Really Simple Sharing

It’s a common complaint of software developers: their customers keep asking for features that already exist.  That’s happened to me more times than I can count, and it used to frustrate me – until I realized I was the problem.  I had designed those features so poorly, or buried them so thoroughly, that they weren’t being noticed.

I bring this up because I keep seeing comments from people saying they’d like to use FeedDemon, but they really need a “sharing” feature like the one Google Reader has.  Or I’ll read a review of FeedDemon that says the lack of a sharing feature is a strike against it.  Which bothers me to no end since FeedDemon has had sharing for quite some time (and NewsGator Online has had it even longer).

The reason so many people miss FeedDemon’s sharing feature isn’t due to “user error,” of course, but because I made it too geeky and too hard to find.  In order to share an article in the current version of FeedDemon, you have to copy it to a “clippings folder” that has an RSS feed – and as you can see, it’s far from obvious how to do this:

  1. Create a clippings folder
  2. Choose to share it as an RSS feed
  3. Click an obscure icon under the article’s headline to display a menu of clippings folders
  4. Choose the clippings folder you want to copy the article to

Not exactly the simplest approach, huh?

So I decided to rectify this in the upcoming FeedDemon 2.8 by adding a single, obvious “Share” link – which is how I should’ve done it in the first place.

 

Simply click “Share,” and FeedDemon will copy the article to your shared clippings.  New users who don’t have any shared clippings (and probably don’t know what they are) can still use this feature, because it takes care of configuring everything without all the “geek speak” of the current version.

PS: I hope to release a public beta of FeedDemon 2.8 within the next 10 days.

16 thoughts on “Really Simple Sharing

  1. So is the lack of delete button new to this version, or is there a way to turn it off?
    I’m always hitting it by mistake and would love to get rid of it.

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  2. Is there any technical barrier to sharing links that *aren’t* articles in my feed? Often I read an article in FeedDemon that includes a link, and it’s that link I want to share. Right now, I can’t do that (I don’t think)…

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  3. @jay: Ironically, you can do this already :). Just drag-and-drop the link into your clippings folder. You can also drag-and-drop links from your external browser, and drag-and-drop browser tabs in FeedDemon.

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  4. @Jay Levitt
    Yes, you can! I do it all the time! Just drag the FeedDemon tab (or the icon from Internet Explorer) onto the shared folder. It’s really easy, and works great!
    Also, I can’t wait for the beta!

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  5. Awesome… I knew about the sharing before but it was kind of boscure so this is great.
    Also will this let you share articles when offline, then sync when you connect again? The current clippings folders won’t let you ‘share’ when offline…

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  6. Hi Nick,
    One question. You say “Simply click “Share,” and FeedDemon will copy the article to your shared clippings. ” What happens if I have more than one shared clippings folder?

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  7. Nick – thanks for the clarification. I guess I wasn’t fully clear with my question – With the share button, how do I go about adding different articles to different shared clippings folders. For ex., I have one shared clippings folders for photos I like and another for links. How will the share button work in this case?

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  8. @Balaji: Ah! Well, the “share” button can only be tied to a single clippings folder, so it sounds like you’d need to use the existing “copy to clippings” button so you can choose where the article gets clipped.

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  9. I would like a new feature. Having selected a feed, add on the right click “Goto Homepage” which would open the website url in the browser.
    I know about the copy option. However using that I need to open a browser myself and paste the url in to see the website.

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  10. Nick – thanks for the clarification.
    I just noticed in your screenshot that the little “bucket” icon from FD 2.7 is still there as well, so I guess using the new customize icon option, I can remove the share icon, making FD 2.8 look just like FD 2.7.. er, wait I think I’m doing something wrong here :P

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