Turn Your Favorite Google+ Profiles Into an Atom Feed

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Q: I have a profile set up on Google+, but I'm looking for an easy way to combine what some of my favorite people are producing there with my other reading. As far as I can tell, it isn't possible (yet) to subscribe by RSS to a Google+ user.

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A: Until Google makes the decision to provide an official API for its new social networking service, Google+, we're largely stuck with whatever the search giant provides us with. What we can and can't do on Google+ is in their hands. For the most part, anyway. A handful of enterprising developers have built outside programs and applications that live on their own personal websites, but use some of the data made available by Google+. For example, we put together a post on the 20 most popular profiles on Google+ after the service had been live for two weeks using data compiled by SocialStatistics.

A new unofficial application, Google+ User Feed, turns a Google+ user's posts marked as public into an Atom feed that can be uploaded into whatever RSS/Atom feed reader you're currently using. It's simple: Just navigate to the Google+ user you want to follow and copy his or her unique profile number from the URL. (My profile URL is https://plus.google.com/105902928007853425361/posts?hl=en, so the identifying number you would want to copy is 105902928007853425361.) Treat that number as the suffix to the Plus Feed URL -- http://plusfeed.appspot.com -- and you have an Atom feed that's easy to subscribe to.

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Image: Creative Commons.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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