I'm finishing my coffee...

Friday, July 17, 2009

6 People Like Walter Cronkite's Death

About two and a half years ago I reviewed Google Reader and made a few suggestions around social features, especially the ability to connect with others by being able to read comments from within Google Reader.

I am still waiting for this feature to be implemented, and I am certain that it isn't an easy challenge to tackle, if they are even considering it. Pulling comments from completely different platform (e.g. WordPress, etc.) into the Google Reader experience seems like a gigantic challenge so I am not holding it against them. Aside from that, the Google Reader team seems to be busy at work bringing interesting improvements to their own product.

The other day I was checking in on my subscriptions in Google Reader just a couple of days ago and noticed their new "Like This" feature. "Great", I thought, "another way to connect with the Google community and especially with the readers who are subscribed to the same feeds as me." This could be a really interesting opportunity to discover new sources of web-content just by looking at what those with similar interests are subscribing to. I can't wait to dig in a little bit and explore what those who like stories in the feeds I am also subscribed to in Google Reader are reading.

The only complaint that I have is a fairly minor one and I will address it directly to the big G:

Google, how could you choose "like this" to be the idiom for this feature? First of all, Facebook has already been down this path (thanks to Passive Aggressive Notes). Second, you know what's going to happen when people like terrible news? It's going to look just like this:

Even if it's the most touching story about the late, great, Walter Cronkite, the deflating headline placed juxtaposed against a count of the number of people who "liked this" just seems a bit too raw. Perhaps just adding the word "story" to the end of the phrase would eliminate the concern... For the time being, I guess I will just have to accept that there are at least 6 really mean people out there in the world somewhere.

At the end of the day, I guess I would recommend that they invest in the ability to artificially systhesize the meaning of a feed and be able to inject the appropriate idiom for the context.

Digg! | del.icio.us it! | Add to Technorati Favorites

No comments: