Enable Comments on Shared Items from Google Reader

Problem: As more and more people I know start sharing their reading from Google Reader I find that I want to comment back on the things they are sharing. There isn’t a super-easy way to do this yet (that I have come across).

Solution: Send the Google Reader Shared Items feed through Tumblr and connect Tumblr to Disqus to enable comments. Granted, this solution is definitely a hackaround and far from elegant – but it gets the job done. At least until some genius-angel with free time comes along and solves this properly.

Step 1: Get the feed address(s) from your Shared Items pages in Google Reader.

Find the link to your Shared Items page in Google Reader

My Shared Items page is here if you want to see what one looks like.

Step 2: Log into your Tumblr account and from the Dashboard follow the Customize link.

Follow the Customize link in Tumblr

Click on the Feeds link in the menu across the top of the new page and “Automatically import my”… *RSS Feed* as *Links with descriptions*, then paste the address of your Shared Items from Google Reader into the Feed URL field. Finish the process by clicking the Start Importing this Feed button. Voila, Tumblr will start pulling in the feed(s).

Paste your Shared Items feed address to import it

Step 3: This is where you connect Disqus to enable comments. Log into your Disqus account, go to the Dashboard and find the Blog Integration button. Select Tumblr as the platform. Copy/Paste the code you are given and follow the instructions for placing it into your Tumblr template.
Log into Disqus to begin integration with Tumblr

Step 4: Copy the two snippets of code from Disqus into your Tumblr template. Access your Tumblr template by going back to your Tumblr account to Dashboard -> Customize -> Theme. I would be more specific about what to edit, but your template may be different than mine. Your best bet is to follow the Discus guide on the same page you were given the two snippets of code.

You can check out what the final product looks like at my Tumblr page (I also pull in a couple other feeds such as my del.icio.us links). Notice the comment count is displayed for each item now. Now that it is all said and done you’re ready for comments on your Shared Reading. Don’t forget to tell your friends where they can find the link. I pull mine back into this site into the sidebar by using the feed generated by Tumblr.

If you find a more elegant and customizable solution than this one, I’m very interested to hear about it, so I hope you’ll share!