Denver Post launches RSS reader for late adopters

The Denver Post has launched an RSS reader called News Hound “powered by NewsGator“, with a ton of feeds from their site.
News Hound emphasizes Denver Post feeds over others, and pre-filtered feeds over ones that the user chooses. You can add feeds from other sites in News Hound, but it’s a three-click process to add a feed that is not on their list. The good news is that I couldn’t seen any attempt to limit competition. While they weren’t easy to find, craigslist feeds were included when you search for feeds that mention Denver.
The News Hound application window itself is a nonstandard window that cannot be resized and devotes as much real estate to navigation as to information.
There’s an ad on the News Hound window. This doesn’t necessarily bother me, except there are plenty of ways for readers to get their feeds ad-free.
News Hound promotion page doesn’t mention “RSS”. (Thanks to Steve Outing writing at Poynter for noting this.) I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing. RSS is a file format with a geeky name. This is clearly a product designed for medium and late adopters.
RSS lends itself to this kind of experimentation. After all, it makes no assumptions about how its information will be displayed by the reader. And it’s clear that the average reader hasn’t discovered the advantages of RSS feeds. A lot of early adopters haven’t jumped on this particular bandwagon yet. For those reasons, I think that News Hound is an interesting experiment.
But I’m still left wondering whether the average newspaper reader wouldn’t be happier reading their feeds on My Yahoo or Bloglines, or one of the existing RSS applications, if someone would show them how.
FOOTNOTE: I was involved in naming and launching an email alert service called “NewsHound” for the San Jose Mercury News in the early ’90s, which I know the folks at Poynter recall. I don’t remember whether we ever trademarked the name.
Originally published on my blog at JupiterResearch.