inessential by Brent Simmons

Follow-Up on Publishing NetNewsWire on the Mac App Store or Not

I got a lot of feedback on this question, and here’s where I ended up: don’t publish 5.0 on the Mac App Store — publish direct-only — and wait and see if the app is having the hoped-for reach, and then re-evaluate. (Here is perhaps the first tweet I saw along these lines.)

I like that, because it lets me avoid spending time on work I don’t want to do, and I can spend more time on features.

And, as some commenters reminded me, good old-fashioned marketing does more to bring users than just putting the app up on the app store.

(Note: there was always going to be a direct-download version. The question was whether or not to also publish on the Mac App Store. I should have made this clear in my initial post.)

The feedback was interesting, though. Very few people were adamantly for or against the Mac App Store — people who expressed an opinion tend to lean in one direction or the other, but it wasn’t a deal-breaker either way.

People who were for the Mac App Store cited security, having a single place for updates, and not having to deal with licenses. The licenses thing is not an issue for NetNewsWire, since it’s free, but I understand the other concerns.

People who were against the Mac App Store tended to note that, well, it’s a kind of silo. And more than one person suggested that an RSS reader — an app that’s all about getting people out of silos (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) — shouldn’t itself be in a silo.

(Of course, you might also say that you have to go where the people are in order to lead them out!)

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Anyway, to reiterate — I’ll be doing a direct-download version and not publishing to the Mac App Store with 5.0.

But if I find, at some future date, that I believe it could reach substantially more people, and I believe the Mac App Store will help, then I’ll publish it there too.