Google Reader adds comments, risks wrath of web publishers

Posted on March 13, 2009. Filed under: Google, Internet | Tags: , , |

By Brad Linder, Downloadsquad


Google Reader has added a new feature that makes reading RSS feeds a more social experience: You can leave comments on other users’ shared items. In other words, if your friend clicks the share button next to a blog post or news item in Google Reader, it will show up in your Friends’ shared items section along with any comment they’ve left. Now you can also comment on their comment. If multiple friends have shared the same item, you’ll see multiple conversations.

All told, the feature looks and feels a lot like FriendFeed. But there’s one major difference: Google Reader displays the full text of any articles that make their full length items available via RSS. So if your’e someone who only clicks through to articles you’ve read in your RSS reader to see what comments other people have left, this new feature could keep you from ever clicking through to the original web site. And that might be fine for you, the reader. But web publishers who rely on advertising might not be nearly as happy about this development.

Right now Google doesn’t import comments from blogs, so there’s still original content on the original web site. But there’s also currently no way for blogs or other web sites to import comments from Google Reader, as they can from FriendFeed. That may change in the future.

What do you think? Are you likely to use the new commenting system? Would you rather use FriendFeed? Or do you just visit web sites when you want to read and participate in the comments?


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