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 wordpress.com (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.
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 SudoBeautify.com 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?
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.