Thursday, October 05, 2006

An Open Letter To NewsGator

As many of you may or may not know I am a big fan of Newsgator RSS readers (particulary their online and outlook products) and have set you up (or tried) on their service. Tonight I sent an e-mail to customer support with my top 10 feature requests. Here is the e-mail:

Hi Newsgator team,

I’ve been using Newsgator for about 2 years now and I love it (especially the online version). A couple feature requests:

1 – Allow me to open a folder of posts in a new browser. We used to be able to do this when they were regular links but since the remodel when you right click on a folder you get the new options (just add this as one of those options?) This helps because many times reading feeds in a single browser is slow (yes I can also open other browsers and log-in for each and do it that way, but the old way was faster).

2 – Allow me to choose the maximum number of posts to hold for each feed. Each feed is different (ie. Dig is 40, Slashdot 15 etc etc), perhaps the site themselves set this but I don’t see why users shouldn’t be able to set this for themselves.

3 – When making a new folder please set the main feed folder (not my clippings folder) as the default. I never make a folder in my clippings (perhaps others do more often?) and it’s an extra annoying step. Or at least make the default the last folder you created a new one in before.

4 – Allow me to increase the maximum of view per page from 50 so I don’t have to keep clicking each page for some of my bigger folders with lots of feeds.

5 – Allow me to set whether I want titles, partial or full posts for each feed. I’m sure this is probably set by the site themselves but if they set it to full or partial then the user could still have the choice of tapering it down to titles only for that feed (ie. Helpful for sites like digg/boingboing that have lots of partial and full feeds that I’d rather just see titles for.

6 – Allow me to see which feeds I have clicked through on and which ones I haven’t and the time since the last click through. This would help me eliminate feeds that suck or that I don’t click through very often. This really helps those of us with 500+ feeds who are looking for some room for some new feeds (ie. I’ve maxed out time

7 – Allow us to “archive” feeds. There are feeds that I want to stop reading right now, don’t want in my reader list but don’t want to forget/loose the link. Currently I create a separate folder for those feeds but there’s probably a better way.

8 – Is there any other sync with Newsgator Online and Newsgator for Outlook that uses something other than pop as my corporate server masters do not allow outside pop access.

9 – When adding a new feed the default screen is the search feeds screen. This is probably ok for new users getting used to the service but for us old timers it would be great to have the URL input box on that screen instead of having to click through on another tab.

10 – Allow me to create a new folder from the left hand feed list (perhaps as a right click option) and also right after I add a new subscription (currently you can choose a folder to put the new feed into but many times I want to put a new feed in a new folder).

11 – Ok this one is bonus: Include my blog as a default for all new users (and existing ones if you so incline ;-)

These are just some little suggestions from someone who has tried multiple RSS readers but who goes with Newsgator because of your great product and even more amazing customer service.



Got some suggestions of your own? Mark them down in the comments section!

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