Changing Feed Aggregators

posted on 10/26/05 at 11:03:06 pm by Joel Ross

Yup. I've been a long supporter of Newsgator Outlook Edition (NGOE), and have posted about it quite a bit in the past. I watched as two bloggers I highly respect switched to RSS Bandit and Feed Demon. I even tried out Feed Demon around that time when NGOE stopped working for me for some reason.

But eventually NGOE came back, and I reverted back to it. But a few limitations bothered me. For a few months. But I never made the move. Until a couple of weeks ago. NGOE started acting up again - it would say it was synching, but it never pulled down anything new. So I fired up the latest FeedDemon installer, and haven't looked back since.

Here's what I like about it, and the reason I made the switch:

  • River of News: Clicking a folder or the top Newspaper view shows every unread item in that folder. it makes skimming for what I care about a whole lot easier than individual items in Outlook.
  • Unlimited News bins. I used flags in Outlook to organize posts that I wanted to do something else with, but Outlook only has a limited number of flags for me to use. I could have used folders, but that's not a one-click step - or even a two-click step, as it is in Feed Demon.
  • Synching doesn't peg the CPU. It does seem to pop up that it's getting news more often than NGOE did (I set it to 120 minute intervals) - I think it may be synching a subset of feeds rather than all at once.
  • Managing of feeds is easy. It was a pain to organize my feeds in NGOE - move folders, create directory levels, and remove feeds. Maybe it wasn't that hard, but it wasn't obvious either. In Feed Demon, it's simple. Right click on the folder, and you get your options.
  • It's in the Newsgator family. That's important to me - I'm inching towards 800 feeds, and switching to a complete new aggregator results in 1000s of posts coming down that I've already seen. Switching to Feed Demon was easy - it only pulled down the feeds from the past few days that NGOE hadn't been picking up, as well as a few dupes that were in NGOE, but were read after synching stopped working.

There are some things that bother me, but not enough to make me look elsewhere.

  • Using the dedicated feed management screen is painful with a lot of feeds all in the same folder. With the switch, I decided to start to organize my feeds a little better, and find out how many of my feeds are dead. Using the feed management screen was painful because it refreshed the feeds every time I moved a feed. I eventually took a different approach - I'm moving all of my feeds to other folders, and I move them as I get a post in that feed. So, if after a month or two of using Feed Demon, a feed hasn't been moved out of the original folder, it probably isn't worth keeping.

That's it so far. I was going to add that I couldn't right click a feed in Maxthon and add a feed that way, but then I found this, so I can now.?I am also considering moving away from iPodder and switching to FeedStation to download enclosures since?I can flag a feed to always download enclosures, or I can download one-offs if I want to.

Overall, I've been very happy with the switch so far. Of course, my original aggregator was RSS Bandit, and the new version has Newsgator integration, so I may have to check that out too. But for now, Feed Demon is my new aggregator of choice!

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