New Google Reader "friends" feature sucks…

Beware of adding tons of friends in the new Google Reader/Google Talk combo.

I’ve added dozens of friends tonight (thanks everyone, keep them coming) and the problem?

Google Reader now is bringing me TONS of duplicates from people. This clutters my all items feed and keeps me from finding new, original items.

So, I’m hiding everyone until further notice so that their feeds don’t clutter my news reader up.

I’ll let you know when they fix this “feature” but it needs to go back to the drawing board.

Comments

  1. Actually, it’s an inherent issue in Google Reader itself that doesn’t necessarily have to do with sharing.

    Let’s say that I have set my Google Reader to find anything that I post to my blog, anything that includes my name, and anything that mentions Oracle. If I write an Oracle post on my blog, that post shows up three times in Google Reader – and that’s even before I’m reading shared posts from others.

    I’m not quite sure about the most elegant solution to this problem, unless you set some type of order rules for flagging items (e.g. if the item fits in category 1, don’t put a duplicate in category 2). But I’m not even sure that would work.

  2. Actually, it’s an inherent issue in Google Reader itself that doesn’t necessarily have to do with sharing.

    Let’s say that I have set my Google Reader to find anything that I post to my blog, anything that includes my name, and anything that mentions Oracle. If I write an Oracle post on my blog, that post shows up three times in Google Reader – and that’s even before I’m reading shared posts from others.

    I’m not quite sure about the most elegant solution to this problem, unless you set some type of order rules for flagging items (e.g. if the item fits in category 1, don’t put a duplicate in category 2). But I’m not even sure that would work.

  3. I hear what you are saying about the problem on Google’s side of the equation. I am wondering if your friends should be more selective in what they share as well.

  4. I hear what you are saying about the problem on Google’s side of the equation. I am wondering if your friends should be more selective in what they share as well.

  5. Odd. I’m actually the other way on this issue. For example, I am subscribed to Scoble’s blog. Let’s say I read all of his items, and a friend, who’s shared items I am subscribed to, shares an entry from Scoble’s blog that he REALLY wants me to see. Well, if I read Scoble’s blog before looking at the shared items, that post will never show up as “new” in his shared items feed. VERY annoying.

    I posted about this in the Google Reader group, but no one seemed to care. Oh well.

  6. Odd. I’m actually the other way on this issue. For example, I am subscribed to Scoble’s blog. Let’s say I read all of his items, and a friend, who’s shared items I am subscribed to, shares an entry from Scoble’s blog that he REALLY wants me to see. Well, if I read Scoble’s blog before looking at the shared items, that post will never show up as “new” in his shared items feed. VERY annoying.

    I posted about this in the Google Reader group, but no one seemed to care. Oh well.

  7. I’m having the same issue. And you, Mr. Scoble, are clogging up my “All Items” view. :)

    Hopefully they fix the duplication issues soon… I wonder if they only tested this with folks with a few feeds…

  8. I’m having the same issue. And you, Mr. Scoble, are clogging up my “All Items” view. :)

    Hopefully they fix the duplication issues soon… I wonder if they only tested this with folks with a few feeds…

  9. I think the issue is that it takes the most recent timestamp that anyone shared the item.

    For instance, if it was posted at 10AM on Scobleizer, Scoble shares it at 10:30AM, and Ionut of Google Operating System shares it at 11:00AM, it will jump to the top at 10:30AM, and then again at 11:00AM. In the “river of news” view, Scoble and others would rather it just appear at 10AM, or else the first time anyone shared it.

  10. I think the issue is that it takes the most recent timestamp that anyone shared the item.

    For instance, if it was posted at 10AM on Scobleizer, Scoble shares it at 10:30AM, and Ionut of Google Operating System shares it at 11:00AM, it will jump to the top at 10:30AM, and then again at 11:00AM. In the “river of news” view, Scoble and others would rather it just appear at 10AM, or else the first time anyone shared it.

  11. I stopped the process as soon as Google wanted me to download Talk. Why can’t I add friends without installing something? I have no need for chat software.

  12. I stopped the process as soon as Google wanted me to download Talk. Why can’t I add friends without installing something? I have no need for chat software.

  13. I love the feature, and if all my friends are bookmarking the same thing, that’s somewhat similar to techmeme’s blogpile.

    Like the time when iPhone sold a million phones. I’ve never seen a bigger list of commenting blogs. What could ALL of those blogs been saying?

    This might be a great indicator of being in a chamber, seriously. We’re sheep.

    I do agree Google could incorporate some smarter logic that the same article is being shared much like how the ‘recommended reads’ works.

    I just felt it necessary to see if there’s a deeper issue that isn’t a tech one at all.

  14. I love the feature, and if all my friends are bookmarking the same thing, that’s somewhat similar to techmeme’s blogpile.

    Like the time when iPhone sold a million phones. I’ve never seen a bigger list of commenting blogs. What could ALL of those blogs been saying?

    This might be a great indicator of being in a chamber, seriously. We’re sheep.

    I do agree Google could incorporate some smarter logic that the same article is being shared much like how the ‘recommended reads’ works.

    I just felt it necessary to see if there’s a deeper issue that isn’t a tech one at all.

  15. Hi Robert,

    Sorry to hear that the friends feature is giving you trouble. As it turns out, we did think about the “multiple friends sharing the same thing” problem, and will try to only show items once. Here you can see the announcement blog post that was shared multiple times:

    http://persistent.info/tmp/reader-share-multiple.gif

    The only time you’ll see duplicates is when the items came from different feeds, even if they’ll from the same site. This can happen when a site has both Atom and RSS feeds, or just multiple feed URLs. We’re aware of this limitation and are investigating our options.

    Mihai Parparita
    Google Reader Engineer

  16. Hi Robert,

    Sorry to hear that the friends feature is giving you trouble. As it turns out, we did think about the “multiple friends sharing the same thing” problem, and will try to only show items once. Here you can see the announcement blog post that was shared multiple times:

    http://persistent.info/tmp/reader-share-multiple.gif

    The only time you’ll see duplicates is when the items came from different feeds, even if they’ll from the same site. This can happen when a site has both Atom and RSS feeds, or just multiple feed URLs. We’re aware of this limitation and are investigating our options.

    Mihai Parparita
    Google Reader Engineer

  17. I’ve not been able to reproduce the same circumstances that made shared items show up nicely grouped as in the screenshot I took a week ago. I like the look of the one Mihai links to above though.

    Definitely looking forward to seeing more of this stuff.

  18. I’ve not been able to reproduce the same circumstances that made shared items show up nicely grouped as in the screenshot I took a week ago. I like the look of the one Mihai links to above though.

    Definitely looking forward to seeing more of this stuff.

  19. I feel sick.

    Google has violated my privacy for the first time in so many years.

    Never again I will be able to trust them as I did.

    Worst of all, I’m totally powerless to turn this monster off.

  20. I feel sick.

    Google has violated my privacy for the first time in so many years.

    Never again I will be able to trust them as I did.

    Worst of all, I’m totally powerless to turn this monster off.

  21. I don’t gettit. Can’t I have a friend in IM without sharing bookmarked items with them? Google’s how-to page tells me I have to remove them from my Gmail contacts.

    Why take all the bookmarks I was sharing and take the liberty to share those links automatically with people I chat with.

    Google, do me favor, add IM to chat so I can share links with my IM friends. Don’t share them automatically through Google Reader.

    -Derek

  22. I don’t gettit. Can’t I have a friend in IM without sharing bookmarked items with them? Google’s how-to page tells me I have to remove them from my Gmail contacts.

    Why take all the bookmarks I was sharing and take the liberty to share those links automatically with people I chat with.

    Google, do me favor, add IM to chat so I can share links with my IM friends. Don’t share them automatically through Google Reader.

    -Derek

  23. I’m in the mad camp. I don’t want my feeds shared with anybody! This is a violation of my privacy. It’s the same as what Facebook did with their notification of what people were buying. It needs to go away unless it’s opt-in instead of “just try to opt-out”.

  24. I’m in the mad camp. I don’t want my feeds shared with anybody! This is a violation of my privacy. It’s the same as what Facebook did with their notification of what people were buying. It needs to go away unless it’s opt-in instead of “just try to opt-out”.

  25. Rebecca: this feature is NOT a violation of privacy. The only thing I can see is when you SHARE a feed item with the public. There’s no clearer definition of privacy than that. You’re absolutely wrong here, please do some more homework on this feature before starting to raise the privacy alarms.

  26. Rebecca: this feature is NOT a violation of privacy. The only thing I can see is when you SHARE a feed item with the public. There’s no clearer definition of privacy than that. You’re absolutely wrong here, please do some more homework on this feature before starting to raise the privacy alarms.

  27. Update: I am a novice reader user, and had accidentally made all my feeds shared. I made them all private and all is fine in the world again for me. Phew!

  28. Update: I am a novice reader user, and had accidentally made all my feeds shared. I made them all private and all is fine in the world again for me. Phew!

  29. Robert,

    It is a violation of privacy. Some people shared only with some close friends. No one could see your shared stuff if you didn’t give them a (non guessable) url.

    Now everyone you’ve mailed a couple of times can see those items (as google adds them automatically to your contacts). Not only that, you invade their privacy, as you are shown on their face, using premium space in their reader.

    And there is no way to turn this off…

  30. Robert,

    It is a violation of privacy. Some people shared only with some close friends. No one could see your shared stuff if you didn’t give them a (non guessable) url.

    Now everyone you’ve mailed a couple of times can see those items (as google adds them automatically to your contacts). Not only that, you invade their privacy, as you are shown on their face, using premium space in their reader.

    And there is no way to turn this off…

  31. I do not like this new feature. Instead of sharing with the 2 close freinds I gave my unique link to, now it is automatically sharing with all my contacts. I don’t want to share my reader with all these people.

  32. I do not like this new feature. Instead of sharing with the 2 close freinds I gave my unique link to, now it is automatically sharing with all my contacts. I don’t want to share my reader with all these people.

  33. Wow. I had no idea this existed until Steve Gilmour shared a comment ftom the comment feed from this post.

    I see this as an AWESOME spam tool. Awesome in the bad sense of the word.

  34. Wow. I had no idea this existed until Steve Gilmour shared a comment ftom the comment feed from this post.

    I see this as an AWESOME spam tool. Awesome in the bad sense of the word.