Shared Items in Google Reader

I’m just getting into the idea of using the “shared items” feature of Google Reader (Google’s online RSS reader). I’ve been a heavy user of Google Reader right from the start, after using NetNewsWire (which is great) but wanting to read my feeds on a variety of devices (not just my Mac).

Google Reader has, for some time, offered a way for users to share interesting news items. You simply click “share” at the footer of an item, and that article is instantly available for others to see via RSS or your “shared items” page. I hadn’t really thought about the utility of being sociable with articles in my newsfeed, and have usually used Delicious or good old email to share things.

You can see what I have recently found interesting in the sidebar of this blog, or view my shared items via Google. I expect to syndicate a digest of them here as well, making my blog into a bit more of a hub for my online activities.

It will be a fun little experiment, if nothing else..!

Web Stuff

Scribd – YouTube for documents

I’ve been looking at Scribd recently as a way of distributing documents online. Think of it as a kind of YouTube for documents – upload a document (Word, PDF, OpenDoc, RTF etc), tag it, choose a Creative Commons license if you so desire, and it gets converted into FlashPaper and is viewable online. You then get a snippet of code, allowing you to embed documents in your own site like this:

..and the original file remains untouched and available for download.

As an example, I took a PDF that was languishing on a server, and had been unread for a couple of years. Within an hour of being on Scribd, it had been indexed by Google and looked at by 12 people. Not bad.

I know this sounds like an advert, but I’m really rather impressed by it!