Last week, I was quite the curmudgeon about the changes to Google Reader, which ostensibly make the RSS reader a more social, friend-friendly place to read and share content.
No, my feelings haven’t changed. But TechCrunch noted that Google made a small change to make Reader less social, which I approve of.
Hey, Reader is my story board, so to speak. How would you like someone messing with your story boards and notepads?
One of my gripes was that Google last week launched a “like” feature that lets users click on a button to give the thumbs-up for any item in Reader.
Google argued: “Checking out shared items for people who have ‘liked’ the same items as you is a great way to discover other people with interests similar to your own.”
I noted: “I quickly found that I don’t know these people and therefore don’t care that they liked the same articles I liked. Maybe it’s because I use Google Reader expressly for work to find story ideas and see what colleagues and rivals are working on.”
Things have changed a bit. Google now lets users choose to see “likes” for only those contacts they follow — friends, family and colleagues instead of everyone in the world. The new option is in the Settings menu of Reader:
What do you think about this feature? Should Google offer even more granular social controls for Reader? I say yes.