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Life, Tech and Unimportant Minutiae

Google Reader Shared Items -> Pinboard, FeedDemon, Send to Pinboard...

Created by cmiles on 11/5/2011.

I have enjoyed and used Google Reader's Shared items for years and I was sad to see that feature removed in recent updates... There were very few people that followed my feed, but I enjoy sharing and it was an easy way to record interesting links for reference.

Thankfully a few quick adjustments and my 'sharing' workflow was restored! Some notes...

Google Reader Shared Item Feed discovery features: not important to me so I don't care about 'replacing' these features.

Storing Links: Pinboard! I have been using Pinboard (moved from Delicious a few months ago) to save links and I love it - so I signed up for another account to keep shared links (I could have used my current account but wanted to keep these separately).

Old Shared Items: Google offers your Shared/Starred items as JSON exports - Pinboard can import this format so moving your items items over is just a matter of exporting/saving from Google (under settings) and importing in Pinboard (settings, import). Pinboard added a number of 'stray' tags during the import, a little messy - but it really didn't bother me (although maybe I will do some clean up in the future).

Sharing/RSS Feed: Pinboard offers an RSS feed of your links. You can filter your feed by tags, so I decided on two tags ('general' and 'retail') to mark articles with. My two RSS feeds - and - nice!

Saving Links - Desktop: FeedDemon is a great Windows desktop RSS reader. It offers a customizable 'Sharing' feature that you can take advantage of to easily save links to Pinboard. To add Pinboard to the Sharing menu you need to add a new XML file to the FeedDemon\Data\SendTo\ folder (found in Program Files or Program Files (x86) - under C:\ on my setup). There are already a number of files (for delicious, Digg, Facebook...) in the SentTo folder that you can use as a template - and after a quick look at the Pinboard API Documentation this is what I am using for the links that I want tagged 'general':

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <fdsendto service="Pinboard - General" useInternalHttp="false" template=" &amp;description=&amp;tags=general"/>

This is not quite as smooth in FeedDemon as it was in Google Reader - but close enough for me! Note - this nice post (including Pinboard Information) on using the Google Reader Send To settings to add Pinboard support to the web interface.

Saving Links - Mobile: I was concerned that I would have trouble finding an easy way to save links on my Android phone - but Save to Pinboard adds an option to the 'Send To' menu making Pinboard is available from both of the RSS Readers that I have used - NewsRob and gReader Pro. Again, not quite as smooth as sharing in Google Reader, but pretty close.

The extra software, configuration and extra clicks are clearly not as easy/clean/elegant as the Google Reader sharing - the +1/Google Plus options in Google Reader might be the better way to go?!? But lately I have been willing to do a little more work if my best guess is that it will allow me to easily save my data, the way I want it, in a way I believe may be accessible for many years - with links from 2006 saved in Pinboard the method above seems like it has a chance to meet that goal! (A post about saving personal data on my other blog.)

Enjoy! CM

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