What’s with Google friend connect?

Lately I have noticed that with lots of giveaways you need to be a “follower” of the blog via Google Friend Connect. Why? What’s so special about Google Friend Connect, apart from the fact that everybody visiting your blog can actually SEE how many followers you have? Is it some self esteem thing? The more followers in your sidebar the more popular you are?

What if I subscribe to a blog in another way? Does that make me a less welcome reader? Why wouldn’t I be eligible to enter a giveaway just because I don’t want to use that Google Connect thing? Can someone enlighten me, please!

12 Comments Write a comment

  1. I can’t enlighten you – I find GFC very awkward (probably because I don’t have a blogger blog). Only yesterday (after 3 months of blogging) I found out how I could see new blog posts by people that I subscribed to via GFC.

    I much prefer emails or (second place) RSS. I think there may be something we don’t know about GFC – maybe it’s used as a sort of facebook thing as well (as in friend—connect)?

    No enlightenment here. But I can feel and share your frustration.
    Leeswammes (Judith)’s last post ..Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

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  2. I tend not to participate in giveaways where you’re required to boost the host’s ego 😉 I feel a giveaway should be altruistic. So I never connect w/ Google Friends even though I might follow a blog in my rss-reader. Sorry, can’t help you either! 😉
    Gnoe (@Graasland)’s last post ..Growing Greedy

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  3. I really don’t know, either. It drives me nuts! I follow all my blogs through RSS feed in google reader, so why should I also have to “follow” you using GFC when I never use it for anything?

    I think a lot of people who have their blogs on Blogger use it as an RSS feed reader, but I don’t understand why they don’t see it on par with people following it in something else. Maybe it’s because then they can see the physical proof that you’ve followed, since they can’t actually trace you as a follower if you use a different feed aggregator?

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  4. Basically I see it as a gimmick to get extra, highly visible subscribers – important if you’re running adds or wanting more ARCs I suppose.

    I guess it will gather in a few who don’t subscribe in any way (just regularly remember to check the site which a rather large number of people seem to do if the conversation ’round my office is anything to go by).

    I use an e-reader which contains all my RSS feeds in folders I’ve organised myself ‘cos that’s the way I like to read my content and if that doesn’t qualify me as a worthy winner of a giveaway then I can live with it – I find GFC awkward (my blog isn’t a blogger one either) but I’m equally unimpressed with the giveaways that require tweeting/facebook following and all the rest – I know it’s their prerogative and I’m not suggesting people shouldn’t do whatever they want but to me it’s roughly on par with trying to be in with the cool kids at high school and, thankfully, I’ve left all that behind me.
    Bernadette’s last post ..Everyone’s talking about e-readers but who’s using one

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  5. I am the same as Gnoe – If a blogger wants to turn me off their blog just add you must be a FRIEND on GFC – it’s stupid and have a feel of dragging the social network hype into blogging…

    Why would you want people to follow you if you at leaast dont know then, they dont participate other than for that one contest and if it’s a status thing – it’s not worth it… what about people who dont want ot follow you?

    Also the mention of all the additional entry via twitter, facebook followings – just silly.

    E.H>
    Erotic Horizon’s last post ..Re-read – My Guardian Angel – KR Bailey

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  6. I personally find google connect very awkward. I prefer to follow blogs via google reader. It is user friendly.

    And wherever anyone requires following via google connect, for a giveaway, I stay away. Nther do I like to follow via facebook, twitter or whatever!

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  7. I don’t get it either. I used it when I was in blogger but I found it really difficult to follow blogs and most of the people following me weren’t reading my blog. My feeling is the majority of followers are only clicking follow so they get a follow back. It boosts your numbers but doesn’t do much for increasing your readers.

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  8. Oh, I’m glad I’m not the only one. I see this “you must be a follower to enter” so often now that I thought it was only me who hated it.

    E.H., actually I have done the same thing with my last giveaway, too. I mean the additional entry thing. It’s not that I force people to do it, they can still enter without doing a thing, but if they promote my blog by tweeting or blogging about the giveaway I find it fair to give them another entry in the contest. They don’t need to follow to do that or anything.

    Maybe this GFC is a blogger and networking thing, but I certainly don’t want to be dragged into it.

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  9. I have the Google Follower widget on my blog that Blogger provides as a widget. For me, it’s really easy to just click on it since I use my gmail account to do my blog. I have it on my blog for people who want to use it, but I also provide RSS subscription widgets and a FeedBurner option too.

    As for the giveaways. I am about to do a few in the next month or two. I’ve noticed that when I’m looking at someone’s blog I never care to get the extra entry if it involves something like: a) Commenting about their blog and what they can do to improve it, or b) Writing up a blog post about the giveaway. I will do the tweet just because I find Twitter easy, but I don’t necessarily like people shilling for free advertising.

    However, this being said, I think it’s their prerogative to run their giveaway the way they want and if their methods work for them, that’s fine with me. I will enter the ones I find interesting and simple enough to not spend my day trying to enter and leave the ones that require me to give them an arm and a leg.

    I’ve decided that my giveaways will always be:
    1) International
    2) Require nothing other than the address and e-mail of the person entering
    3) Possibly what book they want if it’s a multiple book giveaway.

    My goal is just to have quality interaction with my blog readers. I’m fine with other bloggers’ goals being different though.

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  10. Carin, of course, you are right. Everybody can run their contests and giveaways any way they want, but if they want to force me to do something to be eligible to enter at all, I won’t do it.

    I also require nothing more than name and email, because this is all you really need. I’d love to do all my giveaways international, especially since they draw a much bigger crowd, but overseas postage is a lot and I personally can’t afford it. Also, there are so many US and Canada ones that I think European ones can do with a boost. It’s just too bad that in my case not only the North Americans are left out (and they can live with that I’m sure), but also rest of the world.

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  11. I actually now avoid the international ones unless it’s something I can’t live without. There are so many U.S. ones that there is no need for me to enter international ones. I absolutely agree with you that Europe only ones are fine!

    I actually can’t afford lots of postage either so I’m going to space mine out a bit so that it won’t break the bank, but I have too many regular commenters from overseas that I don’t want to exclude–it’s just a personal choice for me. I may not have as many giveaways as some people, but I’m fine with that!

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