Will Google Connect the dots before Facebook does?

In the very Macaron flavoured world of the Melbourne Food Blogosphere everyone seems to use blogspot. I don’t usually have much to say about Blogger but more out of pure ignorance than any steadfast knowledge of its technical merits. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to use it, probably opting for the more independent, open-source based WordPress.com for a hosted blogging solution. However one thing I have noticed is the prominence of Google Connect paraphenalia in the sidebar of many of these blogs. These widgets allow me to “follow” each blog, what this means I have no idea as I thought I already was “following” them in my Google Reader account. Surely this has some other functionality other than me giving the blog owner nothing more than a vote of confidence that someone else likes their website.

The other thing that I have noticed recently is the growing prominence of Facebook Connect logins on a number of websites. Each of these things growing is a sign of things to come and I’m sorry FriendFeed but you aren’t involved. The minute one of these 2 systems starts providing me, and my friends (my real not geeky internet type friends) some real value they will go ballistic.

Already I’m liking the Twitter/FriendFeed style flow that has been brought to my Facebook page, not the AJAX fueled “Live Status” updates that was there before, but the I refresh the page and there is something new there every time style updates. Old friends I haven’t spoken to in a while have sent me messages, I’ve seen photos I wouldn’t have seen and I’m feeling the love for Facebook again. It’s just a matter of time until I start seeing every website that anyone has performed an action on showing up in there and being able to comment on it.

Likewise I think that is what is missing from Google’s network, a home page, a public profile page, a place where people can come and see that I’ve found a heap of cool new blogs today, found a love of commenting on blogs and generally learnt how to truly waste time in the blogosphere and that doesn’t include the hour I spent on Google Reader this morning.

There is a heap of different technologies at play here, Jabber/XMPP, RSS/Readers, Social Networking, Blogs, Comments, Forums and Status. Saying that tying them together is the next big thing is like closing the gate after the horse has bolted, but I can’t wait until one of these massive companies can tie them all together.

The Facebook “Friend”

It’s a common occurence these days, someone requesting you to be your friend on Facebook who you aren’t actually friends with. What is a friend? Usually my guideline is that if I walked past any of these people in the street, I’d stop and have a yar or maybe sit down for a quiet (or not so quiet ale). Now recently, my social network has intersected with groups of people that went to highschool with me, lots of these people I didn’t ever speak to at school let alone was I friends with, so should I tweak my “rule” and add people who I know but really wouldn’t have a beer with.

You see the problem I have with adding these “known strangers” isn’t with them getting to stalk me. It’s that if I send out an invitation to all of my friends to come to a party – I only want the “have a beer friends” to come. At the end of the day, more friends are cool – Right?