What NetNewsWire needs to learn from FeedDemon

FeedDemonOn my Vista-running laptop, I had FeedDemon installed, a super desktop based RSS aggregator. I’ve always been more comfortable using this type of app as opposed to a web based solution like Google Reader or Bloglines. When I don’t have my laptop with me and I need to use a public PC or a mobile device, I can still use the NewsGator onlie service, which syncs up with FeedDemon so I don’t end up having to read stuff twice.

NetNewsWireWhen I got my MacBook, then, it was an obvious choice to download NetNewsWire, NewsGator’s desktop app for the Mac. I hoped it would be the equivalent of FeedDemon, but sadly it isn’t, for me. This is surprising, because both products are developed by the same community, and I would have thought that some of the innovations of FeedDemon would have filtered through to the Mac app.

Here are some things I’d really like to see added to NetNewsWire, that are already in place in FeedDemon:

  • The ability to hide subscriptions with no new items: FeedDemon let’s me ensure that the only feeds that appear in view are those with something new to read. I can’t find this option in NetNewsWire, and it means I have to scroll through loads of empty feeds to get to the new stuff
  • Newspapers: these are the different ways you can display feeds. For example, the way you look at a Flickr photostream feed is different from a standard text based blog. FeedDemon lets you set just how you want stuff presented. NetNewsWire, as far as I can tell, doesn’t
  • Panic button: OK, so this is a very new feature to FeedDemon, but it’s super useful. If you have a huge backlog of feeds, the panic button lets you mark a certain amount of them read, leaving you with the current stuff. NetNewsWire needs this!
  • Attention reports: FeedDemon provides you with loads of stats about what items and feeds you pay the most attention too. Useful stuff. Can’t find it in NetNewsWire

Any other NetNewsWire users out there? How do you find it in comparison to other apps?

Newsgator RSS apps now free!

The Newsgator family of desktop RSS applications are now available for download free of charge! This is great news, and I would heartily recommend that anyone who hasn’t tried it before gives the Windows application, FeedDemon, a try. I have been using it for three years now, and while I have flirted with online services like Bloglines and Google Reader, I also come crawling back to FeedDemon. There are other products in the range too, like a plugin for Outlook and NetNewsWire, which is the desktop reader for the Mac.

They are still charging for TopStyle though – boo, hiss. It’s a great CSS editor. If you are thinking that’s a strange app for an RSS company to be selling, you’re right. The story behind it is that when Newsgator bought Nick Bradbury, the guy behind FeedDemon, he brought his other project with with, which was TopStyle.

Here’s a nice post explaining why FeedDemon is so great.

When I was at the Online Information conference last year I had an interesting chat with the guys from NewsGator. They have some cool enterprise products, which focus on making SharePoint actually useful, all through the magic of RSS.