There’s a boring press release; and interesting write-ups from Greg Reinacker and Brent Simmons. (Oh, and why is it we need press releases any more?) This is interesting on a bunch of grounds.

Why a Newsreading Client? · There are those, hardwired to Google Reader or some such, who genuinely don’t understand why someone would use client software at all. Google Reader is just fine, but I still haven’t seen anything that gets me the news anywhere near as fast or as flexibly as NetNewsWire. Well, and it makes offline catch-up very easy, but mostly it’s just about the speed. If you’ve got a job where you need to soak up a big news-flow without wasting much time, and you’re on a Mac, you really ought to give NNW a try.

Business Model · Why would you give away popular software? Quoting Greg Reinacker: “What we’re working to do is to saturate the market with our clients.” Which makes excellent sense; because they’re really in the server/service business.

Plus, they think they can do something interesting with attention data. Not the first time I’ve heard that, and it’s sure plausible, although I’m not sure anyone’s actually making much hay with it just yet.

But hey, thanks guys.


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From: Graham (Jan 09 2008, at 14:55)

"they think they can do something interesting with attention data"

Er, sell it? The privacy policy is full of bullshit about advertisers and content partners, and they state in their FAQ the desktop version is tracking usage too (it's not entirely clear if this is only if you sign up for the online stuff). They've also abandoned customer support.

If it weren't for Brent's involvement I don't think they'd be getting such a free pass over this.


From: SN (Jan 09 2008, at 16:00)

The one thing that keeps me from trying NNW is local storage. Why should I fill my hard drive with feeds when I can have "infinite" archives and state of the art search at Google Reader? :)


From: John Cowan (Jan 09 2008, at 16:25)

I do understand why people want client-side readers; I'm willing to ssh into more or less all the time just to be able to read my mail in mutt, which is way better (to me) than GMail.

But that isn't exactly practical with RSS/Atom (or is it? anybody know a good character-based reader?), so I prefer the convenience of being able to read from anywhere.


From: Paul Begley (Jan 09 2008, at 16:55)


I paid for FeedDemon and I use the mobile client as well. It's a great product and I am lost without it, but the thing that is not pointed out in the press releases is that Newsgator has a great subscription model. You also have to consider the Newsgator software as part of a larger system.

You subscribe to Newsgator, this central subscription on the Newsgator server. Client software can then be installed on laptop, desktop, mobile clients and your view of the central subscription can be managed depending on your client needs.

With your subscription, your client (mobile, web, and Feeddemon) will synch with the central server, so if you read a bunch of feeds at work, flagged some for follow-up or saved them to a Clippings folder, when you log in at home, they are already marked as read, or flagged into your Clippings folder.

For me, this is well worth the subscription, not only from a time savings, which is huge in my case, but because review of the Clippings let's me rapidly review lots of feeds and distill and manage the good stuff.

Feedstation is another application that is linked to Feeddemon. It can be configured to automatically download multimedia content of RSS feeds (typically, but not limited to audio podcasts) onto my primary workstation where I sync it with my Zune (I know your a Mac guy, but I *really* like the Zune with 2.3 rev firmware - I can synch podcasts wirelessly and have FM radio for working out on my bicycle trainer (Christmas gift to Dad) at home).

Hope this is insightful.




From: jack (Jan 09 2008, at 17:30)

I think your opinion of google reader puts you in an ever increasing minority. After a rough start it's a very nice application. The advantages of it being mobile by nature outweighs any speed NNW has over it.


From: Mark (Jan 09 2008, at 19:05)

After NewsFire broke in Leopard I had a customer support encounter with the charming David Watanabe. The next day I was happily using Google Reader. Whoa!

I had used it when it first came out and off and on every six months or so since then, but it has really improved.

I have fiber to the home, so perhaps my situation is unusual, but speed is not a problem at all. And the interface is really configurable.


From: Todd Biske (Jan 10 2008, at 06:43)

I prefer the standalone news reader over any of the browser-based ones. I use FeedDemon at work, NNW at home, and occassionally use the iPhone NewsGator interface (which is very good). The fact that they're all kept in sync is great (although FeedDemon always seems to have a lot more items than NNW, I think that's probably due to my NNW settings). Admittedly, a web-based reader like GoogleReader does the same, but their iPhone interface isn't very good, and I've never been able to get through feeds as quickly as I can with a standalone client.


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