Sometimes it feels as though you spend your whole life online waiting to get access to the latest web site that everyone else already has access to. The site du jour, or rather the widget du jour, has been Google Friend Connect (via MediaFuturist and NevilleHobson). Finally, late this evening, I got my invite. A Google Friend Connect widget is now visible in the sidebar…albeit with just the one friend…me.
Google Friend Connect allows you to add social features to your site, from the basic ‘members gadget’(that I have added) to more interactive gadgets allowing for comments and links to be posted. Whilst sidebar-junk is a problem for most bloggers, Google Friend Connect offers a very simple entry into the world of distributed social networking; something I have been longing for before I even heard of the term. I am not a Google fan, but its weight means that such a feature can be utilised by millions of people with little more than a click.
Personally I will be interested to see who subscribes to my site (if anyone at all), and how many subscribers will be spammers.
The big question, that I have yet to hear anyone address is how Google Friend Connect will effect Orkut. Will Google Friend Connect create the opportunity for Google’s social networking site to make inroads into the US market?