Q: If you were stranded on an island with only one feed reader, which one would it be?
A: FeedDemon.
This question came as a comment on my recent somewhat pessimistic post speculating about whether lawyers would ever adopt RSS readers.
I’ve essentially used three feed readers over the years. I started with Amphetadesk, leaving it after no new version came out after late 2002. I moved to FeedDemon, in part because I like the three-paned Outlooky interface and the useful set of tools – flagging, saved searches, newsbins, browser integration, podcatching . . . the list goes on and on. I also like Nick Bradbury, the creator and lead programmer of FeedDemon, with whom I’ve exchanged an occasional email over the years. About a year or so ago, I experimented with simultaneously running FeedDemon and the Omea Reader. I liked the Omea Reader for some of the personal knowledge management tools it had, but Nick keeps adding features to FeedDemon and been been using exclusively FeedDemon since last summer. I don’t use my Mac to read my RSS subscriptions, but, if I did, I’d stay in the Newsgator/FeedDemon family and use NetNewsWire.
I greatly prefer the standalone readers to the online readers. Online readers require that you be, well, online and connected to the Internet. I’ve also found that they get clunky and cumbersome when you subscribe to a large number of feeds and try to manage and save individual items. Lots of people I know swear by online readers, so my sense is that we are talking about my personal preferences, but I like the standalone readers’ ability to let you grab feed items while connected and read and deal with them later. You also have great features, like those in FeedDemon, to store and work with the information you gather. I’ve tried a number of the online readers, including using NewsGator Online to sync subscriptions with FeedDemon on several computers. Unfortunately, that was not very successful for me and I kept finding that feeds I read regularly would occasionally disappear from my subscriptions.
On a desert island, clearly regular Internet access and even electrical power would be issues (sort of like St. Louis in the last year), so the standalone reader would be the preferred route.
I’d like to compliment Nick Bradbury for his continued personal involvement in supporting and improving FeedDemon. It makes it easy for me to be loyal to the product.
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