NetNewsWire – Pick of the Week

January 13, 2008

Pick of the Week is my way of highlighting cool/new services and software on the web or the Mac. A few Windows applications might sneak in from time to time, but it will be rare. You can find an archive of services and software at

Getting in just before the end of the week due to family issues, this week I recommend the newly free NetNewsWire.  I did comment about NetNewsWire back on the Blogging Techniques post and at that point decided against it because of the $30 price and because of some issues with enclosed content.  With version 3.1, that was released this last week, the enclosed content issue was resolved AND it was made free.  These reasons by itself would have probably been enough to make it my pick, however some other changes have made it worth while as well.

First off, I have NEVER been one to like browsing web pages from RSS feeds from within my RSS reader.  NetNewsWire has changed that by doing a couple of things.  First off is a widescreen layout for browsing articles.  The second is the way the browser works from within the program.  When clicking on an article, NNW does not use tabs but instead provides the different windows down the right side of the reader.  It is a nice interface and works well.  Now I can take the same “workflow” for reading articles that I used with Google Reader and tabs in Firefox and do it all from within one program.

Another nice feature is the Clippings section.  Basically this works like a bookmarks section of your browser, but it allows you to save a headline or actual web page with it.  This basically makes it work like the Starred items in Google Reader but also integrates my bookmarks.   And if that wasn’t enough, I can post directly to from there, so you may see more (read any) posts on my account in the near future.

There are also a number of other great features that I am not mentioning here, such as the Combined View, posting to Twitterific, Smart Folders, etc.  All of these together make for a great piece of software and now that it is free, you really can’t go wrong.  Two last things I will mention are the NewsGatorOnline and FeedDemon for Windows. These are both products put out by NewsGator, the company that makes NetNewsWire, and both are also now free.  This makes one of the best Windows readers and the ability to read online and sync clients both free.  It is rather impressive to see a company put this software out for free and I can only imagine seeing the usage for all products increasing in the near future.