Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Google Reader Sharing - are you doing it?

How many of you use Google Reader to organize the blogs you want to read? My guess is that most people do.

Of those who do use it, how many of you use the Follow and Share functions? If you don’t, you are missing out on a fabulous tool.

Why is it so fabulous? It’s like having your own personal shopper picking out the best of the blogosphere and bringing it to your attention!

Here’s how it works.
  • On the left sidebar of your Google Reader, click on People You Follow. You’ll then choose people to follow by entering their email addresses or blog names.
  • Now, whenever those bloggers click Share on a post in their own Google Reader, it will appear in your Reader (it will clearly show who shared it, so you know where it came from). The post they share may be from a blog you’ve never heard of or that you don’t subscribe to, or it could be from one you do subscribe to.
  • When you click Share on a post in your Google Reader, it will appear in the Reader of anyone who follows you. This is a great way to bring attention to posts that you really appreciate, especially when those posts are on blogs with a small following.
These Shared posts are often the cream of the blogosphere. Ones I’ve seen recently include details about BEA and other upcoming events, controversial bookish topics, beautifully written posts from a wide variety of (non-bookish) blogs, drawing attention to important causes, and many other topics.

On the right side bar of my blog, about halfway down the page, you’ll see a box titled Posts That Caught My Eye. These are the most recent things I’ve Shared on Google Reader, in case you are interested.

So, to summarize, using the Follow and Share functions is like having a team to scour the blogosphere for all the best posts. Why WOULDN’T you want this?!


Helen's Book Blog said...

Thanks for the tip! I've bookmarked this post and will do this on the weekend

Jen - Devourer of Books said...

I've been using 'share' for a long time to create my 'blogs I'm reading' widget, but I'm so glad that there is an increased amount of sharing and following going on because, like you, I love seeing what others discovered that I may have missed.

Elisabeth said...

Thanks for the tip! This is like probably most things in my life... I only use about 10% of their capabilities!

Suey said...

So here's what I want to know... can you see if/when your own blog posts are being shared by anyone? It seems like you should be able to see that info, but I can't find it anywhere.

Another thing that's fun about this feature is you get to see what other things (besides books) people are interested in. Because, even if my blog says otherwise, sometimes it's NOT all about books! :)

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I love this feature! I only wish that others used it more often. I have found that I am looking at others shared items first. I don't think I'm following you though! Off to fix that.

Heather J. said...

Helen – Great - I hope you enjoy Sharing!

Jen – I think you may have been the first person I saw using this, and why I had to check it out.

Elisabeth – Yes, I know the feeling … :)

Suey – Yes, you can, in a way. If someone is following you AND you are following them, then you will see your post appear in your own Google Reader with their avatar next to it, with a note saying “Shared by xxxx”. And you’re right, it is a GREAT way to see what non-book blog posts other people decide to share. I love that!

Natasha – I don’t think I’m following you either, but I’ll have to remedy that one!

bermudaonion said...

This is a great feature.

Serena said...

I've been using this feature for a while...its good to be reminded of it though

Lenore said...

I just recently started using Google Reader, so thanks for alerting me to this feature!

Florinda said...

I shared this post on Google Reader :-). Thanks for highlighting this, Heather.

Seriously, I love this feature, and I REALLY like being able to follow people and see what they share. I've found some great reading from places I wouldn't know about otherwise, and I've discovered that some of the people I follow read the same blogs I do!

And re: Suey's comment - it's very cool to see your own posts shared by other people :-D.

Heather J. said...

bermudaonion & Serena - Glad to see other people using it!

Lenore - Hope you enjoy it as much as I do - I love seeing all the great posts that people share.

Florinda - YAY for Sharing! Some of the best Shared posts I've seen have come from you - so thanks. ;)

raych said...

This post is one of the reasons I finally switched. Drink the kool-aid!

Heather J. said...

raych - so glad to have you on board!

Beth F said...

Okay, I'll see if I can figure this out and I'll try to share.

Heather J. said...

Beth F - YAY! I'll look for you on GR so I can follow you too.

Shelley said...

I had never heard of this, thanks! I'm not sure I understand it--can I submit my (literary) website to be on it?

Heather J. said...

Shelley - Google Reader is a way for someone to keep track of the blogs he/she reads regularly. Each person chooses which blogs to include in her Google Reader; the owner of the blog doesn't have any control over it. For more details you can go to and learn about how it works from there. Hope that helps!

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