Over the last several months and up until a couple of weeks ago, I was using Google Reader as my primary feed reader (prior to that was Feed Demon and currently it’s NetNewsWire). While I enjoyed the simpleness of using it to read my news, I never got into any of the socialness like sharing items with friends. To me it was one of those aspects of Reader that just didn’t serve much of a purpose, but it must be for some people because Google has just added a couple of new social features, and one of them is the option to post notes.
When would posting a note be useful? The official Google Reader Blog explains that there is now a “share with note” feature that you’ll see on the toolbar under an article. This would come in handy if you had something you wanted to share with your friends but you weren’t sure that they’d understand why you were sharing it or what the point was.
My only problem with it is that when you do this, you have the option to edit the text of the article before sharing it. When you share it, whoever you’re sharing it with won’t know what has been changed from the original article because Google doesn’t make any note of it or highlight the changes. From our standpoint as authors of CyberNet, we wouldn’t want our content to be changed, and others to believe that what they see was what we wrote.
There’s also a “notes” section that you’ll find under “Your Stuff” in the left side-bar. From here you can post notes that will appear under “shared items” by typing a message and clicking “Post Note.” There’s also the option to drag a bookmarklet, “Note in Reader” up to your browser’s toolbar. Then when you come across something interesting while you’re browsing the Internet, you can click the bookmarklet and the page you’re on (or the text you highlighted before clicking the bookmarklet) will be shared with your friends, even if the page doesn’t have a feed..