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Sorry, I'm a bit lost. Is there an intrinsic difference between just following someone in Reader and "shared link blogs", or am I just getting tripped up on naming?

There is a big difference, which is likely to become apparent just by inspecting an example of a shared link blog. Let me repeat the URL of the one I am subscribed to:


The difference between an ordinary blog and a shared link blog is that in a shared link blog, the posts (I want to call them "items" but know of no one else who calls them that, so "posts" it is) are written by people other than the owner (i.e., "patrissimo") of the shared link blog. All "patrissimo" did to put the post in the shared link blog was to check the box labelled "Share" or the box labelled "Share with note" at the bottom of every post in Reader (where the box labelled "Mark as read" is also to be found).

Well, more precisely, if he checked "Share with note", he also had to type in text of the note to be attached to the post. And there is a bookmarklet that he could have used instead of checking one of the two aforementioned boxes.

Right, I get that. So when they say they're going to retire "friending, following and shared link blogs", presumably that means that the link above will no longer exist.

My question, then, was whether or not we'll still be able to share within Reader and see items shared by other people. Based on what I've read on this post and elsewhere, it seems that the answer to my question is no - instead that functionality is being moved to G+. Which seems to me to be a rather strange interaction.

Well, even if we'll still be able to share within Reader, what I like a lot about way it currently works is that the information about who shared what is available to services other than Google without any hacky screen scraping. I am not going to take the trouble to "curate" (or vote on or whatever you want to call it) web pages or blog posts if the fruits of my curation (or voting) are going to be restricted to one company's walled garden.

Note that making the information public might not be the current default behavior of shared link blogs, but if it is not the current default behavior, then for those users like me and "patrissimo" who have opted to make the information public, the information is (as far as I know -- I guess it could be disallowed by Google Reader's terms of service) available to all services on a non-discriminatory basis.

I assume that following them on G+ will give you other extranious things, unless they have a seperate circle for reader followers. This was the advantage to following people on delicious as well, I didn't care about their other thoughts, but often they had good links.

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