After trying one method of bringing my shared Google Reader items into WordPress I’m not exactly thrilled with the results. Rather than creating a single post per shared item I think I’d be happier with rolling a week’s worth of items into a single “roundup” post. The things I share aren’t really meant to spark discussion, they’re just good reads I want to share.
What I really want to be able to do is create a post with a list of links to the items that have been shared since my last update (much like Kurtis does occasionally with random links). Problem is I can’t find a plugin that does this so it looks like I’ll be putting my noob PHP skills to use to create another plugin. Naming it is going to be the hardest part, “Feed Link Extractor” or “Feed Link Aggregator” or something.
You might be wondering what these “Shared” posts are. Most of my web surfing consists of reading my RSS subscriptions in Google Reader, all 146 of them. On a given day I might find one or two things that I think other people would want to read. Google Reader lets you share items with your “friends”, but there’s no way to have a discussion about the content.
A while back I was trying to figure out a way to share those “shared” items with a wider audience. I stuck a link in the sidebar to my shared item page, but I doubt anybody uses it. What I really wanted to do was have WordPress automatically create posts with a link to the content I mark in Google Reader. The WP-o-matic plugin does exactly what I want.
Setting up the plugin involves creating a CRON job on the server and setting up a feed to check periodically. You can customize the content of the post that gets created; I opted for a little blurb and a link to the content. I wanted to modify the title that gets created which isn’t an available option so I modified the plugin to do that for me. I also set it to save posts as drafts so I can assign a category and tags and maybe some of my thoughts before Google Reader gets a hold of it and caches it forever.
So these shared posts are really the cream of the crop of my subscriptions and I’d love to have people share things they find. I like the fact that whenever shared items show up in Google Reader from my friends they are of high quality and worth the read even though it might be outside my immediate area of interest.
Just realized you don’t have to subscribe to a feed in Google Reader to share something you find on the Internet. Under “Your Stuff” they added “Notes” a while back. On that page there’s a bookmark you can drag to the bookmark toolbar, click it, add a note and share the note in your Shared items. Highlight text on the page and it will prepopulate the description field with it. If you can’t see my shared items, send me a chat invitation in Gmail; pretty sure that’s the only way to become “friends” in Google Reader. Added a test note of a chart from Ross Perot’s perotcharts.com.