Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Loving Google Reader - Shared post feed

Only a year ago Bloglines beat Google Reader in my tests. Alas, Bloglines stayed about the same (save for a very flaky beta), and Reader kept improving.

Eventually my iPhone moved me to Google Reader, and I discovered the joy of shared posts.

There are still a few things I miss from Bloglines - like the disposable email feeds, the package tracking, and the very easy to share bloglist. Overall though it's no contest now, Google Reader is far superior.

Every Reader account has one 'shared' post feed. The shared post feed is dynamically created by clicking an icon while reading a post. Here’s my shared post list. It’s not obvious or well documented, but this share has its own feed (FF reveals it) [1].

You can embed the shared post feed in web pages, such as in the side bar of my Tech and Notes blog, or in conventional web pages. Alas, the embeded Gadget doesn't show the optional annotations one can attach to a shared post. Only the web view or the feed include the annotations.

 Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way to universally share the Friend feed [3], so I can only see those of people on my Gmail contacts list. Even so, it's great.

I read Jacob Reider's feed regularly, and that spares me hours of reading the tedious journals of our shared industry. Jacob reads them for me, picks out the good stuff, and shares it. I owe you some beers Jacob.

 Play with shared feeds -- you won't regret it. It's a lightweight form of blogging, without any authoring anxiety. Now if only my good friends were about 20 years younger, I might be able to enlist more of them in this shared processing and shared memory task ...

[1] Reader won't allow you to subscribe to it as a conventional feed, but other clients will. The feed shows your annotations.
[2] I'd much appreciate it if one of my readers were to try adding the undocumented feed to their Google Reader -- I'd like to know if it shows up as Shared Feed from a "friend". Please add a comment to that effect. Then you can delete it of course!
[3] Apparently due to complaints about privacy?! The default mode is private, so this feels like a user error problem.

No comments: