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24 Sep 2008

Friend Connect – Google’s Social Marketing Network

Google Friend Connect

"Friend Connect is Google’s poster boy within their social network that will bring OpenSocial to your blog before Christmas this year, or so I believe".

Guest Post by Chris Lang

We have all heard about Friend Connect, at least in passing so let’s start with an explanation of what Friend Connect really does. First of all there is a Friend Connect widget (see sample here) that looks allot like MyBlogLog, but that is where the comparison ends. Here is how it works:

#1 You click the "Join" button on the widget.

#2 You click the confirm button in the popup window that opens.

#3 You have just added the Blog’s RSS feed to your Google Reader.

#4 Now you can click the avatars of others that have joined the Blog and you get the "+add friend" link since you are a member of the Blog’s following. Click that link.

#5 You can now add a short introductory blurb and click the send button to send a friend request.

#6 The other Friend Connect member accepts your friend request one of two ways:

- By accepting your Google shared items feed in their Google Reader "friend shared items."

- By accepting your friend request thru Gmail chat or Gtalk.

#7 Now this new friend will also be portable and show up as a friend on other blogs with the Friend Connect widget installed.

Google is rolling out the Friend Connect widget any day on Blogger first, before offering it elsewhere. Right now Google is calling it the "Following" widget.

On Monday night 9-15-2008, or early Tuesday morning, I saw Google running full Friend Connect on Blogger in the Following widgets for about 3 or 4 hours. The following widget is really Friend Connect, it just depends what code Google feeds it. At least that is what I was going on for the few hours that night.

Then about 10AM Arizona time the Friend Connect widget started to slow down, fail to fully load and then finally the "Following" HTML interface came back and Friend Connect was gone.

This is the most powerful Social Networking development to come along. Why? Because this is where you will find and make new friends thru the Google Social Network: Googling Social.

This is the last piece of the four application Google social network. That is comprised of Gmail, Google Reader, your Google Profile and your Google shared items page and finally Friend Connect.

The reason Google rolled out the Following widget is so that when they release Friend Connect on Blogger any day now, Friend Connect will simply replace the Following widget.

The really big development is that Google is going to finally take RSS to the masses by simply adding a "Join" button to the widget. When you click the button and then confirm that you want to follow the blog then the RSS feed is added to your Google Reader under the Google account you are logged into.

This obviously has some pretty big implications for you link builders out there that have used social bookmarking and RSS feeds as a part of your link building efforts.

You can learn much more about Friend Connect on my Social Marketing blog, and you can send a friend request to me thru Gmail chat at the address: chrislang [at] gmail[dot]com. See you on the Friend Connected web! – Chris Lang

Check out the Google Friend Connect Video.

[tags] google friend connect, chris lang, mybloglog, opensocial, google reader, google profile, social marketing blog [/tags]