Webometric Thoughts

August 1, 2009

Free online services can quickly go offline: Which RSS reader next?

Filed under: Bloglines,Google Reader,RSS aggregators — admin @ 11:12 am

There are some amazing web sites and services that you can get for free online, the problem is that they can go offline just as quikly. Microsoft’s Popfly will disappear in a couple of weeks, the future of Yahoo BOSS is in doubt, and Newsgator’s online feedreader is about to be shut down…at least the free version.

I’ve been using Newsgator’s online version (as opposed to the desktop version which will continue to have a free version) for over 18 months, after getting fed-up with bloglines. My reasons for not changing to Google reader then still stands: I don’t want all my information needs in one basket; Google is already too powerful.

The question now is where to go next. Do I return to Bloglines, ready to face the wrath of the bloglines plumber? Or is there a better alternative? I have one month to decide.

May 19, 2008

Blogging Excuses

Filed under: Bloglines,Newsgator,blogging — admin @ 3:28 pm

I always seem to have some excuse for not blogging at the moment, although since I posted a blog post last Wednesday I have collected a host of excuses:
-Thursday/Friday – My home internet connection was down. This is a bit of a rubbish excuse really as I could still access the web via my mobile and Eee PC. However it is a lot easier to blog on the big screen, especially when you have numerous windows open.
-Saturday/Sunday – So much to do on the allotment, with rows and rows of tomatoes now planted out. If you think I update this blog rarely you should see Plot 13!
-Monday morning – Newsgator seems to have been down. This is the first time I have had a problem with Newsgator since transfering from Bloglines back in January. So, whilst it was annoying for a few hours, it was actually a nice reminder of how good a service Newsgator is in comparison to Bloglines who seemed to have a picture of their ‘plumber’ up every other day.

Anyway, now is the time for catching up, including the results of Week 3 of the Wii Fit Diary.

January 10, 2008

NewsGator RSS Aggregators now free

Filed under: Bloglines,FeedDemon,RSS aggregators — admin @ 9:12 am

It is difficult to over emphasise the importance of RSS feeds to the information professional, and I am always shocked when I come across someone who doesn’t use them. Until now I have been happily using the web-based Bloglines, with my only criticism being the regularity with which it checks some of the feeds, and that I have never found their mobile service to be particularly user friendly. Whilst others have since transferred to Google’s Feed Reader, personally I like to keep my web services in more than one basket. However, with NewsGator now offering their mobile, web-based and downloadable aggregators for free it is definately time to consider a change.

First impressions are very favourable, although whilst the additional features of FeedDemon are no-doubt useful, I do find myself missing the simplicity of the Bloglines. Only time will tell if NewsGator has enough to make my temporary change permanent, and the key may be the quality of the mobile reader.

December 28, 2007

Bloglines after a Christmas break

Filed under: BBC,Bloglines,T-mobile,YouTube — admin @ 4:17 pm

If I don’t look at my Bloglines account every few hours the number of items soon starts getting out of hand. If I don’t look at it for a couple of days I find myself putting off the inevitable confrontation. Returning from Christmas in Norway, after not looking at Bloglines for a week, I find myself dreading the task in hand. Would I really miss out on some important item of note if I ditched the 1,358 items I am told I haven’t looked at? Probably not, but there is always the fear/hope that there will be something really interesting buried amongst the rubbish.

The only web story I came across whilst I was away was the Royal Channel on YouTube (every news channel seemed to discuss it), although I also noticed advertising on the BBC web site for the first time outside the UK (whilst checking the football scores). Both good examples of traditional institutions adapting to the modern world.

Unfortunately not everyone is as up-to-date as the Queen and the BBC, T-mobile’s current data plan could quite easily see many people dragged off to the poorhouse when travelling abroad: £7.50 per Mb of web browsing! Admittedly you have to be pretty foolish to not pay close attention to these things before travelling, but with 3G connections the Mb can quickly add up. My solution was to simply not use the web on my phone whilst away, but really it is time that the phone companies’ caught up, we aren’t looking at WAP anymore!

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