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Nov 05 2011

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Notes From the Workshop: 20111105

Recently Google dropped the shared items feature from Google Reader. Instead they integrated article sharing with Google+. This screwed up the way that I created my Hand Picked News. Unfortunately there is no easy way to get this functionality back. Yes there are new options, but they all leave something to be desired.

  1. I could share my items on Google+ and create an RSS feed of those items, but this would require all my shared items be public and it wouldn’t discriminate between items I posted and items I shared from Google Reader.
  2. I could use the send to option in Google Reader, but this would require a whole new method of pulling items into my site.
  3. I could use the +1 feature, unfortunately +1s are Google’s bastard child. Google doesn’t provide anyway to view them besides your Google+ profile page.

Then a few days ago I remembered Feed 43, they are a service that scrapes web pages to create RSS feeds. After about an hour of fiddling, I figured out how to create an RSS feed from my +1s (I wrote about it on my other blog). From there it was a simple matter of tweaking Ben’s Workshop to display the feed.

The updated and Picked News News block on the side of the front page should remain pretty much the same, but the actual Hand Picked News Page has suffered a lot in quality. The Google +1s just don’t save as much information as the old Google Reader shared feed. This is the best I can do for now.

If you want the direct RSS feed here it is: http://feed43.com/7866848214517258.xml

Permanent link to this article: http://workshop.electronsmith.com/content/notes-workshop-20111105/

1 comment

  1. Jeff

    Yea, Google seems to do things without asking us for input. Recently all of us Blogger users were introduced to their new lightbox photo feature – a Facebook style photo slider. I personally did not like it at all as did a number of other users. The complaints caught the attention of Google and they added it as an option that could be turned off. Problem fixed.

    You may want to register a stern but diplomatic complaint in their help forum (no doubt you have already done that). Good luck with your fix.

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