Monday, September 8, 2008

Follow Follow Follow Follow, Follow the Yellow Brick Blog

Hmmm . . . that just doesn't have the same ring, does it?

And this blog definitely isn't paved with yellow brick.

However, you can still follow it! Even though it's not moving . . .

So, not yellow brick, not moving. But still follow-able. Honest!

Here's how you do it:

Check out that nifty little gadget at the top of my sidebar. It says "Passionate Readers" at the top, and has a little profile photo of my lovely Birrd friend underneath. Click on the orange letters that say "Follow this blog", and Google will walk you through it.

This is all made possible by a new Google nifty-thingie called (amazingly enough) the Google Follower. (Man, I wonder where they come up with these names, don't you?) There are two benefits to Follower. First, you can go to, and see all of the blogs you're following there (when you're logged into your Google account, of course). Secondly (and this is my favorite part!), I get to know who you are! Can you just see my big grin from here? Statcounter is nice, and comments are frosting on a bloggy cake, but the Follower makes me feel like I've got permanence, ya know? It means that even without comments (which I still long for, btw), I can know that I'm read, I'm heard, and not just shouting out into the void of cyberspace.

Quick plug for Google Reader: it's like BlogLines or other feed management tools, except it rocks. Straightforward, stupid-easy to add feeds (and now completely automatic with the Follower feature), and error-proof. (Let's not talk about my woes with Thunderbird and TypePad blogs. They're few but pernicious.) And the best best best part of all, you can Follow private blogs! Yep! So, you can go to the Google Reader and see all of the latest updates to your favorite blogs, even if they're private blogs (I have a few I read), and even if they're non-Blogger-blogs. (More on that later.)

Now, as you're wondering why on earth you should bother, let me tell you: because I really really really want you to! (And since you're a devoted blog reader, you'd do it to please me, wouldn't you? Since I work so hard taking photos and typing on this keyboard that has a flaky t-key, and thinking up strange/fun/entertaining/knitterly/munchkin stuff to blog for you, it really is the least you can do. Even if you Follow anonymously (which I guess is okay, even though I don't get to see your cool profile photo), it still shows me I'm being read.

So, now you're wondering how you can add this useful pot feature to your blog, right? Well, just go to your blog's Layout tab (linked from your Bloggger Dashboard), and click on the "Add a Gadget" link at the top of your sidebar or footer. Type in a witty title (or use the one they supply), and you're in business. I highly recommend putting it at the top, or near it, so it's easy to see for all of your bloggy lurkers.

I've got to get done with this, so ChickenScratch can play with his blog. Later, my future Followers! {ahem} ;o)