A mighty struggle with embedding Google Reader shared items on my blog and glorious, oh glorious, victory

After reading this post from Robin Good, I finally got around to executing an efficient way to share what I’m watching, reading, listening to and playing with on the Web by embracing Google Reader’s sharing power.

Yes, my three readers, there is now a Recommended Reading page AND a widget in this site’s sidebar. Go ahead, drag your eyeballs up, then to the right and a bit down. Keywords you’re looking for are “Recommended Reading.” Such delights await your gaze! Thanks to C. Murray Consulting for the plugin.

I never knew embedding and displaying a feed could pose such vigorous challenges to my blog skills. Yes, I found multiple ways to present my personal pile of Intertube gems, but none were quite right.

After battling a number of deceitful demons of information connection paradise, I developed a lovely list of failures:

  1. The Google Gadget solution, recommended by Robin Good, from digital inspiration. I kept getting error messages when I dropped in the link to my shared items.
  2. Embedding Reader’s shared items with Google Web Elements. When I dropped the code into my page, nothing would appear. However, it did appear for a moment! Then it was gone. Where art thou? I tried moving div tags around; I tweaked code in ways I thought would fix the display problem. Fail. So instead of digging deeper into that problem, I kept searching because that’s the magic formula of Google: scan the surface for an easy answer and dig when necessary.
  3. I tried a blidget, but it offered too little control over its appearance unless, it seems, I got the supa-dupa version.
  4. Yourminis? Are you my friend? No! Enemy! In fact, isn’t this just someone playing with Yahoo Pipes? Regardless, I plugged in my RSS link, and a scintillating load of nada greeted me in return. Au revoir, au revoir.

I’ve lost track of how I discovered my saviors, but whatever, so goes the memory when I fail to enlist my cognitive assistant when searching.

And, finally, let us pull back the curtain to reveal the widget dropped in with some friendly short code of “recreading”:

[recreading]

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