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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."


  1. wow an awesome script there saying "Latvian people". I never thought of blending IP tracking with prose. (well, assuming it, actually, is a script).
    Not to get all metanarrative; personally I'm not too enthusiastic over the whole idea of prefixing "social" to whatever service there is. I still don't get what's the point of being a *social* bookmarking service, for instance.

  2. Google reader is a great tool. But you generally still must find good feed and then filter them. I am a business news junkie and prefer the NY times reader and They just do all the hard work for me.

  3. I'm not too enthusiastic over the whole idea of prefixing "social" to whatever service there is. I still don't get what is your basic idea and want to say


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