I usually don’t post tutorials, but I’ve been asked by so many people to explain how to share stuff from Google Reader to their social networks that I’m doing this one. I already posted a negative rant last week, so this time I’ll be more constructive. I’m a heavy Reader user, with almost 500 feed sources and I usually go through a 1000 items each day , so this disruption was more than inconvenient for me.
Before the changes imposed by Google, all you had to do was to go through your feed item list on Reader, click on share, then had the feed of the shared articles folder connected to a service like dlvr.it and that was it, they would be automagically posted to Twitter and sorts. But since sharing is no more, we have to be a bit more creative. I started using Feedly, a better looking alternative to Google’s interface, but I used it mostly because it was simple and it kept the sharing option even after the “share” button disappeared from Reader. But as of last Friday, that is no longer possible. If you don’t know Feedly, take a look at this video.
I started looking for alternative solutions that didn’t imply changing to another feed reader – I got used to Feedly and I’ve been enjoying the experience so far – and that weren’t too complicated. My goal was to send items that I wanted to share from my feed list to Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. The best and the most simple solution was IFTTT.
IFTTT stands for If This Then That, and it is based on recipes (I’m sharing mine below). The recipe I wanted was something like: If shared on Reader, Than post to social network. But since sharing is no longer possible we have to use something else, like the Starred items.
Feedly doesn’t have a “star item” option, but it will do that if you press the “save for later” button. So, either you’re still using GReader’s interface or you moved to Feedly just like me, that’s the way it works.
Then I created my recipes on IFTTT (you can use them and change the settings – all you have to do is click on the icons and login to the services). I tweaked them so the articles appeared in my Twitter timeline like this: [FEED] item title + item url.
For Facebook I chose to use the text of the article too, but you can remove that.
But there are other articles I want to keep for future reference. Delicious was my first choice for social bookmarking, but when there was a real chance it might shut down, I started using Diigo as a backup. Still, since Delicious is still active and Diigo has extra features, including one that pushes all the bookmarked content to Delicious, I use them both.
First I installed the Diigo addon to Firefox, then connected both accounts. Here’s when dlvr.it steps in. I added my Delicious account to the sources and then picked the channels to which I wanted my bookmarked contents distributed. In the source settings I chose to use the [Delicious] prefix so those links would stand out from the Google Reader shares.
So, in a nutshell, here’s my feed flow, I hope it was useful for you. There are other alternatives but this was the simplest way to get around the sharing block. If you have suggestions let me know.