Google Reader as a Lifestream Search Engine

Image representing Google Reader as depicted i...
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Google Reader is becoming more than just a reader. With it’s addition of social features like comments and Likes, it’s taking on more of a social-aggregation service. It’s not perfect, nor do its social elements make a great social networking service. Still, its search options continue to expand and third-party applications make sharing easier.

So far, Google Reader offers two features which allow you to follow the lifestreams of other users and burn feeds for searches in other services. Currently, the options are limited, but since they both include Twitter, you may consider using Reader to house your monitoring activities (not to mention you can backup your own Twitter statuses, since Twitter at this time isn’t very reliable for that).

Here’s a quick screencast demonstrating more of Google Reader’s search features (open in full-screen for better viewing):

By the way, I set up a Twitter account –  @PhilFeed – as a place to port my shared items and other findings around the web. Rather than blasting my followers on  @PhilBaumann, you can opt in to follow  @PhilFeed and you’ll get those items in your tweet stream (jut know that it’s not a very social account).

I’m curious to see if Google Reader will add more services, like FriendFeed or Posterous.

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Why Social RSS Could Be Huge

This icon, known as the "feed icon" ...
Image via Wikipedia

Ian Rosenwach has a brief post RSS’s potential in which he points out how building a few social features around RSS technology could propel it into a huge micro-content social network.

I don’t know if the  RSS brand will ever get much larger than it is in among the tech community, but I do think as a feature it will be one of the largest components of communications and social relations. Twitter is catchy. RSS isn’t.

Twitter is really simple syndication – way simpler than RSS. A tweet is both the feed’s title and subject. It’s two-way headline news.

If developers can derive inspiration from the social features of the two-way Web and fold the ingredients into RSS, RSS may at last achieve the public awareness it deserves – regardless of whatever its called. Maybe Twitter is what most people will call it.

Twitter enables us to dip into global brain pool (both bright and dim). If we could get deeper into the pool in a quick, consolidated and easy way with the rest of the dynamic Web then we could see a whole new kind of web evolve: a  vast active living intelligence system.


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