ive been a happy user of newsgator for the last year and change. Having all of my feeds in one place, that keeps track of what I’ve already read, independant of the computer I’m on, is key. Everyone always asks me how I seem to be so cutting edge with what I know, and really, i owe it all to my news feeds and my news reading habits. I work on a schedule provided by the motivational timer Instant Boss, 8 minutes on 2 minutes off. It keeps my mind fresh, and allows me to take in new information before it expires. And, effectively, accomplish a solid 80% or more utilization (more often, it’s higher, since Instant Boss, much like my alarm clock, gets ignored for some intervals should I be in “the groove”).
At any rate, Newsgator is great but has its downsides. More than anything, its responsiveness sucks on a regular basis. Crashes, hangs, etc…pretty much anything you’d expect from a fairly highly traffic’d asp.net site 🙂 Careful, MS evangalists…I work at a .net shop, i just prefer php for my freelance work. A recent post on one of my favorite design/ux related blogs, Design Meltdown, covered web sites that provide a service, but don’t lack in style either. Among its ranks laid NewsHutch, who may have taken NewsGators place. It’s clean, responsive AJAX interface picks up where NewsGator left off…allowing me for even more efficient use of my news feeds, in a cleaner interface (i was never a huge fan of NG’s layout..though it did improve during their one major refresh in the last year). For some reason, NewsHutch makes my news look just as appetizing as I think it should.
It was nice being able to import my feeds using OPML.
It isnt so nice that the refresh intervals dont seem to be variable, and are set somewhere in the 30 minute mark. while this is slightly annoying for someone with the 8/2 schedule i run, perhaps this can prompt an adjustment in my work schedule. We’ll see what kind of effects it has on my productivity, as well as my connectedness with the world.
p.s., in case anyone is wondering, my news feeds are almost entirely tech. things like CNN/world news depress me, so i stay away from it until prompted by one of my more politically-minded friends clues me into something important.
politics are for suckers, anyway.
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