Google Reader “shared” items link.

I use Google Reader for my RSS reader and one of the features it’s had for awhile that I hadn’t used much was the ability to share feed elements with other folks by clicking the little “shared” button at the bottom of each entry. I hadn’t really been using it because I tend to blog about most of the stuff I find really interesting and I wasn’t sure I saw the utility of it. Then the Google Reader folks made a change where anyone who was in your Google contact list who also happened to use Google Reader would automatically be able to see any items you have marked as shared.

I have ***Dave in my contact list (because of Google Talk) along with Neil Turner and Webs and suddenly I was seeing their shared items and that’s all it took for me to suddenly see the utility of this feature. As it turns out not everyone is happy with Google’s decision to suddenly allow anyone in your contact list see your shared items. Some folks had been using it as a private mini-blog of sorts and it caused all sorts of problems when, for example, one fellow’s conservative brother found out his sibling was quite the liberal thanks to being able to see what he was sharing.

Still it’s not a bad idea and so I’ve started using it seeing as I wouldn’t put anything in the shared list that I wouldn’t blog about anyway. If you’re using Google Reader then you can access to my shared list simply by adding me to your Google Talk or Gmail contact list—which are, technically, one and the same thing—my Gmail address is . If you’re not a Google Reader user you can still see my shared items either by visiting this page occasionally or adding this RSS feed to whatever you use as an RSS aggregator.

Just thought I’d let you guys know in case your interested. I don’t have a lot of stuff in there, but there’s a few things and I’m adding new stuff all the time. Mostly it’s tech related stuff from the various blogs I read such as the Lifehacker entry on how to automatically remove ads from recorded TV with Lifextender which is a download for Windows Media Center. Now that I look at it quite a few of the items are from Lifehacker, but still the point is whenever I come across something I think is nifty but not enough for me to blog about it I’ll probably add it to the shared list. Oh, and feel free to add me to your Google Talk if you feel so inclined.

6 thoughts on “Google Reader “shared” items link.

  1. I was pretty sure I saw some kind of window pop up when this first started happening that asked whether or not I wanted to share my feed with all of my gmail contacts (of which I don’t actually have any, anyway). I guess that didn’t work out for everybody? Or was the default to share them, and that started happening even before I made my choice?

    Anyway, though, my shared feed contains a whole bunch of your entries… http://www.google.com/reader/shared/12181249257095654040

  2. I didn’t start sharing until Google released this feature – I didn’t see the point before as I didn’t have an audience.

  3. The issue people were having, was that GMail automatically adds your contacts into Google Talk, and when you enable the Share feature in Google Reader, it would punt all of that content to whomever was in your Google Talk list. There is no current way to stop this other than removing every contact from your Google Talk list.

    I think you might figure out how this could be a problem, especially if you are running mailing lists, etc.

    We just wouldn’t need your Shared content say, going to your friendly IRS agent you are emailing smile

  4. Looking at Google Reader now, you can easily control all of those issues. I can hide people from seeing my Google Reader share, and I can remove people and add people very easily to Google Contacts from GMail. I’m not sure what the issue is.

  5. I’m a big-time sharer too. Mostly technical, some biology, and a few anti-theism stories.

    Shared News.

    As with all Google Reader shared pages, there is an RSS feed in the sidebar.

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