John Gruber, in an interview with Brent Simmons and Daniel Pasco:
What I remember about NetNewsWire back then is that it single-handedly made me spend more time in Mac OS X. At the time, and for a while after that, I had two machines: one running Mac OS 9 and one running Mac OS X. OS X was the new frontier, shinier, the one with a future. But it was slow. Mac OS 9 was clean, fast, and familiar. And most of my favorite apps at the time ran on both, making it relatively easy to switch or dual-boot.
But not NetNewsWire.
Another bit of symbiosis was Daring Fireball’s inclusion in NetNewsWire’s list of default feeds. New NetNewsWire users became new Daring Fireball readers just by launching the app. That was the biggest and most consistent driver of traffic growth in Daring Fireball’s early years.
What’s most striking about this interview is the conviviality of the three parties as they reminisce about the history of a software application. There’s something about NetNewsWire that seems to strike a chord specifically because it seems to have been around so long and part of the personal history of many a people from Gruber’s generation. It’s fascinating to think how much impact something as simple as an RSS reader can have.
10 years from now, I’m pretty sure people from my generation will be talking about Instapaper with that same sense of fondness and appreciation.