I've been reading with some amusement the furor that is erupting over Google's decision to begin exposing your Reader shared items with others it finds in your Gmail address book. Personally, it doesn't bother me in the least, but I can see where some would be ticked. Just because someone is in your address book does not make them a node in your social network. In fact, it just might be the opposite. The people who you exchange email may in actuality be the least likely to be in your affinity group. I've asked this before: Do you send email to people in your social network?
I almost never exchange email with my closest social network--the people who matter most. When I've looked at importing people into Facebook or Twitter from my Gmail account I find almost no one that I would invite to join my network. Seriously it's one or two people at most.
For me, a whopping three people are able to see what I'm sharing directly through Reader. I do communicate with these three people through a variety of other mechanisms, so in my case Google grabbing my address book was pretty accurate in identifying nodes of my network. So you know, there is a syndication feed of what I share so the whole world can see everything anyway. I don't think that what I read and choose to share is any big whopping deal. The unforgivable sin that Google committed in this case was making people opt-out. You'd think these folks would learn...
Here's a trend I've noted in my own use of these tools. I'm finding that sharing through Reader is causing me to use del.icio.us less, or perhaps more appropriately. I'm finding that I am not bookmarking as many things that I find "interesting". Instead, I'm sharing these items through Reader. Things I bookmark are items that I actually want to return to in the future. How about you? Are you finding that you are using del.icio.us less and sharing in Reader more?