Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Saying Goodbye to GFC

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Saying Goodbye to GFC...

No, I'm not migrating from Google Blogger to Wordpress or another platform, but I am saying goodbye to GFC, Google Friend Connect.

Why, you ask? 

Because Google has made yet another change to move bloggers away from Google Friend Connect (GFC), and this latest new change is working to make me choose to say goodbye to GFC.

Almost from the beginning when I started blogging, but did not know enough even to understand what I was reading, Google and bloggers warned that GFC was going away.

Bloglovin' came to town and promised to take us in. 

Somehow, it wasn't and isn't the same. 

When I was a brand new blogger, GFC was how I stumbled upon other bloggers by seeing them on blog sidebars, how I followed other bloggers, and how those other bloggers began following my fledgling blog and encouraging me as a new writer. GFC was how I developed friendships with other bloggers by commenting, by receiving comments, and by linking to linky parties.

I miss seeing names of blogs with thumbnails on sidebars. 
One of my best ways of stumbling upon a new favorite blogger is gone on most blogs. 

Maybe I'm not holding my mouth right, 
but whenever I read a blog using my Bloglovin' feed 
and try to comment, I can't. 

If I close the blog and reopen it not going through Bloglovin', then I can comment. 

Slowly, my GFC numbers climbed from 1 to 5 to 20 followers. The day I hit 100 followers I was over-the-hill happy. A milestone number! When I hit 200 followers was another milestone. Doing a little happy dance...

There my blogging friends sat in my GFC gadget, 

smiling at me in their little thumbnail photos on my sidebar, 

reassuring me every time I opened my blog. 

Each time I lost a GFC follower I wondered why, felt a little sad, and felt a little like I wasn't doing a good job writing.

Little did I know at the time what an honor was bestowed by Anita of Cedar Hill Farmhouse (back then, Cedar Hill Ranch) and Sharon of My French Country Home by following Botanic Bleu on GFC. Both Anita and Sharon were among my first 2-20 followers. When I followed their blogs, they reciprocated and followed mine. Today both of these ladies have their own published books and have huge followings, but not via GCF. Both revamped their blogs long ago and dropped the GFC gadget.

Yet, Botanic Bleu still has page views from Sharon Santoni. Makes my heart smile to see a reader sent from My French Country Home; there were 3 today.

To the right is a snippet from my Reading List. 

As I read the names of blogs on my Reading List, I see familiar faces from their photos and hear familiar voices from their blogs' personalities and writing styles. And remember our connections, their comments filled with care and concern, details about their families, notes about upcoming plans, triumphs and tragedies in their personal lives... 

The day they lost a friend, the day their blogs were featured in a magazine, the day they published their books, the day they told us of their health issues, the day their grandchildren were born... 

Of course, I will always be friends with Lois of Quilts and Other Good Things. She was my very FIRST follower, always commented on every post, and taught me how to connect to linky parties. When she became my follower she commented she remembered how hard it was for a blogger to get the first follower. What a sweet encourager she is.

When I look back at my early posts and see commenters, there is Stacey of Poofing the Pillows leaving encouraging, engaging, meaningful comments. Carol of Art and Sand, Lynne of Dreams on 34th Street, Sarah of Hyacinths for the Soul, Jody of Rooted in Thyme, and the list goes on of bloggers who followed Botanic Bleu on GFC and have become friends that I cherish.

All because of GFC.

All of these bloggers made me feel welcome in the blogging world and made me feel part of the community.

Then early this year (2016), GFC dropped non-Google bloggers from our GFC followers. We saw a drop overnight in our followers.

Two days ago, my Google Friend Connect gadget no longer invited readers to follow my blog. Instead, underneath the gadget, filled with the smiling faces of my friends, was the large single word



Did I accidentally change some setting to cause my GFC gadget no longer to invite new followers? I deleted the gadget, and added it back using the FOLLOW gadget. Still no invitation to follow, only to unfollow

Quick checks around blogland showed other blogs with GFC gadgets still invited new followers. ???? 

Then, today, I began seeing other blogs with unfollow under their GFC gadgets. 

Who needs a great big UNFOLLOW sitting there mocking them every time they open their blogs? 

Not I. 

Today is the day I said goodbye to GFC. 

Then I wondered. How are new bloggers going to make new friends, gain new readers, connect with others? How am I going to do the same thing?

Perhaps it is time... 

H e l l o  T o

I N S T A G R A M 

Update: July 25, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
I still plan to write Botanic Bleu blog, but am looking for new ways to connect with readers. 

A very observant blogger sent me a message to explain the new huge UNFOLLOW.
If a reader does not follow your blog, the reader still sees the invitation to FOLLOW (JOIN) this site. 
After the reader clicks to join the site, the invitation to follow disappears and 
the word UNFOLLOW shows up underneath the GFC gadget. 

Thank you, Betty at My Irish Cottage Home
Please hop over to visit Betty. 

So, people with Google accounts can still follow Google blogs by using Google Friend Connect. 

Thank you so much to everyone for leaving such encouraging comments.