Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Gord to World - All your aggregators are suck.

All this talk about nudie rudie conversations and membranes is all well and good, but I really took heart from this post about conversations being a two way street. And the conversations coming in seem to be sadly lacking in proportion to the the number of marketing gurus who are busy trying to "practice the art of sincerity" in order to get their "corporate message" across.

So, with that in mind, here's my lil contribution as a consumer - talking to somebody who really should be listening.

World, I hate your RSS Aggregators. All of them. Over the past eighteen months worth of RSS interaction, I've gone through over 10 aggregators. And they are all, for various reasons, condemned to my windows recycle bin. So, given that I spend a bunch of coffee time each morning trying to find out what people think of our product, I thought I'd help all the manufacturers of said aggregators out, by telling them why they ended up in my bit-bucket.

I installed, uninstalled, then re-installed and then uninstalled this aggregator wih the cool name and funky icon.
In it's favour: notifications were good, I like the way you can read the actual blog web page that the post came from.
Importing feeds from OPML one feed at a time? I got RSI importing my channel list!
No folders at all!
I really don't want to see a list of every post that has ever been made - the three pane interface seems superfluous and I couldn't configure it to not be there.

Onfolio (Beta)
This is probably the thing I hate the least so far...
In it's favour: Firefox integration, Newspaper View, Reading Tray, nice blogger integration
Against: .NET runtime means that it is s-l-o-w. Not Free. Notification seemed to be whenever it felt like it.

In it's favour:
It's free
Against: It's ugly. Notifications are weird and jittery. Again with the three pane interface.

In it's favour: It's free, Company has a cool name, integrated browser, folders
Against: refuses to read ATOM feeds, doesn't integrate with my default browser, came installed with a zillion channels I didn't want.

In it's favour: It's free, Firefox plug-in, Newspaper view
Against: No capacity to mark all as read (you have to manually load every feed and then click a button) three pane interface means more clutter, no notifier

I'm currently still reluctantly using this service, becuase it seems like aggregation should be a service based app.
In it's favour: It's free, web based, nice folders
Against: Notifications don't tell you what's new, only that something's new. I hate having my content pane filled with ads for bloglines functionality.

JetBrains Omea Pro
With it's capacity to track everything in the known galaxy, Seemed like overkill. I just wanted to read some blogs!
(ReSharper is a nice product though. We bought several copies!)
In it's favour: Full functionality, nice folders
Against: Not Free, took ages to load, and even longer to close. No notifier

For:Integrates with Outlook 2003
Didn't seem to work particularly well on my machine - meaning I had to re-install several times before swearing and uninstalling.

So, there you go fellahs, put that in your transparent membrane and smoke it.

Maybe one day I'll find an aggregator that doesn't make me cry.


  1. In Onfolio, you can set the updates and notifications to be anywhere from every 15 minutes to once a week, and you can tune that by individual feed or feed folder. Just right-click on a feed or folder and go to properties. Disclaimer - I work for Onfolio.

  2. Omea Pro is not free, but Omea Reader is. Omea Reader is RSS-aggregator, news reader and bookmarks organizer with all organizing features of Omea Pro. As to performance, much work is done for the new upcoming version codenamed "Tokaj". It is already available as Early Access Preview. Also a bunch of new features makes it much better then the previuos one.