Heheh, here’s proof that I’m insecure. At least it’s true if you look at a Guardian article that says that research is showing that people with more than 800 Facebook friends are seen as insecure. I guess having 4,999 friends makes one really, really insecure! Shhhh, don’t tell the Guardian that I have 1,148 friends waiting to get in (Facebook doesn’t let you have more than 4,999 friends).
OK, Google has added a bunch of new features to its RSS Reader over the past week. What are the big ones?
1. There’s now a social network. Along the left side of Google Reader, I now see an item that says “Friends’ shared items.”
2. There’s now a profile that you can share with your readers. You’ll see that profile when you click on “Your shared items.”
These features are largely unfinished and unpolished. Here’s my feedback for the team:
Why isn’t my profile shared on my link blog? (NEVERMIND: that feature just got turned on!)
2. The “Friends’ shared items” needs to be able to display the profile when you mouse over names. The list that’s presented is nearly useless. Aside: I’m still adding friends at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. When you click “Manage friends” it sure would be nice to see what kinds of things each person has already shared. We can’t. All we can see is if they’ve shared anything or not. That’s not very helpful. If someone shares porn, I don’t want to friend them and pollute my feeds.
4. We really need to be able to add our own tags on top of each friend.
5. I’m still getting duplication in the Friends’ shared items feed.
6. Things seem slow, that’s not what I’m used to with Google stuff. Did you test the scalability here? I bet none of the developers on the team have hundreds of friends cause the UI falls apart and so does the performance of the friends page.
7. A LOT more people are sharing feeds than I expected to, which is cool, but means more features/filtering needed.
8. I don’t think it’s a privacy problem because it’s pretty clear to me that when you share something it goes into public view, but some of my friends REALLY disagree. So, that tells me you have, at minimum, a perception/expectation problem and probably have some rethinking to do as you add new features that take advantage of the public shared items capabilities.
9. I want to be able to hide items from people right from the Friends’ shared items view.
10. There’s not a payoff for people yet to enter their profile information: out of hundreds of Google Reader friends only a handful had filled in much information (UPDATE: Now that profiles show up on the shared items page, the payoff is increasing). If this is how Google is going to take on Facebook it’s a failure so far.
11. All these new features make me wish I had some way to lay things out for my readers in a hierarchy. Sort of like TechMeme does.
12. The flow is incredible from just the friends I’ve already added (there were 880 items waiting for me tonight). It sure would be nice to see a “here’s the 40 most popular items from your friends” page.
13. It would be nice for me to have two shared items pages that you could see: 1. the one I already do. 2. the one my friends do (they are darn good at picking news — better, even, than TechMeme or Digg!)
14. While I’m at it, I’d love to add a comment onto each item so I could tell you why I thought it was important.
Google does deserve some kudos, though, because it was very easy to add links to its competitors. I added a link to Twitter, Facebook, and a variety of other social networking services — I wish I could do the same from Facebook.
The World Economic Forum, which I’m going to attend with Loic Le Meur, Mike Arrington, and a few other people, is asking people a question: how would you improve the world. More on that in a second. Loic Le Meur wrote a post about preparing for Davos.
This proves I’m not really cool, and certainly not really rich, because the really cool or rich attendees from Silicon Valley are flying over on the Google Jet (or some other corporate jet) and not sitting in coach, like we are. Yeah, yeah, I know that some people get invites to fly over on the Google Jet. I know one CEO who went on the Google jet last year, along with a group of Google execs (Google, this year, is throwing a big party at the WEF, also known simply as “Davos”). They asked people to not take pictures on the jet and not talk about it, so my source asked me not to reveal who he is. From what my source told me it’s a pretty nice way to fly to Switzerland, though.
I’d love to come out with a statement that “I’m above being bought off by the Googlers and I won’t accept a ride on the jet, even if offered.” Unfortunately, I’m not so noble. But they probably won’t invite me anyway for fears that I’ll turn on my cell phone and video you what it’s like.
Anyway, back to the Davos question.
My answer? Peas.
You gotta understand that peas made Susan Reynolds world a little better (she has breast cancer, is going into surgery on Friday) and people on Twitter are changing their icons to have peas in solidarity with her. She explains the role peas played in her comfort. Susan is someone I’ve followed for years and she has a blog where she’s talking about her experiences with breast cancer.
Plus, if the world had more peas there’d be less hungry people. So, peas is my answer and I’m sticking to it.
Give that cancer hell Susan! Or, if that doesn’t work, peas will do the job.