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.


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!

Doogal Bell said...

Good to hear it's useful!