Monday, December 17, 2007

Google Social Contacts - Google Reader steps forward

I earlier asked where Google Contacts where. Then I thought that the new enhancements of Gmail included that.

Later I was a bit disappointed with the new contacts part of Gmail. It didn't seem to add any major improvement.

Now Google Reader has gone social. With the possibility for those of your friends you have in your Gmail chat/Gtalk address book to share interesting items with you.

Works quite well so far. I first noticed this two days ago when two of my friends' shared items turned up in my Google Reader.

Robert Scoble found that duplicates occured. If someone shared an item already in your feeds, or if multiple friends shared the same item. Interesting that the first comment on that post was from a Google Reader engineer - we might see some enhancements soon.

Also announced the same day from Google was Google Profiles. Your profile that will be shown ie when sharing items in Google Reader, but also in Google maps etc.

What's missing here?
The ability to update more that just your name, photo and web sites. It seems like a small step to add the possibility to edit and share other information to selected friends. Your email, phone, address etc. If that is added we get close to the Plaxo value statement, and things gets even more interesting.

All in all, this is very much in line with this article from the New York Times, and this post from Marc Canter talks about email as the basis for a Social Graph. Chris Brogan also had a post on this topic yesterday. Steve Rubel wrote a piece on portals' position in the Social Networking arena some time ago.

But - Google Contacts?
Still I don't see a really compelling address book from Google, but they might be getting there. I still miss an obvious interface towards my Google address book. And an inclusion of Social contacts updates like Plaxo do would be nice.

In the mean time
Feel free to add me as your friend to take part of my shared items. I would love to see yours!

I have not yet added any more friends than the two that initially showed up. It seems like you first need to add a friend to Gmail chat/Gtalk and then add them in Google Reader. As I have not used Gtalk that much I need to build that Social Graph a bit. I understand that the identity is maintained using your Gmail address. I normally do not use my Gmail address for emailing, thus I usually don't publish it.
If you care to add me it is johan(dot)myrberger(at)gmail(dot)com - drop me a mail or leave a comment so I can add you back.

See you (or at least your shared items) in Google Reader!

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