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January 16, 2008

Shared Reader Latest to Take on Google Reader Shared Item Rankings


Just ten days after we saw the debut of ReadBurner, a site which tabulates the most popular shared feed items from Google Reader and displays who is sharing them, we see yet another entrant into this space, as yet untapped by Google, in "Shared Reader".

The site's slogan? "What shared mosts in Google Reader makes sense".

The site debuted today. See: "SharedReader *beta Launched", where the author, Dennes B. Abing, writes, "SharedReader just burst out of nowhere." He also announced the launch by Twitter at 6 a.m. Pacific this morning, but with no followers so far, it's a wonder if anyone was listening.

While ReadBurner is now in "Public Alpha", Shared Reader says its in beta. While that typically means the development is further along in the process, Shared Reader, so far, looks to be trailing ReadBurner in total overall features. Over the last week, Alexander Marktl has separated feed items by language (English, Persian and Asian for now), has posted RSS feeds for popular items in each category (today, this week and all time), and has continued to hone the interface. Meanwhile, Shared Reader simply shows both "Recent" and "Popular" items, with the correct sharer, along with an entry form to add your shared items feed.

Despite the two sites' differing approaches and appearances, the early returns are similar. Shared Reader currently shows a post by Mihai Parparita on the Official Google Reader Blog, "There's a feed for that?!" as the most popular shared item, with 11 shares. ReadBurner shows the same item as most popular, with 16 shares. The second item is also the same between both sites, by Boing Boing, titled, "Ford: Car owners are pirates if they distribute pictures of their own cars".

Both sites also share some overlapping shared items feeds, contributing to the parallels, while it looks like ReadBurner's headstart has the site out in the lead in terms of total shares and feeds.

While ReadBurner and Shared Reader are working to give us the long-awaited answer to a single site that shows most shared items from Google Reader, acting in effect as a substitute for TechMeme or Digg, I wouldn't anticipate that others are standing still. Mario Romero, creator of the wildly popular FeedHeads application on Facebook, recently wrote me to say. "I've also been working on some new stuff...", which we're looking forward to. And I still expect Google Reader to finally come out of their shell and become the authority on this soon.