Monday, March 25, 2013

Google Reader's death doesn't just affect individuals - OraNA's problem and solution

When discussing the impending death of Google Reader, we have focused upon the individuals that are currently using the service. Now some of those individuals may be influential and noisy individuals, but they're still individuals.

But what if you built a service that depends upon Google Reader - a service that is relied upon by a number of professionals?

Yes, I know. People who build their service on a third party service can't cry when the third party service disappears. (See every third party Twitter developer out there.) But if you don't want to reinvent the wheel every time, then there's some benefit in adopting a service offered by a major tech vendor.

And that's what the Oracle News Aggregator did. Until recently (as Eddie Awad notes):

With GR going away soon, I have been working over the past several days to detach it from OraNA.

I’m glad to report to you that the migration off of GR is done. OraNA now aggregates all of its syndicated feeds via its own feed aggregation engine.

Well, sort of:

FeedWordPress is an Atom/RSS aggregator for WordPress. It syndicates content from feeds that you choose into your WordPress weblog; the content it syndicates appears as a series of special posts in your WordPress posts database. If you syndicate several feeds then you can use WordPress's posts database and templating engine as the back-end of an aggregation ("planet") website.

This plugin was created by an individual (Charles Johnson a/k/a Rad Geek) and is available via the WordPress website. While there is the obvious danger that WordPress could go away someday - forcing Awad to find yet another solution - the fact that WordPress has a higher interest in this market than Google means that solutions based upon this aggregator may be a little more safe than the Google Reader solution.

Of course, this assumes that the whole idea of aggregating feeds is a good thing. But it is, isn't it? Read on...
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