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Posts Tagged ‘Social Networking’

Presenting Friend Connect from Google. It’s the latest tool that will turn any website into a social website by enabling interactions amongst the visitors. As the press release explains…

“Websites that are not social networks may still want to be social — and now they can be, easily. With Google Friend Connect (see http://www.google.com/friendconnect following this evening’s Campfire One), any website owner can add a snippet of code to his or her site and get social features up and running immediately without programming — picking and choosing from built-in functionality like user registration, invitations, members gallery, message posting, and reviews, as well as third-party applications built by the OpenSocial developer community.

Visitors to any site using Google Friend Connect will be able to see, invite, and interact with new friends, or, using secure authorization APIs, with existing friends from social sites on the web, including Facebook, Google Talk, hi5, orkut, Plaxo, and more.”

This is the basic idea behind Friend Connect.

And this is what a typical website would look like after Friend Connect is installed.

Personally, I think this is great. The idea is really an extension of the good old chat rooms which are usually sorted out by personal interests but became useless because of too much spam and the inability to network with people who aren’t online. Friend Connect would neatly take care of that. And quite honestly, most social networking sites aren’t that friendly anyway. As this Washington Post article explains…

“While large social networks such as Facebook and MySpace are judged to be worth billions, they have also drawn criticism for being “walled gardens” — places that allow members to connect easily only while at those sites.

The Friend Connect service raises the possibility that the kind of kibitzing now largely contained in a handful of mega-sites could be easily spread anywhere.”

and…

“Friend Connect is aimed at the millions of Web sites that could benefit from having members interact, but are unable to open their Web pages to such connections because of a lack of technical expertise or hardware.”

So how does Google make money out this thing? Funny you should ask…David Glazer, an engineering director working on Google’s social initiative explains…

“Friend Connect is “about helping the ‘long tail’ of sites become more social,” Glazer said. “Many sites aren’t explicitly social and don’t necessarily want to be social networks, but they still benefit from letting their visitors interact with each other.”

And this gem about Google…

“[Google] benefits when “the Web is healthy.” When more people use the Web, more people see the ads that Google runs on Web sites.”

Now that’s the way to stay ahead of competition. Keep on changing the game.

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