As you might know from previous posts; I use and adore FeedDemon. It is a top RSS and podcast aggregator. It works well and has some great features to make keeping track of my feeds a breeze. Plus I like the fact that it is all in one spot and I don’t have to go sailing all round the web to check if a page has been updated.
Having said that, I recently updated to the latest version which is 2.0. The most significant change in this version is not a feature as you might assume; rather it is the fact that FeedDemon was “acquired” by NewsGator. This meant that with the latest version your feeds are synchronized with NewsGator. NewsGator is an online RSS reader. So theoretically this can keep you synchronised in FeedDemon on multiple computers. Great idea if that’s your thing. It isn’t mine by the way. So I selected to only synchronise with NewsGator on start-up, that means that feeds that have been updated are only checked.
However, I thought this was all very well but had little bearing in the way that I used the program. Until last night. I went to use FeedDemon and I found that I got an error message to the effect that FeedDemon couldn’t connect to NewsGator and to check my login id and try again, which I did. Nope; same error message, and the result was that it said that it couldn’t access feeds but not to worry I could view my feeds online. So I try to log onto NewsGator on the web and I get this message:
NewsGator Online is currently down for maintenance. We expect to be back online shortly.
So I guess I can’t really read my feeds online!
Today on the NewsGator news archive I see this message:
As you may have noticed, NewsGator Online experienced an unexpected outage early Tuesday morning. The problem has been corrected, and as of approximately 10:30am MST, all systems are operational.
Many feeds have not been updated since late last night; they will refresh over the next couple of hours, and then everything will be back to normal.
Our apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.
I appreciate the explanation, it does not however address FeedDemon’s reliance on the service.
The only conclusions that I can make from these events are that with NewsGator taking over FeedDemon they have integrated NewsGator Online to the point that FeedDemon only reads or downloads feeds as long as the NewsGator server is online! That in turn makes FeedDemon that used to be a stand alone program not a stand alone since it’s takeover by NewsGator. It also means that it’s functionality is governed by another service. Before the NewsGator takeover FeedDemon was an excellent stand alone reader which worked regardless of other synchronisations or server service.
In my opinion if this is the case then it has severely crippled a once excellent RSS reader. While these “extra” features have added some seriously powerful tools, the fact that they affect the stand alone capability of FeedDemon is a serious problem that should be addressed. Or in some people’s opinion a very cleaver marketing tool. It enables the company to have complete control over it’s product, when and how it is used.
I do not mind the fact that the synchronisation has been added as a feature. But I do think that FeedDemon needs to be able to be used as an independent program, should the user want it. I will be interested to see what this may mean for the future of FeedDemon, and what others are saying about this issue. I must say that this is the first time that the NewsGator server has been down and up until this point the server has never failed.
Again, I see a program trying to be everything rather than specialise at being excellent in one function.
Global Geek Podcast #002 & WordPress DownMay 2, 2006 — The Rooster
We have the second Global Geek Podcast done and dusted and available for download. The second thing is that I am contemplating moving the blog due to technical problems at WordPress. [This is the second attempt at uploading this post!, the “published just failed… again]
Sorry that I have been all silent for the last 48 hours. This has been due to WordPress being down. Well not completely down. Sure I was able to login and I was able to view my statistics, I could even write another page for the website! But do you think that I could write a blog entry? No. This has been the situation for the last 48 hours. I tried last night, this afternoon and now and now is the only time I was able to do so. The other thing of note is that the whole site is as slow as a duck in treacle and that’s bloody slow! It takes ages to log on, it takes ages for the pages to display, it takes ages to do anything and I am not the only one! I am not even sure if this entry will “work”.
To say that I am a bit peeved would be an understatement in the least. I am genuinely disappointed as well. As I write this blog Sebastian is trying to publish a blog and what do you know WordPress is down… again; failed to reach server error!
I rely on this blog to let everyone know whats going on and publicise the Global Geek Podcast. The other thing is that some of my posts are generating some interest in the wider blogging community. This is a real let down.
The fact is that WordPress have an obligation to provide a reliable, stable service and thus far this has not been the case. I am seriously considering moving to a payed service like TypePad, I would not mind the US$4. 95 a month for reliability and stability; a small price to pay.
WordPress should be a bit concerned about this as blog entries such as this will quickly tarnish their reputation and they will be known as unreliable. For those of us that have bugger all understanding of PHP or HTML or maintaining a server; they rely on services such as this. Please WordPress make good on providing us a more reliable service, I don’t want to have to cross my fingers every time I click “publish”.
Just as a side note I notice that the RSS Feed widget for the Global Geek Podcast isn’t working, don’t know why; the RSS is valid… another thing that’s not working I guess…
Rant over. Please head on over to Global Geek Podcast and take a listen to the latest podcast; which is I do say so myself isn’t too bad. A much better poodcast, the audio is better and the content quality is high. I urge you guys if you have not got an aggregator to subscribe to the podcast (and any others that you might want to) then drop me a line and I do not mind pointing you in the right direction. By the way when I say subscribe – don’t worry it is free!