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Dear Followers Of This Blog ...

If you did not use a Blogger / Google account when you Followed this blog, years ago, you are probably not Following now.

During the past month or so, this blog has gone from 5,300 to 4,800 Followers. Owners of other blogs have reported similar reductions.

Look at the Reading List, in the Blogger dashboard - if you use Blogger. Is this blog listed? If so, you are Following this blog, using a Blogger account. If not, you may want to add this blog to your Reading List.

As part of a project to make Blogger Followers (aka "Google Friend Connect") more reliable and stable, Blogger Engineers are rewriting Followers to only work with Blogger / Google accounts.

Originally, Blogger Followers was part of a web of community building features.

In the past, Blogger Followers was part of a web based community composed of half a dozen account hosts - and another half a dozen profile hosts - and the login and profile hosts complements were not the same.

The Followers gadget, for many years, had well known problems.

"Were sorry ...

This gadget is configured incorrectly."

Everyone who uses Followers, on their blogs, has surely seen this notice.

This blog showed the above message, during most of 2015, for many would be Followers. Other blog owners had similar complaints, during the past several years.

One of the odder peccadilloes of Following started with someone who would, for one reason or another, decide to Follow a blog using an OpenID account or profile, then later login to Blogger and look in their Reading List for the new newsfeed subscription. Surprise! No subscription!!

Unfortunately, people Following using the web were shortchanged. One of the downsides of Following (seldom discussed) was that only Followers using Blogger / Google accounts would have a newsfeed subscription added to their Reading List.

People Following without Google accounts did not get newsfeed subscriptions.

Followers using OpenID only got their photo icon in the Followers facepile. How would OpenID Followers get a Reading List subscription? Reading List subscriptions require Blogger / Google accounts.

Followers is being rewritten - and non Google accounts are not supported.

Starting last month, Blogger Engineers have been eliminating Followers who use OpenID accounts, and / or who use OpenID hosted profiles.

January 27 - 4,860 Followers.

December 18 - 5,343 Followers.

This causes a drop in Follower count, on a lot of blogs - and yes, it's painful to watch the numbers drop. But what they are removing is people who only get their photo icon on the blog (temporarily) - the ones being removed don't read the newsfeed in Reading List, because they don't use Reading List.

Blogger is doing this for a practical reason - Followers code needs to be simplified, so it can be made more reliable. It's similar to support policy for every brand and version of browser. Blogger can't support every version of every browser, nor can they support every type of login to Followers, reliably.

If we are going to use the Followers gadget, it needs to be reliable.

The Followers gadget, on this blog, was broken - for many months, last year. If we're going to use Followers, it needs to be reliable.

If you look in your Reading List and find this blog listed, you are Following this blog using a Blogger account - since the Reading List subscription is one benefit of Following. If you don't find this blog listed, you may subscribe, using Reading List - or Follow, using "Follow Me". Just use a Blogger / Google account, when you Follow.

I welcome you, either way. Now that this blog is The ONLY Blogger Status, I plan to continue bringing you the best discussions of Blogger features and problems.

If you are Following my Google+ stream, this may not affect you.

Keeping all of this in proper perspective, some of you may be Following this blog in your Google+ stream, using Google Followers. You will be using a Google account (you cannot use Google+ without a Google account) - and you will not have a Reading List entry (Google+ does not use Reading List).

Others may be Following my Google+ Collection, RBS. Google+ Collections are more similar to blogs.

Blogger Followers ("Follow Me"), above Google+ Followers ("+Follow Me").

Blogger Followers, and Google+ Followers, are simply two different products - and both are displayed on this blog. And both help different people to find your blog.

And that's why we add the gadgets, to our blogs. And now, why we add notices, to our blogs.


Unknown said…
I follow you through Blogloving, I just checked and you have quite a few followers... so you might as well go ahead and add that gadget to your Blog... and add the App to you phone... something GFC doesn't allow... probably why we're not following you there:) here's your link!
Sparky said…
Hi Chuck, since you posted this, you have dropped again in followers ( this is sad to see ) ...thank you for all the explanation, but I still do not see how it benefits any of us. Many will out of spite not enroll with google because they feel forced to.

I have seen it coming for awhile, many are choosing different platforms or just going to facebook and instagram. People are fed up with changes blogger/google makes that really does not benefit us bloggers who have built up GOOGLES image.....

I am sorry to see many of my friends who had big blogs walking away and closing their blogs, they feel they have lost so many followers they are not going to beg for them to come back to enroll... Again thank you for trying to keep us updated...I linked you on my blog so many can see what you have written.
VP said…
Thanks for the update - I see a different number every time I look at my blog and wondered what was happening.

This is a real shame and will only serve to fuel WordPress bloggers' sense of superiority that they use a better product than Blogger. We seem to be reaching a 'silo' situation where only Blogger users will read/comment on Blogger blogs and WordPress users read/comment on theirs. It seems the friendly blogging community days are gone where we read and commented because something was worth reading irrespective of its source.

Does this mean the Reading List feature will suffer the same fate? I have a nice mix of Blogger, WordPress and Typepad blogs I read from there.
Nitecruzr said…
Hey Samm,

Thanks for the observation.

It benefits all of us, because the Followers gadget needs to be made more reliable.

And yes, it's painful to watch the numbers drop. You just need to take a more long term approach though.

How many people here know what "Netlog" and "Plaxo" are? Why is code to support Followers, from those services, necessary?

So, Blogger is rewriting the Followers gadget - and people who use "Netlog", "Plaxo", and similar services will find themselves not Following. And the Followers numbers will drop.

In life, we have death.
Yes, I lost loads of people. :( But I doubt they stopped by much anyway.
Celtic Sprite said…
Thanx for clearing up my doubts... in my case I only lost a few who certainly had no Google/Blogger profiles/accounts.... Keep up the good work as always kind Chuck!
Donna Ellis said…
I really enjoy your blog! Thanks for all the tips and updates. Primarily, I use Bloglovin as my source to follow the blogs I value, but was unable to locate your blog there. Therefore, I follow you via email, and read whenever on my computer instead of mobile devices, even tho I have a blogger and google ID.

It was a little deflating losing some followers, but I can't blame Google - I see it from their point of view as well. What matters to me is not the numbers, but reaching those who really benefit (or who want to be friends LOL)

Thanks again for keeping me informed!
I lost nearly 50 followers overnight one day in January and didn't know what had happened but I thought it was a natural correction because there are so many people who push the button to follow but then don't really follow in terms of presence. I had coincidentally gone in and removed my name from many, many lists of blogs which are no longer active or no longer interest me. I think it is natural attrition. Honestly blogger needs to make the whole friend thing easier and more transparent. I'm hoping this is a positive step. We'll see. Thanks for your update. I actually had added your blog to my favorites on my side column so I see your updates and never miss a single one...just sometimes it takes me a few weeks to read them. Ha! Thanks for all you do.
cd__ said…
I get your blog by email and speaking of email and blogspot. Email deliveries of my blogspot posts stopped about 5 weeks ago? and just this thursday they past the problem resolved itself and I am getting emails of my postings. It usually works that way with Blogspot, things get sorted out if you give it enough time. And your blog here is always informative and helpful. Cheers.
Nitecruzr said…
Hi Duffy,

Thanks for the feedback!

The Blogger email problems are not completely solved - but it's good to hear that one is sorted. It does however take patience - and persistence.

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