Update: Looking to capitalize on the popularity of the U.S. political races, Google's Reader team has created Google Power Readers in Politics, which includes links to favorite content from major political journos and the U.S. presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain.
Google Reader's Chrix Finne said in a blog post, "[We] can read what they read, and see what's on their minds as they share and discuss news."
This is because each participant has created lists of what they read and Google has created feeds you can subscribe to in Reader (or any other feed reader, such as BlogLines or NewsGator).
Current participants of these so-called Power Readers include Obama and McCain campaigns, Mike Allen of POLITICO, Chuck DeFeo of Townhall, John Dickerson of Slate, Mark Halperin of Time, Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post, Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post, Jon Meacham of Newsweek, and Patrick Ruffini of The Next Right.
There's something kind of cool about seeing what your presidential candidates are tracking. We assume Obama and McCain read the Wall Street Journal, and according to them they do, but there are a number of other publications you might not have counted on them reading.
For example, in addition to The Drudge Report, Fox News and Forbes.com, McCain reads a site called the BBQ Bible. It's about grilling. Cool!
Obama's list is pretty vanilla. It includes the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Think Progress, the Talking Points Memo and the Economist.
It's interesting that Google's Reader team waited until after it solved the shared reader issue to launch this feature. Google wouldn't want Reader's past privacy squabbles with users to trickle over to these heavyweights, would it?
I have other more pressing questions for Google though: Did Obama, McCain and these journos really create lists and send them to Google to create these site feeds?
How did that work? Google contacted them? Were they Google Reader users prior to this arrangement?
I've asked Google these questions and here's the clipped response from a spokesperson:
"We've invited both presidential campaigns and leading journalists, bloggers, and editors in politics to share news stories and make their reading lists available by using Google Reader."
Looks like there was an invite and an acceptance. I'll conclude that most of these folks weren't Reader users prior to this service.