Sunday, June 10, 2007

The experiment: Going from Newsgator to Google Reader

This week I'm trying a little experiment; I'm trading in my venerable Newsgator Inbox for Google Reader.newsgatorinbox 





Three things pushed me over the edge to this decision:

  1. Offline Readability: One of my long-standing reasons for using Inbox was that I could read feeds when not connected to the Internet.  Living in a low-bandwidth country meant that there were LOTS of times I couldn't connect but wanted to write blog posts or read my feeds.  Inbox also doesn't download the graphics in a post, which is a big plus in low-bandwidth situations.  The announcement of Google Gears means that I now have that option.
  2. NGinboxDistractability - Using Newsgator Inbox meant that all of my  feeds came right into Microsoft Outlook.  That has a lot of upsides.  It kept all my communication in one place.  It let me read my feeds offline.  It has also become distracting to me.  I end up spending too much time in the "mail view" and not enough time in the "task view".  My mail view has gotten a little busy and I want to try simplifying things.
  3. Odds and Ends - I read a post from Tim Ferris this week on "How Robert Scoble reads 622 feeds daily."  Scoble used to use Inbox, but changed to Google Reader "when the tools broke."  He found that his previous feed list (1000+) made Outlook unusable, the PST files huge and reading difficult (see the video of the interview here).  I've noticed that the Inbox add-in makes gives Outlook fits on occasion but chose just to live with it.

So, here goes; we'll give it a try and report back.


dpeach said...

I am very curious to see your analysis in the end. I am using a standalone RSS reader (Akregator for Linux), but have considered giving Google Reader a fair try. I have it set up with all of my feeds, I just don't ever use it.

My current reader is fast, and like you, my "broadband" is less than ideal. Online tools are not nearly as snappy as they would be for someone with real broadband.

I am taking a short trip to the US in a couple of weeks and will be depending more on Google Reader as I will be working sometimes from computers other than my own.

Nick Harris said...

Hey Jeff -

I'm the lead developer for NewsGator Inbox so you can bet I'll be reading your analysis ;-)

We've started work on Inbox 3.0 and I would love to hear more about what you would like to see improved or changed completely.

If you want to discuss more, send a note to


Jeff said...

dpeach, thanks for the note. In the end, I may not be sure until I get back to Kosovo and my "real life." My broadband here is too good to make a final decision. One of the things that made NGI so good was that it only downloaded the text of each post...maybe Akregator does the same thing. It's about as bandwidth independent as one could ask for.

Nick, thanks for stopping by and reading. I'll be reporting back. Thanks for your work on a product I've relied on for since its release.

bernie said...

I have not used Newsgator, but am familiar with Google reader. I have enjoyed using it for the past several months, and have been pleased. I use several tabs for my I.E. Homepage, one of which is Google reader. It works well for me but we have a decent broadband connection.

I am quite interested in your reveiew, however. Maybe there is a better way!

Jeff said...

Bernie, thanks for the note. I'm enjoying Reader too at this point. I've used NGI for several years (it seems like) and have always appreciated it. It keeps your read/unreads synced, making reading from your local copy or online copy really easy.

Anyway, I'll write more later.

Jonathan said...

Ha ha! That's was so funny to read from within Google Reader! :o) Glad you made the switch.

Jeff said...

Jonathon, thanks for taking the time to leave a note! I'm still just experimenting, but I'm Reader is growing on me. Newsgator has an web-based app as well (which I hinted at rather poorly in my last comment), it's just not as good as Google's.