Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Rule

For this, my first blog post on the Google Reader Discussions Blog I'm posting my New Rule:

If you're going to re-share an article simply to comment on it in a note -- don't. Write a blog entry, link the source material, and share your blog entry in Google Reader.

Since Google hasn't yet seen fit to incorporate it's very handy threaded discussions from Gmail into Google Reader, in order to keep the shares clear of a bunch of clutter and noise (besides the normal shares) I'm instituting this rule for myself and encourage other to adopt it.

Ideally, your blog will allow comments without creating an account, but at least make sure it does have comments enabled (or you're defeating the purpose).

Update: And by "you" of course, I mean me. It's my rule, but you're welcome to use it.


  1. they need threaded discussions for sure, but this is a lot of work to achieve something that I can do by pushing the 'share and add a note' button...

    I'm sorry it clogs up the 'friends shared items' section but it's google reader's downfall not my own and I assume they will correct it at some point. Therefor I will not assume the extra work required to circumvent the problem.

  2. It's not only just annoying to see the same share 5 dozen times but you lose the context of the conversation. If Google had threaded discussions I probably wouldn't make a blog post, but since they don't and I like threaded discussions (or at least a simple time line without a bunch of intervening chatter) I'll keep doing the blog thing.

    Besides, this is only my rule. I advocate the practice but by no means expect everyone to do it.

  3. I should note that I disagree with Google's implementation of notes to begin with...

    A 'note' should simply inject a comment on the article if that particular blog/system supports the feature. This problem would then disappear and if a blog wishes to allow discussions it would never be separated from it's actual content.

    This could potentially be handled by some fancy greasemonkey and/or yahoo pipe work...

  4. Well using the traditional definition of a blog as a Web Log, Google reader shared items is itself a blog.

  5. Oh, I agree. I have no idea why Notes are not in practical terms comments on the shared item "blog entry". That way, people could reply to notes and hold discussions of the item.

    It does, however, pose a problem when multiple people share the same article (to reach different audiences) but both want to comment on it. If Notes are comments on the entry, then the discussion would be split among two different entries.

    In a side-effect, creating your own blog entry (if you are the first to "reply" to a Note and sharing your entry eliminates the scattered discussion problem while allowing all participants to re-share the article with their own comment (to their other friends) as they see fit. If they wish to discuss the topic, there is already a shared discussion item (this post) for a common location to discuss.

    I'm not sure if I made sense there, but it made sense to me. :)

  6. BTW, (side topic) why does Blogger absolutely suck in Linux + Firefox 3.0.6? Half the time I click to post or preview I get no response or a blank page and reloading sometimes works without losing my post. AAARRGGGH!

  7. Blech! Blogger does not let you edit your comments - lame.

  8. Blogger sucks in general IMHO. wordpress is a thousand times better.

    You can get a free site there too if you're interested...

  9. Oh and your essentially describing reasons for having a Blog itself.

    As a general rule of thumb if I have more than a few sentences to say about a particular post I'll write something on my Blog or a comment on the original post rather than just 'share' it through Google Reader.

    Actually while I write this I'm realizing how much segregated conversations have become as a result of Google Reader... I wonder if you could combine a greasmonkey script with a yahoo pipe to replace the 'note' functionality and post a comment to the blog itself... Interesting...