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December 5, 2008

Google Friend Connect, Publicly Available

Google Friend Connect, the service that lets you add social features to a site without writing any code, is now available to everyone. Users don't need to setup a special account for a new site: they can log in using an existing account from Google, Yahoo, AOL or using an OpenID. They can also import a profile and the list of friends from a social network, but the only options are Google Talk, orkut and LinkedIn.

Google provides some basic gadgets that allow users to interact with a site: the members gadget that lists some of the people who joined the site, the wall gadget that lets you post general comments about the site and the review gadget, which associates the comments with an item from site (a blog post, a video). Friend Connect also supports OpenSocial gadgets, but there's no official directory of gadgets.

Google's new service is not yet a good way to build a community because it doesn't integrate with a site. You can only customize the appearance of a gadget, but you can't integrate your existing commenting system with Friend Connect or gain access to in-depth stats about your members.

You need to upload two files for RPC relay and canvas view, which is not always possible if you use a hosted blog service. Fortunately, Blogger already has the two files, so it's even easier to setup Friend Connect.

I added the members gadget and the wall, where you can post comments and links to YouTube videos:


Here's a short video that explains how to use Friend Connect:

20 comments:

  1. I already told you this by e-mail and you didn't added it in your post that I informed you!

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  2. Anonymous, it should also be added that I informed YOU !

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  3. Sorry about that. I didn't receive your messages in my main account because the forwarding filter didn't work. Do you have any idea how to create a Gmail filter that forwards all your email to a different account (I can't use the separate "forward all" feature)?

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  4. "You need to upload two files for RPC relay and canvas view, which is not always possible if you use a hosted blog service." That's the majority of bloggers.

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  5. I hope the Facebook and Google work together and sort it out, but I would rather have Google on a wide variety of platforms compared to Facebook's Friend Connect.

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  6. It works ok, but it has its quirks when used in a non-standard way. For instance, if a page uses scripting to switch between tabs... and you want to add different components on each tab... the components which start off hidden don't initialize properly. StareClips.com is an example of this issue.

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  7. Make a filter where all mail To: "your email addy" is forwarded.
    Simple works best.

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  8. @Anonymous:
    Thanks for the tip, even though your filter won't forward all messages. The initial filter used * in "Has the words", but it didn't work.

    BTW, I'm not able to post a comment in the Friend Connect widget even though I'm signed in and I've "joined the site".

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  9. I posted this new in my blog: www.albinoblackcrow.es

    It's interesting... Will this app became more used than Facebook and Bebo? lol

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  10. This looks like a great thing. Will soon try it out!

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  11. Why can't I sign in with my Google account? I set up a members gadget on my own Blogger.com blog, and it works. Only on this site, I can't sign in.

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  12. i was trying to use the voting gadget on my search pages so that users could know what previous visitors have commented about the same search. however, the code does not work. all the search pages show the same rating.. is there a way out???

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  13. @Deep:
    There's an option to get per-page gadgets when you generate the code. The default option doesn't show different gadgets for each page.

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  14. @Alex Chitu
    Deep is right. Even per page or ID code doesnt work

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  15. Tried the member gadget, but it gave the wrong number count for my users :/

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  16. @Alex - why forwarding? I'm pulling all my e-mail accounts to gmail with POP3, and it works quite well. A little labeling, and that's it :))

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  17. Set up the google friend connect nicely, filled out the details and then attempted to generate the code...first no code came..and then an hour later it showed up...pasted the snippet on my site...that was a week ago..still waiting for the membership gadget to appear...What gives, I thought this was going to breeze...can anybody tell me what's up?

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  18. Google friend connect is great tool of social network .
    It can make close relationship with your users .

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  19. First in the World: Videomap have Videochat with Google Friend Connecd Profile enabled. http://www.videomap.it/en/chat-en.html

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  20. I really like this concept and learned about it through a site I go to. However, I wanted to add it to a site that I have. Unfortunately, the site I use only allows certain file types to be added to the website server (images and URL links basically). Does anyone have any tips on how I can add it without uploading those two files? Or is there another way to upload it to the server without using the website's direct prompt box? The website is through rcampus.com if you are curious. Any suggestions would be great! I am already contacting the website but who knows what they will say.

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