A Facebook and Google Reader App for Bloggers

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Google ReaderA few weeks ago I wrote a post pointing out the growing usefulness of Facebook as a business tool. It isn’t that I am so enamored with the social network as I am optimistic that the new open platform will allow developers to create some very useful business applications.

Today I want to tell you about one such application that I think meets that criteria. The application is called Google Shared Items. This application allows Facebook members to easily do two very useful things. First, it makes it very easy to feature your blog posts on your profile page (your Facebook home page) allowing your network to get a taste of your blog. There are other ways to do this, but this one really works well.

The real power behind that app though is that it also allows you to see a list of all the blog posts that your friends/network have shared (Shared by bookmarking them in their Google Reader) and then ranked as the most popular items. This feature gives you your very own Digg like tool to discover changing content that, if your network is like minded, will provide you with a fabulous resource of relevant reading that you may never discover on your own.

The application is very simple to install and does require a Google Reader account as well. You can see my public Google Reader Shared stream here. This is the content that is then flowing to the Facebook application for other to view and share. Of course, this is for any content in your reader that your want to share, not just your own blog posts, but those of all the blogs you read – and it throws off an RSS feed so there are countless other ways for you to repurpose this content outside of Facebook as well.

A lot of folks are flocking to Facebook and then getting there and saying, now what?

So, if you’ve discovered business uses and applications for business use, post a comment and let us know!


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  1. Thanks for the tip, John.

    I just added the application to my Facebook account.

    I have also been messing around with the new Facebook Video application.

    I uploaded a few of my product videos for my business to my Facebook account, and made them public so that anyone can view them.

    The caveat for this feature is that you have to personally have something to do with the video, or Facebook won’t let you upload.

    As I am the product demonstrator and appear in the video and own all of the copyright to the video, I can upload my video.

    You can’t just upload random videos. And they have to be 2 minutes or shorter, so nothing long!

    Your post also gave me the chance to check out my unused Google Reader account too. (I use My Yahoo to read all of my feeds currently.)

    I’m actually considering switching to Google Reader after the re-look, because you can read all the posts without having to click all the way through to the blog page, so you can go through a large number of posts a lot faster.

    Frankly, I’ve found Facebook to be a good way to get back in contact with some old friends, but I haven’t really found it to be a useful business tool.

    (I have a MySpace page for my business, and I have found that to be pretty much useless.)

  2. Thanks for the tip! This is a great way to get blog content pushed to a wider audience. I’ve been on Facebook and MySpace in conjunction with a conference promotion for the last several months. We’ve found the Facebook audience much more appropriate for our purposes!

  3. Last weekend I noticed that people were streaming their blogs into the ‘Notes’ part of Facebook. This updates all of their Friend’s accounts every time they make a new blog post.

    I set mine up & it’s really slick!

  4. Is there an app that will bring my facebook feeds to my google reader? facebook’s blocked at office, and google reader isnt.

    In fact, RSS readers should extend themselves to be able to stream in & open email as well! That would be SO useful.

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