Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Google Friend Connect

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image by via CrunchBaseThis evening I received an email infoming me that I had been whitelisted to try the Google Friend Connect servicewhich I applied to add to my site. Google Friend Connect is an online service by Google that allows users on the internet to connect with their friends on different websites.

Joining Facebook Connect and MySpace Data Availability, Google Friend Connect is an Open Social application offered by Google starting May 2008. Google Friend Connect main focus is to simplify the connection between social and non-social websites standardize the handling and presentation of social applications and content. [Source]
We appreciate your interest in Google Friend Connect and would now like to invite you to try the service. You can get started by visiting our homepage and clicking the "Set up a new site" button.
Once you have logged into your Google Account navigate to where you will be able to setup your site -

Grow traffic by adding social features to your site

Google Friend Connect means more people engaging more deeply with your website -- and with each other.

Enrich your site
Choose engaging social features from a catalog of gadgets by Google and the OpenSocial developer community.

Attract more visitors
Your users can easily invite friends from social networks and contact lists to visit and join your site.

No programming whatsoever
Just copy and paste a few snippets of code into your site, and Friend Connect does the rest.
Friend Connect's goal is to facilitate an open social web. Using open standards like OpenID and OAuth, Friend Connect makes it simple for people to instantly interact with one another on the sites that they already love to visit. Additionally, websites that use Friend Connect become OpenSocial containers, capable of running applications created by the OpenSocial developer community.[Source]
Google Friend Connect lets you grow traffic by easily adding social features to your website. This means means more people engaging more deeply with your website -- and with each other. In the below video, Google Product Marketing Manager Mendel Chuang gives a short introduction to Google Friend Connect.

Here's what you will do as you add Friend Connect to your site:

Blogger (Google) is the platform I use for blogging, self-hosted blogs need to add two required files to the web server - canvas.html and rpc_relay.html. My blog isn't self hosted so it wasn't a requirement to add the files instead I was able to skip this step and proceed with embedding the Members and Social gadgets to the sidebar.

Google Friend Connect definitely has potential, it's user friendly and required minimal configuration to add to the site. I am interested in implementing Facebook Connect here also but at first glance it appears likely it will take a significant amount of research. I also wonder how interactive blog comment sites like Disqus and Intense Debate will be affected as this becomes more widely available.

I have implemented two of the available Google Friend Connect gadgets, curious to see how quickly people will interact with them. For exposure I have added both to the right sidebar in the highest position to see what response they receive. If you're reading this post, please Join and let me know if you find them useful.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]