Google Reader + Facebook Application = Digg killer?

Mario Romero has built something very interesting that’s getting more interesting all the time.

If I weren’t on Facebook and didn’t have his Google Reader application plugged into Facebook I would totally have missed it.

If you come and visit my Facebook Profile page (which is what we call a home page in Facebook land) you’ll see that I have a Google Reader component on that page with the latest headlines from my link blog. That’s Mario’s code that’s doing that.

But if you just stopped there you’d be missing what Mario just turned on.

Add that component to your own Facebook Profile and hook it up to YOUR OWN Google Reader shared page (I call it a link blog, but Google calls them “Shared Items.”).

If you do, you’ll see a page that lets you see your shared items, your friends’ shared items, and top shared items.

Wait a second, top shared items?

Yeah! But only from other Facebookers. It shows you top items for the past 12 hours, or 24 hours, or 48 hours, or the past week. And it shows how many times each item was shared.

This is the beginning of something really killer. It’s something I wanted Google to do — Google could put out a Digg-style killer that’d be a lot harder to game. Admittedly this isn’t to the level of a Digg killer yet, but it is gathering steam at a very rapid pace. There’s a lot of smart people using Google Reader — Eric Auchard at Reuters is on the list, for instance. That’ll lead to a lot better news than Digg picks on an average day.

It’s not finished, yet. I wish he’d let me click on the results and see WHO linked to each item. But this has already brought me some new blogs I didn’t know about.

The “Your Friend’s Shared Items” is already becoming a great directory of other people’s Google Reader’s Shared Items. More than 220 of my almost 3,000 friends already have added Mario’s Facebook application to their profile. Imagine the data if everyone started doing a shared feed from Google Reader and added Mario’s app to their profile!

Anyway, I’m already in love with this app, developed in Mexico by Mario. It demonstrates that a new kind of app is possible when you mix RSS into Facebook’s platform. Thanks! Oh, and it works and hasn’t failed since I added it a couple of weeks ago. Can’t wait to see what Mario does next.

Hey, Roi Carthy, do you get the power of “we are media” yet? This is just the tip of the iceberg that’s coming at us.

UPDATE: Mario just sent me a message on Facebook and said that even more features are coming in the next day or two.

137 thoughts on “Google Reader + Facebook Application = Digg killer?

  1. While I think it is great that Facebook is allowing sites to build apps that plug into their service, it doesn’t feel like they have much of a strategy around the best way to take advantage of it at the product level (i.e. what’s the point of all the apps in the big picture of Facebook?).

    For example, my Facebook page is quickly becoming a mess of random boxes from one web service or another. There is no integration of the data into the Facebook experience.

    In other words, Facebook isn’t really adding any value to the experience by letting me add these boxes. Sure, I can add whatever you want and move the stuff around; however, what does that give me, the people who read my Facebook page or Facebook itself long-term? I’d say not much. Seems kind of like MySpace with a better look-and-feel.

    DISCLAIMER: I am the co-founder of Profilactic, so the rest of this post may come off like an infomercial :)

    The reason we built Profilactic was to actually add something to the experience, not just give people a place to throw random feeds.

    On Profilactic, you add the feeds for the networks you belong to (we support over 40 by default and you can add unlimited custom URLs and feeds) and we put them together into a cohesive package that’s easier to consume.

    To me, Facebook is missing the point by just supporting random 3rd party apps. While it will definitely get them some attention in the short term, I think people are more caught up in the hype of adding the latest app than they are getting real benefit from the apps.

    Just as a comparison, check out my Facebook page which has iLike, Google Reader, twitter, Shelfari etc.

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500320191

    And then check out my Profilactic mashup that has all of that (and more) in a much more useful (IMNSHO) format. And there is no need for a 3rd party app.

    http://www.profilactic.com/mashup/smorty71

    I think Facebook is being lazy because they have huge member numbers and ridiculous valuations; however, if you take a hard look at the product itself, there isn’t much there.

  2. Chris out of interest, why do you still bother to read Scobles blog? You criticise in the comments of every post. Why read something that you hold in such contempt?

  3. Chris out of interest, why do you still bother to read Scobles blog? You criticise in the comments of every post. Why read something that you hold in such contempt?

  4. Chris: you must assume I hang out with VCs. I don’t talk with them very much. It’s the everyday person and influencer here that I talk with that are STILL excited about Facebook and iPhone.

  5. Chris: you must assume I hang out with VCs. I don’t talk with them very much. It’s the everyday person and influencer here that I talk with that are STILL excited about Facebook and iPhone.

  6. “If you were running this blog what would YOU talk about?”

    I would take the needle slowly off the vinyl, and avoid any more crackle and pops from the recursive groove pattern.

    There is so much you aren’t covering. You are simply mirroring the popular RSS and techmeme topics. Take a tour of mugshot.org and see what the real geeks are talking about. VC are NOT real geeks. They’re the sly dogs that take advantage of people who aren’t very smart.

  7. “If you were running this blog what would YOU talk about?”

    I would take the needle slowly off the vinyl, and avoid any more crackle and pops from the recursive groove pattern.

    There is so much you aren’t covering. You are simply mirroring the popular RSS and techmeme topics. Take a tour of mugshot.org and see what the real geeks are talking about. VC are NOT real geeks. They’re the sly dogs that take advantage of people who aren’t very smart.

  8. It could also be the stared items if we make them public. This is how I usually mark the posts I like in GReader.
    I get the general interest. It goes into making group certification of content a lot easier. An abstraction of techmeme to any group of people. The great thing is that there are much more readers than bloggers that can come in and contribute with the editorial capacity without having to post to direct attention. It also helps to separate the two main functions of the blog, creating content and directing attention.

  9. It could also be the stared items if we make them public. This is how I usually mark the posts I like in GReader.
    I get the general interest. It goes into making group certification of content a lot easier. An abstraction of techmeme to any group of people. The great thing is that there are much more readers than bloggers that can come in and contribute with the editorial capacity without having to post to direct attention. It also helps to separate the two main functions of the blog, creating content and directing attention.

  10. Pop: of course you’re right. This won’t “kill” Digg.

    It’s just me writing a sensational headline so you’ll pay attention. My original headline said “Google Reader + Facebook Application = Yummy.”

    But that was more boring and the Digg killer headline focuses you on the fact that there’s attention data being collected by Google Reader that we didn’t have access to until last night.

  11. Pop: of course you’re right. This won’t “kill” Digg.

    It’s just me writing a sensational headline so you’ll pay attention. My original headline said “Google Reader + Facebook Application = Yummy.”

    But that was more boring and the Digg killer headline focuses you on the fact that there’s attention data being collected by Google Reader that we didn’t have access to until last night.

  12. Did Google Reader kill Techmeme? Did Techmeme kill Digg? Did Digg kill Slashdot?

    So why must this thing kill Digg?

    Is it a side effect of our culture that we’re always on the lookout for a “killer”?

    It’s not good enough if it’s just a cool idea to add to the toolbox. It needs to kill something to be interesting? Give me a break.

    I think I need to go get some coffee. Feeling a little cranky this morning. :-)

  13. Did Google Reader kill Techmeme? Did Techmeme kill Digg? Did Digg kill Slashdot?

    So why must this thing kill Digg?

    Is it a side effect of our culture that we’re always on the lookout for a “killer”?

    It’s not good enough if it’s just a cool idea to add to the toolbox. It needs to kill something to be interesting? Give me a break.

    I think I need to go get some coffee. Feeling a little cranky this morning. :-)

  14. the greader+facebook app is amazing, though i’m not convinced by the display in my facebook profile. i would love to see the snippets of each feed and the tags. but guess that can be worked out, the smaller of our problems.

    i just noticed that mario is from mexico, like me, and that we’re going to the same university. this is sooo weird.

  15. the greader+facebook app is amazing, though i’m not convinced by the display in my facebook profile. i would love to see the snippets of each feed and the tags. but guess that can be worked out, the smaller of our problems.

    i just noticed that mario is from mexico, like me, and that we’re going to the same university. this is sooo weird.

  16. (nevertheless)

    I do like this Ap. I’ve got my GR shared items on several unrelated pages now allowing them to be “fresh” without my having to update them directly. Of course a really smart search engine would discount these when it comes to evaluating a sites popularity (and I assume Google already does, or soon will).

  17. (nevertheless)

    I do like this Ap. I’ve got my GR shared items on several unrelated pages now allowing them to be “fresh” without my having to update them directly. Of course a really smart search engine would discount these when it comes to evaluating a sites popularity (and I assume Google already does, or soon will).

  18. I decided Digg was a waste of time after a few days.

    Google Reader is already being gamed. I just took one of my regular feeds off because they have started posting their last eight or ten stories as new every few hours. My group of feeds on the N800 went from having a few stories a day to hundreds (mostly dups).

    Even Slashdot with completely manual story selection has been gamed by people not-so subtly directing links in stories they suggest to their own blogs rather than to the original sources.

    There is a place, even if print journalism disappears, for trusted news sources, and that is almost always going to involve some level of human intervention. Most of us, at least those of us that are sane, don’t want to be constantly drinking from a fire hose.

    There are of course pathological cases that we should strive to eschew:

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070715/D8QD02LO0.html

  19. I decided Digg was a waste of time after a few days.

    Google Reader is already being gamed. I just took one of my regular feeds off because they have started posting their last eight or ten stories as new every few hours. My group of feeds on the N800 went from having a few stories a day to hundreds (mostly dups).

    Even Slashdot with completely manual story selection has been gamed by people not-so subtly directing links in stories they suggest to their own blogs rather than to the original sources.

    There is a place, even if print journalism disappears, for trusted news sources, and that is almost always going to involve some level of human intervention. Most of us, at least those of us that are sane, don’t want to be constantly drinking from a fire hose.

    There are of course pathological cases that we should strive to eschew:

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070715/D8QD02LO0.html

  20. Your post shows that you know absolutely nothing about the Digg.com community.

    Digg started out as an html form with a text link input and 1 paged output with a handful of categories.

    Digg was never popular because of it’s features.

    You want proof that cloning/supersetting digg doesn’t work?
    Check out netscape.
    Case closed.

  21. Your post shows that you know absolutely nothing about the Digg.com community.

    Digg started out as an html form with a text link input and 1 paged output with a handful of categories.

    Digg was never popular because of it’s features.

    You want proof that cloning/supersetting digg doesn’t work?
    Check out netscape.
    Case closed.

  22. Thanks for sharing this. Totally missed this app. One thing is that it’s made me (for the time being) move from NetNewsWire to Google Reader and I wouldn’t have done it without this app. I must admit it is kind of a killer to share what your reading/thinking about with your friends.

  23. Thanks for sharing this. Totally missed this app. One thing is that it’s made me (for the time being) move from NetNewsWire to Google Reader and I wouldn’t have done it without this app. I must admit it is kind of a killer to share what your reading/thinking about with your friends.

  24. Its kind of brain dead that Google doesnt already offer such a service. It has the data to aggregate the most read, most shared and most emailed articles. It would kill TechMeme in one fell swoop

  25. If Google Reader could synchronize with NetNewsWire and/or supported authenticated feeds I’d use it. I tried it for a while but ended up going back to NNW after I subscribed to Daring Fireball which requires a username & password for member feeds.

  26. Its kind of brain dead that Google doesnt already offer such a service. It has the data to aggregate the most read, most shared and most emailed articles. It would kill TechMeme in one fell swoop

  27. If Google Reader could synchronize with NetNewsWire and/or supported authenticated feeds I’d use it. I tried it for a while but ended up going back to NNW after I subscribed to Daring Fireball which requires a username & password for member feeds.

  28. Claude: well, it certainly will cause viral use of Google Reader. Google should pay Mario cause he’ll guarantee that Google Reader will pick up a good chunk of market share off of this.

    What will it do for Mario? Well, he’s already hireable because he’s built a Facebook app that actually has some utility and actually works. There’s lots of venture firms who’ll hire him to help their companies build out their Facebook strategy.

    But, yeah, other social networks are going to have to react to the Facebook application platform.

    We’re at the very beginning. Imagine what the apps in a year will be like?

  29. Claude: well, it certainly will cause viral use of Google Reader. Google should pay Mario cause he’ll guarantee that Google Reader will pick up a good chunk of market share off of this.

    What will it do for Mario? Well, he’s already hireable because he’s built a Facebook app that actually has some utility and actually works. There’s lots of venture firms who’ll hire him to help their companies build out their Facebook strategy.

    But, yeah, other social networks are going to have to react to the Facebook application platform.

    We’re at the very beginning. Imagine what the apps in a year will be like?

Comments are closed.