I had written this very detailed post of what I liked and disliked about BlogMatrix Jager, but my TypePad QuickPost page decided to ignore every word I typed and send them to wherever it is electrons go to pasture.
So I’ll be quick this time around. And I’ll remember to copy everything before pressing “SAVE.”
I switched from Bloglines to NewsGator Online because I liked the NewsGator interface better. Then a couple of days ago I decided to try NewsGator Outlook Edition, since I use Outlook 2003 a lot and recently returned to it after trying Thunderbird. Ironically, using NewsGator Outlook Edition made me realize that what I really want is an unobtrusive RSS organizer that lets me read my posts in my default browser (Firefox). Which has led me away from NewsGator Online to try (for the second time) an RSS organizer called BlogMatrix Jager.
BlogMatrix is almost perfect, but still has some very annoying quirks:
1. I’ve found no way to list ONLY unread posts. I get a list of about five posts, new ones in blue, read ones in gray. I’d rather not see those I’ve read – unless I explicitely decide to.
2. Categories show a number in parenthesis next to them. You’d think this number indicates the number of new posts for each category, but no – it indicates how many blogs are inside the category. Kind of useless if you ask me.
3. You can collapse categories, but you can’t collapse blogs. And blogs don’t have the number in parenthesis indicating the number of new posts.
4. The language used in the menus is very non-standard. What does “Skip After Reading” mean, for example? Well I tried… it means that after opening a post inside a blog, the blog disappears from the list even if you still had unread items in the blog.
5. It’s supposed to synchronize with your Bloglines account. So far all I get are “Caught exception” messages. Whatever that means.
On the good side:
1. Import OPML works very well.
Unfortunately there’s no easy way to export your feeds from NewsGator Online, so I had to use my old Bloglines account for that. What is it with vendors locking users into their software? Greg Reinacker from NewsGator has kindly stopped by and shown me how to generate an OMPL list. Read the comments for more info.
2. Clicking on a category title or blog title will open a nicely formatted webpage listing all posts within said category or blog. It will even split them into several pages if too long. It’d be nice to be able to select if you want everything in one page, or each blog on its own individual page. Right now you have to live with whichever way BlogMatrix decides to split your posts.
3. Filters, Watch lists, etc. If you take your time to set this up, Blogmatrix can be very powerful.
4. Price: The price seems right. You can either not pay – and put up with some annoying pop-ups throughout the day, or pay as much as you want – from $5 to $20.
Try it… you may like it.
Comments from original posting of this article (on my previous blog):
The problem you’re having is that the use model is a little convoluted or “nonstandard”, because once you get “it” you’ll find reading really speeds up. What “it” is is very different from other weblog readers.
The intention of the “Recently Updated” (and “Updated Favorites”) lists is to display only _unread_ items.
Now, why are you seeing read items there. Because to stop the list from constantly redrawing every time you do something, you have to “skip” past all the stuff you’re read.
There’s two ways to do this. If you select “Skip After Reading”, once you move on to the _next_ blog, the blog you just looked at (whether an indivual entry or the whole thing) is skipped: it’s cleared from the “Recently Updated” until new stuff appears.
If that’s too annoying, turn off “Skip after reading” and just press the “Recently Updated” button again — every blog you’ve read entries in will be cleared (unless new stuff arrives, in which case that will be kept).
If you try this, you’ll find that you can read through a lot of blogs really really quickly.
This will make a lot more sense once you get
Fixed in the latest Beta; unfortunately not fixed in the “non-beta” version.
Use “Actions > Tools > Export Blogroll or OPML”. Lock you in we do not. In fact, we tried to champion multivendor blogroll synchronization without positive response from anyone.
Posted by: David | December 9, 2004 07:48 PM
Oh, and thanks for taking the time to check it out.
Posted by: David | December 9, 2004 07:48 PM
FYI, you can indeed expose OPML from NewsGator Online – go to NewsGator Manager, Edit Locations (http://www.newsgator.com/ngs/subscriber/Machines.aspx), and click one of the “OPML” links.
Posted by: Greg Reinacker | December 9, 2004 10:14 PM
David, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions regarding Jäger. Hopefully I’ll be able to get even more out of it now.
Regarding exporting OPML, I was referring to NewsGator Online, not Jäger. According to Greg’s post, this *can* be done, so I’ll check it out and see what happens.
Posted by: carlos | December 10, 2004 01:22 AM
Greg, thanks for the info. I think I tried feeding the OPML link generated by NewsGator into Jäger and was unable to get anything to happen. Not sure if I tried saving it as a file.
Anyway, thanks for the taking the time to read my post and set that straight. Even if I didn’t really like NewsGator Outlook Edition, you guys do have some terrific user support. It’d be great to have some integration with Jäger’s wonderful tool.
Posted by: carlos | December 10, 2004 01:28 AM
Mail me the NewsGator OPML file and I’ll see what needs to be done to make it work with Jaeger!
Posted by: David | December 10, 2004 07:55 AM
David, I figured out what was wrong. The NewsGator OPML feed is private by default and requires a username/password combo for access. I set it to public, fed the URL to Jäger and it read it perfectly. So, my mistake there.
Posted by: carlos | December 10, 2004 09:46 AM