Having had a few weeks to ponder Google's Friend Connect, I'm starting to really think about what it could mean. It's clearly part of Google's social networking strategy, along with OpenSocial, and it shows just how big Google really think - instead of creating a social network to compete with Facebook (which would be pointless as they already have Orkut), they're giving people the chance to make the rest of the Internet into social networks.
This could be very cool if, as I expect, they roll it out to their own services. For instance, if they made it easy to use it with a Blogger blog (which I suspect they will), then any blog will be able to become a social network. While any blog already has a community around it (unless no-one reads it), this could make it easy for people to get to know others in the community, and encourage participation and debate. For me, I think it would be especially handy for Easierbuntu, as it would mean people could connect to each other to share tips and advice on how to use Ubuntu more easily.
It's a shame that Facebook have decided to stop letting people sign in using their Facebook profile as it's one of the biggest social networks, but I do feel strongly that it isn't their decision to make and they shouldn't have done so. If I want to give Google that information, it should be up to me as it's my data. Facebook should not be able to stop me from doing so. In my case, I have other profiles I can use, but not everyone does. I appreciate that they have their own competing product that they want to push, but at the end of the day it's my data and I should be able to do with it what I wish.