That's right, FeedDemon is now free. As in, you don't have to pay for it anymore. Just download it and use it free of charge.
If you don't care about the details, you can stop reading now and simply download the new FeedDemon 2.6 (for free, of course). If you're using a previous version of FeedDemon, you should install v2.6 directly on top of it.
OK, if you're still reading this, chances are you have a bunch of questions. We have a FAQ on our site which should answer most of them, but there's one question I'd like to address here:
"Is this some sneaky ploy to stop development of FeedDemon and your other consumer products?"
Good lord, no. I realize that some companies have made their software free as a first step towards dumping it entirely, but that's not the case here. If it was, I wouldn't be writing this blog post - I'd be bitching at the top of my lungs in some bar somewhere.
This is a major investment on our part. If anything, the pace of development will only get faster. NewsGator CTO Greg Reinacker goes into this further, but basically, there are two reasons we're doing this crazy thing.
1. It's the Enterprise, Stupid
I joined NewsGator back in 2005 because I believed in their strategy. It was clear to me that NewsGator wasn't just another startup hoping to be acquired before they burned through their angel money. And a big part of that strategy involved going after the enterprise market.
That strategy has paid off - our products for businesses are making great strides into the enterprise, and we're increasingly selling our services to large companies. Getting our name known in the enterprise is among our primary goals, and making our consumer products free is a great way to accomplish that goal.
2. Your Attention is Valuable
It doesn't seem like such a strange idea these days, though. Since then we've seen a number of companies - including Google - place great value in what people are paying attention to. In return for your attention data, they give you free stuff. As long as you don't have to give up your privacy, it's a pretty good deal for both sides.
In some ways that's what we're doing. We believe that information about what people are reading, emailing, clipping, etc., is valuable enough that we're willing to trade our consumer RSS readers for it. And the more users we have, the better able we are to calculate relevance and importance.
PS: Your Privacy is Valuable, Too
I want to emphasize that we're not about to use the fact that our software is free as an excuse to violate anyone's privacy. I wish that could go without saying, but violations of privacy involving customer data have made headlines this year, so I know this is a sensitive topic. It's also a topic I care deeply about, as a quick search of this blog for previous posts about privacy or attention should illustrate.
Simply put, we believe we can greatly improve our products - both consumer and enterprise - by surfacing the content that people are paying attention to, and by making recommendations based on what you've read in the past. Aggregate or anonymous data is the only data we’ll ever share in order to accomplish that.