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Continuing on NewsReaders

In the storytelling mode this is one of those examples I really like about blogging.  Great, helpful, exchanges that quickly will lead to better products and more passionate customers.  While you will see I'm not yet ready to jump... the fact that Greg Reinacker notices my post and responds is in itself interesting to me.  It demonstrates a powerful way to win people over. I'd be interested to understand his method. 

Greg sent an e-mail from this morning.  Apparently my server is acting up and not accepting comments.  The comment did post and I'm sharing here his comments italics and my responses. 

Just thought I'd take a moment to address your issues here...

  • Excerpts - hmm, not sure what you mean here. NewsGator shows as much content as is available; if the feed only provides excerpts, that's all it will show, but if the feed provides full content you'll see it all. Perhaps you were talking about the NewsPage - 1.2 only shows excerpts there. 1.3 includes an option to view full post content on the NewsPage, so that may help you out. Outside of the NewsPage, everything works exactly like email...and in fact, many folks don't use the NewsPage at all.
    • Right.  The newspage is what I'm talking about.  In Radio's Newsreader I could scroll whole posts, and similarly in amphetadesk.  I note this will be solved in version 1.3.  However I would look at Sharpreader and note the following functions.  The preview pane that enables title scrolling above and quick deletion just like e-mail.  It also enables you to right click and mark all as read.  In NewsGator I am limited to folder my folder, and deletions are a point and click rather than the faster delete key.  Unless of course I read folder to folder.  Even in the folder/preview mode there is still some room for additional functionality.  
  • Scrolling and full posts difficult to get to - I'm guessing you're talking about the NewsPage again...if so, that should be covered in 1.3. If it was something else, can you elaborate?
    • see above
  • Speed - you will notice a slowdown when new posts are being created in Outlook; it should be similar to the slowdown you get when Outlook is storing new mail messages from a POP account. There really shouldn't be any other perceptible performance impact.
    • I'm wondering how many feeds is the average.  My test was my current subscription list, some 120 feeds.  I imported them with my first use, so perspective is driven from there and usage accordingly. What I think is interesting is I believe that I can handle at least 150 feeds and not be overwhelmed.  Whereas e-mail driven lists, I can't keep up with. 
  • wBloggar - a tricky tidbit for you here - the wBlogger plug-in you're using with SharpReader will also work with NewsGator; just copy the plug-in files to \program files\newsgator\plugins. :-)
    • Ah slick.  I see there is also discussion around a standardized .net newsreader plug-in format.  Let's hope some momentum starts.
  • Hope this helps - and please do try 1.3 when it's available!
    • I probably will.  Although I've just discovered the power of the search function in Sharpreader.  Just keyed in "innovation wiki" and it returned 8 posts within the last two weeks.  Cool!

So now what I want on Sharpreader is a quick subscribe button for my Explorer bar.  Plus the capability to link my Micah search function to my current subscription list. 

To close.  I think some speed measures on various newsreaders and their ability to enable individuals to accelerate handling of info are important.  I'm faster already I know it.  Then I'd also like to be able to share newsreader views.  Perhaps that could be done via the new Technorati Profiles?  Now this seems counter-intuitive.  Why share my info list.  Well, frankly it is back to what we learned from Napster.  When I can see your music list as I'm downloading something, then my learning about music accelerates.  It jogs my memory or reminds me about songs forgotten.  Do this with news feeds and it would create some interesting metrics as well.  I'd bet it would be better blogging by core groups.  Something for the blog cooperative?

Bet we've not heard the last on all of this. 

Comments (3)

Hi Stuart, me again. Hope you don't think I'm stalking your blog. ;-)

You mentioned some SharpReader functions you like...it's a great app, and I won't tell you otherwise. However, I think a couple of the items you mentioned are indeed handled in NewsGator:

>>> The preview pane that enables title scrolling above and quick deletion just like e-mail. It also enables you to right click and mark all as read. In NewsGator I am limited to folder my folder and deletions are a point and click rather than the faster delete key <<<

Again, you're basing all of this (I believe) on the NewsPage. Try for a while just using the Outlook folders - and use the cool features like auto-preview, the preview pane, etc. You can also try putting all of your news in one folder, and group by feed. The possibilities are endless - don't feel limited by what the NewsPage does.

That said, the NewsPage does contain more functionality in 1.3 - full posts, "mark all as read" and "delete all" buttons, etc...but to really leverage the power of Outlook, move to the folders. :-)

>>> I'm wondering how many feeds is the average. My test was my current subscription list, some 120 feeds. I imported them with my first use, so perspective is driven from there and usage accordingly <<<

Yeah...when a huge number of new posts come in all at once, it gets a little slow - and this typically happens on the first retrieve after you first import a large subscription list. After you've caught up, and only incremental updates are coming in, you probably won't even notice NewsGator running.

Don't base the performance on the very first retrieve, though. When you retrieve 200 new POP3 messages with Outlook, it gets a little slow then too - but things get better as Outlook gets caught up.

>>> Although I've just discovered the power of the search function in Sharpreader. Just keyed in "innovation wiki" and it returned 8 posts within the last two weeks. Cool! <<<

Very cool...but even cooler :-) is running NewsGator within Outlook 2003. You can create search folders for new posts, or even create a search folder for a specific term ("wiki"), and the folder will automatically stay up to date with the search results. Unbelievably cool.

Anyway, I should probably stop monopolizing your blog...just wanted to make sure you had all of the info!

Dina:

Stuart - thanks for sharing your research on newsreaders - very useful. I was away from my PC for almost a week and until now relied only on the inbuilt News Aggregaotr in Radio which i couldn't access unless the PC was on. So I 'stole' the idea of installing Sharpreader - and i love it - i can customise and organise it the way i want it to read. Now i need to figure out how to post directly onto Radio from there.

Dina:

Stuart - thanks for sharing your research on newsreaders - very useful. I was away from my PC for almost a week and until now relied only on the inbuilt News Aggregaotr in Radio which i couldn't access unless the PC was on. So I 'stole' the idea of installing Sharpreader - and i love it - i can customise and organise it the way i want it to read. Now i need to figure out how to post directly onto Radio from there.

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