Skip to main content

Following: Privacy Vs Transparency

In the subject of Blogger blogs and use of Following, we periodically see conflicting queries in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?.
How do I Follow my favourite blog, without being seen?
How do I get a list of my private Followers?
These queries are mutually contradictory - and possibly come from people who don't get the concept of Following.

The idea of Following is two fold.
  1. Have your icon displayed, on the face of your blog of interest.
    • If the blog of your interest has a Followers gadget.
    • If the Followers gadget is not fully populated, with newer Followers.
  2. Get a newsfeed subscription, to your blog of interest.
If you don't like the idea of being seen, as a Follower of any given blog, you have several options.
  1. Not Follow the blog.
  2. Follow the blog, anonymously.
  3. Subscribe to the newsfeed of the blog, in any newsfeed reader.
It appears that options #2 and #2 are functionally the same - except that #2 leaves you with using the "Manage Blogs I'm Following" wizard, if you want to disassociate yourself from a given blog - while #3 leaves you with a simple newsfeed subscription management issue.

Some blog owners, possibly those who worry about anonymity (generally) and stalkers (specifically), would like #2 and #3 removed as alternate choices, and leave their guests with just two choices.
  1. Not Follow their blog.
  2. Follow their blog, and be known to the owner, but (hopefully) not to the Following community.
As a blog guest, you would then have several options, vaguely similar to the above.
  1. Not Follow the blog.
  2. Follow the blog, anonymously, and be seen by the owner, but (hopefully) not the general Following community.
  3. Subscribe to the newsfeed of the blog, in any newsfeed reader, and be seen by nobody.
Of course, #3 will still be a possible problem, to the blog owners who fear stalkers.

It's possible that if you are a blog owner who worries about stalkers, and wishes to insist on seeing all Followers - including those who wish to be anonymous, you will leave your readers with just two choices.
  1. Not Follow your blog.
  2. Follow your blog, and be known to you.
This may cause some readers to
  1. Not Follow your blog.
Will you really benefit, from the latter?

>> Top


MeilleurCafe said…
I've seen online reports that say Google is eliminating private profiles as of the end of July 2011. If you do not change your profile setting from "private," they will eliminate your profile. Can you address this in terms of blog privacy? If my blog is private, and only approved authors can view and post, how will this be affected by this change? I'm assuming my blog will show up as "blogs I'm following" in Google profiles, and I prefer not to publicize it.
Chuck said…
The strategy to eliminate private Blogger profiles won't eliminate private blogs, it will make them more useful. In a way, Google+ could even give us the equivalent of multi-level read restrictions for our blogs.

Popular posts from this blog

Custom Domain Migration - Managing The Traffic

Your blog depends upon traffic for its success.

Anything that affects the traffic to your blog, such as any change in the URL, affects the success of your blog. Publishing the blog to a custom domain, like renaming the blog, will affect traffic to your blog. The effects of the change will vary from blog to blog, because of the different traffic to every different blog.Followers. People who find your blog because of recommendations by other people.Search engines. Robotic processes which methodically surf your blog, and provide dynamic indexing to people who search for information.Subscribers. People who read your content from their newsfeed reader, such as the dashboard Reading List.Viewers. People who read your content from their browser.No two blogs are the same - and no two blogs will have the same combinations of traffic sources.

Stats Components Are Significant, In Their Own Context

One popular Stats related accessory, which displays pageview information to the public, is the "Popular Posts" gadget.

Popular Posts identifies from 1 to 10 of the most popular posts in the blog, by comparing Stats pageview counts. Optional parts of the display of each post are a snippet of text, and an ever popular thumbnail photo.

Like many Stats features, blog owners have found imaginative uses for "Popular Posts" - and overlook the limitations of the gadget. Both the dynamic nature of Stats, and the timing of the various pageview count recalculations, create confusion, when Popular Posts is examined.