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News as Mail

A number of programs, such as NewsGator Inbox 2.6, integrate RSS feeds with your e\0x2011mail. The NewsGator Inbox installation process is simple and informative, with a handy option to add preselected categories of feeds. Importing more than a few feeds is an intensely long and memory-hogging process, however.

Another interesting application, Omea Reader, is part of an ultra-ambitious productivity suite whose all-encompassing approach you will either love or hate. Though it can function as a free-standing reader, it integrates with the $49 Omea Pro, which aims to be an e-mail client, an RSS reader, a browser, a calendar, an instant messager, and a desktop search application.

Omea Pro has some great features, such as a tab that lets you read your feeds by byline, multiple workspaces to segregate projects, and an automated e-mail contact manager. It takes some time to get used to, but Omea is an impressive effort, and some people may find that it's just the organizational aid they need.

Though news-management software overall is still in its infancy, such tools continue to improve. While you're waiting for the perfect approach, your best bet is to mix and match. Place the RSS feeds from social sites like Digg into a news recommender like Tailrank or Findory, and then grab the personalized feed and throw the results at a news reader you like; you'll soon discover the sweet spot where you get most of the news you want without spending all day trying to keep up.

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