I’ve been a very active user of Google Reader for a long time, so I was very disappointed when they decided to shut it down. After trying several replacements, I settled on Feedly as my replacement. I prefer to read news on my Mac and Reeder was my favorite desktop newsreader. Unfortunately they’ve been neglecting their Mac app and haven’t updated it to support alternatives to Google Reader.

ReadKit looked like an attractive Mac newsreader, but until a few days ago, it didn’t support Feedly. Since they added support for Feedly with their latest update, it’s now my favorite newsreader. In addition to reading RSS feeds through Feedly, Fever, Feedbin, FeedWrangler, and NewsBlur, it also supports bookmarking & article saving services like Instapaper, Pocket, Pinboard, and Delicious, so I’m using it as a substitute for Pocket’s Mac app as well as my news reader.

Links for 2011-01-03 through 2011-01-05

Links for 2011-01-03 through 2011-01-05:

Posted by Postilicious

Posting to Google Reader from NetNewsWire

One reason I use Google Reader is to share interesting articles in my shared items page. However, I find that I’m more productive when I use NetNewsWire, since I’m in control of how & when it fetches new items, so I spend less time reading news.

I’ve been looking for a way to share items in Google Reader from NetNewsWire. One way I did it was by subscribing to my NetNewsWire clippings feed, which I make publicly visible in Reader. It doesn’t appear in my shared items, though.

I’ve found a better solution, although it still isn’t perfect. This AppleScript is based on Google’s “Note in Reader” bookmarklet. It should be placed in NetNewsWire’s script folder. You can then choose ‘Post to reader’ in NetNewsWire’s script menu to open the selected news item in Safari and open a box to post it to your shared items.

tell application "NetNewsWire"
	set u to URL of selectedHeadline
end tell
tell application "Safari"
	make new document with properties {URL:u}
	delay 2
	do JavaScript "var  b = document.body;
var  GR________bookmarklet_domain = '';
if (b && !document.xmlVersion) {
    void(z = document.createElement('script'));
    void(z.src = '');
} else {}" in document 1
end tell

True openness in government

Aaron Swartz notes that the stimulus bill requires that each government agency report the money they give out with Atom or RSS.

For each of the near term reporting requirements (major communications, formula block grant allocations, weekly reports) agencies are required to provide a feed (preferred: Atom 1.0, acceptable: RSS) of the information so that content can be delivered via subscription.

Furthermore, the website is based on Drupal.

Desktop vs. web-based RSS readers

Nick Bradbury compares the advantages of using a desktop RSS reader (such as NetNewsWire) vs. a web-based reader.

I have been using NetNewsWire for several years, but I recently tried using Google Reader for a few weeks, so I could use the sharing features. I found that I prefer using NetNewsWire and I was glad to come back to it. NewsGator online has improved a lot and now looks pretty good on an iPhone, but it’s still not as nice as Google Reader.

Sudden jump in subscribers

I noticed today that MacMegasite now has 34526 subscribers to the newsfeed, a sudden jump from the usual 18000-19000.

34526 readers!
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

FeedBurner’s statistics page confirms the sudden jump.

Feedburner Stats
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

This happened just after NewsGator announced that NetNewsWire is now free, and MacMegasite happens to be one of the default feeds. Thanks Brent! I owe you a beer.

Sharing between NetNewsWire and Google Reader

I’ve used NetNewsWire for a long time, but I recently started using Google Reader instead for the sharing & suggestion features. Unfortunately the two don’t sync, so switching between them is a bother.

In light of today’s announcement, and because I always found NetNewsWire faster & more convenient than reading news online, I switched back to NNW. I did one last read in Google Reader, and then marked everything read in NNW.

I still want to be able to share items in Google Reader, though, so I came up with a partial work-around.

When I add an item to my clippings in NetNewsWire, it’s shared publicly at NewsGator Online and made avaialble as an RSS feed. I subscribe to that feed in Google Reader and put it in its own folder which I made public. The results can be seen here.

Although Google Reader doesn’t provide a combined feed for all of my friend’s feeds, I can still subscribe to them individually.

What part of 'public' don't they understand?

There has been a lot of kvetching about Google Reader’s shared items feature. People say that it ‘sends their shared items sent to people in their mailbox’, which isn’t true. You need to explicitly add friends to Reader so you can see their shared items.

When you add someone to your friend list, you see their shared items in your feed list – that’s all.

Google Reader has always allowed you to share items. You have full control over which items you share and whether your shared items are public. I don’t know about everyone else but when it says your shared items are publicly accessible it means just that — everyone is able to see it. I always assumed I was sharing those items with the world.

Furthermore, not all of your items are publicly visible. You control the visibility of each tag, and only ‘shared items’ defaults to public.

Articles end up in your shared items only if you explicitly share them by clicking the ‘share’ icon on that item.

This isn’t a privacy violation. It’s a neat way to spread news.