Google Readers next step to social

Fri 17 July 2009 09:14, Editors

Google Readers next step to social

Originally RSS was a way to keep track of websites you are interested in and gather those websites all in one place: your feedreader. Google Reader was one of the many feedreaders around. The main advantage of Google Reader was the fact that it was online so you could get to your feeds wherever you were.

But in the last couple of years Google has expanded Google Reader step by step, making it more and more social. The most recent additions are all social minded and focussed on finding not only interesting content, but also interesting people.

The evolution of Google Reader has been a step by step evolution. The first thing Google did was making your RSS items available for others. If you wanted you could send your friends to your shared items page. But when that turned out to be one step to many Google decided to automatically add your shared items to the reading list of your Google Talk friends.

The contacts in your GTalk are added automaticcaly if you have ever communicated with them through gmail. Therefore some of your shared items could be open to contacts you really don't want to see your shared items. Therefore Google introduces the custom friend list.

Next up was 'share with a note'. You can make notes next to each RSS item and your contacts will be able to see the note if you want them to. This can actually be a very interesting feature when it comes to personal branding. But what are notes without comments, Google must have thought so the next step to socializing the Reader was adding the possibilitie to comment on any shared item by you or your friends.

Now Google has added the next few steps. You can make your shared items available to your friends list and widen that list by using the Google's public profile search. With that you can find people interested in the same subjects and start following them to find out what they are sharing. Kind of like Twitter right?

The next social step is the voting part. Every social news network has it: you can like or dislike a post. Google Reader added this possibility. Next to each post you can see how many people, and who, liked the item.

Google_reader_liked

So Google Reader takes the next step towards social media and takes items which are already featured in other social media sites like Twitter or Friendfeed. What do you think about these changes?



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