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Moving to the Desktop

There is something I don’t quite understand. Maybe someone can explain it to me. A few months ago Google gave IMAP support to Gmail. Everyone was happy to have this sought-after feature enabled finally. In my opinion, it was a few years too late. I never use desktop mail clients anymore (except when I was working for a technology company and we used Exchange). For something like Gmail, I just don’t see the point. The only thing I use a desktop email client for (and I use Thunderbird for this) is to back up my Gmail accounts. I don’t send mail from Thunderbird and I don’t read mail in Thunderbird. Maybe I would use a desktop email client if I used a different email service. I like Gmail’s interface too much to do that though.

Recently, Newsgator released their popular NetNewsWire and FeedBurner desktop RSS clients for free. You no longer have to pay for them. Again, I don’t understand why people would want to use a desktop RSS client. Sure, it can synchronize all your feeds so even if you aren’t at home it won’t give you the same feed as unread over and over. But you know what else does that? Web-based feed readers, such as Google Reader. Why download something to read when you could just as easily open up your browser to read it? Chances are, you’re already going to be on the net anyway.

Another thing I never understood was using things like Microsoft Live Writer and other such desktop blog publishing software. Why work with desktop software to publish to your blog? I know a few people who do that, but for me, writing in the administration of my blog software is perfectly fine. I don’t need to write my post in a piece of software that wasn’t even specifically designed for the blog engine I use.

4 replies
  1. skippy
    skippy says:

    I use GMail’s IMAP service from my Palm Treo. Although I can use the web-based interface, I find a native IMAP protocol to be much more efficient on this limited device.

  2. shep
    shep says:

    yeah, i can understand it for mobile devices because the native app will be better on the phone than using a browser would (in most cases i would assume this is true). I just don’t understand it on computers.

  3. Christian Mohn
    Christian Mohn says:

    Well, BlogBridge (a java rss reader) lets you synchronize your read count as well as the feeds. Very useful. I do use NetVibes a lot instead though.

    As for blog publishing apps, well I do like (some of) them. Mainly because it enables me to use a different workflow than using the blog apps interface. I like being able to work offline, if I’m traveling or otherwise without a live connection. Also, there is something to be said to working with an application that has spell checking etc. Firefox has that now though, so that point is moot. Ok, now I’m rambling. See, if I wrote this comment using an editor instead of your comment form, I would probably be more coherent. Or not.

  4. lisa
    lisa says:

    You know, it’s funny, but I just moved to a desktop reader, after using Google Reader for the last year. And I’m not particularly liking it either, because the only reason I wanted to move to a desktop reader was that when I star something in the Reader, it just stayed there, and I did nothing with it. With the desktop reader, I can flag it and send it to my desktop blog publisher super easy, which is something that I had been looking for.

    And for the desktop blog publisher–I agree with Christian. I often write posts when I’m no where near an internet connection, but also I like being able to have a program in the background, easily able to click over to when the urge to write strikes. Most of my posts are in draft form for over two hours, and I nearly never have my browser open for that long. Also, I find that I spend more time on my posts, and double check my grammar and spelling more than I do when I “compose on the fly” in the blog admin menu.

    (And besides, my desktop program makes it way easier to add Amazon links, check word count, and post the same post to multiple blogs–if I were so inclined–than if I was working from within a browser menu.)

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