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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Fred Wilson’s Conversion to NetNewsWire

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I’ve been bugging Fred for a while about trying to use a feed reader on a regular basis.  He’s been a random reader – surfing around his blogroll – following links that are interesting to him.  When he recently switched from a PC to a Mac, I encouraged him to give NetNewsWire a try.  I also pointed him at my Product Focused Venture Capital post where I explained how to publish your blogroll from NewsGator Online (which NetNewsWire synchronizes with) on your blog.

Fred sent me an email this morning that was said “BTW – you’ve been waiting for about two years for this” and gave me a link to his “Call Me Converted” post.  If you don’t use a feed reader, but are an avid reader of feeds, it’s a good explanation of his conversion.

But it gets better.  Last week, NewsGator released a new version (1.4.1) of the NewsGator Enterprise Server.  One of the new features is synchronization with NewsGator Client Software – NewsGator Inbox (Outlook), FeedDemon (Windows), and NetNewsWire (Mac).  NewsGator has a number of enterprise customers that like having the separate rich client software as their primary reader – they can now get both a centralized RSS / feed server and the separate rich client software – and be able to mix and match across platforms by user. 

Other features of NGES 1.4.1 include:

  • Enhanced Directory Server Integration: LDAP now works as well as Active Directory.
  • Podcast Support: Podcast enclosures are detected, highlighted, and managed with FeedStation, just like in NewsGator Online.
  • Category Filtering: Do you only want to read my posts on marathons and avoid my posts promoting my companies?  Now you can filter by feed by category.
  • Security: Security is starting to make the rounds in the RSS/feed world.  NewsGator has been aggressive about making sure all of their products are locked down and super safe.

Now – assume Fred wants this functionality today, but doesn’t want to deploy a separate enterprise server (since he has a small company – like mine.)  Soon, he’ll be able to use the hosted version of NewsGator Enterprise Server.  He’s essentially doing this today by using NewsGator Online with NetNewsWire – he’s just not able to benefit from the community oriented and administration features that are emerging in NGES (since NewsGator Online doesn’t know how to associate Fred’s user name with the other users at Union Square Ventures.)  Fortunately all of the groundwork he is putting in place now will be easily portable to the next level of functionality across NewsGator’s products that emerge later this year.

Welcome Fred to the land of NetNewsWire users.  I’ll make sure Brent has you on the beta list.

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