For awhile I have been meaning to post about Zite, the news reader application for the iPad. I spend at least thirty minutes every morning over coffee reading articles related to quilting using Zite.
Zite is like Flipboard only better. Zite learns what you like and what you don’t like. Just rate articles with a thumbs up or a thumbs down to make your preferences known. I don’t do that very often, but Zite still brings me new things to read that meet my interests.
I have a category set up in Zite called “Quilting” This is the first category I read every day in Zite. After reading my Quilting category I move on to my other interests: Apple News, iPad, Macworld, Retirement, Cats, and others.
Above you can see that all but one of the articles has been grayed out. Zite does that to show that I had read the article. This helps in scanning for new things to read. The little dots at the bottom show how many pages of articles are in the category. So you can see that I am on page four of 23 pages of quilting articles.
If you don’t care about the order in which your articles are presented you can just look at the “Your Top Stories” feed (pictured in the top screen capture). This feed will have articles from all of your categories. I rarely use the “top stories” feed because I like to focus on one topic at a time before moving on the the next.
In the process of reading my Quilt category I have added individual feeds for various bloggers. You can see them on the right side in the screen capture above. We see thomasknauersews.com, lifeunderquilts.blogspot.com, jaybirdquilts.com, themodernquiltguild.wordpress.com, and bitsandbobbins.com. I sometimes check these feeds to see if there is anything new in any of them that didn’t make it into my generic Quilts feed.
I started reading quilt news in Zite last year before I ever started quilting again. This got my mind moving and sparked my interest in the quilt world. It was one day, perhaps in April of last year, that I was presented with an article about working with hexagons using the English Paper Piecing method. I thought, “This is for me.” I want something I can do any time, anywhere, without being tethered to a sewing machine. I want something that will be therapeutic and soothing, not rushed and hurried. So I went to google and found some tutorials and enough information to get started, and now I am blogging about it. In this respect Zite literally changed my life by presenting me with an article it thought I would find interesting.
I love Zite. I am saddened to report, however, that Zite will soon no longer be with us. The article “Zite is Flipping Out” in the uppermost screen shot says it all. Above you can see in the lower right a picture of Flipboard cannibalizing Zite. It is true.
That image is annoying enough on a small scale, on a larger scale it is downright scary.
Zite has been bought by Flipboard. Zite has been viewed as the primary rival to Flipboard, though it never achieved the mass usage of Flipboard. What it has is a loyal following of users because of its technology. It was bought by Flipboard for this very technology, which is its ability to add more of what you like and hide more of what you don’t. In the article on the left of the screen capture above, Zite CEO is quoted as saying “Honestly, the sooner Zite goes away, the better.” I don’t agree, but perhaps what he means is that a speedy transition eases the pain for those most intimately involved.
Zite will be with us for about six more months. They say that they will be coming up with a way to import one’s data into Flipboard. Therefore, I recommend trying Zite in the time that it has left. If you are already a Flipboard user, be gladdened by the fact that Flipboard will soon be better than ever under the hood, which is where Zite has always performed its magic.
I like being a Zite user in much the same way as I like being an Apple user. Zite may be the underdog in terms of usage, but it has always been the definite winner in terms of quality. Zite has earned its place of honor on my iPad dock along with the other apps I use the most.
I’m really quite a bit weepy about the prospect of losing Zite. You could go so far as to say I am verklempt. I loved Zite’s simple format. I loved what it delivered. I loved even more that Zite quite literally changed my life. How often can you say that about a software application? I wouldn’t be a quilter and a blogger now if it weren’t for a random article delivered to me one day by my beloved Zite.
I highly recommend that you give Zite a try.
How do you get your daily dose of quilting inspiration?