NewsGator Outlook Edition – what’s coming?

Well it’s about that time…we’re actively working on the next version of NewsGator Outlook edition. Parts of the development are in progress, and the rest of the requirements are being finalized.

Here’s the question for you. What’s the killer feature that you’d like to see in the next version of the product? We have a lot of data about things customers have requested, and there are already a lot of cool things planned, but I’d like to pose the question directly. Close your eyes, and imagine…

What should be in it? Let us know – we’re definitely listening!

50 thoughts on “NewsGator Outlook Edition – what’s coming?

  1. John Bristowe

    My wish list includes the following items:

    * Add “Subscribe in NewsGator (Outlook Edition)” item to standard context menu of Internet Explorer (i.e. Right-click hyperlink -> “Add feed to NewsGator subscriptions”)

    * Better support for large RSS enclosures (i.e. background thread) to prevent Outlook from locking-up

    * Integrate NewsGator rating system for each post item (inside Outlook)

    * NewsGator Web services

    * “NewsGator – Subscriptions” dialog window remembers previous dimensions

    Reply
  2. Michael Kennedy

    Hi,

    I would like to see more options for how the posts look inside of Outlook. Maybe more preconfigured style sheets and that sort of thing.

    Also, maybe the option to use the blogs own fonts and colors and so on?

    I like the way the posts look now, but more display options would be nice.

    Also, the ability to download RSS enclosures is nice, but I don’t use it because I don’t want a 50 GB outlook PST file. It would be awesome if newsgator could download the enclosures but save them in a preconfigured folder somewhere that is completely separate from the Outlook PST file(s).

    Finally, the ability to have a greater control of folder organization would be nice. For example, if we could have categories, and adding feeds to categories would create a folder for the category and a subfolder for feed would be nice.

    Otherwise, keep up the good work!

    Thanks,

    Michael

    Reply
  3. Michael Kennedy

    Oh, one more thing. And this would be GREAT.

    Download every blog on a separate thread. Right now if there is a slow blog, all 100 subsequent blogs have to wait until that one downloads to determine if there are new posts. If I have 100 feeds, I would like 100 simultaneous downloads of those posts. You might need to limit it to a pool of 25 worker threads or something, but still, either would be a huge improvement on 1.

    Thanks,

    Michael

    Reply
  4. Rob Gibbens

    Sync read status. I read my blogs on two machines, and I like to have all of the posts downloaded to each machine for indexing purposes. With Outlook 2003, NewsGator is great with the Unread Mail search folder. What I would like though, is for NewsGator to still download each post, but as it is downloading, mark the read status appropriately for each entry so that my Unread Mail folder accurately reflects the status.

    Reply
  5. Rob Bazinet

    I would like to see better support for filtering duplicate post downloads. Even though I have tried unchecking “Treat Modified Posts as New”, I still get a lot of duplicates.

    More importantly I would like to have the syncronization work better with Newgator Online. I use Newsgator for Outlook at work and at home, but whatever gets downloaded at either location is only at that location. For example, if at work, I get the new Newsgator posts, I get home and those posts do not download. I would only get additional new ones. I would like TRUE syncronization.

    Reply
  6. Rob Cannon

    I would like better support for Blogcasting. That entails:

    1) Support for storing enclosures in a user defined folder.

    2) Support for BitTorrent downloads.

    3) A download manager so that enclosures can be paused/resumed and that they don’t interfere with downloading the feeds.

    Other features unrelated to blogcasting:

    1) The ability to have certain feeds automtically marked with different followup flags.

    2) Built in fetchlinks capability.

    3) The abilty to refresh a post (particularly in conjunction with fetchlinks)

    4) The ability to attach an XSL transform to a feed so that I can write script to massage the feed before it is processed by Newsgator.

    Reply
  7. Kevin Dente

    I was beginning to wonder if you guys had given up on Outlook Edition. ;)

    My killer feature (which, if some other RSS reader had would tempt me to switch away from NG) is better comment integration.

    By this I mean I want to be able to

    a) See comments associated with a post

    b) Post a comment directly from Outlook

    c) Keep track of posts that I’ve commented on, and check those posts for new comments when the update happens

    d) Be able to flag any post for comment monitoring

    In many ways these features may be more easily implemented in a non-Outlook based aggregator – I suspect Outlook limits your flexibility somewhat. But it’s what I want more than anything else right now.

    Reply
  8. Brian Eng

    In the NewsPage, an option for opening a link in Firefox. Definitely second the idea of retrieving each feed in a separate thread (a la FeedDemon). Oh, and fun Tablet PC specific features.

    Reply
  9. Chris Sutherland

    I too had wondered what had happened to the ‘next version’ of NewsGator for Outlook! I think the two main things you could add would be (1) Some way of achieving ‘true’ synchronisation when using multiple machines and (2) Improved comment handling.

    Also, do many people actually find the ‘Related…’ link useful?

    Reply
  10. Scott Hanselman

    * Duplicate detection! Yank the old post and strikout or color the new stuff in the new post

    * +1 to RobG – download posts everywhere and sync reads

    * Support for BlogJet ala “BlogJet This” from a post right-click rather than forcing us to use Newsgator’s Posting

    * Better Balloon Help or Toast in the Tray letting us know WHAT has been updated, when and how many items

    * More rightclick support…rightclick on a folder and unsubscribe…

    * #1 – Support for Comment RSS -> Outlook was made for this. You’ll have to make a nice view and do the conversationindex thing ala RssBandit

    Reply
  11. Michael Kennedy

    I would like to add a vote for the comment management features that everyone has been suggesting.

    That and multithreaded feed retrieval are probably my two highest wish list items.

    Reply
  12. Michael Kennedy

    I would like to add a vote for the comment management features that everyone has been suggesting.

    That and multithreaded feed retrieval are probably my two highest wish list items.

    Reply
  13. Matt Blumberg

    If you could solve this problem, my life would be complete…when Outlook syncs with my Treo 600 using the GoodLink software, although the proper folders are in place, none of the posts show up. It means I can’t read feeds easily from the road, which is a pain given how much I travel.

    Reply
  14. Mario Cardinal

    It would be awesome if newsgator could download the enclosures but save them in a preconfigured folder somewhere that is completely separate from the Outlook PST file(s).

    Furthermore, It would be awesome if newsgator could download the enclosures using bittorrent (for more info see how http://www.dotnetrocks.com is using bittorrent for podcasting).

    Reply
  15. kip

    My wishes:

    1) Better support for commenting, including tracking the posts I have commented on,

    2) Better duplicate handling – mark as duplicate or update, and highlight new stuff,

    3) Easier grouping of blogs, by activity (number of posts since…), subject, commented on, other metadata….

    thanks

    Reply
  16. Rich C

    I can only restate items that have already been mentioned:

    1. Better support for multiple machines

    2. Expanded folder management

    3. Thorough comment support

    Reply
  17. Søren Lund

    I would like the following:

    - Mark entire folder with subfolders as read. This is probably an Outlook thing but can’t hurt to ask :)

    - Synchronize read posts between locations. If I read post A at work I’d like it to show up as read at home as well. This should regardless of where the post was downloaded in the first place.

    - Synchronize folder structure. As it is my subscriptions are synchronized which is nice but I’d also like my feed to show up in the same folder structure in any of my locations.

    - Organize online folder structure according to Outlook. Lets face it it’s a pain to organize feeds in folders using the web interface. What I’d like is to have the online structure reflect the changes I make in Outlook.

    Do these three and I will never again contemplate using another client … until the next I need something else that is :)

    Reply
  18. Jason Guinn

    Glad to hear that the next version of Outlook Edition is on its way! I agree that it would be nice to individually thread updates so that slow blogs don’t prevent other, faster feeds from coming in.

    In addition to that, I would like to see NewsGator come up with a first-class podcasting system. It would be wonderful to have NG grab the audio files, place them in specific locations, and then load them up in iTunes automatically. It would be even more impressive if NG would purge those files after x number of days. And if you incorporated a recording suite I think you would have the Podcasting market cornered.

    Reply
  19. Sean J. Varley

    Mine is easy: every time I re-install, I have to go find that key again. I’d like to see the online sync to my feeds after install provide my authentication key. Also, as usual, I’d like some kind of automatic update notification. Since the version hasn’t changed in about a year, it hasn’t been that big of a deal lately, but in the past doing a uninstall-reinstall every month or so was a pain.

    Reply
  20. Myke Myers

    I’d like to be able to set an importance level for each subscription, so when I’m short on time I’ll can focus my most important feeds. I should be able to right click on a feed and set the importance (high, medium, low) of the subscription. Each level would have a different color. I should be able to sort on importance.

    Reply
  21. Royce

    1. Elimination of duplicates (please, please, please).

    2. At the bottom of the Newsgator page, a button that combines the function of Delete All Posts and Refresh – this would be a big time saver.

    3. Some sort of relevance filtering so i can eliminate things i’m really not interested in – eg. I never want to read anything on iPods!

    Reply
  22. Andrew

    It would be great if I could have all attachments downloaded to a separate subfolder (if I could do this now, let me know). I like all my podcasts to go to one folder for easier distribution and if I could use NewsGator for my Podcasting downloads – that would be awesome!

    Reply
  23. Anne Stanton

    The ability to unsubscribe automatically to blogs that are inactive. As in they have not had a post, posted to them for say 6 months or some user decided date.

    An Alert and the link sent to your inbox when a blog talks about your chosen “phrase”.

    Reply
  24. Andrew

    I second Mike Myer’s request for being able to identify importance. I currently grab about 150 feeds but only export about 10 of them to my Pocket PC. Right now, I have to create folders to signify the importance of each one.

    Reply
  25. Signs of Increasing Blog Relevance to Corporate Communication

    I was on a phone call yesterday with a co-investor in one of our companies who asked “are you concerned that RSS / blogging is the long tail of the Internet – only relevant to millions of individuals, but nothing beyond that?”  I responded with an emphatic no.  I noticed two things this morning as I was poking around that reinforced this.  Greg Reinacker’s blog post on NewsGator Outlook 3.0.  Greg is the founder/CTO of NewsGator and on Wednesday afternoon he asked the question “what do you want to see in the next version of NewsGator?”  We’re in the midst of…[more]

    Reply
  26. Rick

    Way back in November in a previous post’s comments, you indicated the product wasn’t dead, but it’s been a year guys, and actions speak louder than words. When you have such a healthy competitor, particularly one who has pulled ahead of you long ago, it just doesn’t do to ignore your own product for a year.

    Some of what I’d like to see:

    -Echoing what was said above about a subscribe link in Firefox, don’t forget about Opera, too.

    -Mentioned a year ago in the forums, an option to delay RSS retrieval for X number of seconds upon starting Outlook. I want my mail retrieved first without contention from what Newsgator does.

    -A way to disable a feed without doing something silly like renaming it or deleting it.

    -Currently, hotlinks in the body of NNTP messages are not hotlinked. They should be, just like in RSS feeds.

    -As mentioned above, some sort of comment management.

    -As mentioned above, duplicate handling.

    -Need more ideas?

    http://www.intravnews.com/features.aspx

    Reply
  27. Rick

    Way back in November in a previous post’s comments, you indicated the product wasn’t dead, but it’s been a year guys, and actions speak louder than words. When you have such a healthy competitor, particularly one who has pulled ahead of you long ago, it just doesn’t do to ignore your own product for a year.

    Some of what I’d like to see:

    -Echoing what was said above about a subscribe link in Firefox, don’t forget about Opera, too.

    -Mentioned a year ago in the forums, an option to delay RSS retrieval for X number of seconds upon starting Outlook. I want my mail retrieved first without contention from what Newsgator does.

    -A way to disable a feed without doing something silly like renaming it or deleting it.

    -Currently, hotlinks in the body of NNTP messages are not hotlinked. They should be, just like in RSS feeds.

    -As mentioned above, some sort of comment management.

    -As mentioned above, duplicate handling.

    -Need more ideas?

    http://www.intravnews.com/features.aspx

    Reply
  28. Mud's Tests

    Hi Greg,

    Thanks for asking for inputs on improving aggregators. I’ve been writing down my thoughts in my blog.

    I’ve placed them in a “brainstorming-type” format for you and others to enjoy.

    The links are intended to give a concept of where things might be going for XML, aggregators, and RSS support tools. Perhaps you and your team will find the links of interest.

    Good luck with the aggregator updates.

    Reply
  29. Mud's Tests

    Hi Greg,

    Thanks for asking for inputs on improving aggregators. I’ve been writing down my thoughts in my blog.

    I’ve placed them in a “brainstorming-type” format for you and others to enjoy.

    The links are intended to give a concept of where things might be going for XML, aggregators, and RSS support tools. Perhaps you and your team will find the links of interest.

    Good luck with the aggregator updates.

    Reply
  30. Ross Button

    I’d like to see

    1) selection of the blog to post to when posting – i have multiple blogs under one user name at blogger. I’d like to be able to post an item from outlook and select the blog. Right now I have to go to options and change the blog. To make it work, I copy items to a WIP folder and then post in a second pass.

    2) To support podcasting, I’d like to see attachments go direct to a folder skipping the OST file.

    3) Please don’t break any of the good stuff it does. I find it a godsend. I use a personal exchange server and have an RSS folder that get’s synced between multiple PCs. I have one system that does the RSS reading and then once in Outlook/exchange the other systems can see/update etc the feeds. Great for at home, home office, work office and on the road. I even have OWA (outlook web access) to my feeds. Once marked as read, all systems see them as read. Please make sure this continues to work.

    Reply
  31. Ross Button

    One wish list item.

    Could you setup the interface so that outlook rules can operate on the RSS feeds ? I’d like to apply pattern matching and blog selection to autoforward selected feeds to go as email to my TREO.

    Reply
  32. Olivier Travers

    Better subscription management for people subscribed to hundreds of feeds. The core need is the ability to trim down the number of subs quickly to keep the volume “manageable”, for people who want to monitor as many sources as humanly possible.

    Ideas include (and most have been suggested above already): ability to right-click unsub from the content folder itself, ability to right-click subscribe from other browsers, ability to see on one screen all subscriptions with live-or-broken status / date of last post / frequency of posts. If Newsgator could hunt down the new address of feeds that have been relocated, that would be great.

    Reply
  33. Keith M

    Simple. I want to have an option to post images and use a certain style.

    I could easily provide the default style and image ftp locations.

    Reply
  34. Andrew

    rather than repeat many comments above one simple cosmetic request – make the default display look nicer (title in a nice coloured banner for example – like the newly released competiton)

    Reply
  35. greg cohn

    I’d like to see more thought given to this plug-in not as a simple utility to manage downloads, but as a means of managing and prioritizing the intake, digestion, actioning on, and retention of information. That is, more on managing the “read” process and what happens after.

    If you can do this well, you will be creating a tremendous amount of value for me.

    Most of us subscribe to a broad range of feeds, everything from business-critical updates to fun personal stuff. But we’re only in one context at any given time. When I log in in the morning, I want to scan the relevant business news highlights, read what’s critical now, flag the think-stuff for later, and avoid being distracted by the latest gizmo-porn. At night, the opposite is true. So far, folders are the only organization system for groups of posts, and “unread”, “read”, and “deleted” are the only statuses of posts. So, you see a longer article you want to read later, you keep it as new, and every time you look over there it’s listed as new.

    A few specific requests:

    Some intelligent ways to flag and prioritize posts for later reading or other action would be nice. Maybe integrating outlook’s own flagging / to-do system as a starting point (flaggin currently doesn’t function in the RSS folders), but something more sophisticated would be better.

    An even higher-end version of that would allow users to create their own processing functions. “Add a button” to the view screen, and define the actions that are attributed to that button — e.g., add to to-do list and delete from feed folder. “forward and archive”. etc. C.f. the Getting Things Done outlook plugin.

    A way to add comments “internally” — my notes on this article for myself, and/or which would go with if i forward it via outlook.

    Along the same lines, keywords i can add so i can find the post again later. Read this suggestion broadly, as in, how do we archive good posts intelligently so that one’s collection of RSS feed posts that are undeleted become some kind of data warehouse of good articles, from which info is easily retrieved?

    It would be clever to find a way to route newsletters into the above storage, management, and retrieval system. Perhaps you already offer this with your subscription service, but it should be part of the outlook deal. If you want to take center stage on a user’s info-management screen, do this.

    One byproduct of using this plug-in is a tremendous increase in deleted items. For those of us who archive our deletions, there’s a tremendous amount of superfluous data in there. An option to bypass outlooks delete bin and “delete forever” as an optional global setting would be nice.

    That’s all i can think of for now, though I’d invite anyone else who agrees with these directional ideas to chime in with specifics.

    Reply
  36. Tejas Patel

    Not sure if this have been covered before, but here are my major points:-

    1) Support for Opera

    2) When we export the OPML file and import it in another aggregator/Outlook than it should remember the folder structure. It’s a huge pain rearranging the feeds in the right folders.

    Reply
  37. Michael Maggard

    I’d like to see NewsGator updated more then annually.

    Since 2.0 shipped, aside from some early bug-fixes, it has remained static. The business has gone through all sorts of changes, new services, new products, but each time I see a post about yet more “exciting things!” at NewsGator it doesn’t have much to do with the Outlook plug-in I bought.

    On the same theme it’d be nice if all of those “this’ll go onto the to-do list” comments from the forums had actually been going into code all of this time, perhaps we’d have seen a 2.1, 2.2, etc.

    That off my chest yes, there are some things I’d very much like to see:

    * Like many others a smarter downloading process. Delayed start, multiple threads.

    * Like many others more supplied style sheets. Folks shouldn’t have to manually edit these to make common changes, there should be sheets in place for that. Or perhaps a web-based style-sheet generator.

    * I don’t know if it would be possible with OL’s architecture but it would be great if I could use my SpamBayes or something like it to identify & mark read the advertising & such (I’ve got live folders with key advertising words already, but enabling ‘smarts” would be sweet.)

    * Fetchlinks built in! This is a huge deal to me, this 3rd party tool really needs to be part of the application and better integrated.

    * The ability to mark sources safe for downloads. I’m sick of having to consistently OK outside linked photos in some feeds, there has to be some programmatic way of giving a blanket ‘OK’ for specific feeds/folders.

    * I personally don’t care for built-in bit torrent support. I’d far more prefer the ability to fire off a specific client for this & other alternative transports.

    * Like many others better handling of enclosures, including the save to specific folders, etc.

    * Like many others a dead-feed spotter.

    * NewsGator PocketPC. Not a web-browsable application, a real local app. that integrates with the other NG editions to keep reading synchronized.

    * NewsGator 3.1, 3.2, etc.

    Reply
  38. Keith Zerna

    It would be useful if the number of received posts per session are captured somewhere. This could give an idea of how many posts were received per day or per week, etc.

    The other thing that would be useful is categories. You could select to either receive all of the feeds or only the selected categories. This would save going into the Newsgator feeds and selecting each one.

    Thanks for a great program.

    Keith

    Reply
  39. Strafe

    Sorry if these suggestions have been discussed to death elsewhere but here are is my wishlist.

    1) Bittorrent support for enclosures (thank you Dot Net Rocks)

    2) viewing links in the outlook window instead of launching an external window.

    3) A way to automate saving attachments from feeds instead of having to use a 3rd party solution

    4)Threaded comments from feeds (dont know if RSS feeds even support this but I swear I’ve seen it somewhere)

    5) Threaded NNTP (not simulated like we can do now) I really wish they would integrate Outlook Express’ NNTP functionality into Outlook, but until then…

    Reply
  40. Ian Spencer

    • All of the above sounds great.

    • For the Newspage to be non static. That is currently you have a static page for the feed and feed items are differentiated by shading. I want to be able to browse through the feeds in the newspaper mode and as you cursor down the item is automatically marked read and allows shortcut keys for the currently selected item to blog, move, delete, email flag rate etc. See beta.onfolio.com as it has the fastest newspaper mode of anything I have seen. You can achieve some of this with search folders and using the traditional outlook interface but in the feed I want to see pictures but in my email for security I want to select downloaded images etc.

    • I just checked http://www.intravnews.com/download.aspx and it looks very interesting compared to V2 of Newsgator.

    • I want to post to multiple Weblog’s.

    • Folders that are automatically published to Weblog’s.

    • Reply to newsgroup posts easily.

    • Easily post comments to a Weblog item.

    • Add my own information to a item.

    • Run the rules wizard or simular over feeds.

    • And so much more :-) A better online community and more responsive forums. See beta.onfolio.com and how they apply this to their benefit and this article http://www.betterproductdesign.net/tools/user/leaduser.htm I see your are toying with moving away from closed NDA testing and secrecy so go the whole way and open it right up :-) Things are changing so fast and you need to attract people who will provide you with the best information and ideas on Newsgator and keep the product fresh. People need to be feeling they are getting something out of the process. I think you can see that many people who brought Newsgator plug-in are not happy with the non development and lack of interaction.

    Reply
  41. Michael Kennedy

    Hi,

    This may seem minor, but it would be helpful. I would like when you export your RSS feeds for them to be ordered in some way – say alphabetical by name? It’s difficult to take the OPML from two systems and determine which feeds are missing or how they are different because the ordering doesn’t seem to make much sense. Is it the order in which they were added?

    Thanks,

    Michael

    Reply
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