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?
and
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

Comments

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.
Nitecruzr 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.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2011/07/confusion-and-panic-over-private.html

Popular posts from this blog

Embedded Comments And Main Page View

The option to display comments, embedded below the post, was made a blog option relatively recently. This was a long requested feature - and many bloggers added it to their blogs, as soon as the option was presented to us. Some blog owners like this feature so much, that they request it to be visible when the blog is opened, in main page view. I would like all comments, and the comment form, to be shown underneath the relevant post, automatically, for everyone to read without clicking on the number of comments link. And this is not how embedded comments work.

What's The URL Of My Blog?

We see the plea for help, periodically I need the URL of my blog, so I can give it to my friends. Help! Who's buried in Grant's Tomb, after all? No Chuck, be polite. OK, OK. The title of this blog is "The Real Blogger Status", and the title of this post is "What's The URL Of My Blog?".

With Following, Anonymous Followers Can't Be Blocked

As people become used to Blogger Following as just another tool to connect people, they start to think about the implications . And we see questions like How do I block someone who's been following my blog secretly? I couldn't see her in my Followers list (hence I couldn't use the "Block this user" link), but I have looked at her profile and could see that she's Following my blog. Following, when you look at the bottom line, is no more than a feed subscription and an icon (possibly) displayed on your blog, and linking back to the profile of the Follower in question. If someone Follows your blog anonymously, all that they get is a subscription to the blog feed. If you publish a feed from your blog, and if the feed is open to anybody (which, right now, is the case ), then it's open to everybody. If someone wants to use Following to subscribe to the feed, you can't stop this. You can't block it before, or after, the fact. You can't Block w