if you've talked to me recently, you might know that i'm all of a sudden over the moon for google reader's shared items feature. it's gone from something i did only occasionally (and mostly for washingtonian promotion purposes) to something i'm fully engaged with. and perhaps overusing.
the google team has introduced some nice features to it recently that make the function even neater—you can comment on items as of a couple months ago; as of last week you can start sharing with your friends' friends, if you and they so choose.
the only problem, so far as i can tell, is that not enough people are doing it. i have about 5 friends who actively share, but i want more! get on google reader, folks! if you're interested in what i'm sharing, i reinstated the share widget over there on the sidebar of this blog (RSS readers, click through, and you can get a link to my shared items).
i got to thinking recently why i like google shared items so much and i decided that, like everything i've ever been passionate about on the web, it has the following features:
-it is public, so anybody can check in on what you're doing and join in
-while it is public, it is usually a small, selected community of your friends that you do the interacting with, and you can control how private/public it is
-you have the opportunity to meet fun internet strangers while doing it (the sharing with friends of friends feature for shared items, for example)
-it highlights and reveals somebody's personality well, i think
which brings me to wondering, why one of my most favorite web things ever that has all the above features is now kind of obsolete. and that thing is IRC chat rooms. i spent a good chunk of high school (and maybe a bit of college) in radiohead-related IRC rooms.
i think we should go retro and bring back IRC (well, amongst my friends, that is. if it was ever used by you guys, in the first place. which it probably wasn't. i assume it is still pretty active for niche groups of techies and whatnot. or maybe not?). so, what do you say? IRC! let's do it! right? ....right?
in other news: i wish the google reader shared items feature had a catchier name than google reader shared items.