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Manage Your Followers, Carefully

Blogger Following, like Google Friend Connect, is a great way to let you the blog publisher have some idea what your readers are like.

Following is an excellent example of what the web is good for - connecting people. Unfortunately, some people doing the connecting don't have honourable intent. Blogger Following, like everything else on the web, can be subverted by the hackers, porn merchants, and spammers. But not if we don't let them do so.

Fortunately, Following is going to require more effort by the spammers, and it will take longer to produce results that they will appreciate. And we can prevent their effort from producing their desired results. All that we have to do is examine our Followers list, and Block any undesirables.

Use the "Manage Followers" wizard, from the Blogger dashboard, to remove any Followers that you don't want.

Start from your blog dashboard.

Long ago, Followers could be blocked, from the Followers cloud on the blog. To simplify the Followers gadget, this ability was removed. Now, you use the Stats - Overview dashboard page, and "Manage followers", for the blog.


Start from Stats - Overview.




Find the Followers count ("5004" here), and click on the count.




And, click "Block" on any undesirable Follower.



"Block this user" blocks the icon from the facepile only.

Remember, when you "Block" a Follower, you simply remove the icon and link from your Followers community. Anybody who wishes to Follow your blog (ie subscribe to the blog feed) can do so with impunity.

A blog feed, available to anybody, is available to everybody. And there's no way to disable the links attached to the icons either - if you can see them, your readers can link to them.

Note two additional details about blocking Followers.

  1. You cannot block a Follower who is an administrator, for the blog in question.
  2. You cannot block any Followers, for any given blog, if you are not logged in to Following, using a Blogger or Google account that has control of that blog.

Watch your Followers community regularly, and eventually you'll get an instinct for which Followers are genuine, and which ones are Following you simply to get a backlink to their splog.

Keeping your Followers and Followed blogs clean is a good idea.

Keep your Followers list clean, and those who Follow you will appreciate it. And likewise, those who you Follow will appreciate it.

And besides keeping a careful eye on your Followers, it's a good idea to remove any blogs which you don't care to Follow, or that may change content.

Using the "Manage" button at the bottom of the Reading List, you can change any Following relationship between public and private, or stop Following, altogether. Keeping your Reading List clean (of blogs that you don't really care about) will help you enjoy the blogs that you Follow (and that you do care about).

Comments

I am really baffled at this point. Is Following working or not?? Everywhere *I* go, I am seeing error messages in people's "Follow Me" windows, including YOURS (tried to post an image here of what I'm seeing, but it's not coming through.)

Is it just me? Or has everyone just given up and is now ignoring "Following?" Sorry; I am lost at this point.

Firefox 3.0.8: Address not found. Firefox can't find..if
Safari 3.2.1 (just an empty box).

Please help??
B. in Durham, NC
Brooke said…
It worked! Awesome!! Thanks!!!

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