Social Networking Enhancements to Google Friend Connect and Google Reader
Article by George Norman
On 25 May 2009
Mountain View-based search engine giant Google is further enhancing its social networking functionality and thus turning into much more of a social platform. The social networking enhancements mentioned in the title are: Google Friend Connect, upon getting a comment translation gadget, will now provide support for Netlog; Google Reader, which not long ago enhanced its commenting function in order to make it more social, alongside other features, is making it easier for you to share your feed bundles with others.

The functionality added to Google Friend Connect, the online service developed by Google so as to allow users to connect with friends on various web pages, is a simple one: Netlog has been integrated in Google Friend Connect. “When we started building Friend Connect, we wanted to provide a fully open system — one that lets you join any website and interact with the people there in a meaningful way, regardless of where they come from. To enable this kind of engagement, we used open standards like OpenID, OAuth, and OpenSocial as underlying technologies, enabling any other service to plug into Friend Connect. We're excited to share that Netlog has used these open standards to integrate their social networking service with Google Friend Connect,” explains Product Manager, Mussie Shore.


The good news for Netlog’s 45 million users is that they can take advantage of the following options:
- Use you Netlog credentials to log into blogs and web pages that use Friend Connect.
- Use your Netlog profile while visiting the above mentioned blogs and web pages.
- Invite other Netlog friends to join a certain web page, with the option to see which friends are already members of that web page.
- Share Friend Connect activities with Netlog users.
- Send messages back to Netlog users.

There is one other thing you should be aware of regarding web pages that use Friend Connect: “For sites that are already using Friend Connect, one of the benefits of this standards based model is that they can take advantage of any new service that chooses to join this open ecosystem, like Netlog, without any additional work, explains Shore. “The new network option simply appears.”

Moving on to the online feed aggregator Google Reader, sharing your favorite feeds with your friends is now only a few mouse clicks away. All you have to do is create a custom feed bundle and share it. Here is a detailed step by step tutorial:
- Access your Google Reader account – just click here.
- Click “Browser Stuff” and create a feed bundle – or just click here.
- Drag subscriptions or folders to the bundle -> add title -> add description -> click “Save”.

“Just like Reader's other sharing features, bundles you create can be automatically shared with your Reader friends. You can also email your bundles or post them to your blog. You can even browse all of your friends' bundles,” adds Google Reader team member, Brad Hawkes.

In related social networking news, the What’s Popular iGoogle gadget now allows you to import shared items from Google Reader. Since the option is disabled by default, you will have to enable it; this is as simple as going to the settings page and selecting the option.

Tags: Google, Google Friend Connect, Google Reader, iGoogle, What's Popular, Feed bundle
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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