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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Google Shared Stuff
By Tony Ruscoe

Google has just quietly launched a new social link sharing service called Google Shared Stuff.

According to this help file, you can add links to your “shared stuff page” by adding a bookmarklet to your web browser’s “Links” or “Bookmarks” bar or by clicking this Share button, which currently only seems to be available on Google Video but is likely to be made available for embedding on any website.

When the bookmarklet is clicked, the popup allows you to choose whether you want to share a thumbnail image and article preview taken from the website or just the link. You can also email the link or share it on popular social networks like Facebook, Furl,, Social Poster, Reddit and Digg.

It’s possible to view the most popular shared stuff, also available filtered by tag and domain, or shared stuff from a particular user. At the moment, many of the shared items are from people testing this service, and I’ve also seen quite a few “adult” links and images in there, so it will be interesting to see how useful these pages are once more people start to share links. (The “most popular” page certainly doesn’t seem to be showing the most popular links based on the number of people who have shared them or viewed them either.)

When signed in to your Google Account, you can also view shared stuff from people you know, which seems to show any items that have been shared by any of your Gmail contacts.

Reto Meier wonders whether this is Google’s “Maka-Maka” social effort mentioned in the leaked Google Reader training video which will apparently become the infrastructure for social networking across all of their applications.

With Google tracking how often a link is shared and viewed, it will be interesting to see whether this data is used by their ranking algorithms, especially since users are asked to tag their shared items.

[Thanks Ben Allen, Ionut and Reto!]

Update: And another release from Google means another security flaw. I’ve just emailed Google Security about the problem I discovered earlier and will report back whether they think it’s a serious problem or if they can confirm that it’s been fixed. (There’s no need to worry too much, this doesn’t allow people to gain access to your Google Account, but it could be used to maliciously mislead people.)


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