Google Reader tip: The non-subscribed share

I enjoy the community I’m part of on Google Reader. They share interesting stories and leave insightful and humorous comments. I use Reader for the majority of my content consumption and it is the place I’m most likely to share an article I’m interested in than anywhere else (Twitter, Facebook, Google+). If you’re subscribed to a feed, it’s just a single click to share a feed item with your followers. If it’s content you find while browsing the web, there’s a handy Note in Reader bookmarklet that will share what you highlight on a page.

The Note in Reader bookmarklet works fairly well but usually you’ll see some weird formatting as it struggles with a chunk of HTML divorced from its stylesheet. The following is what I try to do instead of using the bookmarklet: I click on the page’s RSS icon like I normally would when subscribing to a new feed. This loads the feed into Google Reader and shows you a preview of how the feed will appear. Instead of clicking the Subscribe button, I scroll through the feed and find the item I want and use the share buttons as I would normally. It shares the item and I don’t have to do any sort of cleanup removing the feed since I never actually subscribed.

The key benefits of doing this are: The shared item will look way better since it’s appearing exactly like it does in the RSS feed and not scraped from the site. The item you’re sharing is the canonical version; you’ll see Likes by other users and if someone you follow is a feed subscriber and shares the same item you’ll see it globbed in with yours. Finally, it’s only one more click than sharing an item from a feed you’ve already subscribed to and you don’t have to mess around highlighting a selection.

… okay, so the benefits aren’t that crazy, but they’ll certainly keep your Reader shares neat and tidy.

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