MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Maybe it was because Google preaching to the social-networking choir, or maybe it was the toasty campfires and hot cocoa, but demonstrations of Google's new Friend Connect service seemed generally well received Monday night.
Google executives showed off the technology, a Google-hosted application that designed to let Web site coders easily add social features to their sites, at the company's third Campfire One event at the company's headquarters here. Previous debuts at the events were of two other significant developer-oriented software technologies, OpenSocial and App Engine.
Program manager Mussie Shore gave the central demonstration sprucing up a guacamole-lovers' site with the ability to let users join as members, comment, post photos, rate recipes, and spread word of those activities to contacts on existing social-networking sites LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, or hi5.
Google Friend Connect employs several more-or-less standard networking technologies--OpenSocial as a foundation for richer Web applications; OpenID to handle login chores; OAuth to let users approve the grafting of new branches onto their existing social networks such as Facebook. It's yet another option in the complicated and fast-changing set of alliances and standards efforts in the social-networking domain.
Attendees I spoke to generally waxed positive about it. And Don MacAskill, Chief Executive of photo-sharing site SmugMug, said he'd be interested in trying it out.