Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Shared items

The pace continues to accelerate here in FeedBurner-land, so I’ve been pretty slack in posting to the blog. I know, I know – you didn’t miss me! – but it still feels odd to be out of the habit of posting and then face the inevitable writer’s block when I sit down to post.

But there’s one thing I’ve been meaning to post about, and that’s my “shared items” from Google Reader. A while back, I was bookmarking pages at del.icio.us, but found that I didn’t really rely on del.icio.us as an archive – that is, I wasn’t going there to search prior bookmarks – and the bookmarking interface itself was just a little too intrusive for my tastes.

When I started using Google Reader, I found the one-click “share” feature to be non-intrusive and quite simple. I subscribe to a lot of feeds – it’s (not surprisingly) where I consume most of my information. As I came across a post that I found interesting, I could just click ‘share’ and move on.

I ran the resulting feed through FeedBurner so I could expose it in the right rail of my blog; now anyone who visits my site can see the last 15 items I’ve shared. About a dozen people have subscribed to my shared items feed, which means that they don’t just get the headlines of the shared items (as visitors to my site do), but they see the full content of the item. And the one downside (from my perspective, at least) is that when they see those items, it’s not immediately apparent where the item was shared from.

FeedFlare to the rescue! With some help from our own XPath guru (!) Eric Lunt, I wrote a FeedFlare unit that now identifies the source of the item I’ve shared. Here’s what that looks like:

FeedFlare for Google Reader

If you’re interested in using this on your own Google Reader Shared Items feed (if you run it through FeedBurner), you can do so by pointing to this FeedFlare unit. Anyone else have a good idea for a good FeedFlare unit?

Last comment on shared items. If you’re not that into subscribing to feeds (what’s wrong with you?), I created a page in WordPress that just takes the BuzzBoost code from my shared items feed to display the feed on the page. That page is here.

1 comment:

  1. [...] feed that Google Reader generates of my shared items, and run it through FeedBurner, where I can add features, track the number of subscribers (amazingly, 30 of you subscribe to my shared items feed), and [...]