Keep RSS Free for All
Jim Louderback argues that NewsGator's latest service could turn RSS into a 'nasty walled garden'and offers up a free version that's just as good.After discussions with NewsGators CEO, Ive gotten a better understanding of the API process used by his new service. Its still unpublished, and still proprietary, but limited to accessing premium feeds, building customized feeds and subscription related services. However, as any Microsoft watcher can attest, a proprietary API is the first step towards the walled garden I describe below. You can read CEO Greg Reinackers rebuttal to this columm here.
Ive followed the RSS market for a while, exulting when cool new services are launched, and wincing when folks seem to miss the market.
And youll automatically be subscribed to our Tech News feed. Now youll never miss another headline. And if youre looking for a good Windows newsreader, check out Feed Demon. Its by far the bestand it supports all those zillions of available feeds. Cast your vote for free choice, and away from restricted, proprietary services, by using open RSS news readers and all feeds. Walling RSS up inside a proprietary garden is wrong. And expensive too!
-------- LETTERS FROM READERS --------- The problem with Yahoos service is that it does not allow you to check certain articles as having already been read. I use a beautifully simple PHP web-based system called Feed on Feeds (http://minutillo.com/steve/feedonfeeds/). The unfortunate part is that it is not yet multi-user, but those of us lucky enough to have a Linux box available through the web can set this up and access it from anywhere on the web. Since it allows me to only see what is new, I can use it from work and pick up where I left off when I get home. I admit that once Yahoo makes their service more like Feed on Feeds (more like the Usenet readers of old) then I would abandon Feed on Feeds, but until then I run my own RSS capturing service. Sure enough, the whole reason I came across your article was because http://rssnewsapps.ziffdavis.com/tech.xml was already in my RSS feed. -- Ernie Oporto [firstname.lastname@example.org]
OK you are completely uninformed about Newsgator and it shows. Newsgator doesnt hope to set up a wall of any sort. It uses standards where standards are applicable. The great thing about Newsgator is that they have innovated in the RSS market where most have simply followed. The API is simply for the subscription service that you only have to use if you want the synchronization features. If you dont care about that, then look elsewhere. But dont slam Newsgator about being some anti-open company simply because they have innovated a little. Newsgator (Outlook client) is for those like me who dont like to go to 4000 different web sites to view RSS feeds and dont like to use a web browser to do it. I want it delivered to me in Outlook where I can see it at my leisure. The subscription service adds the missing piece that I looked for, synchronization across computers. I read feeds at home and work. I subscribe in both places, but unfortunately when I get home at the end of the day I have to sift through all the feeds Ive read all day at work. Now with the subscription service that gets eliminated. A wall, that is so stupid. So they charge $5.95 a month for the service, you have to pay for the servers and the people that work on the software some time, everything cant be free, money has to change hands for the economy to work. My Yahoo is no different, they just force you to watch banner ads scroll across the top of YOUR supposed web page when you click a link. Funny I dont remember asking for that ad at the top of My Yahoo. My opinion of you is that you need to spend more time getting the facts straight. Kelly Summerlin [email@example.com]
I agree with your article on eWeek about Newsgator creating a walled garden. And I am thankful that you pointed out that not all on-line RSS services act like that. You mentioned Yahoo as a recent entrant, but I wanted to make sure you knew about Bloglines, which has provided a free on-line aggregation service for over 8 months now. We have many features that no other aggregator, desktop or otherwise, have, including a personalized recommendation service, and the ability to integrate email into your aggregation account. Please see http://www.bloglines.com for more information and let me know if you have any questions. Mark Fletcher CEO, Bloglines [firstname.lastname@example.org]