> ~ Insights by SewCalGal ~

Monday, February 27, 2012

The way you Follow Blogs may be changing - Google Friend Connect

There are a variety of ways to follow a blog, one of which is Google Friend Connect (GFC).  Many that follow my blog, us GFC.

For those that use GFC to follow SewCalGal, I do not believe you will be impacted by changes coming down the road to this utility.  Thus, I certainly welcome others that may want to follow me using this utility.  Simply click on the "Join this site",  on the right hand column, and follow the few steps to follow.

While you may already be aware, I do want to share insights that I've learned in my research.  First,
Google has decided to retire this tool on March lst,  and has issued various announcements of their plans, with the most recent showing:

I understand this announcement as Google's effort to push use of Google+ and the impact will be associated with non-blogger blogs (e.g. Typepad, Wordpress, etc)..  To clarify, I do not view that this will impact followers of SewCalGal that use GFC, or those that use GFC on any blogger (blogspot.com) blogs).    But here are some questions that I've been trying to better understand, and will continue to try to get clarification from Google support teams (they've yet to respond to my questions):

Will GFC's obsolecence only impact non-blogger sites (e.g. Wordpress, Typepad, etc.) ? 
answer:   To the best I can tell, this planned obsolecnese will ONLY impact non-blogger sites.

Will those that use blogger (e.g. *.blogspot.com) blogs be ok? 
answers:  I believe that all blogger supported blogs will NOT be impacted.
If GFC is disabled, will Google Reader (www.google.com/reader ) will work? 
answer:  I believe Google Reader will continue to work.  I'm hoping that manually added links to follow non-google blogs will continue to work, but I have not been able to get a confirmation from Google.  Many of us will know the answer to this early March, but I'll try to update this post as soon as I have more information.

Will Google+ meet the needs for blog followers?
answer:  This is a personal opinion, but I feel this is not a good solution for blog followers. Google Plus can be automatically fed with information when a blog is updated.  A blogger can also manually post a comment and link on Google + to announce they've updated their lob.  But, a follower could easily overlook such a comment on Google+ and may not realize a blog has been updated. Thus, I am truly disappointed that Google is obsoleting this utility.  While it may only impact non-blogger blogs, it is still a disappointment.  

Google does recommend that Bloggers point followers to using Google + and they also encourage blogers to export the data from GFC.  This export may be beneficial to blogs supported by a variety of platforms (e.g. Typepad, Wordpress, Blogger), but it appears to be limited to exporting a maximum of 2,000 followers.  And, what can be done with this export is limited to what you can do with it manually.  Don't expect to be able to import it to another tool for followers to use. 

For Followers, it looks like your options to follow are now:
  1. Networked Blogs
  2. Linky Followers
  3. Bloglovin
  4. RSS feeds
  5. subscribe thru email

Again, as a follower of SewCalGal I believe that you should still be able to follow via GFC.  Other ways you can follow SewCalGal are:
Follow SewCalGal on Google+
Networked Blogs
Linky Followers

If you have additional insights and/or recommendations, I hope you'll add a comment to share your perspective. 

Don't forget, SewCalGal loves her followers!  Fun Friday giveaways were created especially for followers.  To clarify, you need to be a follower to win a prize in a Fun Friday giveaway.  Other giveaways and contests typically give followers an extra entry.  This is my little way to say thank you for being a follower.


Sharon - Lilabelle Lane said...

It is my understanding that as a blogspot blog that we will be ok but those who use another format, ie. wordpress will loose the GFC on their blogs. It's also my understanding that if you are following a wordpress blog in Google Reader is should still be there in March if you have subscribed ... still waiting to see this one tho! Fingers crossed they are still all there on the 1st.

Susan said...

I think I am relatively technically savvy or experienced - but this is getting confusing - I will just have to wait til March 1st and see what I keep and what I lose - then I will get my smarty pants teenager onto the job!! So, if you never hear from me again - you know why!!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

It sure is so confusing. I wrote a post last week about the changes.

KaHolly said...

I'm NOT particularly computer savvy and I AM confused. I hate it when (they) make (it) better, but it's really worse. I find it happens often.

ga447 said...

Thank you for all the info, I will just have to wait till March 1st and see what happens.

Sue said...

I'm a battling Luddite but thanks so much for trying to teach me the facts. I hope I don't blow up in the confusion!

Marguerita said...

I use RSS on iGoogle pages and that works for me so far because I am not really a fan of blog aggregators :) I "friended" too many blogs to be able to follow them using Friend Connect - just like I did with Facebook.

I prefer Google+ now, because I can put feeds into the circles that I want them in, and I can view each circle (I think of them as groups of quilters) as I have time. All the technology is overwhelming at times. I am old enough to remember when only IBM and NASA had computers - LOL :)

Lilacs said...

Thank you so very much for sharing this SewCalGal, and everyone else commenting with it too. I guess after March 1st we will know things for sure...but have some ideas from reading to check into as well. Thanks again everyone, and have a super week!:)


Cathy said...

I titally agree with Sharon above. It will not impact those who use blogger but rather those with other blog formats.

Marjorie said...

Interesting that Google would do that. I don't follow using GFC if there is another way, and have taken everything off my WP blog for following except Networked blogs. Have used Google Reader a long time and hopefully that will work well in the future. Maybe this will create an opportunity for others to step in if Google is going to be that proprietary.

Renate said...

The clock is ticking down and at this point, even though I consider myself technically savvy to a degree, all this jargon is giving me a migrane. I mean whatever happened to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"? Oh well, like everyone else I will see what happens on March 2 and be held hostage by "them" just like so many others.

Doreen said...

I am sure that this move, like many others, can be boiled down to more avenues for Google to gather info on more people translating to more $$$ for ads, etc. WP users have already seen some changes in their ability to interact with Blogger accounts. Unless there is an option for Name/URL or Anonymous, WP users canNOT get the word verification to "take" when using the WP profile ID. This change is a couple of months old and I have questioned the WP techs and they have said it is a change in the Google Blogger end of things. It has been a gigantic frustration for many who choose not to have a Google acct. merely to connect with their WP account!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Sue...becoming a Luddite has always been appealing to a point, but I'm seriously thinking that it might be the best option. I'm not sure if it'll impact me on March 1st, as it's terribly confusing, but I'm tired of companies manipulating us by continual changes that make us have to constantly spend time changing instead of actually using the technology to peruse our own interests. My DH has been talking about making a computer out of a block of wood. I think I'll go check to see if it's finished yet.... lol

VickiT said...

I don't have a blog myself so I've just been keeping my comments to myself. As a follower however and not knowing exactly how this will affect those blogs that I do follow, I took one precaution. I opened up my dashboard to the blogs I am following and created a pdf of all of those listed. That way if some disappear I'll be able to locate them again easily since some blogs have a header name but their blog addy is something entirely different.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Just in case, I just copied the links to all of the blogs that I follow. I don't trust computers or the ones who support it. I don't think that they 'get it'.