explore our frequently asked questions.

Still have any questions? No problem. Just click the “Contact Us” button (iOS) or message icon (Android) in the top right and get in touch.

Happy flipping!

~BettieU is reading “Great Danes

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On the Red Couch with Details Style Director Eugene Tong

The term “men’s fashion” sounds like an oxymoron. A simple button-up and a pair of jeans is sufficient for most guys, right? In theory, menswear revels in uniformity: a “look” must be simple, consistent and without the slightest air of effort.

That tripartite description also fits Eugene Tong, Style Director at Details magazine. Hardworking, humble and confident, Tong is a study in the casually cool: he’s the guy to set and get trends precisely because he rejects them in favor of his intuition.

With so much discussion about the “science of creativity,” we wanted to know if there was a “science to style”—and who better to ask than the Most Stylish Man in Media?

As a style director for a men’s magazine, how do you approach Fashion Week?
It’s really about a schedule. I’m not one of those editors who plans their outfits. Being in New York, I’m operating from my home base. When you’re in Europe, you’re just there for the shows. In New York, you’re going back to your apartment or office instead of having free time in between shows to grab a coffee. New York Fashion Week is more chaotic because you’re still living your real life.

What is your role during the shows? Are you there to report?
I don’t do any writing. I do only fashion direction and styling for the magazine. The main purpose of presence is to gather next season’s ideas. After you go to London, Florence, Milan, Paris and New York, you can gauge what’s happening next season. We take those ideas and put together a few months worth of issues. Everything from there trickles down to the masses, but we get a sneak peek first.

There’s been a conceptual shift in menswear. Men’s style is casual and athletic; a few years ago it was “heritage” or “prep” or “Americana.” Now it’s reminiscent of late 90s streetwear: T-shirts, hoodies, stuff that’s edgier, but neutral and still masculine. How would you summarize the trend going on today?
The trend now is “elevated basics.” People in the industry like to group things together, and I think a lot of things that are categorized as “streetwear” are not actually streetwear. It’s like when certain brands got grouped into the urban category even though some of them had different aesthetics.

Men’s fashion now is definitely about going back to basics. But there will always be designers doing the opposite. Fashion has become a big business, so these brands that need to take that into account need to make commercially viable products to drive these businesses. That’s where you’re seeing these luxe versions of very basic things.

I think it’s also a reflection of the way the world is now. Fashion is expensive. You have to view things as investment pieces. Rather than buy super trendy jackets or silhouettes, you can upgrade your basic sweatshirt or sweatpants or sneakers and get invested in fashion—things that are done in much more luxurious fabrics or they’re cut better.

I’ve seen photos of you from The Sartorialist or Tommy Ton, and you’ve been—to your credit—very consistent in your style, which is now the latest look: classic, clean, a bit of hip-hop mixed with high fashion. I’m wondering if you’re concerned with trends or if you even care about how you’re perceived.
I’m 34 years old now, and as an adult you get to this place where you’re comfortable. I don’t chase trends; I’m not wearing the latest stuff. I wear what works for me. I don’t let myself be pigeonholed into categories. I like to mix all different things.

I think too many people let trends dominate their thoughts, and they don’t think about whether that trend applies to them. I’ve remained constant because I don’t try to do anything that I’m not. It’s great if people take my pictures. But I could also care less.

Of course, I know I’m very fortunate. I see everything from the get-go, and I’m able to distill that. But what works for me is very different from what works for my readers, so I have to switch hats when I’m doing stuff for the magazine.

Who is the typical Details reader?
An urban professional who has a lot of disposable income to spend on clothes. He’s really attuned to what’s going on. He may not know the specifics, but I don’t need to educate him on wearing navy suits with brown shoes or things like that. I can just say, “This is this season’s most important trends for you.” There’s service mixed with education, but they have the base knowledge. I’m never gonna have to justify the amount of money they need to spend; it doesn’t faze them. It’s the guy you want to be, the lifestyle that you want—the guy at the party that everyone wants to talk to.

Your job is hard to come by. Do you have advice for someone who’s 22 or 23 and hates their post-grad office job and wants to follow your path?
I tell incoming assistants that our industry doesn’t hire a new class every year. It’s not Goldman Sachs. Everyone in my position got there through internships. Go to a magazine stand, look at all the magazines you love, and get an internship.

Don’t be above anything. I did everything above and beyond what I was asked. I never left work until my boss did. I never took vacation. I’m an extreme, but you have to show them that you want it, and that you’re willing to do whatever it takes.

That’s lost now because of the internet. The younger generation—this is a cliché—has a sense of entitlement that things should just happen for them. I busted my ass. Be prepared to make a ton of sacrifices.

It’s not the most lucrative industry, either. I do OK, but for years, I had friends in banking or other industries who were making a lot more money than me. The difference was that I am happy going to work everyday. I have no problems with Mondays.

Does the role ever drag on you?
Oh, yeah. People see only the glamorous shit. I get invited to a lot of great things and get access to cool stuff, but all that fun stuff is 10% of the job. I have the same office politics, the same kind of boss, but I’m in a more public industry.

I mean: When you have to go to parties because it’s work, it’s work. We’re not partying all the time. I have a really strict rule of not drinking at work-related functions. You don’t wanna be that guy who’s being talked about the next morning.

What’s the absolute best part of being a style director?
Being able to represent the magazine and the United States as a whole at Fashion Week. Only the top editors-in-chief get to go, and I’m fortunate to be able to go as well. I still get hyped. I’m not sitting a desk staring at a screen.

I find it irritating when other editors complain. People get jaded. When you think about it, I get paid to go to Europe. That’s not bad, dude. My friends will talk about where we’re traveling for work. I’ll say, “London and Florence and Paris,” and they’ll say, “Oh. I’m going to Orlando.”

So to put in perspective: I’m super fucking lucky and it’s all pretty great.

Flip through Details—the go-to magazine for young sophisticates—on Flipboard:

~ShonaS is curating “Engineered Garments

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On the Red Couch with Refinery29′s Angela Tafoya

Fashion’s a lifestyle. It can be boiled down to those two words: “life” and “style.” But beyond the glitz and good looks, it can get a little murky. Can you really teach someone how to be cool?

For answers, we turn to Refinery29. The online publication takes a down-to-earth approach in its promise to deliver “nonstop inspiration to lead a creative life.” From quizzes that determine your style type to help on handling a “disappointing dye job,” Refinery29 uses personality and practicality to keep readers engaged.

One of the people who lends the site an air of approachability is San Francisco Editor Angela Tafoya. A former journalism student, Tafoya is interested in trends and the people who make those trends come to life. We spoke with her about passing fads, style research and why we should care about the way we look.

Refinery29 is one of the most successful examples of new media overtaking print in many ways. Why and how did that happen?
I think the site’s success can really be attributed to a medley of authenticity, talented people that really have the passion to take the content to the next level, and a different scope and frame of thought surrounding our subjects. All of these things create an environment where people are pushing personal boundaries, and always striving to make each and every story better than the last.

What are some of your favorite publications?
I love Lula for its girly, dreamy editorials; Into The Gloss for its creative beauty content; The Coveteur for its introspective look at influencers’ closets; Freunde von Freunden for interiors to ogle; and obviously Refinery29. I like a sense of discovery when it comes to finding publications, so there are new sites and magazines I am finding through friends, Instagram, Pinterest. I’m always on the lookout.

What specifically about lifestyle reporting appeals to you?
I enjoy discovering things that were happening around me—especially hyper-local style—and then presenting it on some kind of platform. I like engaging with people in a kind of conversational manner.

As a fashion editor, do you feel an obligation to be well-dressed?
Absolutely. I’m much more conscious now. Even though I work from home and I’m not always dressed to the nines when I’m behind my computer, I’m still self-aware. It’s what I love to do, and if I wasn’t doing this already, I would be just for fun.

How do you decide what’s worth covering?
I try and keep a close watch on what’s trending globally. Locally, it’s not so difficult. It’s a mix of things I’m seeing on different sites, on social, on Instagram or Pinterest, and seeing what’s happening there on a very micro level. I think that’s the best form of discovery. I have the luxury to choose, really.

Mostly I pay attention to what people—individuals—are doing, especially those with a fresh voice.

And who has great style?
Anyone who takes a risk with fashion and displays inherent personal style—women I see playing with colors, textures, and proportions continually inspire me. People like Julia Sarr Jamois, Jenna Lyons, Solange, Natalie Joos. I’m a big fan of the quirky color palettes and non-traditional pieces they infuse into their wardrobes.

What’s the importance of style?
Style means paying attention and telling a story. It’s a way for us to transcend ourselves. We say something about who we are—whether we know it or not.

You’re creating a dialogue and a sense of authenticity. The whole point of fashion is to immerse you into an experience. Those experiences are all so unique.

Besides the Internet, where do you turn to for inspiration?
Travel. I think it’s vital for inspiration to take yourself outside of your everyday-norm environment and explore different sounds, sights and cultures. Some of my most creative days and moments and ideas have been when I am out of my comfort zone and surrounded by new experiences. It’s not always possible to jetset to an exotic country, obviously, so I really try to find new ways to get out of the house and explore new territory—even in the Bay.

Fashion is interesting because it’s about individuality, but trends are unavoidable. And the Internet has accelerated that cycle. Does that make fashion seem repetitive?
With popularity comes oversaturation. I don’t think it’s too repetitive. There’s a distinction between fashion and style. Style is inherent, and people have and always will love to identify it, to discuss what they think is compelling. As a culture, we’ll always find a way to establish a fresh voice. We just need to be patient.

Check out Refinery29 on Flipboard:

~ShonaS is curating “Engineered Garments

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Basics #2: The One and Only Thing You Need to Personalize Flipboard

Think of Flipboard as your one-stop shop to keeping up with the news and your interests. Whether you enjoy business articles from Fast Company or ice cream recipes from a friend on Facebook, it’s easy to make Flipboard your own with one action: Follow.

The Follow button looks like a bookmark and is located on a magazine cover or at the top of the section you’re flipping through. You can follow publications, blogs, social accounts, hashtags, search results and magazines. Following generates an easy-to-access tile on your Flipboard. And voilà! Now you have your favorite things to read and see at your fingertips.

Pro tip: If you’ve followed so many sources that you can no longer see them on your Table of Contents, tap the red ribbon and go to My Flipboard to see the rest of what you are following.

When you follow things you like, Flipboard will do the hard work for you and combine content in a single place called Cover Stories, a place to get a little bit of everything you enjoy. Flip through your Cover Stories to get highlights from the sections you follow.

For more tips on using Flipboard, be sure to check out our first Basics blog post.

~DeanneC is reading “Fierce Love

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Flipboard Adds Ultravisual Team

I’m really excited to welcome the talented Ultravisual team to Flipboard today. Founder Neil Voss and crew have built a beautiful visual network that unites creative people around collections of content, and we’ve been impressed with their approach to information design, pixel-perfect engineering and visually stunning interfaces. Their expertise is the perfect addition to Flipboard and is sure to accelerate the future of magazine making on our platform.

Fans out there should know that Ultravisual will continue to be available for the next six months, owned and operated by Technicolor, the company that’s backed their efforts. The Ultravisual team will be around to support its community during this transition, with Community Manager Jenn de la Vega available to answer any questions: community@ultravisual.com or on Twitter @Ultravisualapp.

The team is now officially on board out of our New York office and I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together.

~MikeM is curating “The Designer Standard

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The Week in Review: Celebrity Images Hacked

Over 100 stars were exposed in the latest round of photo leaks to hit the Internet, this time revealing nude or nearly nude images of household names, including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton.

The incident appears to be a breach of celebrity iCloud accounts and the FBI is on the hunt for the culprit(s). Apple said iCloud itself was not hacked, and it was instead the result of a bug in the system.

“We have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet,” Apple said in a statement.

But the trending photos, first published Sunday, ignited a debate over personal and technological privacy.

“Keeping each other’s data safe is everyone’s responsibility. It’s time that our devices and services live up to it,” Janet Vertesi wrote in Time.

“The problem is that we have collectively ceded our privacy bit by bit as we have moved more social and business interactions from the physical realm to the so-called cloud,” Vikas Bajaj wrote in The New York Times.

From privacy and Apple to celebrity news, Flipboard magazines have each angle covered.

Hacking by Kodir otag: News from the hacking world: the high-profile breach, other affected companies and the hunt for hackers across the U.S.

Privacy by Nadia Daneshvar: Are we paying a price for free Internet? Which cities and states are reforming their data strategies? Get the answers here.

Apple by travisdefilippo: There’s always something coming down the pike from the biggest U.S. technology company. Read the latest updates and announcements from Apple.

Celebrity Corner by Vanessa R: Whether it’s a passion or just a guilty pleasure, indulge in Hollywood happenings here.

VF Hollywood by Vanity Fair: Vanity Fair’s guide to celebrity news, awards season updates and gossip roundups.

Shooting Stars by Flipboard Photo Desk: The EMMYs, the VMAs, Comic-Con, a history of rockers and models—flip through photo galleries compiled by our photo editors.

~GabyS is reading Stars +

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