I'VE ENJOYED WATCHING people click into Google FriendConnect for several months but I don't think I want to hang the FriendConnect widget on my website since a site inspection by Google Analytics says that Google's own Friend Connect makes my blog load slower. Consequently, I'm retiring the widget while knowing that I've a strong community inside Google Buzz and also inside several Friendfeed rooms. (I'm not ignoring the pull of Facebook; I'm wary of it.) The cross-talk in Buzz and Friendfeed goes unnoticed by most people who read my blog because they cannot deduce the strength of these vibrant conversation zones since both of them fail to generate detectable links to my blog.
I've learned an important lesson in my decade of reading and writing blogs--the most powerful effect of one's online presence is when you can land in another space with no apparent connection to a previous space. In my case, it means that I can have really valuable conversations with friends who may not know I'm a blogger, camera hobbyist, podcaster or short-form video guy. I don't need to advertise how I'm straddling all those zones and I don't need to show dozens of comments on the bottom of each blog post to know that I'm serving dozens of returning visitors every day with my writing style.
But if you're miffed that you cannot indicate your interest through Google FriendConnect, I'd rather you connect with me on Google Buzz because that's a real multi-player channel that gives me information I can use every day.
I've a Google profile that you can use as a connection point too.