Saturday, March 07, 2009

Following - How To Not Be Seen

Ever since Blogger launched its Following product, in September 2008, enthusiasm has been ever increasing. Last month, when Blogger Following and Google Friend Connect were integrated, a lot of confusion was generated.
It used to be really easy to become a Follower, I would just click on the "Follow publicly" selection, and that was all there was to it. But lately when I try to Follow, it doesn't end up listing the site I'm Following in my "Blogs I Follow" section on my site, and it doesn't list my blog on my Follower page.


Back in August, when Following was first launched, some of us were concerned about several privacy issues.
Maybe the choice to selectively display some (or all) blogs as Followed, to our other Followed and Followers, or even to the Blogosphere in general, would be good.
We appear to have choices now, in visibility. We can choose To Not Be Seen, in various options. This will mitigate some previously anticipated issues.

If we want to, we can choose to not display any Followed blogs. One of the options in "Edit User Profile" is "Show sites I follow". If we choose to select "Show sites I follow", we can restrict what we show.

I'm going to look at 3 blogs, as examples, and show what can be seen, and what can't be seen.
  1. PChuck's Network. I'm an administrator (owner), member, and I Follow this blog.
  2. Roberto's Report. I'm a member, and I Follow this blog.
  3. t u e s d a y s. I Follow this blog.



My blog Following list. Note that each of the 3 example blogs have a link to a Followers list.



I Follow PChuck's Network anonymously.



I'm an administrator of PChuck's Network. The dashboard entry has a link to the Followers list.



I can see a list of Followers of PChuck's Network, and I can view a list of Blocked Followers.



I Follow Roberto's Report publicly.



I'm a member of Roberto's Report. The dashboard entry has no information about Followers.



My blog Following list shows Roberto's Report, and if I click on the Followers link, I can see a list of active Followers. I have no option to see Blocked Followers.



I Follow t u e s d a y s publicly.



My blog Following list shows t u e s d a y s, but if I click on the Followers link, I can see nothing.



Granularity in displaying what blogs I'm Following.
  1. Follow publicly, and display this site on my profile.
  2. Follow publicly, and do not display this site on my profile.
  3. Follow anonymously, and do not display this site on my profile.


All in all, a good effort in resolving several privacy issues expressed many months back. Bravo, Blogger.

For more information, see Blogger Help: Blogger and Google Friend Connect Privacy FAQ, and Rick Klau's weblog: Blogger Following and Friend Connect.

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3 comments:

Beth Owl's Daughter said...

In response to your Following post here, have you noticed that you now have the Error Message "Address Not Found" on your "Follow me" widget?

I cannot get an answer to this; one day I could see my followers, but then for over a week, I have this error (which prompted me to remove the Following widget altogether). I hate it, because my blog is a participative workshop effort, and I was building a sense of community; now in ruins.

Ideas? Comments?
Thanks.
- Beth

Chuck said...

Beth,

Is this on the gadget on my blog, or on your blog?

Here's where I urge you to post in GBH: Something Is Broken, or in Nitecruzr Dot Net - Blogging. The online forums are much easier to use, then Blogger Blog Commenting, for interactive problem solving.

stonegardenexplorer said...

Can you help answer this one:
I have 11 followers. Only 9 show up on my dashboard. It says there are no private followers. So, who are the other 2 followers? How do I find out? Thanks!