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Google Reader 'friends' destroyed by Gmail Contacts update

Nic Pfost [PersonRank 1]

Wednesday, July 23, 2008
11 years ago2,771 views

One of the major problems with the way Google Reader handles your friend list is how tied into Gmail Chat it is.

Since Gmail (finally!) stopped automatically adding contacts to your contact list, I decided it was time to clean out all the cruft in my address book. So I exported all my Gmail contacts to Apple Address Book, did a lot of arranging and merging and deleting, then uploaded the final version back to Gmail.

Unfortunately, just before I uploaded the new contacts list from my computer, I naturally deleted all of my contacts in Gmail.

What I forgot was that Google Reader pulls your "friends" list automatically from the people you've chatted with. Since I had deleted and then re-imported my contacts, Gmail doesn't know that I've chatted with ANY of my contacts, which means I am now completely devoid of friends on Google Reader!

Even worse: the problem is reciprocal. That is, my former GReader "friends" are no longer seeing my shared posts in Reader (at least until they chat with me again in Gmail).

Since there is no actual hard-coded way to simply add friends in Greader, it's getting to be a real headache trying to get my old friends back!

Warn everyone you know!

Caleb E [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Yeah, the "I chat with this person" metadata doesn't appear to export with the rest of the contact. Does Google Reader not just add them back as you add them back on chat? Check this out: ...

But it's not a great solution. That really sucks. Thanks for the warning.

Nic Pfost [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Google Reader does NOT just add them back as you click "invite to chat" in Gmail. They have to "accept" that invitation first. For some this hasn't been a problem, but i know some Greader users that rarely use Gchat, for whatever reason.

Anyways, if I did this again I would do all the grunt work in Gmail, rather than exporting, fixing, then reimporting.

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