Missing updates in Dashboard? – Its due to Google Friend Connect ! #RIP #GFC

Bloggers see the effects of losing Google friend connect.

In November the Senior Vice President of Operations for Google Urs Holze announced Google were spring cleaning, part of this cleaning involved terminating Google Friend Connect for non-blogger sites, such as WordPress. This retirement went into effect on the 1st of March and bloggers that did nothing about it are now losing many page views or unique visits from people that were only viewing from Google friend connect.

Google tried to encourage people to transfer subscribers to Google+ and to create Google+ page but we heard that many didn’t want to have to create more work for themselves and some don’t even like Google+

However, it might be something to think about as the future is clear, with the G+ button having a big impact on SEO and it all being connected with Google profiles, pages and especially business pages, I don’t think its something you want to miss out on as a blogger.

What they didn’t suggest is Google Reader,  many use Google Reader to keep up to date with their favorite blogs or websites.

An easy way to get people to subscribe to your blog/website on their reader is to add a Google+ button to your website – or even better to add the AddToAny: Subscribe Button plug in and with one click you get added to a persons Google reader.

If you have been thinking that you haven’t received some updates in your Blogger or blog spot dashboard then you have probably lost some non-blogger blogs, if you have Google reader you should add them to it, as soon as you can, if you don’t use it, now might be the time.

What is Google Reader.

(Google reader is a Web-based aggregator that reads from Atom and RSS feeds)

Google reader allows you to subscribe to the feeds of all the blogs that you love to read, and updates everyday so that you have the latest blogs sent straight to your feed.

With Google reader you can

  • Sort your Blogs into groups for easy reading by using folders.
  • Read in two views, expanded and list – and if you want to go to the source of the story you click the headline.
  • Easily share with others.
  • Use Keyboard Shortcuts 

You can add people to your Google Reader a number of ways

  • Searching in Google reader
  • Entering the RSS or Atom Feed, which you have find click on the RSS logo on the website
  • Clicking the buttons on a website.
Have a look the buttons on the techieminx main page – I’ve added all three – right at the bottom on the right.
You can even add a plug in on WordPress that shows the latest blogs on your reader.

What is iGoogle

iGoogle is your personalised Google home page for adding your favorite blogs, news sites, weather sites, photos, usually by using iGoogle Gadgets, here you would put anything that is most important to you. You can even add your Google reader to iGoogle.  This is nice to play around with, this is just for you, no one else sees it.

So you would need to put all of you the blogs/websites that you need to keep up to date with on Google reader first.

I love Google but its really not fair that they have crushed people’s hard work by dumping Google friend connect.  I know about progress and that they gave warnings its still heartbreaking to read some of the stories out there in blogland.  Google haven’t actually confirmed if they are going to keep it forever on Blogger or blogspot by the way – so if I were you I would be prepared and get Google+ and Google reader and encourage others to do the same. Once set up, neither take any time at all, in fact they save time.

I’ve only brushed over the top of these options, if there is anything you want me to elaborate on please let me know.

Hope this helps.


Twentyfeet – the super social media monitoring tool

Twentyfeet is run by Seibert Media, a German web agency from Wiesbaden and was founded by Paul Herwath von Bittenfield.

If you haven’t yet heard about this tool – they call it an egotracking tool it will help you keep track of your social media activities and monitor the results.

I am a bit behind on this one as its been around for a while now, but I am finally  testing out twentyfeet.com on a 30 day trial and its actually very cool! It has all of the data you may need and more – plus a superb interface!  It saves you having to log in to various places to look at analytics as you can add many different types of accounts, and there are more on the way.

On the Twentyfeet trial you can have …

8 Twitter accounts,
4 Facebook
5 bit,ly
11 YouTube,
17 Google analytics and
12 for MySpace

After the trial is finished you can still have one Facebook account and a Twitter account for free.  Other accounts are then $2.49 per year (you can pay by PayPal) which isn’t much at all, unless you are adding 50 I suppose then it could get expensive.



What data can you retrieve on Twentyfeet?

On Facebook for instance you can see metrics of:

Fans of Page
Post Reactions
Fans – Gender
Fans – Age
Daily active users – Gender and Age
Fans – Countries
Daily active users – Countries

I noticed something interesting when looking at the last two –  I saw my Fans were 48% from US which was top, but the top Daily active users were 40% GB

On Twitter it is even more detailed, you have…

Reputation indicators
Influence indicators
Following analysis
More details – total favourites, total tweets of all-time, posted links, followed lists.

Using Google Analytics you get information on:

Visitors and Pageviews
Quality Factors
Traffic Sources Overview
Top Traffic Sources
Top Content
Top Keywords
Top Countries
Goals Summery

Isn’t that fantastic!  I love it – there is so much information in this tool!   Whats more you can even download it to excel so it appears in list form with all of your information on that account.

You can also receive a daily or weekly email letting you know whats been happening on your accounts.

There are “useful tips” and a video that you can watch to help you on your journey of discovery.

Among the other many features in twentyfeet there is an Activity Stream which shows you brief information on your various accounts. Like how many visitors or mentions today and how many expected tomorrow.

Why the Giraffe?

TwentyFeet refers to a giraffe. When we were searching for a suitable name, our designers used several creativity techniques. One question we had to answer was: “What would your service be if it were an animal?” We concluded that it would be a giraffe, as a giraffe is taller than almost any other animal and enjoys a good overview of its surroundings. We really liked that image and moved on to read the wikipedia page on giraffes. There it says:

the tallest male recorded stood almost 6 meters tall (20 ft).

TwentyFeet it was. It’s also a great name because it helps differentiate us from other services. Do you know David Allen and his famous method for “Getting things done”? He compares good task management with the ability to change perspectives. According to Allen, one has to manage his tasks on the airfield, from the tower but from the sky as well. When we were developing our service, TwentyFeet fit that metaphor perfectly:


You do feel safe sharing your information with Twentyfeet as they have a strict privacy policy which you can read about here – http://www.twentyfeet.com/wiki/display/TF/Privacy+Policy

You can also get this as an application for free in iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. – Track & Check I’m not quite sure why it is the category for Health and Fitness I assume its due to the name.

If you are like me and love social media and monitoring data you will adore this!  You can get your free trial here.