Google’s New Blogger Features

    August 28, 2008
    Chris Crum

Google’s Blogger is unleashing some new features to make blogs using the platform more social. They will be rolling out these features over the next several weeks.

Follower's Gadget
Follower’s Gadget
Image from Blogger Buzz Blog

They want bloggers to be able to view the people that read their blogs, and will provide a gadget allowing users to display those people on the actual blogs. The way they are accomplishing this is through a "Follow this Blog" link that will appear on all Blogger blogs. Who is following whom will then be shown on the Blogger dashboard and in Google Reader, for those who use it.

Marshall Kirkpatrick at Read Write Web chalks up what Blogger is doing as Google’s attempt to push RSS into the mainstream:

For all its supposed simplicity, Really Simple Syndication or RSS has continued to confuse and intimidate millions of people online years after its introduction…

"Follow this blog" is a clear call to action and those words will soon grace the header of every blog on around the web. When users click that link they’ll be taken to either a tab on their Blogger dashboard, presumably if they have an account and are logged in, or be introduced to Google Reader, the company’s RSS reader. It’s a simple, brilliant plan and we wonder what took so long.

Kirkpatrick is probably right in that the mainstream public is still confused about RSS. The reason I agree with this is because out of all of the people I know that don’t work on the Internet, none of them use it. Many of them do have gmail accounts,  however, and could get sucked into the world of RSS without even realizing it with what Google is doing.

"Follow this blog" has a kind of Twitter sound to it, which could appeal to the social mindset. Blogger will also be integrating Google Friend Connect into the mix as to further increase the social aspects of blogs. Movable Type also announced new social features recently.