Friday, March 06, 2009

Friend Connect and Blogger Followers Integration Tutorial

Google has recently merged the blogspot Blogger Followers feature with their Friend Connect application. Followers is now Friend Connect. From now on, when you publicly join a blog or site, that site will be added to your Friend Connect profiles/widgets on all of the sites you've joined, if you choose to follow them publicly rather than anonymously.

You will not appear on the profiles and widgets of those people you were following via Blogger Followers as Google has assigned them an anonymous status. If you want to publicly follow these people, and therefore appear or re-appear on their widgets, or choose a different following profile, you have to go into your settings and change each one. This is time consuming if you are following a lot of people but it is good that our privacy has been protected and we have been given the choice.

Instructions for Following Blogs Publicly

You change your preferences via your Blogger Dashboard page. Below your Manage Blogs area you will see your Reading List section and a list of "Blogs I am Following". Under this list you will see a "Manage" button.

blogspot manage followers

Click on the Manage button and you are taken to your " Manage Blogs I'm Following" page where you can see which blogs you are following anonymously and which publicly. For those you blogs you want to change to public click on its "Settings". In the settings window click on the "anonymously" link in the line that reads " You are following anonymously. Then select the "Follow publicly" option.

Google Friend Connect follower options

>The effect of changing from anonymous to public (my avatar appears in the second image):

GFC Blogger Followers widget on To this GFC Blogger Followers widget on

If you also want this blog to be listed under "Sites I've Joined", in your profile on the Friend Connect widgets of all the blogs you are following, tick the "Include this site on your profile" box.

friend connect sites joined

Choosing Your Profile

You can also choose to follow a blog using your Blogger, Google, Orkut, Twitter or Plaxo profiles. Changing your preferences as to which of your profiles you wish to use to follow blogs also involves editing each of the blogs you follow. (i.e. Manage Button/Manage Blogs I am Following/settings for each blog) At the top of each individual blogs settings page you will see which profile is currently being used:

current  blogger follower profile

Click on the change link and choose which profile you wish to use:

change blogger follower profile


The advantage of choosing a different profile is that if people click on your profile in the new Google Friend Connect widget they are directed directly to the profile(s) and blog(s) you have added to these profiles rather than to the Blogger about page. I have chosen to use my Google profile because that lists my main blog as well as the other social networking sites I belong to.

You can only manage the friends who have Blogger blogs and are using that profile for Friends Connect through your Blogger Manage Blogs section. If your friends are using one of your other social networks ( Google, Orkut, Plaxo, Twitter) then you manage these friends through that network and not Blogger.

GFC followers other networks

The integration brings you a wider range of possible contacts as you can become friends with any member of a blog using Friend Connect not only Blogger blogs. It does not matter what social networks they belong to and which account they used to sign up, the friends you make on a Friend Connect site will be friends of yours on any other sites you both belong to.