Nick Bradbury, the author of FeedDemon, writes a helpful post of How I Use FeedDemon. I find it particularly helpful to see how the creator of a particular software is taking advantage of all the features.
I have been using FeedDemon for several months now. However, only recently have I been using FeedDemon on a more exclusive basis. For several months I tried several RSS aggregators such as Sharpreader and NewsDesk. Both products work pretty well, and the price is right (free). However, because they require the Microsoft .Net Framework to run, both products can be particularly taxing on system resources.
For a while I switched back and forth between FeedDemon and Bloglines. It seems that several bloggers in the library community prefer Bloglines, so I have been giving it a try. I appreciate the fact that Bloglines is extremely portable, as you simply need a computer with a browser to access your feeds. On the other hand, FeedDemon (and other client-based aggregators) requires you to have the computer on which the client is installed to read the your feeds. Obviously, this can pose a problem if you want to read your feeds but are visiting your inlaws (and if you are like me and are sans laptop).
Bloglines is the obvious remedy to this particular problem, as it is web-based and can be accessed from anywhere. This is what I see as the main advantage to the (currently free) service. However, where Bloglines lets me down is in how configurable or customizable the service is. Bloglines does allow you to configure options such as sorting order, posting length, and how links are opened, but that is about it. In contrast, FeedDemon has multiple ways to change how you view and read your feeds.
The huge amount of customization available in FeedDemon is its primary advantage, but it can also be one of it’s biggest weaknesses. The level of customization available and all of the various menus and wizards can be a little intmidating or overwhelming. I have always been one to tinker, and FeedDemon definitely allows me to do that. Unfortunately, because there is so much to tinker with in FeedDemon, I sometimes spend more time configuring the software than reading my feeds. That is why a Nick Bradbury’s post is so useful. It sometimes helps to see how others tinker with their setup to their liking. Thanks for the tips Nick, and for a great piece of software.
On another note, it looks like Nick is getting a little closer to releasing version 1.5, as 1.5 RC2 is available to paying customers. I haven’t downloaded it yet, but I am looking forward to getting under the hood and tinkering with it.