Shakedown 2.0?

This is my second test blog where you'll find news and opinions on the latest happenings surrounding the internet, technology, entertainment, et. al.
Why the name? "Shakedown" is a period of testing or trial journey undergone by a ship, plane or other craft before declared operational. 2.0 simply because it's my second trial blog [see the first blog here]

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Google tweaking its Reader service regarding Privacy concerns

Amidst a user backlash regarding changes to its Reader application, Google on Wednesday made slight adjustments to the service to enable more control over sharing capabilities. If you're not familiar about this issue, here's a short background: On December 14, Google announced that Reader, its RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed service, would link with contacts from GoogleTalk, the company's instant messenger, and Gmail, its web-based email service. Any feed tagged to "Share" in Reader would be visible to any Talk or Gmail contact.

This resulted to immediate reactions from some users. Others were much harsher in their criticism, including many of those who have posted hundreds of messages to a thread on a Google Reader forum. There's even an instance of a user's holiday being ruined because of this.

If you check out Google's official Reader blog, changes were already made on their sharing feature. You can now set "tags" to private or public. Each tag you share will get its own public page and feed URL, the same way shared items has a public page and feed; these tags will not be shared with anyone unless you send them the public address.


The firestorm over Google Reader is the second controversial attempt to expand social networking in the last two months. In November, Facebook launched an advertising system, dubbed Beacon, that users instantly slammed over privacy issues. Earlier this month, Facebook apologized, also made changes, and announced users could now switch off the system.

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6 comments:

Ionut Alex Chitu said...

<< If you check out Google's official Reader blog, changes were already made on their sharing feature. You can now set "tags" to private or public. >>

Oh, really? That feature has always been there.

boddah said...

Yes, that's right, but they unveiled a new function that allows users to separate shared feeds into different categories or "tags" that can be made public or private. Shared feeds placed in these separate folders will only be accessible if a user sends their friends an e-mail invite or a link to their shared page.

Ionut Alex Chitu said...

<< but they unveiled a new function that allows users to separate shared feeds into different categories or "tags" that can be made public or private >>

That's not a new feature. Here's a post from August that showed that feature (check the screenshot).

boddah said...

Thanks for clarifying that one, so you mean no change has been made so far on Google's Reader service (as opposed to what PCMag reported) and this is an old feature that most Reader users are not just aware of.

Ionut Alex Chitu said...

The only recent change was that you can now move your shared items to a folder/tag. When Google Reader released the "sharing with friends" feature, the only way to opt-out was to delete all the shared items.

Apparently, PCMag is clueless about Google Reader's features because their editors don't use the product (and don't do basic research either).

boddah said...

Well, good thing we have a guest commentator who really is familiar with Google to correct this one out. Thanks again for that one Ionut.