Replacing Google reader

Depending on 'cloud' services is always dangerous.  Case in point, Google is axing 2 services with a large userbase very soon: Jabber (XMPP) better known as GTalk and Google Reader.

And chances would have it these are the only 2 Google services I use.  As I don't have many jabber contacts, it only took 15 minutes to install ejabberd on my groupware server and invite all my contacts again.

But when I got to replace Reader (there are many fine alternatives out there, but to get the same functionality you need to put it on a server, which is ok for me) I immediately thought of using OwnClouds news app (which can even import from Reader).  But after setting it up with a single feed (which works beautifully), I stopped to think if replacing Reader with something very similar would be wise. 

So, I decided to do a little experiment in the time I have left before Google terminates life-support.  I have long been running a Friendica server, which is a Free and distributed replacement for Facebook and Twitter.

Now, with Friendica you can follow all sorts of networks, including Friendica, Diaspora, Facebook (partially) and Twitter.  But you can also follow a site that publishes an RSS or Atom feed...

So, I'm currently trying out my 2 potential workflows to see which one feels best.  I will report back with my conclusions shortly!


GTalk to Ejabberd here as well.. :) I didnt know about Friendica, but at first sight it looks a. unmaintained ( last release = a year ago ) b. pretty basic in the design-dept. I want web 2.0 stuff! :)

I switched some months ago to 'The Old Reader' ( Web-based, free, Google Reader-like and you can import your feeds from Google Reader. For me it works quite good. I actually read this post via 'The Old Reader'.

Clients will still be able to connect to Google's xmpp Talk/Hangouts service. It's only the server-based xmpp federation element that is being retired here. Which, ironically, will scupper your attempts to lure your friends to your groupware server if they're intent on staying with Google! If you stay with Pidgin/Empathy on Google Hangouts, you should be okay.

As for Reader, I moved to Feedly on day two or three of the announcement and I've found the transition near-seamless. Your mileage may vary, depending on whether you tolerate Firefox/Chrome extensions in order to get your content.

I'm trying myself friendica and owncloud news for news reading. At the moment I prefear owncloud news because of its sleak news stream and mark news read when "looking" at them. But friendica would integrate more networks.

But what i miss with both, is the synchronisation tools of Google reader. So i would stick with the first that integrates that.