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August 18, 2008

A Directory of Google Reader Shared Pages?

Google promotes on the homepage a site called "Power Readers in Politics", which lists the Google Reader shared pages for US political journalists and the campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain.

"You can read what they read, and see what's on their minds as they share and discuss news. Each participant has created a reading list with a feed you can subscribe to in Reader (or any other feed reader), and is also publishing shared items," says Google Reader blog.

While the ad from Google's homepage is misleading ("read what Barack Obama and John McCain are reading with Google Reader"), the idea of grouping related Google Reader shared pages could be expanded. Users could choose if they want to add their shared pages to a directory categorized based on the items that are usually shared. Google Reader could show the number of subscribers for each shared page and might even recommend shared pages related to your current subscriptions.

Sites like ReadBurner and RSSmeme let you discover people that share interesting things, but I feel that Google Reader could greatly improve this process. Shared pages act like a filter: instead of subscribing to tens of blogs about the US elections, you can subscribe to 3-4 shared pages that summarize the most interesting news and debates.

Update: Here's my shared items page and the corresponding feed. I mostly use it share blog posts about Google or technology in general, but it would be great if Google Reader added the option to separate the page in sections.


  1. Hey Alex, have you checked out the new Feedheads? (

  2. google does allow to create different feeds...
    just select another tag to add on special items and select this tag to be shared.

    i on my side created a webcomix-feed where i aggregate all the comix i read and many similar feeds too.

  3. @drazraeltod:
    That's true, but this feature has a lot of problems.

    - you can't share items with one or more clicks (you need to type the first letter of the tag)

    - the shared pages aren't connected

    - it's more difficult to add notes

    - it's not intuitive

  4. Sharing portions of Web pages with original commentary, and sharing notes that are completely original, make shared pages essentially bare-bones tumblelogs. A directory of shared pages would be nice, but I would think Google Blog Search could handle the task as it does with Tumblr blogs etc. I treat my own shared page as a tumblelog and submit the syndication feed anywhere a Tumblr feed would be appropriate.

  5. On a different plan, but similarly to your proposals, I guess it could be extremely useful to be able to search for shared-items-pages from people who shared some or all the same posts you shared. This would point you to people who are sharing your same ideas/interests and possibly getting inspired by them.

  6. Except that McCain admits openly that he doesn't know how to use a computer. My guess is he didn't pick out the feeds himself nor that he reads them at all. Campaign people are sneaky


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