May 05, 2008

I Am a Google Reader Shared Links Ninja

On March 3rd of 2007, I made a list of 10 suggestions to the Google Reader team on how they could make the world's most popular feed reader even better. The tenth option was a simple one, which I titled as "Customization Everywhere", where I said "there's zero options to customize a shared link blog." As of today, only 14 months later, we now have the first user customizable options to make the shared items page a little more fancy. And today, I can profess myself a ninja.

Alongside the so far much-criticized announcement that you can append notes to Google Reader shared items, you can also choose from four artistic styles on the shared items page, including the Default, as boring as it sounds, Ice Cream, Sea, and ... Ninjas.

Seeing how episode 7 of the Elite Tech News podcast was titled "Explanatory Ninjas", it makes sense that at least for today, I would use the theme of "Ninja".

(See my Ninja-Themed Shared Items Blog)

By selecting Ninja, all that's really added is a cute banner at the top of my shared items page, showing four ninjas and their various weapons. It's not necessarily a status symbol, showing my link sharing prowess or skills with the black arts. The theme is cute, but of course, non-functional. I still can't change the color of the background, or the fonts, or go "all MySpace" with the page, so I guess that's good. But it's a start.
Of note: I was lucky enough to meet and talk with Chris Wetherell of the Google Reader team last Thursday for lunch. We didn't talk about this feature, but I remain very positive on the direction and focus the Google Reader team has going forward. It's a small team, but very dedicated.