26 September 2009

Google Reader: the joy of sharing

This past summer I discovered Google Reader, which was a big revelation in itself. And lately, I was perusing my Reader subscriptions after neglecting them for quite a few weeks (darn vault got in the way of my prime procrastination!), and finally noticed that little link in the sidebar:

9 new people sharing with you. View.

I was curious, so I clicked and saw that friends were following my shared items and now were soliciting me to read theirs. This is really a feature I rarely use - to be honest, I almost never read the items that are shared with me, and I don't remember adding anyone except for 1 person, and yet my list is populated with 15 people who I supposedly am following. [Note: I now read them, so don't get offended.] Funny how sneaky Google is.

After skimming some of my friends' shared posts, I found funnier the fact that...wow, this is such a great portrait of these people! You start to see major trends in their interests, tastes, and even how often they feel like sharing items with others (sociability perhaps? proactivity vs. laziness?). For instance, JH posts prolifically on architecture, fashion, and food [arch. student]; whereas LH's are all about environmental policy and other issues [you can guess her profession] and MG's focus on chemistry and football [school pride, not a football player]. These are all in a similar vein that really reinforce these central interests.

Others, though, are much harder to categorize in one subject area or another, which is cool to see how widespread their interests are. Take NY as an example: he has blog posts on new gadgets, devotions, light pollution, comics...and the list continues. He also shares somewhat frequently, which leads me to wonder how much work he's getting done (i keed).

Google Reader: another way to bring people together.
My thought: my friends are cool and like to share, so I should probably share with them.
My secret thought (not-so-secret now): this could be a cool diagram...