Monday, August 24, 2009

Comment fragmentation? How about comment molecularization? (Google Reader shared items)

Comment fragmentation has been discussed a lot. Consider a blog post that is echoed to FriendFeed, Twitter, and Facebook - the comments on the post could occur on any of those places, and more. Even within a single service, such as FriendFeed, you can have all sorts of comment fragmentation. For example, let's say that Steven Perez, Robert Scoble, Louis Gray, Rob Diana, and I choose to share an item via our FriendFeed accounts - that nearly guarantees that you'll get comment fragmentation in at least four locations (or, if I comment on my own item, five locations).

Well, now that FriendFeed has been sold to Facebook, a number of people - even people who DON'T believe that FriendFeed will be shut down any day now - are trying alternative services. One of those is Google Reader, which has included some social features for shared items for some time now, and has been adding to their functionality and ease of use. Specifically, you now have the capability to comment upon items and like them. (Sound familiar?)

Until recently, I hadn't linked to anyone on my "empoprises" Google Reader account (certainly not to the level that I had linked to people on my "mrontemp" Google Reader account). But recently, prompted by a FriendFeed thread with a bunch of Google Reader shared items URLs, I've linked to over a dozen people to whom I subscribe in FriendFeed.

Incidentally, if you want to subscribe to MY Google Reader shared items, go to, wait for the "Follow" button to appear, and click it.

And I've discovered that Google Reader comments, like FriendFeed comments, can be fragmented all over the place.

I am subscribed to both Louis Gray and Rob Diana via Google Reader. While Google Reader nicely concatenates an item that both people have shared, the comments themselves remain separate.

Is this solution (concatenated item, separate comments) the desirable solution?
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