Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Introducing the WebSpherePower RSS feeds

RSS readers

There are literally hundreds of RSS-readers, also called newsreaders or news aggregators. Here's a short list of some you might want to try. Newsreading capabilities can be found in Web-based applications, like My Yahoo, as part of other applications, like Attensa in Outlook and Sage in Firefox, or as standalone desktop applications (like FeedDemon).

Lotus Notes-based newsreaders

We were honestly surprised we didn't see newsreading capabilities native within Notes 7, although we're hearing we'll see more in next year's release. That said, here are a few Notes-based readers:

  • Madicon Reader: Written by a German dude, he's very clear that this product has an English-language manual and menus.
  • PAVONE NewsReader: This is a nicely featured newsreader you can access from within your Notes client.

Standalone desktop newsreaders

Standalone newsreaders are full applications you launch from your desktop. Some standalone newsreaders are:

  • FeedDemon: FeedDemon is $29.95 and was recently acquired by NewsGator Technologies, Inc. We've been very happy with FeedDemon in our own, personal use.
  • Radio Userland: Radio Userland was one of the first desktop aggregators and is special because it's also an excellent blog publishing tool. It's $39.95 per year.
  • RssReader: RssReader is a free desktop newsreader. It works well, but we found we liked FeedDemon better.

Outlook-based newsreaders

If you want to read your news along with your email, you may want to look at an Outlook-based newsreader.

  • Attensa for Outlook: Developed by the folks at You Software, Attensa allows you to get at your feeds from within Outlook. Attensa is available for $20/year.
  • Newsgator: Newsgator has been aggregating aggregators over the past few years, buying up a number of popular products. Offering programs ranging from $19.95 per year to $89.95 per year, they claim to give you your feeds any way you want them.

Web-based newsreading services

If you want to read your news from within a browser, you might want to look at a Web-based newsreading service. When you read news, you want to be able to mark what you've read. If you use a Web-based service, your status information is stored on the Web site, and you can pick up reading your feeds from any other machine with a Web browser.

  • Newsgator: Newsgator also has a Web-based newsreader. Offering programs ranging from $19.95 per year to $89.95 per year, they claim to give you your feeds any way you want them.
  • Bloglines: One of the most popular Web-based newsreaders is Bloglines. The service is free. They were recently acquired by Ask Jeeves, Inc.
  • My Yahoo! The My Yahoo! service offers newsreading capabilities, but it's quite limited. While you can set My Yahoo up as your home page and see some of your favorite feeds, you're limited to seeing only feed headlines. But, hey, it's free!
  • Google Reader: Google also offers a newsreader. Using a more dynamic page interface, if you're looking for a free service, you might like this reader. On the other hand, it's Google, so you can be sure they're making a list of your every move, gonna find out if you've been naughty or nice.