Google Friend Connect. How does it help? What does it do?

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Google Friend Connect is an enigma to me at this point. I have read and reviewed and still feel quite in the dark. The reviewers are generally pro the feature but some suggest that they still have a lot to learn about it. It all comes down to social features but no definitions offered. If anyone can put it into a nutshell I am sure that Synthasiters will be grateful.

Following is a small list of reviews: Some are really in double speak or jargon which always makes me scared.
Google brings Friend Connect to the masses. By Dan FARBER
As expected, Google has unveiled a preview of Friend Connect, a way to add social features to a Web site without
David Glazer, director of engineering at Google, described Friend Connect, as plumbing for the rest of the Web.
"The Web is getting better by getting more social. We've baked social features into the infrastructure of the Web, and it is not tied to any particular site," Glazer said. "Users can interact with any of their friends anywhere they go on Web, and with any app."
Unlike Facebook and MySpace, Google lacks a dominant, centralized social-networking hub. Friend Connect works the edges of the Internet, applying an open and distributed approach, and bringing a social dimension to the 99-plus percent of sites that aren't socially enabled.


Google Friend Connect -- making open social easy. by Charlene Li.
"The biggest buzz right now about social networks is not about them becoming more open, but about how they can't make money. I expect that at some point in the future, participating sites will have the option of enabling monetization engines via AdSense that tap into the deep profile and user data flowing through Friend Connect -- all done, presumably, with clear user approval and transparency."

What?? And How??

The best review and instruction is here:
Google Friend Connect Tactics
Friend Connect Google social networking...Chris LANG

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  • unsure

Posted 11 years ago

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Sean Crotty at SynthaSite

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Hi Peter,

Thanks for your question.

You can use Google Friend Connect to put 3 different modules on the website you make using SynthaSite. The 3 modules are:

-- Members gadget
-- Wall gadget
-- Review / Rate gadget

If you put the Members gadget on your site, people can sign up to "join" your site. They will be listed right there in the gadget on your site. They will have a profile and they can invite their friends to join your site as well (getting you more visitiors).

If you put the Wall gadget on your site, it allows people to post comments about your site or that page. Kind of like posting on someone's "Wall" in a social network.

If you put the Review / Rate gadget on your site, is allows people to review or rate what ever topic you choose. This could be your site, a page, a picture on your site, ... anything. The gadget will display the average rating, as well as each person's comments and rating.

Here's our original Get Satisfaction post on using Google Friend Connect:

Hope this was helpful. Please ask if I can add any more info to this.


P.S. Here's a resource I started for SynthaSiters looking for tips and tricks. It has a list of recent articles and blog posts discussing what you can do with SynthaSite: . I'll be adding additional pointers as we go along.
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Hello Sean,

Thank you for your extensive reply. I'm grateful.

All the stuff you mention is well reviewed in the blogs and I guess the starting point for GFC. It really doesn't give any real meaning . Each of the gadgets are available as stand-alones and others are easier to use and more powerful. I can't help but feel it's a hype at this stage and few are convinced I think. One point is that it's probably the easiest gadget to install ever (other than Synthasite type widget box type widgets).

I'm doing Chris Lang's tutorial which is a well writtten 5 point instruction with descriptions of benefit along the way. It still doesn't get to the basic benefit of GFC. There's still a lot of hype in this also with mentions of 2.5 scores etc for each join in your SEO rankings blah, blah....

If you're on another page of your site you are unaware of who is connected. there is no notification. If someone leaves a message on the wall gadget you probably wouldn't be aware of the presence. IM is a superior system at this point.

I've installed GFC and the two ancillary gadgets. The review and wall gadgets mirror each other so I think that one of them is redundant I have had a couple of joins but mostly people ask what does it do? It's almost impossible to explain and if you point them to reviews there's simply a glazed over kind of acknowledgement. Maybe early days nd there's a lot happening behind the scenes but for most internet users without fairly specifc descriptions of benefits it will remain in the SEO type realm. Enigmatic.
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guys i sort of understand how google friend connect works but i dont how to put it on my site and i already tried but google says i shud download something to website server.
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Hi Dukemailula,

We have a great tutorial which will take you through the process of adding Google Friend Connect to your site; here is the link: Google Friend Connect Tutorial -
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i just saw the tutorial after posting the questions and i just put on my site now.thanks a lot