I added the Google Friend Connect widget to my blog today as they have begun sending out invites to the program.. Please join on the right hand sidebar if you are interested. Official notification is here.

This certainly represents a new direction for interacting with Google as more of a social network. You can now become an active “member” of this site, which will probably have more implications later on.

Blogs are active discussing the implications of Google Friend Connect, but the real battle is on as Facebook has also rolled out their own program, aptly called Facebook Connect, but is it enough?

I also noticed recently that some sites, like TechCrunch, are using the Facebook Connect system for authenticating blog comments. The interesting thing to note here is that this is not simply adding content to TechCrunch but also sending things back to Facebook.

…Facebook Connect doesn’t let information flow just one way. You can now post notifications of your comments to your Facebook wall whenever contributing here on TechCrunch. After hitting the “Add Comment” button, just select a type of feed item (which Facebook calls a “story”) and your friends on Facebook will have the chance to appreciate your snark and wit.

(source)

So what does this mean for this blog? What does this mean for other blogs?

Well, its a race for early adopters in my opinion because with the presence of MyBlogLog and now Google Friend Connect in my sidebar – would you even want a third? I currently use Disqus which solved the problem I had managing comments via email and comment spam.

As more people add Google Friend Connect to their blogs Google is gaining more real estate on pages, much like they did with the adsense program. What they do with this space remains to be seen.

I think that Google is slowly creating a social network with all the recent features it has been quietly releasing such as your own Google profile page, as explained by Chris Brogan. When signed into Google you can checkout your profile here. We might not think of this as a traditional social network with chat rooms, comments, photo sharing and a news feed, but with recent additions to Gmail and now Google Friend connect I think Google is going to pull all these things together.

The best social network might be one you are already on, but never proactively joined.

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