Replacing Google Friend Connect

Google in their infinite wisdom are getting rid of Google Friend Connect for non blogger blogs (if your blog is hosted on Blogger you’re ok!), as of March 1, 2012.  This means if your blog is on WordPress, Typepad or something else readers will no longer be able to read your blog through Friend Connect.  So how to replace it?

I’ve created a few ways for Friend Connect people to carry on reading Violet Posy should they want to read my ramblings 🙂


There’s the RSS Feed – If they click on that and add that to their feed reader it will replace the feed that currently comes through ‘Friend Connect’ – really handy for those already reading through GReader.


Look over in the sidebar in the tabbed area – it’s under ‘Subscribe’.  I’ve found this to be increasingly popular, you don’t need an RSS Reader, you just get new posts straight to your inbox.

I personally use Feedburner to send out the emails, but I noticed that on the new WordPress Jetpack there is an email subscribe widget that you just drag into the sidebar and you are good to go- dead simple!


My Facebook page is great (sorry that sounds a bit wrong!) but it’s easy to just pop a post over there (either manually or via automation via Networked Blogs below), have a chat with readers, – I put all my posts over there too.  Loads of people now read blogs through Facebook – why not have everything in one place? I’ve been using to read posts and share with my friends.  There’s a handy ‘How to create a Fan Page‘ here at Mashable.  The only thing I’d say is if you are trying to remain anonymous, create a ‘blog’ facebook account to link it too or it will link into your profile and it’s really hard to keep them separate.

Networked Blogs

Networked Blogs – I’ve just added that one if you use it. It’s a bit like GReader in that you have an account and you subscribe to blogs through it. But it also does some nifty things with Facebook automation – have a play!.


BlogLovin – This is a new one to me, but also a newsfeeder service, but seems to be popping up all over the place so I’ve added it as people are obviously using it.


I’ve created a page for VioletPosy and I’ve yet to remember to actually update it – I think I need to find something that automatically does it for me. Someone must have written a plugin for it, so I need to hunt about for one. If I find one I’ll let you all know.

That’s all I’ve found at the moment, have any of you found anything interesting to replace Friend Connect?  I’ll be interested to hear about it if you have.




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Mulled Wine SOS

You know how I couldn’t make Yorkshire Puddings well it seems I can’t make Mulled Wine either. Normally I just buy a bottle of it from the supermarket, but this year I thought I’d make some for when guests come and to warm us up (any excuse!).  I had this really happy memory from years ago, a friend had made some from scratch and it was gorgeous. I’d been promising Paul that it was utterly fantastic and he should try it, as he’d never really had it.

Last Friday night, I grabbed a bottle of red wine, some mulled wine sachets, sugar and followed the instructions….and it was HORRIBLE!! I ruined a lovely bottle of innocent wine and made the worst drink ever!. So lovely readers, do you have a fool proof mulled wine recipe?  I want to wow my poor husband into forgiving me for ruining a bottle of red, not to mention actually have some nice mulled wine.  Thank you!!


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Flipboard for iPhone

I have Google rage, there’s no other name for it.  Since Google Reader stopped allowing sharing within Reader and made us all use Google + I’ve had the arse with using it.  And don’t even get me started about Google getting rid of Google Friend Connect for non blogger blogs as of March 1, 2012! I’ll be posting about that later this week and looking at alternatives to replace it.

So as a result I’ve been reading blogs the old fashioned way via links – which isn’t brilliant as you do miss a lot.  But at the weekend I discovered that Flipboard has finally been released on the iPhone (and it’s FREE!.)   It’s my favourite app on the iPad but I don’t get to use the iPad a lot, so now it’s on the iPhone it means I can use it to my hearts content. You can also now create an account to share it between devices, which is an ace feature.

Sharing with friends is still an issue – although you can share via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and a few other social media outlets, but I’m really hoping they allow a share within app facility at some point in the future – that would make me a very happy girl!.



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Presents Ideas

I’ve been Christmas present hunting this week as my Dad (who I’d bought a lovely pair of headphones for) broke the number one rule of Christmas and bought himself a pair two weeks before Christmas – argh! So I’ve been on the web hunting for him (again!), my Mum and her best friend Pat.

Montezumas sent me some of their artisan chocolates this week and they are to die for – I’ve hidden the Eton Mess chocolates from the rest of the family and Paul is hogging the Salted Peanut!  But you can buy either a box of chocolates as a treat or if you really, really love someone (self treat I think!) a monthly chocolate subscription where you get a box a month of different chocolates to try.

Unique Boutique has some great ideas for the home and garden, I love the cubbies, the gardening table and the cute little bud vases (ideal for my Mum).  The hand knitted chair is insanely expensive, beautiful and snuggly  but with a small child, husband who chucks red wine over the sofa and a black perma-moult dog – probably not the best idea for my house, no one would be allowed near it!


One of my favourite presents to send people if they aren’t local is a magazine subscription, a nice gift which they get year round. Have a look at isubscribe who have a good selection and discounts.  I usually get Pat one of these, but this year she’s become a Kindle convert so I’ve gotten her something for that instead.

For the garden lovers in your life you can’t go wrong sending container roses from David Austin (order before the 22nd December). They come as ready to plant – so no flowers on this time of the year but they will be gorgeous in May/June.

If you’re having a totally blank moment about what to buy your friends, check out Etsy’s  Facebook gift ideas recommendations. Click on the ‘Gift Recommendations’ button on their page and then it links up to your facebook account and tells you what you’re friends would like – it’s amazingly accurate!

Don’t forget you still just about have time to makeup photobooks, calendars and other photo gifts from Photobox, Truprint and other photo companies, but I think their Christmas deliver deadlines are soon.

Happy Online Shopping!




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Decking the Halls

I can’t believe it’s Thursday, where did the week go?  I’ve been finishing off a new blog for a customer and when that’s done I am finished for the holidays yay!!

We put the tree up at the weekend, well Miss L did most of it but she’s fantastic at decorating trees and then she did the hallway as well, so now it’s feeling properly snugly and Christmassy here 🙂

This morning, inspired by the fabulous post by Bye Bye Birdie over on Thrifty Christmas I decided I get my Christmas Wreath done.  I kind of cheated and bought a blank Christmas Tree wreath from the market this morning. Then I broke the glue gun, ribbon, cinnamon sticks and some festive dried orange and made the wreath all pretty – took me about 10 minutes, and I think it turned out ok – well as no one wants to actually use the door knocker!

And to make the entrance perfect for the holidays, I’ve added my new doormat that I found in TK Maxx for a fiver yesterday – it’s soooo pretty! Not super festive but brightens up the hallway.  All I need to do now is get rid of all the post and paperwork that cluttering the hall table, but that’s a much bigger job, for another day!

How are your decorations coming along?


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