Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fixing Google Reader

Google's recent changes to Reader have been widely panned.

One of the key things that's now gone, is one click RSS sharing. This has been extremely useful to me personally, as it allowed me to tag items and share the RSS feeds of the tags with different people, who could consume them in a time and manner of their choosing. 

One way to recreate this experience is to use bundles.

1. Tag an item you wish to share with a new tagname. I've used the name "bookmark" in this example, but you could use any name.

2. Right click on the little down arrow on the right of the "-bookmark" tag (or whatever you have named it) and select 'create a bundle'.

3. You can optionally choose to enter a header and a note. I've entered the note "My Shared Stuff" here. This will be visible to people with whom you share. Click on Save when done.

4. You will be presented with a 'Your Bundles' screen. Click on "Add a link"

5. Voila! you are sent to a page which has your shared items. This page also has an RSS\atom feed. You can copy and send this link to any of your contacts, who can subscribe to it using any RSS\Atom reader.

To migrate previously shared items, simply give them the same new tag - for example 'bookmark' - and follow the steps above.

It would be cool if  there could be a Greasemonkey script\browser extension to do some of this in the background and restore the familiar 'share' button. Would also love it if this could somehow be used to bring back the 'note in reader' bookmarklet functionality.

Hope this is useful for some of you :)