Why doesn’t Google Reader support comments or discussions?

There was an interesting article that got linked on Hacker News the other day the asked why comments on news stories couldn’t be drawn to a central location (I read way too many articles and the breadcrumbs in my brain aren’t taking me back to it – can anyone please send me it?). For example, if on my blog I discuss something on TechCrunch. People coming to this blog comment on the story here. The article was asking why can’t the comments from this blog be combined with those on TechCrunch?

Personally, I can’t think of anything worse. Have you tried following a thread on Fark? Slashdot? Slashdot in particular relies on moderation to stay readable, and even then it’s easy to get lost in the sea of discussion.

Personally, I like to know what my friends and associates think of something. There have been “virtual comment boards” that require a plug-in or external software that let you comment on any site you’re at. But that’s a complete pain in the arse. I want something seamless and fits with my existing habits.

Over the last 6 months all of my friends who are interested in reading and disseminating information online have switched to Google Reader for organising all their sites. I am very impressed with it so far, and am amazed at how long it took me to make the switch. I think I’ve narrowed down the two things that (for me) make it a killer app.

  1. The ability to very very easily add new feeds
  2. The simplicity of navigation and reading itself

But I’ve felt like something is missing. Then it clicked. The other thing I’ve really enjoyed doing on Google Reader is sharing articles. I know that my friends will read them, and even my blog readers can pick up on them. However I’ve often wanted to add some commentary or a note to the article when I share it. Speaking with my wife and brother, they have also mentioned wanting the same thing. I had thought that given my wife works at Google she might go hassle the Google Reader team, but no luck. Searching their blog turns up nothing about whether it has even been a considered feature.

Here’s hoping that they really do try and read all feedback on blogs, and add the one last feature that will make it a truly killer app.

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