Use Google Reader as a alternative

Google Reader has only recently added social features (following, liking, people searching) but I’ve found them to be amazingly powerful.

Consuming information

If you use Google Reader, you likely consume a lot of information through it via RSS feeds. Everything from news (BBC, NYTimes), sports, humor (ICHC, xkcd) to photos from your Flickr contacts, Twitter mentions and so on. Reader is one of my most important online web applications.

Consolidated contacts

And to pile on even more Google fanaticism (friends in college thought I worked for Google), all of my friends and family contact information are stored in Google Contacts. The best part about this is that my Gmail, Google Voice, iPhone and Address Book contacts are all pointing to the same place: Google. Some argue that’s a bad idea, but that’s another discussion. Point being: there’s no need for me to try and messily sync lots of contacts across multiple sites.

Google Shared items

Since Google now has public pages to display your ‘Shared’ items (through Google Reader, you can have one spot where you consume and share the cool content you find. In essence, you can help filter the signal from the noise for your contacts and friends.

Once you share an item, other people that ‘follow’ you will be notified of the new item. Awesome, I can read consume new cool things that my friends have filtered.

Replace delicious bookmarks altogether

If you visit your Shared settings page (Your stuff > Shared items > Sharing settings) and scroll to the bottom of the page, you’ll notice:

Try the Note in Reader bookmarklet to share non-feed items from around the web.

Drag and drop the ‘Note in Reader’ link to your browser’s bookmarks toolbar and suddenly you can ‘share’ content from all over the web. Friend linked to something cool on Twitter? No problem, just ‘Note in Reader’ and everyone else knows about it. Tags and comment come standard. It’s that easy.