An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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July 18, 2007

Google Reader as a Social News Aggregator

If you use Google Reader, you must know about its sharing feature. "Every Google Reader account comes with a public page which you can use to share items of interest with your friends and family. (...) Like any regular web page, your public page is viewable by anyone who knows its address."

Of course, the problem is that nobody knows that address and you need to email it to your friends or publish it to your site. So except for creating a link blog or filtering the news for some of your friends, the feature is not very useful.

But what if Google Reader showed you the top shared items by your Gmail contacts? Or the top shared items by Latvian people? Or the top shared blog posts labeled as "Google"? Some might say Google Reader will morph into a social news site like Digg, Reddit, Newsvine.

For Facebook users, the transformation is already visible thanks to a simple app that connects the dots between the shared pages. The list of top shared items by more than 4,000 Facebook users is available at the author's website. It's not perfect, but hopefully someone from Google Reader will realize the potential of this feature and will implement it.

Robert Scoble, who lives many hours a day inside Google Reader, where he builds a very interesting link blog, likes the Facebook app. "This is the beginning of something really killer. It's something I wanted Google to do — Google could put out a Digg-style killer that'd be a lot harder to game. Admittedly this isn't to the level of a Digg killer yet, but it is gathering steam at a very rapid pace. There's a lot of smart people using Google Reader — Eric Auchard at Reuters is on the list, for instance. That'll lead to a lot better news than Digg picks on an average day."

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