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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.

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