This is driving me nuts. It’s entirely possible that I just can’t find the right setting but I’m having an issue right now where every single time I log into Google Reader a have a bunch of unread stories under “Friends’ shared items” but when I look all the stories are shared by people who are definitely not people I consider my friends. I couldn’t figure out where they were coming from and had to keep manually unchecking them in a list of contacts they were magically getting added to until I figured it out. These are people who have e-mailed me. Or worse, they are people who have posted a comment on something or filled out a form somewhere that eventually gets e-mailed to me. Google is seeing an e-mail from them and assuming if they are e-mailing me I must be friends with them and there for want to read anything they are sharing in Google Reader.
This is not the case at all. I’m not saying these people are not sharing interesting things, or that they might not be great people to be friends with, just that they are people I don’t know and don’t want their stories clogging up my listings. In this example all 17 of those unread stories are by people I’ve never once spoken to, but who have for some reason done something that landed an e-mail in my gmail box with them as the reply to address. Now I have to go in and manually uncheck each one of them, only to have to do the same thing over again tomorrow with a new set of people I’ve never heard of that Google has decided I must be close friends with. HALP!