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August 19, 2002

Indispensable blogging tool

Ranchero: NetNewsWire Lite 1.0b13

I'm going to admit something embarrassing. All those stories below, the ones with links to other websites? Well, I got those, um, from, um, browsing the web.

I would sit at my machine and type in "www.paulbeard.no-ip.org/movabletype/", see that there was nothing new there, then I'd type in "doc.weblogs.com" and check for new content there.

I was so innocent then.

This weekend, my life changed. I'm no longer going to be browsing 'blogs. Now they'll come to me. I downloaded NetNewsWire Lite, from Brent Simmons and Ranchero Software, and I was blown away.

Here's a look -- as always, you can click for a (in this case slightly) larger image:

Update: version 1.0b13 came out this morning -- it has a few bug fixes and a minor graphical update. It's available at the link above, for OS X only.

It's the familiar three-pane interface common to e-mail programs like Microsoft Outlook, but applied to RSS feeds. On the left are the feeds for sites I'm subscribed to. Feeds with new items are highlighted, and the number of new items is in parentheses.

Click on a subscription to see that site's headlines. Depending on which of the RSS implementations a site uses, you can read some or all of the story in the lower right pane.

You can also group subscriptions into folders or groups in NetNewsWire Lite (I have "Friends" and "Geekery" in the picture above). Clicking on the folder shows all the headlines for all the sites in the group.

NetNewsWire Lite ships with links to a number of RSS feed reference sites, and a drag-and-drop collection of popular feeds. Simmons mentions on his web site that he plans to release a 'full' version at some point, and I will be first in line at any price point up to about $50. This is a great tool.

You can schedule the application to periodically grab all feeds, and there's a nifty dock icon that updates with the current number of unread items. I can monitor what's going on in 5 or 6 times as many different sites as I could before.

The only improvement I can think of would be a keyword-tracking capability that would look for keywords (mine might look for 'python', 'jaguar', 'FileMaker', etc.) and put stories whose headline or full-text featured that keyword in a separate folder.

August 19, 2002 in Apple, Apple - Software, Reviews, Weblogs | Permalink


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perhaps it was you who I saw in my logs and made me want to take a look at this . . . . the author lives just across town from me, so there some OS X hacking going on locally.

Posted by: paul at Aug 19, 2002 1:10:51 PM