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What Are The Fantom Followers In Your Followers Gadget?

When you Follow a blog, you add the feed from that blog to your Google Reader account, which is linked to your dashboard and Blogger account, and you add a link and an icon, from your account to the Followers gadget on the blog. That's simple enough, if you are logged in.

Since Following doesn't require you to actually login now, it has no way of retrieving a name or picture. If you are not logged in to Blogger, you can just hit the "Follow" button now, and it will setup the Following for you. You login later, or never, as you wish.

You end up with a shadow icon, plus a fantom Followers name, a couple dozen random letters and numbers. When you do login, it would pull up the fantom names / blogs that you have setup, and let you associate any that you wish with that account. You can change the name to anything that you like, after you connect the fantom name to an actual Google account.

Some people may never bother to login and connect their Followed blogs with their accounts. This causes the blog owners to become confused, or concerned.
The other day I acquired a new Follower. It had a shadow picture and had listed that it had joined my blog, but did not list a blog of its own. It had a long random string of letters and numbers as an ID. I blocked it, as it looked like spam to me.
Apparently, it's not a hacker, or a spammer, just a Follower who hasn't bothered to login just yet. Just Manage Followers, select "Show blocked Followers", and unblock the fantoms. You'll still have the occasional spammers, just not the fantom Followers, to block.

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