Found: Cool Stuff in Your Shared Items

So, I now have about five or six people sharing their Google Reader shared items with me, which is good.

These feeds function a lot like Twitter for me, i.e. the items in there are sometimes interesting and tend to tell me a bit about each person. For example, Paul shares a lot of gadget stuff from Gizmodo and Engadget, but mainly the vehicles, cameras, and AV stuff. This makes him my gadget filter for those items.

Rich shares mostly Rails posts (surprise) and some theory of development stuff. The Ontario Emperor shares a lot of political stuff. It’s an interesting way to learn about a person’s interests and to cross-pollinate them with your own.

Plus the recent addition of the notes feature to shared items lets you add specific thoughts to each item. Hmm, sounds a lot like blogging (or micro-blogging, to turn a phrase). I’ve not tested this, but I wonder if I share an item with comments that was shared with me if the comments also propagate. This would be equivalent to blog comments.

Case in point, two people shared this item about the Infinity Bookcase, which is a sweet design. I wonder how you physically get to the books inside each loop though.

I love design, form and function. So, now I’ve got a new resource (Make), and I know a bit more about these two Intertubes friends. Very cool stuff, classic network effects in action.

Compared to Twitter, it’s a nice alternative to Tiny URLs on Twitter that lead to Rickrolls; at least I can see what is shared before clicking through on it. Incidentally, Rickrolling my phone is only funny once, and no I won’t link to how it’s done.

Ironically, as I wrote this, I saw an item in the Ontario Emperor’s shared items feed by Sarah Perez of RWW, called “Am I A Google Reader Over-Sharer? Are You?” I may be an over-sharer. This is moot though, since just as with Twitter, you’re not required to follow me. Reader is asynchronous too, since you can subscribe to the feed and remove people from “Friends’ shared items”. So, I can follow your shared items without requiring you to follow mine.

Yeah, it’s a lot like FriendFeed, but I’m getting more out of Google Reader Shared Items than I do out of FriendFeed because I use it everyday anyway.

Your thoughts belong in the comments. Comments get lonely too.




  1. I like your comparison of google reader sharing to twitter. I've seen widgets for Google reader to Blogger, and friendfeed and the like. I wonder why no one (that I've seen) has created a Google Reader to twitter interface. Maybe that would spam the heck out of your twitter followers.

  2. Maybe, but some people do that anyway right? I like the idea, if there were an option to also send to Twitter. The Reader team has been rolling out stuff here/there for a while. Remember when there was no search? So, a full-on share bar including Digg, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc. may be in the works. Or not. I'm pretty content with the way it is now.

  3. Figures someone did it already. I love me some Greasemonkey. So, installed it, but now we'll see how much I use it. I'll look for your usage too.

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