Fix Those Pesky Unread Shared Items

I’m a fan of Google Reader. I’ve written here before about their new improvements and how great it is to work in an iterative development area where improvements happen daily.

Even a great team has a failure once and a while. They recently added the ability to see your Google Talk Friend’s shared items within Google Reader. While this shows that Google has great plans for integrating their services, I’ve had problems with this feature right off the bat and from what I understand I’m not the only one.

My biggest problem was that the counter of unread items would go up but my ability to read said items was gone. I could no longer get updates of my friend’s shared items essentially rendering the feature useless. If you’re like me you’ve been plagued by the following screen since they introduced the feature:

Shared Item - Wrong Count

Thanks to Graham the helpful Google Reader Guide we now have a solution and it’s easier than you think.

  1. Make sure you’re logged into Google Reader and goto Settings -> Friends.
  2. Scroll down until you see the user who’s items won’t update correctly.
  3. Click Hide. You should see a picture like so:

    Hidden Google Reader User

  4. Go back to the main page by either clicking ‘<< Back to Google Reader’ or the Google Reader logo.
  5. Your friend should no longer appear at all in the ‘Friends Shared Items’ list.
  6. Go back to Settings >> Friends.
  7. Find Him/Her again.
  8. Click ‘Show.’
  9. Go back to the main page again.
  10. It might take a second but they will appear in the list again. Once they do they’ll have a small red ‘new!’ next to their name. Click their username.

At this point you will have their new shared items displayed. From now on things will act normally and you can mark the items as read as you see fit.

These instructions are a complete interpretation of Graham the helpful Google Reader Guide’s original post.

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