Thursday, August 28, 2008

Follow Me

In the spirit of meshed online communities like FaceBook, MySpace, and Orkut, Blogger now gives us a new accessory: Following. With a single mouse click, you can subscribe to any Blogger blog by its news feed, and create a link from that blog back to your profile. You can read the contents of Blogger blogs that you Follow either in your Following Reading List, or in Google Reader.

Do you see the "Follow Me" gadget, in the sidebar? There you can see two components of Following.
  • A link to add this blog to your Following Reading List.
  • A grid of thumbnail profile photos, showing who most recently decided to Follow this blog.

Two more components are on your Dashboard, as your account gets the Following feature.
  • For each Followed blog, a link to a list of who is Following that blog.
  • Your Following Reading List, showing blog content (snippets of ~150 posts), at the bottom of the dashboard.


And look in the navbar (for any blog that has not hidden the navbar), for a "Follow" this blog link.

If a blog that interests you has the "Followers" ("Follow Me") gadget, just click on the "Follow This Blog" link, to add this blog to your Reading List, at the bottom of your dashboard. If there's no "Followers" gadget, but the blog is public and has a working feed, just go to your Reading List, and click on the "Add" button. You may also be able to use the "Follow" link in the navbar. Either way, you'll become a Follower of that blog (though the latter choices won't be as much fun).

If you want Followers for your public blog, be sure to enable the blog feed. Once that's done, add a Followers gadget to your sidebar, and make it visible (near the top is best). Encourage people to Follow your blog, and you'll get more Followers - and hopefully other people, who Follow blogs published by those who Follow your blog, will decide to Follow your blog too.

What use is it to Follow, and to be Followed, if you can't tell the world (selectively, as you wish) what you're doing? But you need to protect yourself, your blog, and your Followers.Involve yourself, and involve others, in your community.

For a more descriptive and pictorial evaluation of Following, you might want to check out Roberto's Following - A new Gadget. You may also benefit from Blogger: What is Following?. And I'll explore new and ongoing Following issues, from time to time.

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3 comments:

Bob said...

Well, there's Five Fine Followers of Fashion, friend!
Bloody alliteration has followed me for fair-on fifty feven fears!

Maria Mar said...

Hi, Nitecruzr,

I've been searching clarity about the issue Followers vs. Subscribers and my search has lead me to many pages. One hour later, I am still as confused. Could you please help me gain clarity?

If I invite people (who are not bloggers or in google or Blogger platform) to my blog and they sign up as followers, what do they get? And what do they have to do? (What steps will they have to go through? I ask, because if they are not in google/blogger, they don't have a profile, etc, so what happens?)

If people click to become subscribers through different RSS options, what do they get? What do they have to do?

A lot of my clients and subscribers do not understand about RSS and may not have an RSS editor. I am trying to get them subscribed so that they can either receive a link to a new blog post, or better yet, receive the post via email. (As happens with my other blogs, which I have syndicated via Feedburner.) I want to know if the gadgets that Blogger has do this automatically.

I also want ease of use for new visitors.

Thanks for your help, time and attention,

Maria Mar

Chuck said...

Maria,

Please read my article on Followers, Readers, and Subscribers.