Google reader recently announced a new feature called “Power Readers.” At the power readers homepage you can follow what different political journalists are reading. It’s a pretty cool idea. I’ve been trying to do something similar at my blog with my “what I’m reading/watching” gadget and my del.icio.us feed in the “My Favourites” section.
The power readers site is powered by the “shared items” component in Google Reader, which is great for personal use, but not so much for sharing. Here’s what a typical power reader page looks like. The problem with Google Shared Items is that you can’t tag anything, so there’s no meta data to link ideas, topics or concepts together. And since Google is trying to get people to “share and discuss news” withholding a tagging function seems counterproductive.
Without meta data you lower the probability of someone looking past your initial page when they don’t find something personally interesting. And even if they do find something interesting there’s no way for someone to easily find posts on the same topic.
So is there a website that allows you to save things from the internet and tag them in an a way that promotes sharing and discussion? Yes, it’s called delicious. And yes delicious already has a networking feature that allows you to add other users so you can see what they read. To compete with Google it seems all delicious has to do is make some of its more high profile users known to the community. That doesn’t seem too hard.