Google Reader, Your Newspaper, and Chris Brogan
The first impression I have of Chris Brogan is from a presentation at BarCamp Boston. Actually, the first impression was watching him try to record a presentation by holding an iRiver 1 inch from a speaker cabinet, but beyond that, he did a great presentation on building content networks. One of the takeaway moments of that presentation was when he took a copy of the Boston Globe he'd stolen from his neighbor's driveway and tore it up in front of the crowd into individual articles. He handed out an article to each person and said, "This is blogging."
Each person's blog is, in this model, a newspaper column. People don't pay to read individual newspaper columnists, in his presentation, people pay for the newspaper, and the ads in the Boston Globe are no different than AdWords or banner ads, really.
What Google Reader does with its shared items and shared items of friends is no less than let you publish your own newspaper. You incorporate the authors you read and like into your own reading, which is your field reporting staff, and then hand-pick all the best stuff out for your friends and the world. That's the distilled newspaper, YOUR newspaper, the newspaper that you'd gladly pay for if someone actually published it for you. It's your news.
Your Google Reader Shared Items is every bit a part of your personal brand and worldview as any other form of media you publish. Some people might call it reblogging or lazy man's blogging, but the reality is that it's as much work to edit a newspaper as it is to write for one, and Google Reader Shared Items is a newspaper with you as the editor. What you choose to share reflects on your personal brand and what you think is important in the world. Want to check out a new employee? See what's in their Shared Items. Want to see what's on your boss' mind? You know which newsstand to hit.
What's in the headlines of Your Daily News?
photo courtesy of Mr. Brogan's Flickr feed.