I’ve gathered a number of comments and suggestions about the issues of synchronizing aggregation and here’s an “aggregation” of tools and emerging ideas to deal with this problem.
To revisit the issue, Dave Winer presented the simplest statement of the problem in describing the Subscriptions Harmonizer: I subscribe to a feed at home but my aggregator at work doesn’t know about it, and vice versa.
The problem is a bit more complex when you consider enterprise employees that are on the move, and I don’t just mean while traveling. There are cases where even stationary information workers might be better off with server-based solutions. It seems that everyone, sometime, almost every day is going to be away from their desktop, perhaps in a conference room with a Bluetooth or 802.11 device. There’s nothing better than up-to-the-minute information while trying to impress your boss.
NewsGator is the only client-side tool that attends to the problem for corporate users, but it also requires an Exchange server in the mix, so it’s really not just a client-side tool – the combination of NewsGator and Exchange create a hybrid solution. And while playing with AT&T’s new OfficeOnline service for Web-enabled phones, I was able to push certain NewsGator-created Outlook folder items (containing RSS feeds) from my desktop to my Nokia 6350 with Outlook rules. Still a bit convoluted, but certainly useful in some situations.
Pure server-based solutions for dealing with this issue include a new Mac OSX aggregator called Shrook which offers a centralized synchronization service. There’s BlogStreet’s Info Aggregator, an RSS-to-IMAP service. There’s also Bloglines, a Web-based service for keeping track of your feeds, and MyWireService. My favorite – one of my first aggregators is AmphetaDesk. All of these server-based solutions are worth investigating.
And one recent entry in this category – Awasu – which claims to have a client-side aggregator that can be used on two different systems that will keep each other in synch. I haven’t tried this one yet, but it looks pretty good.