Wednesday, December 30, 2009

People Follow Blogs, Not Templates Or URLs

Occasionally, we have people expressing confusion about loss of Followers.
I updated my template, and I lost my Followers!
If you only update your template and nothing else, your blog should still have its Followers. You may lose various gadgets from the template, when you make changes - but even if the Followers gadget is lost, the existing Followers continue. Just look at the Followers community, from your dashboard, and you'll see the Followers.

If you look at the code behind the "Follow Blog" link in the navbar, you'll see an odd code snippet. Here's an example of what you might see.
<script type="text/javascript">function follow(blogID) {window.open("/follow-blog.g?blogID=" + blogID, "followblog", "height=600, width=600, toolbar=no, menubar=no, scrollbars=no, resizable=no, location=no, directories=no, status=no" );} </script>

The key there is "blogID" (blog number), not "URL" (blog address). When you Follow a blog, you Follow the blog by number, not by address. This gives two very interesting results.
  • If you setup a new blog, to maybe test a major template change, use that blog only for testing, and copy the tested template into the existing blog. If you swap URLs, and make the test blog your operational blog, your Followers will remain with the old blog.
  • If you change the URL of your blog, setup a stub blog at the old URL, with a redirected feed. Your Followers will Follow the feed from your new URL, just as they Followed the the feed from the old URL.

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2 comments:

polyhexanide said...

so what exactly is a blog id?
i have changed the title of my blog recently and seem to have no response from my followers. is that the problem

Chuck said...

Adele,

If you're deleting your blog, make a new blog, with a stub post, "This blog has been deleted.". If you're renaming your blog, make a new blog, with a stub post "This blog has moved to xxxxxxxx.blogspot.com".

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2006/06/stub-post.html