The ongoing search for a web-based aggregator
Over the last year or so, I’ve spent a lot of time looking for a decent web-based RSS aggregator. I started with Bloglines, and stayed there for many, many moons (about 16 months, actually), but was ultimately unsatisfied. I used Rojo for a few weeks, but there were too many problems (slowness, and a few bugs), and then I remembered that NewsGator had an online version of it’s reader. I was a little hesitant to try NewsGator (I’m biased against companies that build Windows software, unfortunately, and NewsGator’s non-web product is an Outlook plugin), but after giving it a try, I must say that I am favorably impressed.
I’ve tried client-side aggregators, and my main problem with them is that they’re local to a single machine. I use a lot of different computers, of varying types, speeds, and capabilities, so this becomes a big deal. My favorite thing to do, when I’ve got a few minutes to kill at the library, or an my in-laws’ house, is to fire up my aggregator and catch up on a few stories, which means I need to be using an aggregator on a centralized host.
I’ve also tried self-hosted web-based aggregators, like Gregarius and Feed On Feeds, but I’m not sure I want to put that much time and energy into maintaining the install. I recently tried out Gregarius, but when I lost it due to unfortunate ciscumstances, I decided it was easier to let someone else manage the application.
NewsGator seems to do everything that I want it to do, and the API looks very promising (though I don’t know when I’ll have time to play with it). One of my main complaints about Rojo was the speed, and NewsGator is very fast, and — more importantly — consistently fast. I think my quest is at an end, for now at least, although I wouldn’t turn down a FeedLounge invite…