Thursday, November 26, 2009

Following And Private Blogs

A frequently seen sign of confusion, in Blogger Help Forum, is the connection between Following and Private blogs (blogs designated "Only people I choose").
If I make my blog private, will people still be able to follow my blog?
Like many Blogger Help Forum questions, this one suffers from a significant amount of ambiguity.

There are several details, relevant to the above question.
  • Classically, people were said to "follow" a blog when they would periodically view it online, and / or view its contents using a newsfeed reader. People designated as Readers will be able to view a blog in the browser, though new posts won't be visible in a newsfeed reader.
  • Blogger recently developed the Following program, to involve
    • Use of the newsfeed, automatically added to a Dashboard Followers Reading List, and Google Reader.
    • For blogs displaying the Followers accessory gadget, the ability to, temporarily, have ones icon displayed in the Followers gadget.
    • For blogs displaying the Followers accessory gadget, the ability to surf to others profiles, and from there to blogs published and read by the various Followers.
  • The term "will be able" also deserves mention, as many blogs, recently made private, can still be viewed in the browser, and cached feeds can still be viewed in a newsfeed client.


Since right now, "private" blogs won't publish newsfeeds, the current literally correct answer to the above question is
No, people cannot Follow a private blog.
But (and there is always a but)
  • Blogs made private can still display a Followers gadget, and people can have their icon displayed in the gadget. If having your picture displayed on somebodys blog satisfies you, then you may be happy Following a private blog, for a while.
  • People can continue to read what's cached by their browser, and they will continue to generate hits in your visitor log.
  • Some people will be able to view new posts in their browser, even if not designated as Readers.


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6 comments:

@eloh said...

I'm fairly sure I understand this. I do have a strange thing going on in my private blog... which was public for a very short time. On the dashboard it shows 10 followers. On the front page it shows the 8 followers to whom I sent the invitations too.

What's up? Is there two people I don't know about reading my blog? When I click on the 10 Followers icon it just shows the eight people.

Rach said...

My blog is private (reader invitation only). I'm being followed by someone that I've never invited to read my blog. This person started following my blog long after it had been set to private. What the? How is this even possible?

Chuck said...

My blog is private (reader invitation only). I'm being followed by someone that I've never invited to read my blog.

How many designated readers do you have? Does this mysterious Follower maybe reside or live near (with) a known designated reader?

Brigitta said...

So...(invited) readers of my private blog don't get it on their dashboard?
Is there another way to notify them of new posts?

Chuck Croll said...

Brigitta,

Long ago, you'd use BlogSend - but that was limited to 10 recipients. Now, Google advises us to use Google+ for private blog post notification.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2011/12/private-blog-owners-need-to-use-google.html

Amibera... said...

My family just started an 8 member private blog circle, thinking that one of the major advantages was the newsfeed feature. I take it this is still a feature exclusive to open blogs?