Google Friend Connect, Followers and Feeds

As some of you may, or may not know, Sudo Beautify is a self-hosted blog. I don’t use blogger, or tumblr or (though I do use the WordPress Software) to make my posts. This means that followers won’t see my blog posts on their Google Reader/Blogger Feeds; kind of renders Google Friend Connect useless for me! As I was searching for a solution to this problem (fyi: I don’t think one exists!) I read some interesting news.

Google is cancelling Google Friend Connect services as of 2012 for non-blogger sites.

This probably won’t mean anything to blog owners who post on Blogger, or have sites hosted by Blogger with their own domain name. But it’s a pretty huge blip of information for readers who “Follow” non-blogger sites with GFC and bloggers like myself, who host their own sites and use the Google Friend Connect widget to keep track of their readers.

But this isn’t just a post to inform! No no. This is a post to ask for help. I like to know who’s reading my blog, I like seeing who’s a regular and who drops by to binge-read every once in a while. Most of all – I really like the idea of finally getting a regularly updated feed for you guys to use.

There are a few options that I am considering making use of once I get rid of GFC (at the end of December 2011.) Google will be “retiring” the service in March of 2012 but I want to get a head start.

1. BlogLovin’

Sudo Beautify actually already has a BlogLovin‘, but because I never use it I have never really promoted it. This is the most obvious “non-technical” replacement for Google Friend Connect because all one would have to do is click and subscribe. Then, readers would have to go to BlogLovin’s website to see if i’ve posted something new. That’s my main issue with it! How often do you guys check out your BlogLovin’ subscriptions, if ever?

2. Google +

Google has already begun to encourage GFC users to use Google+ to promote their websites. The idea, from what I understand, is to create a Google+ group for your blog and to use it as you would any Social Networking page. I believe you’d still be able to display little thumbnails of your fllowers, but rather than showing your posts in an organized feed it would be a lot more like a Facebook news feed.

3. RSS Feed

Whether I use a service like FeedBurner, or just add a “Subscribe to my RSS Feed” button, this is the second most appealing option to me. This is because by subscribing to Sudo Beauify’s direct feed, readers will be able to see my posts on their Google Reader feed. This is not the same as the Blogger Dashboard feed (which is where most people go to read their subscriptions, as I understand it.) But it’s pretty close! The downside of this (for me) is that I wouldn’t be able to see who was following unless I used a third party service.

4.  Twitter/Blogger/Facebook / Tumblr

Sudo Beautify already has a Twitter, which I use fairly often (to chat, announce new posts etc.) It also has a Blogger and a Tumblr, which automatically redirect to AND I have set up a Facebook, but I don’t promote it because I don’t think SB is big enough to have “fans” and Facebook pages always seemed more geared towards people and not blogs as entities.

Any of these could be used to announce posts and keep track of readers…but with so many options WHICH one to choose? Or how about using them all?

Right now i’m leaning towards using either BlogLovin’ or Google+ as my official follower-tracking method. They seem like the ones that most people would already be comfortable using.

The options I like least are the RSS feed and the Facebook and Blogger options; I never use them myself and so the idea that someone else might prefer them is so foreign to me. I do plan on using the Twitter and Tumblr more to make New Post announcements and micro-blog.

So what do you guys think? Which of the options do you like best? Which do you like least? Most importantly, any OTHER suggestions?

<3 EA

Edit as of 11/29/2011 at 8:17PM PST

If you are currently subscribed to my GFC, please unsubscribe and re-subscribe using either the Google+ page or via RSS using FeedBurner (you can choose your reader of choice!) If anyone wants the link to SB’s BlogLovin’ it’s here.

I also want to remind people that if they are using Blogger as their blog host (with or without a custom URL) Google Friend Connect service will continue and followers will not need to re-subscribe using another method.

<3 EA

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13 Responses to Google Friend Connect, Followers and Feeds

  1. Larie says:

    Ack, I will have to go and RSS subscribe or something to a lot of blogs, now! Sigh. I don’t know much about Blog Lovin’, and I read things in my reader, so I would probably just subscribe via RSS.
    Larie recently posted..Dior Silver Lake + Comparisons

  2. wuaaah *panic* that’s so unnecessary =( Thank you so much Ava for sharing all this important information!! My blog is self hosted too! I already have BlogLovin but it isn’t working anymore since I changed something in my url and there is no way to transfer your old BlogLovin site (and you follower there) to a new one and this kind of s*cks… I think I will try out Google+ too! I feel like an old lady!! why is everything getting so complicated nowadays?!?
    ねこちゃん recently posted..ねこちゃんの Blogging Sphere

  3. and an other stupid thing of BlogLovin is that to follow a blog there, you need an account.. not everyone wants to make an account just to follow a blog =(…
    ねこちゃん recently posted..ねこちゃんの Blogging Sphere

  4. Eden-Avalon says:

    Oh Neko-Chan, I totally agree. The times are changing, ~old lady voice~. As you can see, I’ve gone ahead and created a Google+ page for Sudo Beautify as well as added a link to Sudo Beautify’s feedburner RSS feed for those that would prefer to subscribe using their RSS reader. I’m editing this post now to remind people to unsubscribe to my GFC and to re-subscribe using Google+ or via their preferred RSS. I may or may not add my BlogLovin’. As you said, not everyone wants to make a BlogLovin’ page.

  5. Lilit says:

    This is going to create a lot of confusion for people, and that Google+ idea sounds too complicated and it can get messy. The easiest is to just manually add the website’s URL to Google Reader. That’s what I do nowdays as I’ve noticed sometimes even if I join via GFC the posts don’t automatically show up on Reader, so I just add blogs I want to read to Reader directly. Easy. The only bad thing is that as a blogger you won’t know who’s reading your blog :( .
    Lilit recently posted..Top 5 Tuesday – hot pink products

  6. Eden-Avalon says:

    Having been fiddling with the Google+ page for SB for half of today, you’re right Lilit. It’s really complicated. For instance, I can’t follow a lot of bloggers (as Sudo Beautify’s Page) unless they add me first if they are set up as a person and not a page. It’s really messy!

    And yeah, while FeedBurner and similar services can tell you HOW MANY people are subscribed to your feed – they don’t provide identity information. :( I’m really going to miss GFC.

  7. Stacey says:

    Hmm this is going to create so much trouble with a lot of blogs I follow! I’m not too familiar with Google+ or BlogLovin’, and it seems like such a hassle to creat a BlogLovin’ account. The simplest option for me is to add your url to my reader since that is where I keep up with everything.
    Stacey recently posted..FOTD with WNW Dancing in the Clouds

  8. Diane says:

    Thank you so much for sharing..
    not really aware of this.. thanks.
    i’ll check mine.
    Diane recently posted..My Current Cosmetics/Brush Holder!

  9. *deep sigh* I’m ok w/ blogger and GFC works just fine for me. Guess it time to get this transfer on the road!

  10. Shivani says:

    Its both good and bad.
    Bad initially and also for blogs who are JUST starting out, but good because you stop paying attention to who is following the blog, etc. Twitter/Facebook/Bloglovin are great tools and now more people will use it, I am sure :)
    Shivani recently posted..NARS Mata Hari Blush is the pink for me!

  11. Sara Hassan says:

    Oh my! Google shouldn’t do that. Anyway, I am following you on facebook and google+ :) xx
    Sara Hassan recently posted..Oriflame Beauty Dual Skin Corrector in Medium – Review & swatches

  12. Kim says:

    I just stumbled across your blog while in the hunt for some answers about this very dilemma. I recently switched to a self-hosted blog from Blogger and am now losing many of my GFC readers. However, I’m trying to think of it as not a big deal since GFC is going away soon, anyways. Sine writing this post, what has been the most effective form of following and tracking readers for your site? I’d love some pointers!
    Kim recently posted..Grammy’s Apricot Squares

    • Eden-Avalon says:

      Kim. I would definitely say that Twitter has become the best way to know how many viewers I have, BlogLovin’ and Google + the least successful. I make good use of Google Analytics to keep track of my traffic too. Simply put: there’s no one-shot solution to replace GFC.

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