Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas From Google

Google has linked up Reader with Google Talk (also known as chat in Gmail) to make your shared items visible to your friends from Google Talk. Once you've logged into Reader and been notified of the change, these friends will be able to see your shared items in the Reader left-hand navigation area under "Friends' shared items". We've provided an option to clear your shared items in case you don't want your friends to see what you've shared in the past. We've also added a Settings page so you can choose which friends you see and invite friends who aren't yet sharing to try it out.

"We're really excited about adding friends, but want to make clear that this is a work in progress. We know you might not see every feature you want just yet, so we hope you will play with it and send us your feedback. For now, this is available only in English on www.google.com/reader."

Readers, however, did not find it exciting or amusing.
Some of the replies at Google Groups thread indicate this.
  1. Don't you think there might be a method of being selective with what

    you share that might be slightly more fine grained than, you know,

    deleting our shared items en masse? This is the worst "feature" you

    have ever introduced.
  2. This is BY FAR the worst feature ever added by google.
  3. I think the basic mistake here, as Modulo has noted, is that the

    people on my contact list are not necessarily my "friends". I have

    business contacts, school contacts, family contacts, etc., and not

    only do I not really have any interest in seeing all of their feed

    information, I don't want them seeing mine either. This is a major

    privacy problem.
  4. I don't need Gmail to become a social networking tool. If I wanted

    that, I'd sign up for Facebook, Orkut, or whatever. I want it to do e-

    mail, feeds, docs, etc., and I want it to *respect my privacy*. :P
  5. Using my Gmail contacts as a friends list is a dangerous thing.
  6. How do I turn this off? Do I need to unsubscribe from all my feeds?

    I do *NOT* want colleagues seeing my personal feeds. Unless I'm

    misunderstanding something here, I have to stop using Google Reader.
  7. This "feature" sucks big-time. How do I turn it off?
  8. This is a terrible idea, and a violation of privacy, and it

    contradicts your own documentation
  9. I want this turned off and like, now.
  10. 'm going to stop using Google Reader

    if they don't fix this SOON.

The thread is full of complaints like these. Not sure if Google will look into this soon, but ifthey delay, many people will either delete all their "shared" data or switch to Hotmail or yahoomail. I am planning to revive my Hotmail account.


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