Thursday, 8 March 2012

Missing Something?

1st March will be for many bloggers remembered as a dark day in blogging history. Imagine suddenly losing the company of half of your visitors. This is what happened to many of my blogging friends, using the Wordpress platform to blog, express themselves and communicate with you. A week today, Google removed 'GFC Connect' for blogs not hosted by Google/Blogger. I have yet to understand why Google decided to do that but the direct impact is that all the Wordpress blogs that you love and follow, and which you've been following through GFC Connect, the very popular susbcription service, have not been working well.

If you have been using Google Dashboard for example to keep up to date with your blogs subscriptions and read your blogs, chances are the wordpress blogs you've been following are no longer appearing on your dashboard and that they have been gone totally. If their name is still on the Google Dashboard, you might not be receiving notifications of their latest posts. I am not very good at explaining technical things but let me try. you can compare GFC Connect as Royal Mail in England. Imagine that you've been relying on Royal Mail to have your post delivered every day (when there is post) to your door and that suddenly they are on strike and you can't get your mail. This is what has been happening for a week, only that the strike is permanent.

My blog is hosted on Blogger. I am fortunate, I can let a sigh of relief out, wash my hands and forget that this has been happening. After all, I am not concerned. But I cannot help but feeling deeply concerned for my blogging friends, who are blogging on Wordpress. My friend Charlotte, from, has been a victim of the disappearance of GFC Connect Widget and this is what she noticed shortly after GFC disappeared:

How do you get to know easily if you are still receiving all the updates of your blogs, as you should do? Of all the blogs you follow, which ones are Blogger Blogs, which ones are Wordpress Blogs, you may ask. This is the tricky part, but please keep on reading:

I keep in touch with all my blogs subscriptions with Google Reader (I will do a separate post on this, on why I love it so much) and Google Reader tells me that I follow 427 blogs. Google Reader doesn't tell me which ones uses Wordpress or Bloggers so I've painstakingly gone through each of my subscriptions and found out that 26 of my subscriptions (is that 6%?) are hosted on Wordpress and that I might be missing their updates.

Am I suggesting you to go through this long process? No. But Lipglossiping and I have done some of the leg work for you, and with the power of twitter, we've managed to start creating a list, listing some of you who have been affected by the disappearance of GFC Connect:

The list is obviously not exhaustive and we do not pretend to know of everyone who has been affected by the loss of GFC. But it's a small step towards building that link between those unfortunate bloggers and their readers, link which Google broke for ever, one week ago when they got rid of the infamous GFC Connect button.

Somewhere in the world, a Wordpress blogger is asking themselves what they are doing wrong, and if their blog posts are rubbish as their readership/traffic has dramatically gone for about a week. Can you help? Here are 5 ways you can help:

1) Spread the message that the GFC Connect service has gone from non-blogger posts

2) Tweet about #goodbyeGFC. For your convenience, you can download the ready-made 'goodbye GFC awareness' picture that Lipglossing created. You can obviously choose your own words for tweeting about this but if you're stuck trying to fit it all in 140 characters, fell free to use the suggestions below:

Your readers might not you've been affected by #goodbyeGFC. Please help spread the message.

The removal of GFC for many bloggers has had tragic consequences. Please help us spread the word: #goodbyeGFC thank you

#goodbyeGFC #hellosupport Let's help our blogging friends reconnect with their lost readers.

The 'gfcplea' address is a shortened address linking to the post Lipglossiping wrote to start the awareness movement but feel free to naturally substitute it by another address you might feel is appropriate, or a link to your own post, if you have written something about it.

3) Post the 'goodbye GFC awareness' picture on your tumblr / pinterest account

4) Promote alternative ways to follow blogs other than Google Dashboard (bloglovin, facebook, hellocotton, email subscriptions, google reader etc.. {I will devote a post to this when I have more time}

5) Check the 'Bloggers in Exile' list to see if one of the blogs you read are in there, and renew your subscription to them. (For me, this means, adding manually again, some blog addresses in my google reader, but I'll go through all that in a separate post, and why you need google reader in your life)

Essential Reading:
- Missing updates in Dashboard? – It's due to Google Friend Connect!
A post by @michelledh
- The post where everything started. A plea by
- Where to download easy tweetable pictures about the disappearance of GFC connect:
- List of some bloggers affected the GFC removal, and their contact details:

Thank you so much for your help.

p.s what is the most important here is that the message passes accross. If you want to take part in the awareness movement, by all means you can liberally copy and paste as much as you want from this post. Not that it's very well written, but there you go, haha.

liloo xx


Anonymous said...

It's really upsetting that this has happened, I run 2 blogs via wordpress that had GFC followers so to loose two lots is awful.

Hopefully with the fantastic job Charlotte is doing our readers will be able to find us all again via other means.

It's great to see how many people are supporting the cause and it's nice to see bloggers working together rather than against each other.

Anonymous said...

Just realised I made a major typo with the o's that should read lose and not loose!

liloo said...

@madamegourmand aww, danielle no worries about the 2 o's :) xx

Powdered Almond said...

Hey thanks to you and Charlotte for doing this. I'm on blogger so it didn't hit me, not that I have that many readers anyway! - but I really feel for the people it did affect. Your pic made me smile though - that was exactly how I noticed this had happened! Checking my blogger dash - "Er, why isn't Lipglossiping posting? Oh noes! She's GONE!" Then I worked it out. It sucks though, but your list is a good thing! I'm blogging and tweeting about this. :-) xx

Gemma Meredith said...

Luckily my blog is on blogger and I use bloglovin rather than GFC to follow blogs, it's a rral shame for those it does affect

The Paper Princess said...

Thank you so much for continuing to spread the word about the loss of GFC from non-blogger blogs as of 3-1-12. Although the service is still available to Blogger blogs as of now, Google publically announced to those impacted that they were shuttering GFC in favor of Google Plus, and it is widely believed that it is only a matter of time before they discontinue it from Blgoger as well. Joining Google Plus may help your blogs in the search engines and rankings since Google owns them too.

I have been encouraging my readers at Create With Joy to diversify and to offer as many options as possible to their readers so that they do not become reliant on any one service as a result and end up in the same situation in the future.

One new and promising non-Google-based following services which was specifically developed as an alternative to GFC is called Linky Followers. It was released on 2/1 by Brent Riggs. If you're unfamiliar with it, stop by my blog to see how it works (it's easy to join).

I invite you to add me to your list of WP Bloggers and I hope you'll stop by and join me at Create With Joy!

HAve a fabulous day!

Create With Joy
Twitter: @CreateWithJoy1

LiAnn - Sparklecrack Central said...

I've added a post publicizing this, but also telling people how to manually add blogs back into their Google to find a site's RSS to download RSS reader software of their own, if they don't want to rely on Google Reader (because it may be deleted one day, who knows what Google will do next)

liloo said...

omg lianne. i never thought of that. i am going to export and save my blog subscriptions. never thought of doing that! xx

LiAnn - Sparklecrack Central said...

I've been using the internet since 1990 - I've seen so many things come and go. I don't know that getting rid of GFC is going to be something Google is planning right now, but one day it might...

If people use Firefox or Chrome, they can easily download an add-on so that they can subscribe to feeds from their browser. If people use Opera or Safari, that software is already installed! (The browsers and software is available for mobile devices like phones and tablets, too...)

Georgia said...

Fuck google.

Seems like they want to have a monopoly on the blog world so have tried to eliminate competition.


Ana said...

I follow Wordpress blog via my Blogger account and I have had no problems - I had added them manually, via the "Add" button :) .

That should work, I believe, for some other people who used GFC to follow non-Blogger sites.

liloo said...

hi ana :)
i am the same. for those i added manually in google reader (my latest subscriptions) i didnt have any problems. it's the ones from ages ago where i physically pressed the damn gfc button where i had a problem with xx

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