I'm spending a lot of time in Google Reader these days. There have been several improvements in the last few weeks in following, sharing, and commenting and I am grateful to the Google Reader team for these wonderful enhancements. As Jorge pointed out, With FriendFeed Out of the Way, Google Reader Has a Golden Opportunity.To help it further on that way, here is my initial wish list for Google Reader: 1. Centralize All Settings (Incl. Sharing)
At present, most Reader settings are accessed via the Settings link at the top right. For some reason however, Sharing Settings are not included on this page. It would make sense to include these as well. At present, they are accessible from within the main screens when you click certain sections like Shared Items or People You Follow. 2. Marking Items As Read Older Than Original Date
The new feature of marking items as read that are older than a day, a week, or two weeks work based on the date the item was shared. I would like an option to choose if I want it to be based on the date of the original item (news/blog post/etc.). Why? I find that even if I'm keeping myself up-to-date with most of the popular stories shared within my community of tech enthusiasts, there are items being shared by people that are say 3 or 4 days old. Even if I filter them out by this new feature, these stale items persist in my unread feed since they were shared just now by others. This makes the feature less powerful than it can be. 3. Eliminate Duplicate Shares
I find that sometimes Reader is able to detect duplicate items in my shared feed, and shows a consolidated "Shared by 3" item. However, many times, this detection doesn't work and I have multiple instances of the same item in my feed. I checked if this happens only if there is a new/separate comment for each shared item, but that is not the case. I checked if this happens when I've already launched Reader and new items are added after I'm already within Reader. No, it happens when I launch Reader afresh. So the dup-detection needs polishing. 4. One-Click Send To
The current implementation of Send To opens up new browser tabs/windows, and feels very rudimentary. Feedly, for e.g. allows you to tweet or share in FriendFeed with a single click. Reader should allow me to configure my sharing accounts and enable 1-click Send To. 5. Map Shared Folders to Contact Groups
I can organize my feeds in folders and contacts in groups. One would think it makes sense that I would like to share specific folders of feeds with specific groups of people. Unfortunately, that is not the case, or I haven't understood Reader's sharing settings at all. At present, I can mark each of my folders to be shared or not shared. I can globally set my shared items to be public or shared with groups. This means, each of my shared folders is shared with each of the groups I select. What would make more sense is to let me share tech stuff with my tech group, arts with my artist friends, and so on. 6. Global Mark as Read
Many people in my tech enthusiast community read and share the same items. After I have read an item from the original source feed, and even shared it myself, I again see the same item as unread in my following feed. When I mark an item as Read, it should be marked as Read in my following feed as well. The only exception to this is when the shared item has a comment to it. At the rate at which the Google Reader team is making enhancements, I don't think these tweaks should take long for them to implement? If you like these suggestions, please share/re-tweet this so the message reaches the team!
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