Read This: Google Reader Shares Your Stuff

    December 17, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

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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