The tools that give me time to do corporate social media

Today is a sad day as one of the set of tools that I depend on is no more. The ability to subscribe to mainstream media and social media websites using RSS feeds is an enormous time saver and if it wasn’t for that it would be extremely difficult to do my job as a public relations, social media and word of mouth consultant. I subscribe to hundreds of feeds and can quickly scan them and read the ones I want to. It would be impossible to visit that many websites.

For the last few years I’ve been doing this this using FeedDemon as my desktop application. I was one of the people that bought/subscribed to the original version before it was acquired by NewsGator. It’s by far and away the most powerful RSS reader application there is and is a huge time saver. If you sync it before you leave the office or home you can also read all of your feeds offline (except for the annoying and selfish people who provide partial feeds). Alongside FeedDemon I also use NewsGatorGo!, a Windows mobile application for reading feeds. The real benefit is that you could sync all of your content between FeedDemon and NewsGatorGo! That mean’s if you read it on one, it would show up read on the other. The ability to sync and read off-line are both huge timesavers enabling you to catch-up on your RSS feeds in what would otherwise be dead time e.g. standing in queues, on the underground etc. It did this because both apps synced with NewsGator Online, which I have to say I very rarely used or visited. It was just a place to sync stuff.

Today NewsGator announced that it was discontinuing NewsGator Online and and a raft of its other consumer products. Instead FeedDemon will now sync with Google Reader. I’ve no real problem with that (so long as I don’t ever have to use it, NewsGator Online was never very good, my few visits to Google Reader show it to be even worse!). However, it’s a bit pointless syncing FeedDemon with Google Reader as Google Reader won’t then sync with anything I can use!

I’ve spent about an hour searching for an alternative Windows Mobile RSS reader. And there are lots available, some of them a lot better than NewsGatorGo!, but none of them sync properly with Google Reader. I can only find two that sync. SBSH GoNews looks great (better than NewsGatorGo!), but doesn’t sync folders (or labels as Google Reader uses). With 400+ feeds and 30+ folders this makes the subscriptions totally unusable. NewsGator recommend FreeNews, but I installed it and it looks hideous with a gigantic font so you hardly see anything on the screen. In a perfect world SPB News would sync with Google Reader(is anyone from SPB reading this?) as it is a fantastic application, but doesn’t work for me if it’s standalone.

I’ve got until August 31 when NewsGator finally turns off my tried and trusted system. Does anyone know of a solution to my problem?


About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.
  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    Stuart – one point on Google Reader – do take another look at it. You can access Google Reader on your mobile (almost any mobile) and, of course, on any browser. So when I’ve read a post online, it’s already marked ‘read’ when I browse on my mobile. You could try importing your feeds into Google Reader and give it a shot?