Steve Mermelstein of /usr/bin/geek asks what would happen if Google started using some of the stats in their Google Reader app to pull up the most popular stories of the blogosphere (ie techmeme, technorati, et. al.). A couple of others have also picked up on it now. Google Reader's shared items and starred items certainly seem ripe for the picking, I'm surprised there's not already a "Most Starred" and/or "Most Shared" story page. Could Google Reader really be a stealth entry into the user-generated news business? With Blogger recently adding an easy way to put AdSense on their user's sites, you can definitely see Google wanting an easy way to draw people to their user's blogs. Remember, Google's primary business is Advertising, a site ala Digg, using blogs from their Blogger Service has the potential to draw a lot of revenue. Of course not everyone uses Blogger, but how many people use AdSense? It's really in Google's best interest to be driving as many people to as many blogs as possible, and putting a user-generated news aggregation service on their front page would sure do that, and nobody would even have to work that hard! No more "digging" just hit "s" or "shift-s" as you're going through your feeds. And there'd be no overhead for Google, everyone is responsible for their own blog! It's a win-win.