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May 24, 2010

Google Reader Enables Public Comments on Shared Items

One of the best benefits of sifting through hundreds of new RSS items each day in Google Reader and selecting the best ones to share has been the ensuing conversations that have developed as a result. It used to be that these conversations were limited to networks like Socialmedian and FriendFeed, but they later took place within Google Reader itself, for all friends I had hand approved, and later, in Google Buzz, assuming I had given people permission. Now, the Reader team has removed the hassle of picking who was enabled to comment or not - making shares have the option to be public to the world for conversation. This highly anticipated move is a big reason I have continued to be so bullish about sharing Reader items and participating where they land on Buzz.

If you have not already seen the prompt, the next time you enter Google Reader, you will see the option to "Keep my shared items public" or to "Make my shared items protected". Hit "Save" to keep comments public, or choose to keep the shares open to only contacts in your friend list.

You Can Now Make Your Shared Items Public to All

This move is incredibly simple, when contrasted to the labyrinth of privacy settings required at Facebook to determine where your content is being displayed, and it protects those who have previously opted to make their Reader shares private, as explained in the company's blog post announcing the changes this afternoon.

My Shared Reader Items Are Visible to All

The ability for the world to comment on Google Reader shares should be a big boost to Buzz, as even more places are open for discussion. As mentioned in April, statistics show Reader shares as the 2nd-highest source for conversations on the network. This should bring that percentage up a great deal.

Want to see my shared items? You can find them here, or we can get connected on Buzz.