Thursday, February 26, 2009

What Is Following? Details on Bloggers Reading List...

Google, Inc.Image via Wikipedia

It's been a while since I wrote about introducing Google Friend Connect to this site and since then there hasn't been any significant developments. After the initial buzz of activity after implementing the widget and then joining the communities of the people I follow there hasn't been much activity.

Today within the Blogger Dashboard I noticed that updates from any blogs I follow and sites I have joined using Google FriendConnect are now displayed in the Reading List. Selecting the Blogger Buzz tab provided details on how this works -
A few months ago, we introduced a feature called Following, which lets readers publicly subscribe to your blog. Since then it's been incredibly successful: nearly three million communities in 39 languages have followers, and every second of every day, a reader follows a blog.

But your readers come from across the web, from Yahoo, AOL, WordPress, Typepad... not just Blogger. That's why we're excited to announce that we've integrated Blogger Following with Google Friend Connect.

Friend Connect encourages readers to use one account (whether it's a Google account, a Yahoo, AIM or OpenID account) to follow any site - a Blogger blog, a WordPress blog, or any other site that has incorporated Friend Connect. Each site that a follower joins will show up on their Friend Connect profile. Now your blog will benefit from increased exposure as your readers interact with other sites around the web - and their friends see your blog listed as one they've chosen to follow...
What is Following?!

Google want to put emphasis on our favourite blogs and let the author and readers know that we are a fan. The following feature allows us to keep track of the blogs we follow via our Reading List on the Blogger dashboard.

The easiest way to become a follower of a blog and using this site as an example is through the Following widget. Click on the "Follow this Blog" link under the "Followers" widget and you become a follower. It's as easy as that and through the widget you can select to follow publicly or anonymously. When you have become a follower of a blog, the feed will also be added to the Reading List on the Blogger dashboard:

We highly recommend that you write a post about your followers widget and encourage all readers to become a follower. Additionally you should put your followers widget at the top of your sidebar so more readers will notice it. Many readers ignore sidebar items so by writing a post about your followers widget and moving the widget to the top of your sidebar, you will inevitably grow your audience [Source]
Since introducing Google Friend Connect I have positioned the Followers Widget at the top of my sidebar. I'm interested to see whether this development will increase the amount of followers I have on my site and whether I will see the widgets more widely available. First time on the site? Please let me know what you think about Google Friend Connect and it would be appreciated if you could follow the details in this post and provide feedback!

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