Friday, December 02, 2011

Goodbye Google Friend Connect

I’ve been disenchanted with Google Friend Connect for a while. I only used it for commenting on my website but it has a number of weaknesses

  • A crappy user experience
  • No notifications of new comments, which is a pain if you only receive a handful of comments
  • Ignoring query strings in URLs, so comments don’t stick to the right page
  • Weird date formatting and no control over how they appear

For a long while I assumed Google would actually update the widgets but I’m not sure anything ever got changed after the initial release. It was released and then, nothing. Even a visit to the site shows a copyright notice from 2009, which suggests they haven’t done much with it for some time.

So I had been meaning to convert to some other system but just hadn’t got round to it. Then I noticed Google have decided to can it (which of course hasn’t been mentioned anywhere on the Friend Connect site itself), so I decided it was time to finally do something. Google’s suggested solution is to hook into Google+, but that seems like a pretty useless way to add commenting to a website. So my suggested solution is to sign up to Disqus, it takes about 10 minutes to plug it in to your website and looks pretty good straight out of the box.

2 comments:

Dr Lawn said...

Hi Dougal, Thanks for providing your neat little postcode to us wannabee geeks. Its just pleasant to find a wheel that already invented leaning against a lamp post to be used instead of being chained up. Thanks! Tony@trinitylawns.co.uk

Doogal Bell said...

Good to hear it's useful!