I use my Google Reader shared items as my general repository for all things I find interesting, including using the “note in reader” feature to attach comments to web pages I visit (see also – memory management). This works particularly well in my iPhone Byline reader client.
I also use the “star” feature to tag items for later reading or processing. Some of those I get to, some I don’t.
I haven’t known what to make of “Like” however (emphases mine) ….
Aha. Now I get it.
“Like” is necessarily public, whereas sharing has privacy restrictions (though I share with all). Part of being public is that “Like” is associated with user-tags; if you click on the “# Like” link you get a list of names (I did get a 404 not found when I clicked on that link for an item that had been shared, but it resolved anyway). The names link to show items the person “liked”; you can then choose, I suppose, to follow their “shared” item list.
It doesn’t work in Byline though – they haven’t added support for that marker. Still, I’ll check it out as a discovery mechanism when using the reader web app. The intersection between Shared and Like is a bit weird, but that’s kind of the rule with today’s social software. There are lots of conventions and intersections we haven’t figured out yet. As a general rule, I assume everything I do is completely public.
I like who Reader works, and I’m hoping for more interesting developments in the world of shared-mind discovery. Twitter on the other hand … (more about that in a post I’m plugging away at)