I’ve always enjoy a good product launch, and today’s launch of Google’s new mobile news reader Currents got my attention.
Currents is an app for Android and iOS devices that allows you to view news from multiple sources in a magazine-style format. If you’ve ever used similar products like Flipboard or Feedly, you know what this product is all about.
As I was reading Google’s blog post announcing the launch, this paragraph caught my eye:
Alongside Google Currents, we’re also launching a self-service platform that gives publishers the flexibility to design, brand and customize their web content. For example, if you’re a small regional news outlet, a non-profit organization without access to a mobile development team, or a national TV network with web content, you can effortlessly create hands-on digital publications for Google Currents.
Google is offering content creators the ability to place their content alongside outlets like TechCruch, the Atlantic, and the Huffington Post in a visually appealing magazine format. Currents can also pull in an organization’s Flickr, YouTube, and social media feeds to their “magazine”.
What this means for schools is that when our community members are reading their morning news via Currents, our up-to-date school news is included without the need for the user to go to another app.
All you have to do is sign in (with a Google or Google Apps account — using Chrome of course) to Google Currents producer, name your edition, add your RSS feeds, verify you are the content owner, and publish your Edition to Google’s library.
And the best part is that once it’s setup, you don’t have to do anything else. Any news item you publish to your website will automatically be pushed to Currents.
I’m one of those people who loves to give new products a test drive, so I decided to spend a few minutes this afternoon creating an “Edition” (as Google calls an organization’s publication in Currents) for Beaver. Since you can add multiple sections to your Edition, I chose to add a main section called “All Posts” which contains all of our blog posts in one place, and then add sections for athletics, arts, alumni, etc.
After about 15 minutes of work, the final result is a stunning mobile version of your content:
Who knows if this product will take off, but with a minimal amount of effort you can have professional looking mobile content.