NewsGator Acquires FeedDemon, TopStyle…and Me!

Yes, it’s true: NewsGator has acquired FeedDemon and TopStyle, and brought me on board in the process.

Wow! How did this happen?

As regular visitors to my support forums know, the biggest request – by far – that FeedDemon customers have had is the ability to synchronize their subscriptions between multiple computers. They use FeedDemon on one PC at home, on another at the office, on a laptop while traveling, etc., and they want their feeds to be synched between them.

If someone reads an item on one computer, it shouldn’t show up as unread on another computer. And when they subscribe to a feed, it should automatically appear on any computer they use. Basically, provide the convenience of a web-based aggregator with the power and speed of a Windows desktop application.

I toyed with various hack-ish ways to do this, and even considered creating my own web-based sync service, but in the end came to the conclusion that to really do this right, I needed to join forces with someone who already had the server-side piece in place.

Why NewsGator? I thought they were just an Outlook plug-in?

I used to think that, too. But shortly after I decided I needed to join forces with someone, I read this post in NewsGator founder Greg Reinacker’s blog, in which he laid out NewsGator’s plans. This post really opened my eyes to where they were headed – let’s just say, I was impressed.

Funny enough, soon afterwards I got an email from Greg asking whether I’d consider joining forces with NewsGator. Truth is, if I hadn’t already read Greg’s blog post and been so impressed with the direction NewsGator was headed, chances are I would’ve turned him down – but because I read that post, I flew out to meet with the folks at NewsGator (score one for transparency through blogging!).

Long story short: we agreed that I should come on board and bring FeedDemon and TopStyle with me.

So what does this mean for FeedDemon customers?

I think you’re going to like this :)

NewsGator uses a subscription model, and FeedDemon will become part of their subscription plans. All existing FeedDemon customers will get a two-year business standard subscription for free – and this includes upgrades to FeedDemon. In other words, if you’ve already bought FeedDemon, you’ll get brand new versions of FeedDemon and a subscription to NewsGator Online free for the next two years.

Are there going to be changes in FeedDemon as a result of this?

Certainly. The most obvious will be that FeedDemon will integrate very closely with NewsGator’s online synchronization platform, enabling using FeedDemon on multiple computers while maintaining state between all of them. You could even use FeedDemon on your home computer, NewsGator Outlook Edition while at work, and NewsGator Mobile Edition while traveling, and still have everything synched between devices.

Beyond that, having a server-side piece offers a lot of interesting possibilities. Coupling a rich desktop client with a first-rate server-side aggregator provides the best of both worlds: you get the power of a Windows application and all the flexibility of a web-based approach. There have been a number of features I’ve been wanting to add to FeedDemon that required a server-side piece which I can now provide.

While these changes won’t happen overnight, we’ve already been working hard on a new release of FeedDemon – version 1.51 – which will include much better integration than currently exists. You should expect to see the first beta of FeedDemon 1.51 a couple of weeks from now.

And what about TopStyle customers?

While the acquisition obviously came to pass because of FeedDemon, NewsGator has made it clear that they’re committed to TopStyle as well. This was an important part of the deal for me. I use TopStyle every single day, and I personally couldn’t work without it. I’m already developing TopStyle 3.12, a free upgrade for existing TopStyle customers which will be released as a NewsGator product.

Oh, and you’ll get the same deal as FeedDemon customers: a free two-year subscription. For the record, TopStyle has a lot of users – even more than FeedDemon – so this is a very generous offer from the folks at NewsGator, and it illustrates their commitment to the product.

So, what about you, Nick? Are you moving? And will you still be doing support?

Although I’ll be working for NewsGator (my official title is “Architect of Client Products”), I’ll be staying here in Tennessee, with frequent trips to NewsGator’s offices in Denver.

I’ll continue to be active in the support forums – I need to, in order to understand what my customers need – but I’ll be handing over the support reigns to the folks at NewsGator. In fact, NewsGator has already taken over some of the support for FeedDemon – they’re the “reinforcements” I mentioned in this post last month. The mysterious “Ron” I talked about is actually NewsGator’s Ronnie Gilbertson, who will no doubt be relieved that he’s no longer a secret!

And to illustrate their commitment to FeedDemon and TopStyle, NewsGator has already hired Jack Brewster to help support both products. Jack starts next month, and he’s been a very frequent contributor to my support forums over the years (sometimes I think he knows TopStyle and FeedDemon better than I do). Welcome aboard, Jack – glad you could join us!

Patience is a virtue :)

So, there are obviously some major changes underway here, and we’ve got a lot to do to integrate my site, support system, etc., with NewsGator’s.

As long as this post is, I know it leaves a ton of questions unanswered, and I’ll try to address them here over the next few weeks. In the meantime, I do ask for your patience while we get everything sorted out. The entire process will likely take several weeks, and it’s possible there will be a few hiccups along the way.

The end result, though, will be something special. I’m excited to have this opportunity to take my software to a whole new level, and I look forward to entering this new chapter in my life.

139 thoughts on “NewsGator Acquires FeedDemon, TopStyle…and Me!

  1. Newsgator acquires FeedDemon

    You need a scorecard for these things. This sorta makes sense when you think about it. DENVER, CO— May 17, 2005 — NewsGator Technologies, Inc., the leading RSS software platform company, announced today that it has acquired Bradbury Software, whose…

  2. NewsGator Buys FeedDemon

    LockerGnome reports that NewsGator Bought FeedDemon. From FeedDemon owner Nick: Well, over the past year I?ve heard countless customers asking to be able to synchronize their feeds between computers ? they want to use FeedDemon at work, at home, while…

  3. “I use TopStyle every single day, and I personally couldn’t work without it.”…NB – If Nick says TopStyle will survive, I have the utmost confidence he will do all he can to see that it will.
    And oh, yeah….”cowards” put posts in blogs without using their names, NAH. Or maybe that is your name. If so, sorry ;) sincerely, alan wyatt.

  4. Nick Bradbury: NewsGator Acquires FeedDemon, TopStyle…and Me!

    Link: Nick Bradbury: NewsGator Acquires FeedDemon, TopStyle…and Me!. First off, let me say that I’m an avid FeedDemon user and I like the software a lot.

  5. Oh dear. As others have said, goodbye TopStyle. :-(
    Perhaps version 3.12 will arrive, but I won’t hold my breath for a v. 4.0. Although I own a copy of FeedDemon, the Bradsoft application I use most is TS.

  6. If anything, I think that Nick is a man of his word. I don’t think that he’s saying, “I will still work on TopStyle,” and then not going to deliver on it. I also think that since he won’t be running support by himself (with the help of some volunteers) he’ll possibly have more time to work on TopStyle AND FeedDemon.
    Thanks for the great software and congradulations on the acquisition. Frankly I think it’s a sign of the quality of your work and the accessibility it has for the end user. I wouldn’t use Outlook for an email client, but I do use FeedDemon for RSS, so I see this as a win-win for both companies. Obviously the companies do :)

  7. Randy,
    I think Nick is a man of his word as well, but it’s no longer up to him.. he is just an employee now and he will have to focus on what they want him to focus on. If you think that TopStyle is going to be their focus I think you are being delusional.

  8. Well, for me there are three major points of contention.
    *We better not lose the ability to sync with Bloglines
    *We better be able to use FeedDemon as a standalone app WITHOUT being required to hit NewsGator’s servers
    *We better be able to use FeedDemon standalone once the subscription runs out.
    If all of those happen, I will not have a problem. I personally despise Outlook, so I’ve never used NewsGator, and never will in Outlook form.
    I am happy for Nick though. Congrats, you should be able to prosper from the fruits of your labor. I just don’t want to see the best newsreader on the planet screwed up…
    -Grey

  9. NewsGator Acquires FeedDemon, TopStyle…and Me!

    My first reaction was fear and uncertainty. I’ve come to rely on FeedDemon and while NewsGator is nice, I’ve never really liked it being integrated into Outlook especially since I use don’t use it at home anymore. Well after reading…

  10. Nick Bradbury: NewsGator Acquires FeedDemon, TopStyle…and Me!

    Nick Bradbury: NewsGator Acquires FeedDemon, TopStyle…and Me! – Congratulations to Nick on a great deal with a great company. (Just don’t let Macromedia buy them out this time…)

  11. Wow! Congratulations Nick.
    I can’t wait to see the newly integrated FeedDemon, and I’ll get my desired Outlook integration!
    Wild.

  12. Wow – great news for Nick! But bad news for most of us.
    I don’t doubt that Nick will “attempt” to continue developement of Top Style but I don’t see it happening. All the pressures of the new job, expectations, etc….
    Luckily TS is in good shape now so we can continue to use it in it’s present form.
    As someone else already pointed out – history repeats itself – Allaire/NewsGator what’s the difference? A big fish just ate a smaller one. ;)
    Chummy

  13. Newsgator’s Acquisition of Feeddemon

    The news is that Newsgator acquired Feeddemon (actually Bradbury Software who develops Feeddemon, and TopStyle). Feeddemon is definitely the main interest of Newsgator since they are the developers of the Newsgator Outlook add-in.
    I think this is a lo…

  14. NewsGator’s New Friend – FeedDemon

    I’m stunned.  It’s 11am Colorado time and there are already 200+ posts listed on Technorati about NewsGator’s acquisition of FeedDemon.  It’s amazing how the word spreads and it is fascinating to read the fee…

  15. NewsGator’s New Friend – FeedDemon

    I’m stunned.  It’s 11am Colorado time and there are already 200+ posts listed on Technorati about NewsGator’s acquisition of FeedDemon.  It’s amazing how the word spreads and it is fascinating to read the fee…

  16. Revisiting Newsgator

    I had looked at Newsgator Online before but considering the exciting news I thought it was time to re-visit it. Now Chad beat me to it and raises some good points, I was surprised to find that there was no…

  17. Just my prediction:
    Both Nick and TopStyle will re-emerge in about 6 months after his contractual obligation is met. IMO, NewsGator is merely agreeing to provide support for TopStyle during this period to free Nick up to focus on things NewsGator really cares about.

  18. The main thing is that NewsGator doesn’t need to hog Nick’s time since TopStyle is more important they only thing they can do is have him work mainly on Topstyle and side help with the RSS reader..

  19. Randy wrote: “The fact that you single-handedly created not one but two applications at the top of their respective categories speaks for itself.”
    Actually 3, homesite, topstyle, feeddemon. All 3 have been best of class.
    Nick, congrats. Now that you have help on FD and TS, I’m interested to see what new things will happen there, but would be even more interested to see what *other* new app(s) you might come up with. (yeah, I’m greedy ;-)

  20. Grey (above) said,
    “*We better not lose the ability to sync with Bloglines
    *We better be able to use FeedDemon as a standalone app WITHOUT being required to hit NewsGator’s servers
    *We better be able to use FeedDemon standalone once the subscription runs out.”
    Although the Bloglines issue is moot for me personally, the last two are absolutely essential for me too–otherwise, as good as FD is, I’d use another product.

  21. Congratulations Nick,
    While I would love to be reassured that TopStyle has a future, it really is just your business. It would be painful to see TopStyle go the way that HomeSite did.
    Good Luck in the future!
    (Just a thought, are you going to keep your blog going?)

  22. PLEASE dont let history repeat itself… Think HS.
    I wish Nick good luck but I also wish TS and FD survive intact. I have my doubts.
    Who want to bet NG will cripple FD?

  23. FeedDemon = NewsGator

    Blog geeks got some big news earlier today: NewsGator has aquired Bradbury Software, the maker of FeedDemon (the absolute best RSS newsreader for Windows) and the awesome TopStyle CSS/HTML editor. Bradsoft was, for all practical purposes, Nick Bradbury…

  24. I’ve always shaken my head in wonder when Nick has posted about people with cracked versions of his software e-mailing him for technical support and other such things. But after reading some of these comments, I’m only beginning to appreciate what Nick must deal with all the time.
    So let’s start with this: we owe Nick our gratitude for bringing into the world three fantabulous applications, for being a model citizen who is constantly doing good deeds in support of other technology projects, for not charging more money for the tools he created (which he easily could have), for providing far and away the best technical support that I’ve ever received from a software developer, and for letting us all come along for the ride.
    If Nick had wanted to “sell out” or throw TopStyle overboard, he’s undoubtedly had ample opportunities to do so that would probably have been far more lucrative than joining forces with a middle-stage startup. And keep in mind that he’s not “just an employee” of NewsGator — he’s now likely an owner of a considerable chunk of the company.
    Nick has made what I’m sure was a difficult decision for him. But if you have trusted his vision for his applications in the past, then you should also trust him in his choice of his path for the future. And if he is thrilled with the outcome, than you should be thrilled for him.
    I know I am.

  25. Congratulations, Nick! I’ve been a longtime user of every app you’ve made, and a daily reader of your blog. While I was always amazed by what you could do as a one-man shop, I’ll also be interested to see what you do in a bigger organization.
    Can’t wait to see it.

  26. NewsGator, Bradbury

    NewsGator, Bradbury: Most of the blog coverage has been about the business or personal angles; I’m intrigued by something here on the technical side. NewsGator is a serverside weblog aggregator; FeedDemon is a clientside RSS reader. Each approach has i…

  27. Like (most) others here, sincerely, good luck Nick. I totally understand your decision and I hope it works out really well for both you and your family.
    Also like others, my main interest is TS — no interest in FD. And, having started with HomeSite, diverted briefly to (N)Evrsoft’s 1st Page 2000 then moved enthusiastically to TS, I don’t hold out much hope for TS — look what happened to HomeSite. It’s a shame but life moves on. I’ll keep using TS for as long as it survives.

  28. FeedDemon vs NewsGator: why platforms are bad and RSS isn’t email

    Several months ago I started writing a review of FeedDemon and NewsGator, together with an explanation…

  29. NewsGator compró FeedDemon

    Newsgator compró en efectivo y acciones a FeedDemon de Bradbury Software.
    En algún momento se decía que los lectores de feeds no son un negocio a tomar en cuenta. Yo sigo creyendo que hay mucho por explorar en ese mercado y que los fondos de inve…

  30. Wow, this shocked me. One of the reasons I didn’t go with NewsGator was because of the lack of features, and the Outlook integration. I use Outlook a ton, but didn’t like having my RSS options so limited in it.
    I hope the NewsGator acquisition goes well, and the Bradbury Soft. products improve even more. I can’t want to see what the next big release of FeedDemon brings, but I hope it’s more of the same, combined with the best of NewsGator. :)
    Congrats!

  31. Congrats, nick! I know you are busy these days, but would you please reply to my email? Thanks in advance in name of Chinese users! I am eager to see my translation for FD released soon. Sorry for any inconvenience.

  32. OH. CRAP. Mergers rarely ever make for better software. The software landscape is littered with programs that faded out of existence or were abandoned. Nick, you’re the only person I’ve ever heard of that was “excited” about Newsgator — it’s a terrible organization with a nice pretty website is all. So now I get the privilege of paying $20/year for a SUBSCRIPTION? I don’t need a subscription. I don’t WANT a subscription. I never want a subscription. I just want a feed reader. I also just saved up enough money to purchase TopStyle Pro, so that, too, was wasted. CRAP. I don’t want to pay money to conservative/republican corporations to support their faux news, sports, and their endless beer commercials.
    Grey is right:
    *We better not lose the ability to sync with Bloglines
    *We better be able to use FeedDemon as a standalone app WITHOUT being required to hit NewsGator’s servers
    *WE BETTER BE ABLE TO USE FEEDDEMON STANDALONE ONCE THE SUBSCRIPTION RUNS OUT.
    I don’t use Outlook, so I’ve never used NewsGator, and never will use any feed reader that uses an email client. I’ll just use the Open Source RSS Bandit, since I promise to NEVER, EVER “subscribe” to software.

  33. Im not very happy about that. I guess its time for a change now … bye Nick … *sneef*

  34. Вне выпуска

    NewsGator Acquires FeedDemon, TopStyle…and Me! Ник Брэдбери (Nick Bradbury) подтверждает слухи о том, что NewsGator купил права на его программы: RSS-агрегатор FeedDemon и па…

  35. Subscriptions: The Third Wave

    Original Post: 15 May 2005 Updated: 17 May 2005 What Jim Allchin wants you to know Subscriptions. When most people hear the word, they think about paid subscriptions for mobile phone service, cable, magazines, newspapers and so on. There…

  36. Okay… I’m happy Nick got a real job. ;)
    But I’m both furious and disappointed at the turn of events here. NewsGator!?!?! WTH!
    Anyone that thinks this will be a good thing for either FD or TS is kidding themselves – this includes Nick. I have a feeling that he was fed a line of bull – fancy talk and empty promises.
    Got to call it quits at this point, as I have intentions of getting in bed with NewsGator. Too slimy of a organization for my taste.
    Bye Nick!

  37. Read above as:
    “as I have NO intentions of getting in bed with NewsGator.”
    Rob

  38. Hummmmm……..
    I tried Newsgator. It’s crap.
    I can’t for the life of me see how the wonderful Topstyle fits their current suite of services. Suspect its going to get dumped very quickly.
    Whilst I can see the value of syncs, I have no wish whatsoever to use Newsgator again, and indeed this brings up the issue of what happens to those Feeddemon users who have a standing subscription to Newsgator for other reasons?
    I don’t know….
    A sad day for high quality independent software. Who knows. Just have to wait and see. I can be convinced, I really can, but they’ll have to work at it to get there.

  39. Congrats to Nick Bradbury!

    Newsgator has acquired FeedDemon and TopStyle and will bring Nick Bradbury on board with the title of Architect of Client Products. One of the questions I asked Nick when I profiled him was about the possibility of being purchased as had previously ha…

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