This is less of a review and more of a mini article, although it was inspired by the excellent NetNewsWire . Of course to really get the most out of NetNewsWire you need a NewsGator account. They offer a free “lite” version or a subscription version which can be either Gold £19.95 or Platinum £29.95. It is well worth checking these out.
I have messed around with a number of RSS options over the last couple of years. Without doubt RSS is an exceptionally useful creation, but just how useful depends so much on your own personal use of blogs, internet, research etc. My wife and I have frequent discussions about this and I think we are probably pretty good examples of two very different ways of using RSS feeds:
My wife isn’t a big user of the internet or blogs. She has a number of web sites that she visits every day for news and subjects of interest, and although they all offer RSS feeds she can’t see the point of subscribing. She knows that she is going to visit these sites every day, when she wants to. She enjoys the experience of browsing around to see what is new, and doesn’t want to be directed straight to a specific article. A number of friends that she keeps in contact with electronically have blogs and Flickr accounts, so she does find it useful to have a RSS feed for these as they are updated so infrequently that it saves her a lot of time instead of having to log in and check each day. She uses Vienna, which is free and works great. It links to MarsEdit which we both use for posting to blogs, and has some reasonable preferences to play around with. It has one issue that we both found and that is it isn’t very reliable for clearing out the old posts.
I on the other hand have a very different RSS pattern than my wife. I subscribe to more blogs, both personal and work related. I work from more than one Mac, and occasionally a PC, often at the same time on one project, or on several projects at the same time. I like to know what is going on in a number of subjects and countries, but I very rarely have time to read a full article, and I certainly don’t want to get distracted by or wade through a load of stuff that isn’t relevant to what I am doing at the time. As such I have a LOT of RSS feeds from both web sites and blogs, and I scan through them on a regular basis. From time to time I want to post on my blog about certain links, so I need to be able to post directly from within my RSS application.
I have tried Safari and whilst I have nothing against it, I just couldn’t really get to grips with having the RSS imbedded in the browser. Just seemed too complicated and cumbersome to use. On the PC I use Feedreader and it is fine. Nothing special, does a solid job. In many ways it is just like Vienna. I have been using Vienna until recently but it just wasn’t doing enough for me, especially when I was swapping around between computers all day.
I had tried Bloglines before and not really got in with it. I don’t like the fact that it is limited to been on line, although I find it very useful to be able to log in from any computer. In addition I really don’t want to be tempted by another blog or online presence.
For the last week or so I have been using NetNewsWire and I love it as it gives me the flexibility and convenience that I want.
I will leave you with the blurb from their site:
“Looking for an easy-to-use RSS and Atom reader for the Mac? You’ve found it! The “Eddy” award-winning NetNewsWire has a familiar three-paned interface – similar to Apple Mail – and can fetch and display news from thousands of different websites and weblogs, making it quick and easy to keep up with the latest news. You can also download podcasts and audio files and have them show up on your portable audio device. In addition, NetNewsWire now synchronizes with NewsGator Online and the rest of the NewsGator RSS Suite.
* New! Synchronized reading with browser, mobile, and other NewsGator RSS products
* New! Many performance improvements – saving to disk, subscription list changes, and more
* New! Sort subscriptions by attention – NetNewsWire can tell which feeds are more important to you
* New! Emailing, printing, and posting options
* Familiar three-paned interface
* Tabbed browser to open Web pages in the same window
* Automatic download of podcasts and transfer to iTunes
* Smart lists to aggregate news from your feeds based on criteria
* Download 30-Day Free Trial
* Buy Now $29.95
* For more information contact us at email@example.com”
It really is worth a look.