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FeedLounge Now Available to Anyone


FeedLounge Screenshot

Originally uploaded by sogrady.

As Friend of RedMonk Alex announces in the entry from the inset pic, my favorite RSS aggregator FeedLounge officially opened its doors this Monday. So for the dozen or more of you I was unable to sneak into the private alpha, now’s your chance to sign up for what I consider the best feed reading experience available.

What’s the catch? It’s a for pay application – $5 a month or $49.95 a year. Scott and Alex will be running out a for free, ad-supported version of the application in future, but for now it’s paying customers only – though you’ll be able to try it for a couple of hours in the near future.

While I know that some will question the logic of paying for an application you can get for free, I’ll happily shell out the money for several reasons:

  1. I have no problem whatsoever paying for value and innovation

  2. While attending OSBC East this Spring, Scott Dietzen of Zimbra replied to a question from the audience questioning the value of a spiced up email client by replying, “Your average corporate power user spends hours each day in his Inbox; if you can improve that experience and make them more productive, what’s that worth to you?” Given that I spend more time in my aggregator these days than I do in my Inbox, its pretty safe to say that it’s worth a couple of bucks a month
  3. I’m completely hooked on the interface; on the couple of occasions during the alpha FeedLounge was taken down for updates, I chafed at my inability to navigate my feeds completely via the keyboard on non-FL apps
  4. I recognize that things like hardware and bandwidth aren’t free; there’s always a cost somewhere, even if it’s not obvious
  5. Who doesn’t like rooting for the startups – particularly when they’re run by good guys like Alex and Scott

So anyway, if you’re in the market for a brilliant, Ajaxed up web based feed reader, I can’t recommend FeedLounge highly enough. And lest you think I’m inescapably biased in my review, I’ll just say that A9’s DeWitt Clinton has issued a similar recommendation, and invite you to peruse some other feedback in the comments here.

Couple of things you might want to know about FL:

  1. It has both OPML import AND export, so it’s not a roach motel model – you can check out anytime

  2. Alex is supportive of the GreaseMonkey approach, so I’d expect further scripts to pop up as the app gains in popularity
  3. The entire interface is navigable by keyboard
  4. The far more flexible and useful tag concept is used instead of folders
  5. Unlike other web based aggregators, there’s no refresh – new or updated items just show up

All in all, I’m a very happy customer. Congrats to Alex and Scott on a fine product.

P.S. Astute readers might notice that in the right hand margin on the main site, I’ve replaced the Subscribe via Bloglines button with a Subscribe via FeedLounge. If you’re a FL user but haven’t subscribed yet, now’s your chance ;)

Categories: Product Announcements.

  • http://www.frenchguys.com Erik Dasque

    Hey Stephen,

    I have no problem paying for a valuable service and I subscribed to FL as soon as it was publically available but at $5, I must say that so far I am very disapointed.

    I'll post about it in the forums today and on my blog.

  • http://www.redmonk.com/sogrady stephen o'grady

    just replied over at your post, Erik, but for the folks here: i can confirm that one of Erik's complaints – the lag time in updates to some of the Planet feeds (and perhaps others, i don't subscribe to any of the Gawker, feeds, etc) – is indeed a bug.

    but i hadn't noticed it yet b/c it seems localized to certain feeds: my "first" feeds – the first feeds i get and subscribe to – seem to be relatively up-to-date.

    all in all, i remain quite pleased. i'll give Alex and co a little while to work out some of the bugs, particularly given the alternative ;)

    but to each their own, and thx for the feedback.

  • http://www.accmanpro.com Dennis Howlett

    Sorry Stephen – not with you on this one. The UI is great and OPML import was a breeze. But performance from my side of the world is dismal. I'll be picking it up with the FL people but I'm struggling to get it to survive the 3 day test. I hope it does as I'm weaning myself away from all desktop apps.

  • http://www.redmonk.com/sogrady stephen o'grady

    Dennis: sorry to hear it. i've had a couple of instances of spotty performance here and there, but overall it's a lot more usable for me than BL. glad to hear the FL folks are picking up on it for you – they tend to be pretty responsive.