Google Reader with Gtalk Contacts

Chrix Finn announced a new feature of Google Reader, an integration with Gtalk:

[from Reader and Talk are Friends!]

One of my favorite uses for Reader is to share interesting stuff with my friends. I click “Share” whenever I find an interesting item, be it hilarious or serious. This way, all my friends can subscribe to my shared items (and I to theirs), and we can easily see if a friend has found something interesting. This can be inconvenient, as I have to distribute my shared items link to my friends and vice-versa.

So, we’ve linked up Reader with Google Talk (also known as chat in Gmail) to make your shared items visible to your friends from Google Talk. Once you’ve logged into Reader and been notified of the change, these friends will be able to see your shared items in the Reader left-hand navigation area under “Friends’ shared items”. We’ve provided an option to clear your shared items in case you don’t want your friends to see what you’ve shared in the past. We’ve also added a Settings page so you can choose which friends you see and invite friends who aren’t yet sharing to try it out.

Google Reader with Gtalk Contacts, originally uploaded by Stowe Boyd.

Well, I like to share too. This looks a lot like the Nerdvana project I was doing with AOL earlier in the year. I am very interested in what my network is reading and commenting on, so this is very interesting indeed.

The design is a bit strange: why give up so much real estate at the top of the shared items to Matthew’s head shot, and the blurb to the right – “You have been automatically …” – is a big waste of space. I would expand the buddy list area with the profile info, and a tiny ‘hide matthew’ controller that would Ajax in and out of existence by mousing over it.

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