Sunday, May 24, 2009

With Following, Anonymous Followers Can't Be Blocked

As people become used to Blogger Following as just another tool to connect people, they start to think about the implications. And we see questions like
How do I block someone who's been following my blog secretly? I couldn't see her in my Followers list (hence I couldn't use the "Block this user" link), but I have looked at her profile and could see that she's Following my blog.


Following, when you look at the bottom line, is no more than a feed subscription and an icon (possibly) displayed on your blog, and linking back to the profile of the Follower in question. If someone Follows your blog anonymously, all that they get is a subscription to the blog feed.

If you publish a feed from your blog, and if the feed is open to anybody (which, right now, is the case), then it's open to everybody. If someone wants to use Following to subscribe to the feed, you can't stop this. You can't block it before, or after, the fact. You can't Block what you can't see. Nor can you see an anonymous Follower.

Don't worry about what you can't see. Concentrate on what you can see, and on providing interesting and relevant content for your readers.

>> Top

13 comments:

marain said...

How do I block someone who's been following my blog secretly? I couldn't see her in my Followers list (hence I couldn't use the "Block this user" link), but I have looked at her profile and could see that she's Following my blog.I'm pretty sure blogs that are followed anonymously do not appear in the user's profile - the blogs I follow anonymously do not appear in my profile, in any case, and that's one of the benefits of following anonymously. I sometimes follow anonymously when I'm sure about the content of a blog so as not to appear to support it in my profile.

What I've been wondering, though, is why the number of followers in my Dashboard is one more than the number of followers in the Followers section of my blog. How does that happen? Does the difference between the two numbers represent the number of people who are following me anonymously? Or is it some bug in Blogger?

Chuck said...

Marain,

Only you can see the dashboard Followers list. Compare that against the blog Followers list, and tell us what the 7th Follower is. I have numerous anonymous Followers, but my dashboard and blog lists are still equal. Let's see what's different between yours.

marain said...

When I am in Dashboard, I can see 7 followers in the Manage Blogs box. When I click on Followers, I see only the 6 followers who appear in the Followers box of my blog page. So this extra follower is a mystery!

Chuck said...

Marain,

So tell us about this mysterious 7th Follower, who you can see only from the dashboard wizard?

marain said...

I can only see six from the dashboard wizard and only six in my blog, but the Manage Blogs box in dashboard says I have 7 followers.

Vagabond said...

same with me ... there are 15 in my manage blogs page and 14 in my blog page.

Dylan Macnab said...

I've always wanted to know how many people or what percentage of followers choose to follow anonymously. It doesn't really impact me, but I'm just curious.

Chuck said...

I've always wanted to know how many people or what percentage of followers choose to follow anonymously.

You can't. How are you going to look for people who are invisible? Surf all Blogger profile looking for people who Follow your blog, then correlate that with people who show up in your Following neighbourhood?

givemefashionnow said...

Is there any way to have people able to follow your blog but have the follow gaget deleted. I don't want anyone to see the amount of followers I have.

Chuck said...

People with Blogger accounts can Follow your blog using the "Follow" link in the navbar. Other than that, you don't have a lot of choice. Some people Follow your blog to get their picture visible, and get back traffic to their blog. If your blog is to be part of the Following community, you need to make the Following gadget visible, on your blog.

Tricia T said...

I am having a lot of problem with a select 2 people reading my blog and taking things out of context... I have told people they have 5 days to subscribe because I am making it private... because I thought I had the option to block these 2 people, but now I am finding out I can't if they don't follow publicly... is this true?

Chuck said...

Tricia,

You can only block publicly visible Followers, you cannot block anonymous Followers. If you make the blog private, nobody will be able to Follow you, because private blogs don't have feeds. There is a difference between anonymous and private.

hikarusan said...

I privated my blog, but the anonymous follower is still there. I tried experimenting by following my blog with a different account but found out that whenever i post, followers can still see it... how do i solve this?