Playing with Google Friend Connect, Newsletters, Interests, Adsense, Adgitize, EntreCard, Drupal, and Beyond

Playing with Google Friend Connect, Newsletters, Interests, Adsense, Adgitize, EntreCard, Drupal, and Beyond

For a project I’m working on, I’ve started looking a little more closely at Google Friend Connect. I had added Google Friend Connect to my website a long time ago and not really made a lot of use of it.

The project I hope to work on is similar to what I’ve done creating a graph of Klout Influencers and other projects. I started reading some of the documentation, but it looks a lot more complicated than I wish to tackle on a Sunday morning.

Also, my ADHD broke through and I started spending time with some of the other features of Google Friend Connect, and so this is what I’ll focus on this morning.

Google Friend Connect Newsletter

As I write this, Google tells me that there are 243 members of this blog on Google Friend Connect. 49 of them have signed up for my newsletter, even though I’ve done nothing with a Google Friend Connect enabled newsletter. So, my first step was to enable the newsletter. I will send out an email to the 49 subscribers when I finish this blog post. I’ve kicked around using a newsletter with my website, but never gotten around to it. Finding that Google Friend Connect has already set up pretty much everything I need, I guess I should start using it. I don’t expect to send a lot of newsletters out, so don’t worry about getting spammed if you sign up, and if you get more emails than you want, you can always unsubscribe.

Google Friend Connect Interests

The next thing I noticed is that I can add ‘interests’ to my Google Friend Connect. The samples are location and gender. I figured I’d add polls to find out which sections of my blog people read, and what gadgets they use. With this, I can send newsletters targeted to specific audiences. For example, if people fill out the polls, I could send an email to just people that use EntreCard, people that are interested in my posts about technology or music, or people from Connecticut. Please consider filling out the polls that I have, as well as providing suggestions for other polls.


I’ve had Adsense on my blog for a long time. It is stuck in a lower corner of the blog, and has brought in minimal revenue. I’ve always had mixed feelings and mixed results with Adsense. However, it is possible to link Google Friend Connect with Adsense. This should result in more targeted advertising which might boost revenues. In addition, I believe I can get to the Google Friend Connect Interests data programmatically, so I might be able to adjust other parts of my website, such as my EntreCard or Adgitize widgets based on the interests that people have. Again, what are your thoughts on this sort of approach?

Google Friend Connect and Drupal

If I’m going to start doing programming like this, it would be nice to leverage what is already out there. There is a Google Friend Connect Project for Drupal. It seems focused on people adding comments. Since I use Disqus on this site, it probably doesn’t do much for me. However, I can see it as being useful for some other sites that I run, and I’ll probably kick it around a bit more later. However, it doesn’t seem to provide much of a framework to help with other types of programming, such as associating Google Friend Connect Interests with Drupal Profiles, or other means of making interest data available to Drupal modules.

Recent Visitors

While I’ve been kicking this around, I also added a Google Friend Connect Recent Visitors gadget. I already have lots of ways of tracking recent visitors, so I need to see how this compares with the other ones and whether or not I should keep it. Feedback on the Recent Visitors gadget is also appreciated.

With this, I’ve moved my Google Friend Connect module up a little bit in my blocks on the left. If I see Google Friend Connect and or Adsense starting to provide a better experience for me and for visitors to my blog, I’ll probably move them up even more. With that, I’m including the widgets in this blog post for people to update their Google Friend Connect information, and to see if it makes any of the Adsense ads more appealing.

Thoughts and comments about all of this are greatly appreciated.

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