Google Reader gets universal sharing and microblogging features
Google Reader gets an important update for sharing.
Google upgraded its Reader product yesterday with a handful of important new features that let people share content with anyone from any Web site.
Previously its sharing features were confined to whatever RSS feeds you were subscribed to. As a solution to this problem, Google has created a small bookmarklet users can add to their browser's toolbar to simply share whatever page they're looking at to their shared items feed. Users can also attach personal notes on these, or any other shared items in a similar fashion to Facebook's share or Tumblr's ReBlog implementation, which lets you add your own take on a link then post it to your blog with about two clicks.
The company has also significantly improved personalization of people's share pages, letting them choose from one of four themes. Each theme gives the share page a different header while the rest of the design stays the same. I'm assuming the company will add more extensive customizations later on considering people's gReader share pages are becoming a modified version of Blogger.com pages.
Speaking of blogging, one of the more interesting side effects of the new changes is that Google is now offering some Twitter-like functionality to people's reader pages. From the notes page in Google Reader you can simply type in whatever text you want and hit publish. The note will then go out to your shared items blog with a little quote bubble. However, unlike microblogging services there are no limits on length, and you can even drop in full HTML to add links, photos and page formatting. It's certainly a poor-man's blogging solution compared with a service like Wordpress or Blogger, but if you were so inclined you could use it as lightweight platform to reshare content you discover while checking your feeds.