NetNewsWire 1.0

NetNewsWire is an RSS (Rich Site Summary) news reader and weblog editor that lets you read and write the Web. Weblogs are online journals that are usually self-published. They cover a huge range of topics, and there are currently over a million of them. Many organizations also use RSS to syndicate their content. RSS feeds provide a mechanism to quickly scan the content of these Web sites. An RSS feed is an automatically generated summary of the content, usually in headline and first-paragraph format. It's published on each Web site, whenever the site is updated. NetNewsWire lets you subscribe to these feeds and read them quickly and easily. NetNewsWire's main use is for reading summaries from Web sites around the world. The program comes with a list of hundreds of these, and links to catalogues of thousands. The interface is the standard three-panel layout familiar from email programs. On the left are the sites subscribed to, on the right is the list of headlines for that site. Below this is the summary for the headline selected. You can go directly to the parent article by clicking on the headline. This is also possible from the dock icon via a contextual menu. The interface means dozens or more sites can be checked far quicker than when using a set of bookmarks and a Web browser. NetNewsWire automatically refreshes the headlines for each of the subscribed sites periodically. List manager
To manage a subscription list, sites can be grouped into folders by simply dragging them. The subscription list uses colour to show if a site has been updated. It also gives the number of unread items on the site or in the folder. There are preferences to control both this colouring and the frequency with which sites are checked. If you want to subscribe to a new site, you can either add it from the list supplied or paste it in the Web site URL (Web address). NetNewsWire can usually work out the RSS feed URL for most sites. You can also paste the RSS URL directly. NetNewsWire Lite just provides the RSS reading features, it lacks the editor, notepad and some search facilities. NetNewsWire offers a pair of tools for creating weblogs. The first of these is Notepad, which allows you to make notes on the stories for use in composing a weblog post. It's actually an outliner, so you can plan an item in the notepad and then drag the notes to the weblog editor. To get started the editor needs to be configured for the weblog software; helpfully there is comprehensive documentation on the product Web site states what to type where. Multiple weblogs are easily managed using the editor. The editor allows you to create new entries or to revise existing ones. The editing window is uncluttered and HTML-aware. It spellcheck sas you type. There is also a preview window, which shows the layout of the entry as it might appear in a Web browser, although without the exact CSS styling. Up front
With the editor, it's easy to get an overview of a weblog and see what you've written recently, though NetNewsWire will not replace the weblog front-end completely - you still need to do configuration of the weblog using its own software. Posting directly from within the editor is a much better experience than using Web front-ends that weblogs commonly offer; it feels much more like a writing tool. The ability to write and edit without being online frees you to work where you please. There are a few bugs in the initial release - currently Save As Draft doesn't work - but this should be fixed in version 1.01. The program is well supported with good clear documentation, an active support mailing list, and a bug- and feature-request list that you can add. The documentation is mostly Web based, but there is standard Help Center documentation covering the main features of the application.


NetNewsWire helps turn the Web into a two-way medium: you can easily read about and report on the world using a Mac. The combination of a simple interface and straightforward subscription mechanism with an editor in the same program integrates the Web-browsing and writing experience. If you have or want a weblog, then NetNewsWire is a perfect partner for it.
MW Read me first: weblogs explained
If you want to create a weblog, you can use Blogger, which starts as a free service. There is also a range of pay-for tools. There are different types, but they usually consist of either a desktop app or Web interface; a script that is installed on a Web server and a data store. Essentially they are a multiuser-content-publishing system that usually creates a time-based Web site which often allows visitors to comment on the articles. Blogger ( is the most popular - with over a million users. It's deservedly popular, but if you want more control, then there are various choices, as well as upgrading to Blogger Pro. To start you'll need a host (your current ISP might work - check if you can install cgi scripts). Radio UserLand ( is a desktop application that combines a weblog editor and RSS aggregator with hosting as part of the purchase price. Blosxom ( is a simple concept: you make folders like "films" and "books" then create articles there, this creates a daily journal and a folder view of your writing, for instance all "books" articles. MoveableType ( is a Web application and is highly configurable. It provides TrackBack, an interesting mechanism to link together conversations held on different weblogs.

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