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Patrick Chanezon about Platforms and Software Development


Playing with the new Google Friend Connect Javascript API

March 31st, 2009 · 4 Comments

In the past 3 weeks, since we have released the Google Friend Connect Javascript API, I have been playing Friend Connect it a bit more: the Javascript APIs let you add social features to your site without requiring the use of gadgets. Ask the user to join the site, then you have access to the OpenSocial APIs to get their profile, list of friends and post to their activity stream directly on the page. It makes OpenSocial as easy to integrate as using the Google Maps API.

I installed the Google Friend Connect WordPress plugin that Matt Cutt’s team built, on this blog: go to the bottom of this post and join the site to comment on my blog, no more form to fill out. What is nice with this integration is that the commenting system is still the wordpress native system, and not a foreign widget, so I can still use the akismet spam detection engine, and use the wordpress admin to moderate the comments.

I also built a sample to demonstrate how you can make an existing static page more social using friend connect: I took the 100 top movies page from Entertainment Weekly, not much engagement on that page, and added a few dozen lines of javascript to transform it in a social application. Take a look at the code to see how easy it is. It is hosted on app engine for convenience, but there is no backend there, I use the OpenSocial persistence API to store the list.

If you prefer server side development, friend connect also has a Tags: , ,

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 GilbertoJr // Mar 31, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Hey there Patrick. This OpenSocial JavaScript API rocks! We are very exited here (at Brasil) to see such a thing happening. Well, its not a totally portable social graph yet, but its already a way more powerful thing then just a bunch of gadgets. Great job showing that to us through your developer skills 🙂 We are having some demand to use this kind of thing – making static advertising hotsites social, working closely with agencies like edelman and ogilvy – in some big projects here in Brasil and we fell that this is going to get us to some great and innovative cases, as the social graph here is almost entirely at Orkut. Thanks again.

  • 2 Edmar // Mar 31, 2009 at 9:54 pm


    I`m doing a side project for the Change the web challenge using the friendconnect API, your code will help me to improve my application.

  • 3 Avi // Apr 5, 2009 at 2:00 am

    Hi Patrick, very interesting.
    Mostly referring to that “if you are interested in expanding your horizon.Let me know what you do with this new API:”
    Well I’m trying to do two things:
    In the first I’m trying to allow visitors create a slideshow then report it to the activity, as a link with an onclick function so visitors will be able to reload the slideshow again.
    The problem is that the link get s my domain path first and the onclick is deleted.
    that’s the link: (it’s a hidden testing page in a live site.)
    you will need to create a slideshow to get the “share activity” button, it will appear next to the widgetbox link.
    The other place is in a very new site, with google news show, where I would like to allow users
    join a news channel (which they can suggest/create by the way) and render the list of visitors who actually joined that channel.
    It’s a bit confusing, written in Chinese, but under each news tickr, there’s a link to get into that channel:
    Or get into a channel page directly:

    Thanks, witing to hear from you. Avi.
    Thanks, Avi.

  • 4 Avi // Apr 5, 2009 at 2:02 am

    Sorry, forgot to attach the first link:

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