Google recently added some social features to Google Reader that I found to be terribly distracting. The footer of every post now has a button you can press to show that you “like” that post. Any post that anyone “liked” now has, at its top, a smiley face with “n people liked this”. Annoying because:
- I don’t care how many people liked that post. I really don’t. I’ll read the post for myself and decide if I like it. Whether anonymous people like it doesn’t matter at all to me. That people I know might matter, but mostly that’s covered by them writing about it on their own blogs.
- The “n people liked this” message appears at the top of the post! I can’t even easily ignore this useless information. It’s just clutter.
Fortunately, you can turn it off (mostly). In Google Reader’s settings, under “Preferences”, click “Only show ‘Likes’ by people you follow.”