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Following Lets Strangers Become Friends, Through Public Blogs

Occasionally, we see signs of confusion shown by people trying to Follow their friends blogs.
I'm trying to Follow my friends blog, but I only see "You have followed this URL, but we couldn't find a feed for it."
or
My friends tell me that my feed isn't updating. I made it private last week.


Both of these statements come from people who aren't aware of the implications of the limitation that private blogs do not have newsfeeds.

A blog that requires an invitation, to be viewed, requires that people become acquainted before the blog can be viewed. If your blog is private, a prospective viewer has to email you and ask for permission, before he can view your blog. Somebody surfing the Following community of one of your designated readers, and happening upon your private blog, simply sees the well known advice
It doesn't look like you have permission to view this blog.


Following lets strangers become acquainted with each other, by surfing to blogs that are publicly visible. Someone happening upon your blog, and seeing
It doesn't look like you have permission to view this blog.
isn't going to stick around, and try to figure out how to contact you. You're not going to get any casual readers, if your blog is private. Of course, you don't really want casual readers, which is what your prospective reader will find out.

And if your friends (folks who you have designated as readers) are looking to Follow your blog from their Reading Lists, have them rethink that idea. Without a newsfeed, they won't be seeing anything in their Reading Lists.

So, if you find it necessary to make your blog private, you should forget about using blog feeds and Following.

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