Read This: Google Reader Shares Your Stuff

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Users of Google Reader now find themselves sharing items with friends through the chat feature in Gmail, aka Google Talk.

Frustrated with the need to send people a link to shared items in Google Reader? Got plenty of friends using Gmail or Google Talk? Well pal, Chrix Finne at Google has a deal for you!

Finne wrote at the Google Reader blog about the new feature. Items that a user of Google Reader marks for sharing automatically makes it to a list of "Friends’ shared items" in Google Talk.

Most users of Google Reader likely found out about this the same way we did, by logging in to Google Reader and seeing the notice that Google has helpfully made this change. That would be really great, unless of course one has contacts in Google Talk that one normally does not share stories with from their Reader feeds.


However, Finne noted that Google helpfully included an option to clear items shared in the past, so they don’t show up in that Friends’ shared items area.

That’s good.

If one doesn’t want a friend in Gmail or Google Talk to see shared items, the Settings -> Friends tab in Google Reader allows for hiding shared items from friends as desired.

Also good.

But this is a feature Finne and company should have made an opt-in on Reader, by allowing the Reader user to unhide shared items from friends instead of sharing them by default and making the user clear items or hide them.

That’s bad.

Imagine opening up one’s Gmail, seeing a spouse’s shared list, and there are items related to divorce or relocating that the spouse has shared under the previous Reader function with trusted friends.

The result could be unpleasant; Google needs to think real-world impact through before going "taa-daa" with one’s information.

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Read This: Google Reader Shares Your Stuff
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  • http://MixIt.Media-Toolbar.com Marsha Anderson

    The Internet is fast becoming a monster tracking tool to monitor everything that the masses are up to. It’s like “sharing” has a double meaning.

  • http://www.talk-n-tours.com Woywegian

    Google’s just getting far too Google eyed about “sharing” information. Every bresath they take seems to be another step into invasion of ones privacy. I’s just NOT good enpough to say “hey you can fix it after”.

    It’s time for users to vote with their feet and move to another search platform and stop them treating their client users as fooder for their ad sales!

  • Guest

    For us, Google is a bit like Wal-Mart; we hate it but still use it. The inside track from a friend within Google let us know that the reason it is so hard to get good placement is by design. This is to frustrate webmasters and businesses alike into using the Adword campaigns while trying to get good placement organically.

    Quite frankly he indicated, there are millions to be made by this method.

    Maybe it

  • http://www.youthchg.com Ruth Wells

    Good news about supplemental results but here is a problem I suspect is far more widespread than people think: hacked sites and what happens to you with the search engines after the hack. It just happened to me and as I look for a way to somehow surivive, I am finding out that lots of people have had this happened. My site, http://www.youthchg.com was hacked via a Live Help script. I stopped showing at all up for an amazing 99% of my customary keywords. Even after my host removed the hack, 100 bogus spam pages PER DAY are added to my site. My site is about helping troubled kids but because of the nearly 1000 fake pages that CONTINUE to be added each day, Google of course no longer considers my page to be about problem kids. It thinks it’s about cell phones, drugs and porn. Want to see what a hacked site looks like AFTER removing the problem, type site:youthchg.com into a search engine. My traffic is done 90%. I expect to be out of business by the end of January or sooner. Please write an article on what to do once you are hacked. Thanks

    • Lucinda

      Oh my god that’s so sad! That is such a shame about your site. Perhaps you can contact a media relations company to rectify the problem. Since you’re non-profit…perhaps they’ll do it on the fly. I hope everything works out for you. Happy Holidays!

  • http://www.semcents.com Keith Cash

    Glad to see google change. Now lets fix PR for a christmas present.


  • http://www.honopoly.com Honopoly

    Don’t be evil…or Don’t do evil…or something like that. That’s Google’s motto. Funny!

  • Guest

    Plural nouns (e.g., “menus”) do NOT have apostrophes in them!!!!!

  • http://www.trinitysem.com Greg Hill

    Clearly Google is at the forefront of technology and development and they deserve a lot of credit for their efforts. Much of what they do is very well done. And, in my opinion they have a lot of integrity.

    I have noticed however, that Reader sharing has been an issue in the past. It seems the default settings which Google provides are typically “opt out” and you need to know what is going on (or learn it the hard way as some of the interviewed parties did) or you’ll have your “private” data shared.

    Wouldn’t it be simpler and easier for the default settings to be “opt-in” and simply let the user know about the new feature(s)? If they want to share, they can set it that way. If they don’t, then they don’t have to worry.

    Providing some options on sharing, perhaps by categories or groups would go a long way towards resolving the issue. Choose which group(s) you want to see specific info.

    Seems like a better way to retain user loyalty and brand equity on Google’s part.

    -Greg Hill
    Trinity Search Engine Marketing

  • http://www.taksimdovme.com/ tattoo


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