Workaround for Google Reader's suckage

Whew, I have more than 100 new Google Reader friends in the past few hours. So, I unhid everyone and wanted to see if I could work around the problems of duplicates. I found away, but it increases my reading workload a bit.

Along the left side of Google Reader there’s now a new entry “Friends’ shared items.” What I do is read this folder first, then click over to All items which then won’t have any duplicates in it.

Some things I’m learning: more than half of my Friends’ shared items are things I would have found anyway. But my friends are darn good at picking great items. So, if I only have five minutes to read feeds I’ll read this folder only. That way at least I’ll catch the coolest stuff without having to slog through a bunch of noise. My friends are pre-filtering my feeds!

Second, the items that they bring me that I wouldn’t know about are magical. It’s like I have hundreds of people scouring the Internet looking for great blogs that I should know about. This is already better than Digg or Stumbleupon, but it’s only from my friends (who are defacto early adopters), so it’s very focused stuff with very little noise so far. It’ll be interesting to see if that scales up. I loved Digg at first but then it became noisier and noisier, to the point that I don’t read Digg much anymore.

Anyway, all this means is that even better stuff is coming to you via my link blog, er my Google Reader’s shared items blog.

I still wish the Google Reader team would do a better job of getting rid of duplicates. Also, I’m seeing items multiple times even in the Your shared items feed. Those need to be joined together in one item.

Comments

  1. Hi Robert,

    You said “Also, I’m seeing items multiple times even in the Your shared items feed. Those need to be joined together in one item.” Did you share the duplicate items separately, or did the duplicates suddenly appear without you doing anything? Either way, if you’d like to help us debug this, feel free to email me the duplicate item URLs and source feeds, or a screenshot of the problem.

    Mihai Parparita
    Google Reader Engineer

  2. Hi Robert,

    You said “Also, I’m seeing items multiple times even in the Your shared items feed. Those need to be joined together in one item.” Did you share the duplicate items separately, or did the duplicates suddenly appear without you doing anything? Either way, if you’d like to help us debug this, feel free to email me the duplicate item URLs and source feeds, or a screenshot of the problem.

    Mihai Parparita
    Google Reader Engineer

  3. Mihai: I’ll put together an email for you later today.

    The duplicate items weren’t shared by me: they were shared by other people. I’m seeing them come through twice, once shared by XXXXX and another time shared by YYYYYY. I’ll try to get an example to share with you. Heh. Too much sharing going on.

  4. Mihai: I’ll put together an email for you later today.

    The duplicate items weren’t shared by me: they were shared by other people. I’m seeing them come through twice, once shared by XXXXX and another time shared by YYYYYY. I’ll try to get an example to share with you. Heh. Too much sharing going on.

  5. I’ve wished for an “arithmetic” of blogs before. I want to be able to add or subtract feeds from one another. You want to eliminate dupes from your friends, I want to eliminate the dupes in your Scoble link blog, and I wouldn’t mind not seeing the stuff in Techmeme that I go to the horse’s mouth for either.

    This would be an awfully useful feature for Google to provide, and it sure doesn’t seem as if it ought to be that hard to implement.

    Cheers,

    BW

  6. I’ve wished for an “arithmetic” of blogs before. I want to be able to add or subtract feeds from one another. You want to eliminate dupes from your friends, I want to eliminate the dupes in your Scoble link blog, and I wouldn’t mind not seeing the stuff in Techmeme that I go to the horse’s mouth for either.

    This would be an awfully useful feature for Google to provide, and it sure doesn’t seem as if it ought to be that hard to implement.

    Cheers,

    BW

  7. Sounds like a shortcut to ma.gnolia/del.icio.us/etc. Since we’re on the topic of Scoble, my Google Reader Trends tells me that 4% of the articles I read are due to Items Shared by Scobleizer.com.

    Perhaps more importantly, Scoble is…
    #3 on my list for items read
    #2 on my list for items starred
    #1 on my list for items shared

    And to connect to the stat above, Scoble is responsible for 7% of my starred items and 17% of my shared items.

    Looking forward to a more social Google Reader. Google Reader already helps me fish out the 50-80 articles/day that are worth reading. Pre-Reader, I probably only read 10 articles/day and perhaps only 1 was relevant.

  8. Sounds like a shortcut to ma.gnolia/del.icio.us/etc. Since we’re on the topic of Scoble, my Google Reader Trends tells me that 4% of the articles I read are due to Items Shared by Scobleizer.com.

    Perhaps more importantly, Scoble is…
    #3 on my list for items read
    #2 on my list for items starred
    #1 on my list for items shared

    And to connect to the stat above, Scoble is responsible for 7% of my starred items and 17% of my shared items.

    Looking forward to a more social Google Reader. Google Reader already helps me fish out the 50-80 articles/day that are worth reading. Pre-Reader, I probably only read 10 articles/day and perhaps only 1 was relevant.

  9. You should “corank” your Google Reader friends’ feed. It should add another layer for ranking semiautomatically what these friends find interesting or not ;-)

  10. You should “corank” your Google Reader friends’ feed. It should add another layer for ranking semiautomatically what these friends find interesting or not ;-)

  11. As an avid feed reader, this is great news. As it’s “peer reviewed” feeds. Complementary to link blogs of people – there’s a threshold level here – is it interesting enough to share? Pick the right people, and then there’s a very fast turnaround from an interesting article being in any particular field your friends look at, to it being put into a rss feed folder.

    But it goes further. It could be seen as a disruptor to old school media (e.g. TV news)- A feed changing in minutes, in all areas. With the potential to link to up to date information, and *in depth* (TV is a crappy medium for in depth news).

    Along the left side of Google Reader there’s now a new entry “Friends’ shared items.” What I do is read this folder first, then click over to All items which then won’t have any duplicates in it.

    Suddenly the signal: noise ratio may be better again.
    With the potential to add personal comments on the articles too, me likey.
    The potential springing off of this is cool too – link with a social network, doing analysis from the metadata (e.g. seeing a story go from wire to net to blog to tv to paper, tracing).

    Like Amazon, one of it’s great features is a human based “people who’ve looked at this also have looked at this” type functions. More to come? Link it in with offline reading, and shebang – grab the “best articles as voted by your friends” and as you say, it’s pretty high quality feed material if you’re pressed for time and want to catch up.

  12. As an avid feed reader, this is great news. As it’s “peer reviewed” feeds. Complementary to link blogs of people – there’s a threshold level here – is it interesting enough to share? Pick the right people, and then there’s a very fast turnaround from an interesting article being in any particular field your friends look at, to it being put into a rss feed folder.

    But it goes further. It could be seen as a disruptor to old school media (e.g. TV news)- A feed changing in minutes, in all areas. With the potential to link to up to date information, and *in depth* (TV is a crappy medium for in depth news).

    Along the left side of Google Reader there’s now a new entry “Friends’ shared items.” What I do is read this folder first, then click over to All items which then won’t have any duplicates in it.

    Suddenly the signal: noise ratio may be better again.
    With the potential to add personal comments on the articles too, me likey.
    The potential springing off of this is cool too – link with a social network, doing analysis from the metadata (e.g. seeing a story go from wire to net to blog to tv to paper, tracing).

    Like Amazon, one of it’s great features is a human based “people who’ve looked at this also have looked at this” type functions. More to come? Link it in with offline reading, and shebang – grab the “best articles as voted by your friends” and as you say, it’s pretty high quality feed material if you’re pressed for time and want to catch up.

  13. I may be mistaken but have they semi fixed this? Your link blog is no longer in the general feeds area. It is now solely in the ‘Friends’ section

  14. I may be mistaken but have they semi fixed this? Your link blog is no longer in the general feeds area. It is now solely in the ‘Friends’ section

  15. Robert: Here’s a question for you… what will you do when you add someone who has NSFW material in their shared items? I thought about adding you, just to play around with the new feature, but didn’t want to be responsible for giving a new father a heart attack. :)

    If nothing else, consider this a cautionary note… you never know what your friends will find interesting on a day-to-day basis.

    (Hey, Mihai! Any chance you can give us a “Share Restricted” feature that will only display the item’s headline when viewed as a shared feed?)

  16. Robert: Here’s a question for you… what will you do when you add someone who has NSFW material in their shared items? I thought about adding you, just to play around with the new feature, but didn’t want to be responsible for giving a new father a heart attack. :)

    If nothing else, consider this a cautionary note… you never know what your friends will find interesting on a day-to-day basis.

    (Hey, Mihai! Any chance you can give us a “Share Restricted” feature that will only display the item’s headline when viewed as a shared feed?)

  17. Roger: NSFW stuff doesn’t bother me. I won’t share that stuff with my readers, though (unless it’s a Hugh Macleod cartoon).

    My son has already seen stuff that’s far worse than anything I can imagine you putting on your blog.

  18. Roger: NSFW stuff doesn’t bother me. I won’t share that stuff with my readers, though (unless it’s a Hugh Macleod cartoon).

    My son has already seen stuff that’s far worse than anything I can imagine you putting on your blog.

  19. “Your Friends are Your Filter” – this is similar to what the Mefeedia team is doing for video. There are some amazing filters in place to eliminate as much noise as possible, which is plentiful in the video world.

    I would venture to say filtering is even more important for video b/c it is more time consuming to “scan” video since the titles usually don’t tell you much.

  20. “Your Friends are Your Filter” – this is similar to what the Mefeedia team is doing for video. There are some amazing filters in place to eliminate as much noise as possible, which is plentiful in the video world.

    I would venture to say filtering is even more important for video b/c it is more time consuming to “scan” video since the titles usually don’t tell you much.