Saturday, October 04, 2008

Following - A Focused Replacement For "Next Blog"?

Recently, Blogger launched Following, which looks to me like an eventual replacement for the "Next Blog" link. By Following the right blogs - those with some Followers, and that are owned by bloggers who are Following other blogs - you immediately become part of a global network of bloggers and blogs. By Following the blogs that interest you, you focus your surfing on your interests, and do the same for those who surf to your blogs.

If you Follow the right blogs, you help attract traffic, through the backlinks to your profile, and there to your blogs. And as you see your Followers and blog traffic increase, you will be encouraged to publish more posts, which will encourage still more traffic to your blog. This provides the same effect as traffic from the "Next Blog" link, except it will be from bloggers who share your interests, as you Follow blogs that interest you. Traffic from bloggers who share your interests (and are interested in the content of your blog, and other blogs like yours) will be more likely to encourage traffic from other bloggers who are interested in the content of your blog, and other blogs like yours.
  • Like traffic from "Next Blog", the more that you publish, the more traffic you should see.
  • Unlike traffic from "Next Blog", some of the traffic you should see will be return traffic, from people already Following your blog.
  • Unlike traffic from "Next Blog", traffic from Following will be from bloggers who are interested in the content of your blog, not from random surfing.
  • Unlike traffic from "Next Blog", traffic from Following will not happen immediately, but will last long after the 10 minute "Next Blog" window has expired.
  • Unlike traffic from "Next Blog", some traffic from Following will come from bloggers who are Following blogs that are owned by bloggers who share your interests.


All of this means that more bloggers who Follow your blog are likely to return to your blog, unlike "Next Blog" where most traffic is random, and only marginally likely to encourage repeat visits. Combined with the potential to provide surfing in an environment free of hacking, porn, and spam, Following looks like an elegant replacement for the "Next Blog" link in the Navbar.

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