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February 25, 2009

Google Shared Stuff to Be Discontinued

Google Shared Stuff, the social bookmarking service that has never been officially launched, will no longer be available after the end of March.

Google Shared Stuff was only used to share videos at Google Video and Knol articles, but it was buggy and underdeveloped. Shared Stuff combined different ways to share pages with other people: by email, using social sites like del.icio.us or by adding them to a public page.


As usually, Google's suggestions for replacing the discontinued services are hilarious:

"If you want another way to share videos, you can use the "Share" link below each YouTube video. You can also create a public Google Site if you want to share websites and links with friends."

A more appropriate replacement is Google Reader's sharing bookmarklet, that lets you share content from any web page. There's also AddToAny, which combines multiple sharing options in a crowded page. Many other social sites offer sharing bookmarklets: Facebook, FriendFeed, del.icio.us.

{ Thanks, Jamie. }

20 comments:

  1. I wonder what Google is going to do with the S2 Profiles. These have been tied to the sharing service (located at google.com/s2/), but now they feed into Google's social platform in Google Friend Connect. It wouldn't make sense to get rid of the s2 profiles, but perhaps they will relocate them / upgrade them? Anyone have news on this?

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  2. Public profiles are extremely visible: they're linked from the accounts page, the services released in the past year use the profiles (Knol, Help Forums, Latitude, Book Search libraries) and they'll probably be integrated with Gmail's contact manager.

    S2 = social sharing and Shared Stuff was just a small part of Google's social strategy. I suspect that Google Bookmarks will add the functionality from Shared Stuff when it will be relaunched.

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  3. It's a real shame that the way that Google works sometimes means that useful tools aren't connected/integrated into the rest of Google's architecture. Shared stuff almost does the same as the "Share in Reader" tool... almost!

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  4. Why is that suggestion hilarious?

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  5. "You can also create a public Google Site if you want to share websites and links with friends."

    Why would you create a website when there are many services that let you share web pages? Google could also discontinue Google Bookmarks and then suggest to add your favorite web pages to a Gmail draft.

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  6. "Google Shared Stuff was only used to share videos at Google Video and Knol articles..." I am not sure I really understand what you mean by that.

    I used it extensively to email things to myself or others. My favorite way of using it was to use Google Reader to share to the RSS Feed of my Shared Stuff, that way my Shared Stuff rolled through my own Google Reader viewing and I was reminded to look at it again. It was great for that. Then you could share your Shared Stuff yet again on Google Reader, which in turn would roll it into Facebook as a link. It's too bad that it's going away because I really had that down as a great system.

    Ugh. Screw Delicious. I am not going to stop hating Yahoo! anytime soon.

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  7. I admit, I really was puzzled by both Google's alert box that implies that the tool was somehow only being used to share videos from YouTube and their puzzling suggestion to set up a web page to share things in the future (I mean, really, wtf?).

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  8. The only Google services that referenced/linked to Shared Stuff were Google Video and Knol. I remember that the Shared Stuff button was added to Google Video in 2007 and that's how we found the service in the first place.

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  9. Ah. Got it. I am not really sure how I came across it, but I know it wasn't through either of those things. I was probably digging deep into the labs or something. It's sad that it's going away, though. *sniff* I am now hunting for a decent replacement. ShareThis looks promising... if I can ever get my password reset (I suspect I am waiting for them to literally do it manually).

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  10. I really was puzzled by both Google's alert box that implies that the tool was somehow only being used to share videos from YouTube

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  11. The main use of the tool was to share videos from Google Video and most of the videos indexed by Google Video are from YouTube.

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  12. Just playing devil's advocate here: If that was the only thing it was used for, why was it set up the way it was? i.e. why was there a button for the toolbar with email and other ways of sharing things out? Any why bother with the Shared Stuff aggregate page and the RSS feed? Maybe because I didn't come across Shared Stuff through YouTube I saw it as a separate and independent thing altogether from YouTube even though someone at Google and YouTube probably had written a little something for YouTube videos to share them a while back and that person or someone else said "Hey, you know, I'm going to use my 20% to take this little bit of code and expand it, because you can use it this other way as well." i.e. it was a hack and a great one.

    I admit, the message was VERY puzzling to me as well, Wayne. Because I used it exclusively for something else altogether I am still surprised (and, admittedly, a little suspicious about the claim) that it was primarily used for YouTube and Knol. It never looked like a fully blow Labs project, mind you, but a dinky but very useful hack that worked without any overhead and with great simplicity with an already existing account that I was always authenticated with on my browser. That is one of the many reasons I will miss it, but the biggest reason was that I had a flow with it that worked very well. It's how I got things to multiple places with the fewest clicks. It was beautifully efficient and simple. If you shared with someone, you got a copy of it. You got an RSS feed of everything you shared. You could subscribe to that feed, and then you could share even further from Google Reader (which proceeds to share it in your Facebook profile if you want it to).

    I am looking at other tools, but they all just do TOO much. I wanted something simple, I had it, and now it's gone. C'est la vie!

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  13. I used the bookmarklet extensively to e-mail stuff to people since it was integrated with my GMail contacts.

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  14. Does anyone here know if the ability to download videos onto ipods and psps from Google Site is possible?

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  15. Schultzer - You can use ShareThis for that as well. It will integrate with you Gmail contacts list too. Although, you're routing through a third party doing that, which I always am a little skeptical about. Still, it's a solution. The Flock web browser has that functionality built in (the ability to mail things easily from the browser page you are viewing), but I don't think it has Gmail Contacts integration.

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  16. Does anyone here know if the ability to download videos onto ipods and psps from Google Site is possible?

    I suppose you talk about Google Video. You can still download videos as MP4, in a format optimized for iPod and PSP.

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  17. If you want another way to share videos, you can use the "Share" link below each YouTube video. You can also use the Google Reader Bookmarklet to share content from any web page.

    It says the above now

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  18. They've updated their suggestion now to include Google Reader rather than Google Sites:

    This service will no longer be available after 3/30/2009.
    If you want another way to share videos, you can use the "Share" link below each YouTube video. You can also use the Google Reader Bookmarklet to share content from any web page.

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  19. @Tony:

    I received an email from Google.

    "hi -

    i enjoy your blog and i read your post about google shared stuff to be discontinued:

    http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2009/02/google-shared-stuff-to-be-discontinued.html

    you made an excellent suggestion about how users could use the google reader bookmarklet as a replacement for shared stuff.

    we changed the message at the top of this page to include a link to the reader bookmarklet.

    thanks for the idea!"

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