Google Reader Shared Items – Are You Sharing?

Posted by

Some of you might read this Blog posting and ask yourself if I’ve either lost my mind or completely fallen asleep on this functionality. The answer, in short, is possibly and yes. One of the features I’ve always loved about Google Reader is the ability to “Add Star” . This enables you to mark (and save) a news item. When I’m quickly glancing through my river of feeds, this tool acts as a filter for the stuff I really want to focus on and read. Plus, as a bonus, I use it for inspiration to create content for this Blog and the Six Pixels Of Separation Podcast.
In the past little while, I’ve fallen in love with the “Share” function in Google Reader. I had seen it when I first switched over to Google Reader, but I didn’t pay it the proper attention. Here’s what happens: if you find a news/feed item that you like (and you think others will like), all you have to do is hit the “Share” button at the bottom of the news item and Google Reader places it on a public Web page that looks like a minimally designed Blog page.
You can view mine here: Mitch Joel’s Shared Items – Google Reader.
What is the best part about this Google Reader Shared Items page? Yup, there’s a RSS (subscription) function. So, if you like the stuff you read here in the Twist Image Blog, odds are you’ll love this behind the scenes look into what news, insights, Blog postings, etc_ inspire the content here.
What more would I love to see on this Mitch Joel’s Shared Items page? Obviously the ability to customize the look and feel (but only a little bit), and it would be awesome if I could change the URL from: into something personal like:
Getting a tad more technical, it would be cool to create some channels where I could aggregate a bunch of individual Google Reader Shared Items pages into one feed that I could subscribe to. My guess is Christopher S. Penn (Ninja) will chime in here with some quick fix or Yahoo! Pipes play to make this easy and doable.
In the meantime, if you’re using Google Reader, I’d love to know if you’re digging the Shared Items function and if you ever look at your own Public Page to see what’s got you interested and inspired.


  1. Hi Mitch,
    I just finished listening to Six Pixels #64 and was about to write in mentioning the RSS capability of Google Reader, but you’ve stolen my thunder!
    Google also provides a widget so you can easily display your shared items on your own website. I’ve only used it for a few weeks on my site ( but I love the ease with which it lets me flag interesting content for my site in seconds.
    Also, great Six Points of Separation today – I loved the point about Google Notebook. I enjoy the Clipmarks add-on for Firefox (, which lets you quickly and easily save interesting bits of webpages.
    Cheers, and keep up the great work!

  2. Mitch,
    I like the star feature too for the exact same reason you do. It’s a “to read” button.
    I think the share button is great–you can get other people’s pre-filtered posts. It’s like the cream of the crop from someone else’s blog pool. The problem I have is finding other people’s shared pages. If you hadn’t posted it, I don’t know if I would have found your shared page.

  3. I haven’t used the share feature, thanks for the suggestion. I’m still looking for the ultimate way to keep up with my reading, and the combination of starring and sharing makes Google Reader look like a possible solution.
    Great blog, Mitch, keep up the good work.

  4. Hey Dave – I’m definitely going to check out Clipmarks. Looks pretty cool.
    It’s funny how we get wrapped up with new tools and not the details of them. I really love the Shared Items and now the question is, can we build some community and “real” sharing around it.
    I think we can.

  5. Hello,
    I also think Google’s shared items are great. But I share some of your concerns – particularly the odd web address. It is a little difficult to share you items with others when you can not give a relatively simple address.
    I would, also, like a way to find other peoples Shared Items. For example, I did not know that you had a shared items page. Now that I know it, I am subscribed.
    Finally, in case you weren’t aware, there is a Facebook app for placing your shared items on your Facebook page!

  6. Yikes – thanks for mentioning the Facebook App for Google Shared Items. It was in my notes for the Blog posting and I totally spaced on mentioning it.
    I use it on my Facebook profile (I also use the one).
    Both continue to keep the content out there.

Comments are closed.