Consumer-unfriendly Software

I’ve used Newsgator as my RSS reader for several years. I’ve generally been happy with how it works because I like the ease with which I can set a structured layout to my folders. The “generally” caveat is necessary because Newsgator has a way of messing with my settings to force me to use its product how it wants me to, even though it continues to give me the option to use it my way. I must switch my settings back after Newsgator changes them every few months. This has been tiresome, but I haven’t liked any other readers I’ve tried. I’ve reluctantly stuck with Newsgator.

No longer. A few days ago the company switched me again to the beta of its newest version. It’s done this in the past, but I’ve always had the ability to switch back. Again, tiresome, but only mildly taxing. This time, though, I have no option to go back to the Classic reader. That’s a shame because the beta version is awful. And in addition to being awful, they forced my settings this afternoon from what I’d chosen.

I’m done with Newsgator forever.

I need to fill the void, of course. I like having a web-based RSS reader. Bloglines is okay, but I don’t like the way it organizes folders, or at least the limited way I’ve been able to figure out how to organize folders. I do not want everything in a big list without sub-folders. Every time I attempt to use Bloglines, I abandon it within a few days.

I’m now trying Google Reader, but Google is trying very hard to lose me. I can log in with no problem, as evidenced by my joint login to my Gmail account. But when I log in to Reader, the page refreshes to the login page every time. I will not use the product if I can’t use the product.

The help section suggests that my cookies are not set correctly. I figured this was the explanation, but when I verified my settings, I am within the range of what Google requires. I will apparently have to open my firewall settings below my comfort zone if I am to use Google Reader.

This is a terrible implementation by Google. Google wants to market stuff to me. I will consent to being marketed because I retain the option of overlooking that marketing. I will not consent to having my computer invaded so that Google (or others, inadvertently) may market me stuff in a more intrusive manner than having a computer scan the contents of my e-mail or blog entries for keywords┬╣. My computer hardware is mine.

There really isn’t much of a point here, other than to rant against stupid software design. I don’t know what RSS reader I’m going to use going forward. But I’m not going to accept a poor interface or cumbersome requirements just because the software is free.

┬╣ Google regularly serves up ads to me recommending circumcision services. It’s technology is stupid.

One thought on “Consumer-unfriendly Software”

  1. I gave up on Newsgator ages ago.
    My gripe with GR is that there is no option to ignore updated posts. Hopefully that will come soon. Their folder (“tag”) system is also suboptimal.
    I still have to maintain Bloglines as a shadow site because it generates the blogoll on my blog. If GR adds that functionality, so much the better.

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