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Demo Limitations

There's been much discussion lately over the demo limitations we've chosen to place in PulpFiction. Currently, the demo limitation is 10 subscriptions. Full functionality - aside from this limit - is allowed. Filters, labels, AppleScripts, etc.

In the interest of what I called yesterday "an open discussion" (among other things), I'm opening up the thought process a little here to try to solicit some honest feedback from anyone who reads this blog regularly and has an interest in using PulpFiction in particular.

There are essentially two ways to build demo versions of software. The first is to cripple some portion of the app. The second is to strap a big clock to it and cripple as time goes on. I cannot think of an application that doesn't apply, in one manner or another, one or both of these. (For example, GraphicConverter [I think] used to make you wait longer each time you launched it before you could use it - that's a time-limited demo, because at some point, you're no longer going to want to wait 14 hours to use it :-D.)

Time-Limited Pros

  1. Allow full functionality of the app (typically)
  2. Offer a reasonable period of time for testing (typically)
  3. Prompt user at the end to buy (ideally after the app has become a part of their daily routine)

Time-Limited Cons

  1. Annoy the crap out of users who download software, run it, and vow to "check it out later" (in 12 days on a 10-day demo, usually :-P)
  2. Are easy as hell to circumvent
  3. Doesn't really amount to a "freeware" version of the app.

Feature-Limited Pros

  1. Essentially a "freeware" or "lite" version of an app for someone who doesn't need the "disabled" features.
  2. More difficult to circumvent.

Feature-Limited Cons

  1. Does not allow potential users to fully test the application (i.e. "Will the disabled feature work as I think it will?" and "How does performance get when I can do more than 10% of my normal stuff?"

If you're using an application that's likely to become part of someone's routine, time-limited demos make great sense. The Office demo used it, for example. if you're using an "impulse" type of thing, then feature-limited versions make good sense. Games are typically feature-limited - they hold the "extra levels" and "more bosses" card over you until you're tired of playing levels 1-3 and must, must see what lay beyond.

Quite honestly, the biggest reason we've chosen to do feature-limiting instead of time-limiting is one of monetary concern: we believe that it's too easy to circumvent time-limited demos (by deleting a file somewhere, by reinstalling, by changing your clock temporarily… etc.). We love the community, we hand out a good amount of freeware, but we also like to eat, wear clothes, and get out of the rain if you get my drift. Beta testers thought that 10 was a great limit, and very reasonable, and you can see that here (link will die around June 1, 2004).

So what does it boil down to? A question. How much can we show off our app without pissing customers off and without making it too easy to circumvent the fact that you're supposed to buy it to continue to use it at full-feature level? Or, put another way: if you were me, what demo limitations would you put on PulpFiction? Honestly?

Respond in the comments. Comments here need to stay on topic and be reasonable (i.e. no "give it away free and trust users to pay for it if they like it" is not gonna work).

44 Responses to "Demo Limitations"

  1. I prefer time-limited demos or nagware. With limited functionality you don't really get to see how it will work under real conditions and how well it will actually handle the full amount of data.

    If someone actually uses it and makes it part of their routine rather than just trying it out with limited functionlity, they'll probably be more likely to buy it.

  2. A 10-subscription limit is great for people who are new to the whole syndication game. Just like we all did: they'll sign up to a couple of feeds and might never even go past 10-- they're lightweights. If (and when) they graduate to "feed addict", they're going to realize that it's time to buy-- and you've snared yourself a sale.

    On the other hand, if you're looking to lure switchers, it's difficult to convince them of the application's merits when they can't try to fit it into their lives for a little while. It's the difference between "here, take the car for a spin around the dealership" and "here, take the car home for a couple of days to see if you really like it". To the man with 120 feeds, 10 isn't giving him any idea of how well PF can handle his intake.

    There has been lengthy discussion of this topic on the MacSB list, on the topic of free/lite versions and trial periods [login required], but in the end it all boils down to personal preference. Like most things.

  3. I agree - time limiting beats feature limiting.

    From what we've seen, one of the best things about Pulp Fiction looks to be the innovative ways that it's going to let us sort all our feeds. We (I, anyway) won't know if that's really useful and intuitive until we can use it in anger on the sort of feed volume we're used to coping with (145, currently).

    I wholly get your point about the ease with which time limits can be circumvented, though... 🙁

  4. There's an elephant standing in the room here, so I'll just point it out. NetNewsWire Lite. It seems to me that you need to provide enough functionality to 'prove' to a user that the cost of the app is worth what they're getting. They get so very much in NNWL, and presumably they will in NNWL 1.1. So, you can cripple the software for a demo version, not offer a free version and hope that people will see things your way and buy it. Will it be $x better than NNWL? I mean, that's the bar you've got to beat. You've got to convince people that PF is so much better then NNWL that they'll fork over the dough.

    I have a hard time seeing how 10 feeds are going to convince people. They might. I haven't gotten my grubby paws on the software yet so it's hard to say. The other factor is the size of x in $x.

    I'm not sure, but deciding in a vacuum is probably not the wisest idea. You know what the competition is. You know people will draw comparisons. Address that now, rather than after the fact. Your competitor gives away a feature reduced version for free. That will be a powerful factor in brand loyalty.

  5. NNWL is freeware. We don't compete with freeware. We (will) compete with NNW. If people are not interested in moving beyond NNWL, then they're not part of the target market.

    NNWL serves Brent well, and really, serves me well too: it gets people interested in and using syndication aggregators. When the NNWL person looks to upgrade, yes, they'll probably look for NNW first, but we'll be there as well.

    I'm not sure what your point is, Gary. You seem to be arguing for, say, a 25-feed limit. That amounts to a "free" "lite" version as well, does it not?

  6. I have 123 feeds I read in my blog reader. The intertia that I have with NNW makes it extremely unlikely that I would switch to another reader. However I would like to try PulpFiction. It is conceivable that a 10 feed limitation would let me test it properly.

    As much as I'm aware of how easily time limited software is circumvented, I need to be able to test my large number of feeds with a piece of software for several days. Perhaps you can setup a time limited serial code that we could request if we needed the ability to use more feeds before purchasing.

    My understanding is that whatever demo system is chosen, there will be attempts made to hack the program, either through release of keys, or a crack, probably within the first month.

    Dare I say that if you price it reasonably low people will find it easier to pay than to look for a crack/serial.

  7. I fully understand your dislike concerning a time-limited demo from a developer point of view. But for me (personally) as user, a 10 feed limit is simply not enough. My subscription list in NNW has about 1000 feeds so speed/performance is crucial. I may like (an after what I've seen/read, surely will like) PulpFiction, but if I'm not able to test such an amount of feeds, it is quite unlikely for me to 'switch'.

  8. I will throw in for the limited feature version. Being a Unix geek, and I think it is safe to say a good deal of the target market are savvy with their macs (or google) enough that a time limited version is easy to circumvent. I would guesstimate that 90% of my downloads are try right now and then try again a day or so after the demo expires. I still don't circumvent the time limitations except in rare cases (so rare I can't think of any right now, cause I'm a firm believer if it is worth using it is worth paying for). Which usually leaves me in a tuff spot weeks later trying to remember if the app was worth the $20 from the one or few times I used it weeks ago.

  9. I wrote againts a feed limited version in the dev blog, and was about to do the same here until I went to the product page so I could recommend(instead of complain) what could be exchanged for a no limit version. Turns out, you win, althought I still would like to recommend to push the subsription limit a little higher (15?). Either way, I'm really excited about this software and probably will be buying it with the intro price. Speaking of which .... nah, that's another post.

  10. Why not a little of both? Full functionality for a limited time then dropping back to only 10 feeds.

  11. Ryan, the short answer: that breaks our KISS rule.

  12. as a current NNW user, PulpFiction looks appealing.

    however, i am very unlikely to switch if I cannot integrate PulpFiction into my daily workflow and try it out for a few days. that means all of my subscriptions must be available.

  13. I would have to put my vote in for a time limited demo, that then reverts to nags/limited functionality. I am more likely to continue using a product that i've been able to give a full stress test so to speak. My current RSS reader on the pc has somewhere near 500 feeds. Pulpfiction looks great, and i'm very interested in moving my agregator to my mac. I fear that 10 feeds may be too few to give it a proper test.

  14. Time- AND feature-limited versions are confusing to customers, are as anti-KISS as they can get. It's safe to say that we won't be merging the two limits.

  15. I like to think of it like this: you have a toy. If you go for a feature-limited version, it's like you're lending us a broken toy, and you want us to pay for you to fix it.

    If you go for a time-limited version, it's like you're lending us your favourite toy, but only for the afternoon. If we want to carry on playing with it then we have to buy it from you.

    If you go for the NNW model, it's like you have two toys. You give us the inferior toy, which is still perfectly usable. Meanwhile you carry on playing with the superior toy right in front of us, doing cool things to it and having more fun.

    My hunch is that the last of these will maximize your bank balance, whilst the first will minimize it. The second is probably somewhere in the middle. I know this to be the case as far as my own two cents (or more!) is concerned.

    However, limiting feeds to ten is not giving us an good-but-not-great toy. It's giving us a broken toy. This will not create good will in the same way that a fully-functioning time-limited demo--or better, a usable feature-disabled demo--will. This is because, in the case of this particular program, the ability to gracefully handle large numbers of feeds will be for many people the main reason to switch from NNW. Creating good will is important because, for a significant fraction of people who enjoy the demo/free version, this good will turns into dollars.

    So to my mind, if you limit features, you must leave end up with a usable free version, otherwise it's a waste of time. If you limit time, then you must retain all features.

    If you decide to limit features it is worthwhile reading the first comment on this post:

    Time limited per session. FTPeel shipped with this, and I deleted it when I started it the first time.

    The other comments may be useful too.

    The remaining alternative is to tap us on the shoulder reminding us how cool the toy is every few minutes. This is rude, and likely to result in a lot of people giving you the toy back, getting up, and going to find someone else to play with 😉

  16. Michael, you go off-kilter here:

    This will not create good will in the same way that a fully-functioning time-limited demo--or better, a usable feature-disabled demo--will.

    Limiting the total # of subscriptions is a feature-disabled demo. It's the same thing. You're pitching it as both the anti-christ and something better than a time-limited demo.

  17. Formally, limiting the number of feeds to ten would be a feature-limited demo, yes. In practice, for this particular application, it's such a punitive limitation on such a fundamental feature and selling-point as to render the demo useless. By useless, I mean you can't use it as a free lite version or to get a better idea of how the full version would work. It's possible to restrict your demo in many ways, but I think if you choose this particular way, you'll get a tiny fraction of the sales you would get through any number of other ways. You may as well not offer a demo at all.

  18. If it were 20, a good number of people could use it as a very powerful little free application, could they not?

  19. What about a limit on how many times the application can be opened. BBEdit used to have this feature. They let you open it like 30 times or something like that with all features available. I think the idea they had was that people would open the application once per day for a month. It could just be an arbitrary number. You could build in a time limit for the app to be open (like 24 hours) and then you wouldn't have to worry so much about people opening it once and leaving it open.

  20. You've got to remember that even if you don't see PulpFiction as in the exact same market as NNWL, you are competing against a very popular, very generous, very well-liked developer. I don't suggest a race to the bottom, but twenty will seem terribly mean-spirited compared to NNWL. You may reasonably retort that PulpFiction is a better News Reader than NNW[L], but as I understand it, if you restrict people to twenty feeds they won't get the opportunity to experience many of the things that set PulpFiction apart. For example, filters are of negligible use with this amount of data.

    Personally, I'd go for 100, and even then that may not be enough. The more I think about, the more I'm sure you've picked the wrong feature to limit. I anticipate people cracking this limit (and crack it they will), whilst promising themselves that they'll register if they find it useful. Of course they will forget to do this, or perhaps "forget" to do this.

  21. Jackson, the problem we see with that is that people might very well leave the app running 100 days at a time. People might complain, if they get a crash, that we're duplicitously trying to "get" them to relaunch it, etc. It's a can of worms best avoided, I think.

    Michael, 100 is way too many. And you've yet to answer the question I asked, and are instead simply telling me why my decision is wrong. Try the shoe on, and put your foot out there with an answer. Let's see if it's easily stepped on?

  22. Not so much a crash but a notification. Such as what Panic has done with Transmit. After 10 minutes, the app throws up a window telling the user that the demo session has ended and gives them an option to enter a serial number or quit.

  23. That's what FTPeel does, essentially (though if you let it sit there, it'll finish transferring whatever big files it had started), and some (many?) don't like that either. We've even increased the time limit to 15 minutes.

  24. Let me try again 😉

    Assuming you're offering a demo to encourage people to pay for the full version, twenty feeds is too few to get much of an idea of what the unlocked application would be like. In particular, it won't be possible to take full advantage of PF's unique features.

    Assuming you're offering the application as a free gift (I'm answering the question you asked now!), although twenty feeds is better than no feeds, and sure to be appreciated for the first ten minutes Aunt Tillie uses the application, choosing features to disable so that you end up with something more like NNWL would be appreciated much more. By more like NNWL, I mean useful in the long term. Aunt Tillie misses out on the whole point[*] of newsreaders (nevermind the unique features of PF) if she only subscribes to twenty feeds.

    These two motivations for providing a demo are not well-served by this particular feature limitation. I think you should choose another feature, or be way more generous and financially-prudent (they are almost synonymous) in how you limit the feature you've chosen. It's not obvious to me that 100 is way too many.

    Seriously, why are you offering a demo/free version?

  25. I'm with Michael here. What you seem to be skirting around Erik is that you're competing with a freeware app. Sure if you up the feed number enough for a good test people will use it as freeware. So.... how else are you going to show people that are currently using NNWL that PF is better? I mean that's the question right? If you're not concerned with getting switchers then why bother worrying about it. Set the Demo however you want and ignore the large community of install base.

    On a purely hypothetical basis I prefer time based demos. Let's be serious, if people go to the trouble of bypassing a time based demo restriction they'll just as readily pirate your software. Eventually you've got to stop treating potential customers like criminals and free loaders.

  26. Michael, he is offering a demo version so that people will purchase the full version. The demo version isn't for actual use, only for figuring out whether or not you'd like to purchase the full version.

    What's so hard about that to figure out?

    If you let the person subscribe to 100 feeds (lots more than a lot of people will ever subscribe to) what is their incentive to purchase the full version? Erik has already said that he will not do a time + feature-restriction demo, so your suggestion makes no sense.

  27. Gary, deleting a file to circumvent time-based demos is a lot different than going to and downloading stuff with pirate logos all over it. My mom might do the first, but would never do the second. And fwiw, we'd rather simply not start treating customers like "criminals" and "freeloaders." We haven't and don't plan to.

    How? Filters. Labels. Folders. A different UI. Pretty obvious isn't it?

    None of you have really answered the questions ("how would you do it?"). You've simply picked apart the scheme I told you we were going to use.

  28. My first post answered your question. (My first preference was to make it a usable but feature-limited. My second preference was to make it time-limited. My third was to feature-limit in such a way that all but forced purchase for those who found it useful. My fourth was nagware. Whatever you do, I recommended you didn't restrict feeds to a number as small as ten.)

    Every post since then has been in response to your replies. I didn't suggest precise alternatives to limiting feeds because I haven't used the application, and only you can judge how usable it is without feature X.

  29. And fwiw, we'd rather simply not start treating customers like "criminals" and "freeloaders."

    Note that I said potential customers. Of course you don't treat your customers like freeloaders or criminals, they've already paid. Of course deriding customers on your blog doesn't win points after the fact, but I guess it's not like treating them as freeloaders or criminals.

    How? Filters. Labels. Folders. A different UI. Pretty obvious isn't it?

    Why do you have to be insulting? You asked for feedback. You got it. It might not have conformed to your ideal of properly rationalized or formated feedback but you don't need to insult me by calling my grasp of the obvious into question. Since you're a bit more familiar with the product what is obvious to you is a great deal more obvious than it is to me.

    None of you have really answered the questions ("how would you do it?"). You've simply picked apart the scheme I told you we were going to use.

    Yes we have. Maybe a more feeds, maybe something time based, maybe something based on number of uses. That's how we might do it. None of those seem acceptable to you, that doesn't really make them any less valid opinions. You certainly don't need to insult the people giving you free advice.

    Maybe you'd like to upgrade to PaidAdvice(tm) and we'll put a bit more thought into the response to give you something that's a bit more useful for you. Until then I'm sorry but I see that your usage counter for FreeAdvice has expired. Please delete your .pref file if you'd like to (ab)use it again.

  30. Clint, I had thought that was the reason he was offering the demo until he said this:

    If it were 20, a good number of people could use it as a very powerful little free application, could they not?

    It's not clear to me if he sees this as a good thing or a bad thing, which is why I provided two answers. Either way, as I explain above, a limit of ten feeds won't do, and a limit of twenty is, to me at least, little better. YMMV.

    I'm unable to offer a detailed alternative, specific to a program I've never used. I don't think reading Erik's previous blog entries on PF qualifies me (or anyone who isn't a beta tester) to suggest one (as we've seen from Erik's replies).

    But I am able to talk, in general terms, about what I don't like in shareware. I am also able to provide four options, ranked in order of preference for how I'd do this. I am also able to identify one specific crippling of the demo I think would be very bad idea. I did this. If this makes everything I've said off-topic, then by all means delete it.

    Tough crowd.

  31. Gary, I addressed your concerns re: NNWL 20 comments ago. Why you've chosen to take offense is beyond me. Take a chill pill, relax, and come back to the conversation with the understanding that being critical of an idea is not the same as being critical of a person.

    The ten-feed limit (or any limit, even up to 100) has been heavily criticized. Why should your solutions, your answers, your ideas remain unchallenged? That's not how it works.

    I appreciate all of the feedback provided here today, but that doesn't mean I can't disagree with it.

  32. I don't think limiting the features or quitting after 10 minutes or limiting the feeds gives the user a chance to really start to like the program.

    I think demo limitations should really be on an app-by-app basis, and for something like RSS readers I think the best way to go about it would be to brainstorm a couple dozen funny headlines "PulpFiction developers starve after users fail to register" or "Users registering PulpFiction found to be smarter; sexier".

    On launch maybe have a little 'please register message'. That's all. On the second day of use throw in one of those comments into a random feed every day. After a couple more days increase the rate so it's one every few hours.... then one after every hour....

    Anyway the moral of the story is don't make it hard for the user to like your program without registering it first. Do something funny. Don't cripple it so that the unregistered user is forced to try something else. If someone is going to use your product for a couple weeks and then stop when the nags get too much to bear, or uninstall, they're not the type of person who will ever register anyway. Try not to alienate all your other potential customers chasing after those few.


  33. I'd make it time-limited, but I'd only count days on which the app was launched/running. Say, 14 days. Launch it once, leave it running for three days, you're down to 11 days. Wait a month, launch it again, now you're down to 10 days. Etc.

    I'd also try to do something at least somewhat clever with the storage mechanism for keeping track of the remaining days in the demo, but I wouldn't go overboard. E.g, perhaps you could store it in the "database.pulp" file. Sure, the unscrupulous could reset the trial period by trashing that file, but then they'd lose their data too.

    There are two types of users -- those who will pay for software, and those who *never* pay for software. Some of the people who will pay for software might be tempted to use it for free if it's trivial to circumvent the demo. But most of them will buy it if they intend to use it long-term.

    Some of the people who will never pay for software will do whatever it takes to use it for free. By definition, they're never going to pay for it, under any terms, for any price. I just don't see the benefit to spending engineering effort to spite them.

  34. Brendan, though we are unlikely to take your suggestion and run with it, it's a very nice suggestion. It's fun, it's light. My concern: that it's not enough of an incentive to register.

    Okay, anyway, let me see if I can summarize what's being suggested.

    Gary suggests I must find a compelling competitor to NNWL. If people can't do at least what they do in NNWL in the demo version of PulpFiction, they won't use PulpFiction.

    Michael suggests, similarly to Gary but without the NNWL tie-in, that ten feeds (or any limit) is not adequate in order to fully test the application, and is most in favor of a time limit.

    Have I understood those arguments clearly? If not, where have I gone off the road?

  35. Well I'll wait for the placeholder to fill in BUT...

    I think what you want is fun and light. It won't annoy anyone at first and it will bring their attention to the fact that this was software developed with the intent of providing some income. And once they get a couple weeks into it and they're getting a joke headline thrown into a random feed every couple minutes they'd probably decide to register it (since they've liked the full feature set they've been able to test at their leisure, without any hard cutoff date) and you haven't done anything that stops them from using it right off.

    I'm guessing on a user-by-user basis the few big hurdles you have to clear are the potential user:

    1) Hearing about your product

    2) Getting your product

    3) Setting up and starting out with your product

    4) Using your product

    5) Registering your product

    1 Is going to be dependent on your advertising/publicising

    2 is going to be dependent on your distribution (dl is easy)

    3 is going to be dependent on your demo terms

    4 is going to be dependent on your software

    5 is going to be dependent on your price and the user.

    My advice is don't set the hurdle at #3 too high. Set it too high and people won't even get a chance to get to 4 and 5. And the people that you're trying to trip up won't bother with hurdle 5 regardless.


  36. You characterise my position on feed limit accurately; ten feeds is not useful, either as a "lite version" or as a demo. Whatever your aim with the download version, this should be raised very substantially, or lifted completely and replaced with a different restriction.

    However, before you go further you need to confirm whether the download should be a showcase of the full version that is not usable in the long term, or a lite version. If you go for the former, then clearly the showcase needs to perform as well as possible or at least accurately reflect day-to-day use. Therefore, it should not disable features you need to use to make the decision to purchase, nor be limited to less time than that decision takes. Deciding what these are is not easy, but my suggestion (if you can't think of a non-unique feature to disable, which is my first preference) is to allow about thirty days of fully functioning PulpFiction, in all its glory, and then no more new feeds and all filters deactivated. Or if you're feeling miserly, just no more PulpFiction.

    If you're trying to create a lite version filters look a likely target to me. You could disable them altogether, or limit them to just one to prove they work. In combination with an infinite or generous but finite limit (of order fifty) on feeds, you've got a useful newsreader, and a good taster of life with the full version. You can live with all those feeds in your inbox, but you'll quickly wish you had more filters to play with.

    I kinda get the feeling that you've already made your decision though 😉

  37. None of you have really answered the questions ("how would you do it?"). You've simply picked apart the scheme I told you we were going to use.

    OK, I'll tell you how I would do it then. If you've ever used the program Comictastic you'll see where I'm going.

    I would limit the number of feeds to 50. Limit the number of active "filters" to some small amount (3 or so). This will essentially give the user a taste of how the filters will be able to manage a large amount of data. Then to encourage registration I would randomly replace RSS entries with a Why Don't You Register! story. If you've used Comictastic before you'll notice a little poorly drawn comic that comes up randomly between reads. Something that is annoying enough where they will register but not overly so.

    This might not adhere to your KISS theory, but will provide a useable product that will still encourage people to register.

  38. I heartily like Brendan's idea. Ambrosia did something similar in escape velocity. A captain ambrosia ship would fly by you and tell you to register. The longer you used the program the more likely it was that he would steal your money or kill you.

    Everybody wins if the user can try out the full feature set. If you could get it to slowly degrade over time (with more and more register messages) then the people that are using it would be co-erced into buying it.

    As well, with regards to cracking any time-limited stuff, PF has the the advantage that it must have an internet connection to perform its main task. You could provide a pretty robust time-limitation if you had the memory of how long has elapsed on your server somewhere.

  39. Here's how I'd do it.

    Proware for the full fourteen days, or maybe, instead, a set number of hours run. Maybe a full 48 running hours. Then, after the demo's run out, revert to the freeware version.

    I'd think that Freeware would eliminate pretty much all features, and not put a cap on the number of feeds subscribed to. That, and maybe even replace 'Filters' with static 'Folders'. That makes it so that the people who move to PF will be able to keep their feeds, and who weren't paying for the NNW, but using NNWL would be able to use PF. That's cool in two ways. You maintain an active user base, actively submitting bug fixes, if not feature requests. You also simply maintain a larger user base. This is awesome, because if anyone decides to upgrade, and look at the two, and look at the two demo copies, they'll switch to yours.

    So, maybe you don't want PF to compete with NNWL, but you might want F(ree)PF to compete with NNWL.

  40. I have paid for NNW. If you want me to switch, and pay for, PF you're going to have to get me to live with, and fall in love with, PF. The limit of 10 feeds means that I'll just play with it a little, form a hasty-opinion, but never really get to experience its benefits over NNW because I'll still be using that application too. You've got some inertia to overcome and any additional barrier that you put in place, such as not being able to determine how much I'll miss NNW (because I won't be able to completely give it up), is one less reason to buy PF.

    So, a time-limited version that I can live on, and never launch NNW during the trial, would be better for me.

    Speaking of which, you should also import my NNW subscription list seamlessly -- again, no intertia or penalty for trying PF.

    Good luck with your launch!

  41. PulpFiction imports OPML files.

  42. Hey Erik,

    I feel where you are coming from. The people posting here have made some very good points too. In the end you have to make the call because we don't know the app yet.

    I would love to try it myself but I'll never go off NNWL because PF isn't going to handle my daily feed read. I'll end up reading a couple feeds via PF and then switching back to NNWL for the rest. Eventually I'll just skip the PF part of the routine because NNWL is doing the job. PF never really had a fair shot in this scenario now did it.

    You might be better served by going the other direction mentioned above. Give the people their feeds and limit the things that make PF special. We get a taste and we don't depend on NNWL in the meantime.

    As for importing OPML files, that doesn't do any good when my OPML file has way more than 10 feeds in it...

    Anyway, good luck with the launch. I'm eagerly awaiting both PF and the next release from Brent as well. The news reader market could get very interesting pretty soon.

  43. I cannot think of an application that doesn't apply, in one manner or another, one or both of these.

    I can... 🙂

  44. Erik,

    I understand your desire to protect your creation, but if you don't give new users the means to fully test it out, you'll never get them to switch.

    Maybe that's your niche - RSS noobs. There are certainly going to be a lot of them for the forseeable future.

    But if you want to get someone to switch, you're putting an awful lot of faith in someone making such a switch without being able to see the program in action.

    Time-limited is the way to go. Shrook handles this very well. It runs unlimited for 30 days, then goes into a crippled mode where it will launch for only ten minutes at a time. You could even lose that last feature and make it run for just 30 days then out.

    You asked. I'm answering. But, as was mentioned above, it sounds as if you may already have your mind made up on this.

    Either way, best of luck with the launch!