Monday, January 14, 2008

Web Apps Win in My Opinion

A week or two ago the blog world was abuzz about NewsGator making their Blog Reader apps freely available. I thought it was great. I am an avid Google Reader user but I thought having an app running on my desktop would be better as long as it could insure my "reading status" was synced across machines. I installed NetNewsWire since I use a Mac and I was just unimpressed.

There was no compelling reason for me to continue using it and move off of Google Reader. I have become so accustomed to the Google Reader shortcuts, interface, and love the iPhone application. I had programmed myself to expect the same interface from any other Blog Reader I installed. When I couldn't find the "Email This" or "Share This" links at the bottom of a blogpost in NewsGater I just got frustrated. I did not want to learn a whole new set of commands just to have a desktop client. I think people call this "consumer inertia". It is the same reason the enterprise space is so slow since people do not switch apps once they are reasonably happy with a certain version, and the reason mapquest is still the most popular map app in the US despite all of its shortcomings.

Web apps rule when they are done right and more importantly they are not a click away from being obliterated. As long as you listen to your end users, and build the right functionality the "people will come". I have the same experience with my iPhone. I installed the "Apollo IM" and other chat clients via, however, I still use meebo or beejive. They just did a better job with their apps, and I do not need to hack my iphone to get them to work.

At work right now, we use all of our own apps and every once in a while people comment if they lost their hard drive today they would not be at a lost. Most of our work is stored on the cloud so we can access it from anywhere and anytime. It is great to be hard disk independent and still work with great applications!

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